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Felix makes 200m final, Bor defends U.S. title at Trials

Felix makes 200m final, Bor defends U.S. title at Trials
Posted at 8:21 PM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-26 02:17:02-04

Five-time Olympic qualifier Allyson Felix secured a spot Friday in the 200m final while steeplechaser Hillary Bor repeated as U.S. champion on a busy day at U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon.

Felix, who has already made the 400m team, ran the third-fastest overall qualifying time in Friday's 200m semifinal round to make her first final in the event at a U.S. championships since 2017.

Saturday's final will be the 35-year-old mother's sixth race in nine days — and her last ever at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Bor, the 2019 U.S. steeplechase champion, made his second Olympic team by winning Friday's final in 8:21.34. He finished seventh at the 2016 Rio Games.

Born in Kenya, the 31-year-old became an American citizen in 2013 by joining the U.S. Army, and was last a sergeant stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado, Springs. Bor moved to the U.S. in 2007 at the age of 18 and went to the University of Alabama for a semester before transferring to Iowa State where he became a four-time All-American.

He said he couldn't sleep Thursday night with the pressure of trying to make his second Olympic team and defending the U.S. title.

"I was lucky enough to have gone through this championship since 2016. I have experience now. People were targeting me because I won in 2019," he said.

"It’s a big accomplishment[, making the team]," Bor said. "The field was deep this year, all the guys were tough to beat … I wanted to make sure 2016 wasn't a fluke. You can't ask better than being a second-time Olympian."
 

SEE MORE: U.S. Trials: Bor defends steeple title, qualifies for Tokyo

Felix, after finishing second in last Sunday's 400m final, said she wanted to attack the 200m similarly. And so far she's done just that, continuing to look strong through that event's first two rounds.

"I wanna have fun with it as everybody knows, I love the 200[m]," she said last Sunday. "I used to call it my baby. I wanna go out and just still have the same approach."

SEE MORE: Allyson Felix qualifies for 5th Olympics at 35, 1st as mom

The 2012 Olympic champion placed second in the first of two semifinal sections Friday, clocking 22.20 and losing to 2018 U.S. champion Jenna Prandini, who ran a personal-best 21.99.

Felix advanced to Saturday's eight-woman final behind Prandini and top-qualifier Gabby Thomas, winner of the second section. Thomas ran a world-lead 21.94, also a personal best.

Felix is a six-time national outdoor 200m champion and has won the indoor title once, too — by far her most successful event at the U.S. championships.

She hasn't won the U.S. 200m title in nine years. Her last American title in any distance was the 400m in 2016, which she decided not to defend the following year in her home state.

Instead, she doubled in the 100m and 200m, finishing eighth in the 100m final and not starting (DNS) in the 200m final, despite entering as the second-best seed. That was her last U.S. 200m final made until Friday.

Felix was pregnant with Cammy in 2018, then chose to only run the 400m at the 2019 U.S. Championships, qualifying for the relay events at worlds where she later added two golds.

SEE MORE: 2019 Worlds: US, Felix dominate 1st mixed relay

Bor will be joined in Tokyo by respective second- and third-place finishers Benard Keter (8:21.81) of Army WCAP and Mason Ferlic (8:22.05), the 2016 NCAA champion.

Isaac Updike was the top overall qualifier in Monday's first round, clocking 8:21.01. Bor (8:21.09) and Daniel Michalski (8:22.03) were next fastest; and Keter (8:29.04) was the best of the slower section.

Keter and Ferlic will both make their Olympic debuts in Tokyo.

Notably absent from the field at U.S. Trials was 2016 Olympic silver medalist Evan Jager, who announced just prior he would not be racing due to a series of frustrating injuries.

Reigning Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto, too, will be missing in Tokyo – he was left off Kenya's Olympic roster earlier this month.

SEE MORE: Rio 2016: Kipruto wins steeplechase gold, USA's Jager silver

In Friday's other final, the men's discus, 2017 world bronze medalist Mason Finley won the title with a 63.07m/206-11 hurl.

A two-time national champion in 2016 and 2017, Finley was a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team in Rio and placed 11th overall as the top American. Tokyo will be his second Olympics.

Finley, 30, was one of three to enter the final with the Olympic standard along with 2018 U.S. champion Reggie Jagers and defending U.S. champion Sam Mattis — and all three will being going to Tokyo after finishing 1-2-3.

Jagers, who's ranked sixth in the world this year, threw 62.61m/205-5 for second. Mattis was third with 62.51m/205-1.

Legend Boyesen Hayes was Thursday's best qualifying-round thrower with 62.59m/205-4. Jagers (62.55m/205-2) was next followed by Mattis (62.15m/203-11). Hayes was fifth in Friday's final.

Jagers and Mattis will both make their Olympic debuts in Tokyo.

Also happening Friday:

  • Noah Lyles, reigning world champion, placed second in his first-round 200m heat (20.19) to advance to Saturday's semis
  • Dalilah Muhammad, world record-holder, and No. 2 all-time Sydney McLaughlin, won their respective heats (55.51/54.07) to advance to Saturday's semis
  • Matt Centrowitz, reigning Olympic champion, won his 1500m semi (3:42.96) to advance to the Sunday's final
  • Ajee Wilson, American record-holder, and collegiate record-holder Athing Mu won their respective 800m semis (1:59.49/1:59.31) to advance to Sunday's final
  • Maggie Malone, American record-holder, had the top mark in women's javelin qualifying (59.62m/195-7)
  • Rai Benjamin, 2019 world silver medalist, won his 400m hurdles semis (48.61) to advance to Saturday's final
  • Grant Holloway, reigning world champion, won his first-round 110m hurdles heat (13.11) to advance to Saturday's semis

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