Justin Gatlin won the 200 meters at the 2015 U.S. Track and Field Outdoor Championships, posting a U.S. Trials record time of 19.57 seconds in the event held in Eugene, Oregon, on Sunday. Gatlin admitted afterward that he wanted to make a statement and set up a marquee matchup against Jamaica's Usain Bolt at the world championships scheduled for later this year.
"I wanted to come out and make a statement, and that's what I did," Gatlin told Reuters. "I would say it's the most complete, technically, 200 meter I ever ran.” It was not only the most complete run for Gatlin in his career but also his personal best and the fastest in the history of the U.S. Trials.
Gatlin stated he was “hurt” after the race saying his “body has never been there before” but that it felt great winning the race in record time.
Gatlin has some more work to do to beat the world record in the event, with the likes of Bolt (19.19) and Yohan Blake (19.26) of Jamaica; and Michael Johnson (19.32) and Walter Dix (19.53) of the United States all having faster times in the 200m.
The previous record in the U.S. Trials for the 200m was held by Johnson, who clocked in at 19.66 in 1996 in Atlanta.
The 2015 International Association of Athletic Federations World Championships is scheduled from Aug. 22 to 30 in Beijing, China.