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US Olympic trials: Gabrielle Thomas runs fastest 200m time since Florence Griffith Joyner

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American sprinter Gabrielle Thomas became the fastest woman since Florence Griffith Joyner over 200m when she won the US Olympic trials in 21.61 seconds.

The 24-year-old’s time is still more than a quarter of a second outside the late Griffith Joyner’s world record of 21.34 seconds set at the 1988 Olympics, but is the third fastest 200m ever run.
Nine-time Olympic medallist Allyson Felix, 35, who had qualified for Tokyo in the 400m, came up short in the 200m, finishing fifth in her final US trials event, 17 years after her Olympic bow.

Also at the trials in Eugene, Oregon, Grant Holloway missed the 110m hurdles world record by just a hundredth of a second.

The world champion, 23, who holds the indoor 60m hurdles world record, won the final in 12.96 seconds.

But in his semi-final he finished a hundredth of a second outside Aries Merritt’s 2012 world record of 12.80 seconds.

“At this point [the world record] is definitely possible,” Holloway said.

“A lot of people said I could never run 12.9 again. I’m just continuing to figure out ways to get better.”

In the men’s 400m hurdles, Rai Benjamin, 23, won the final in 46.83 seconds, just five hundreds of a second outside fellow American Kevin Young’s world record, which has stood since 1992.

“It hurts a little bit that it was right there and I couldn’t grab it, but it’s just more fuel for the fire,” said Benjamin.

Seventeen-year-old Erriyon Knighton ran a 19.88-second personal best to win the men’s 200m semi-finals, ahead of Kenny Bednarek (19.90) and world champion Noah Lyles (19.91).

Reigning world champion DeAnna Price extended her own American record in the hammer throw with an 80.31m effort and in the pole vault, 30-year-old Katie Nageotte cleared a world-leading 4.95m, with only two women having ever jumped higher.

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