Albany native Angelo Taylor reacts after finishing second in the men's 400-meter hurdles and making the Olympic team at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trialson Sunday in Eugene, Ore.
EUGENE, Ore. — See ya in London, Angelo.
Albany native and former Georgia Tech track star Angelo Taylor, 33, made his staggering fourth U.S. Olympic team Sunday when he finished second in the 400-meter men’s hurdle final behind James Tinsley.
Taylor, who is a two-time gold medalist in the event (2000 and 2008), led the entire race, but stumbled on the ninth hurdle — which was just enough to give up the lead. Although, he only needed to finish in the Top 3 to secure his spot on the Olympic team.
When asked afterward about the incredible feat of making four Olympic teams spanning nearly two decades — with a chance to become the first man to ever win three golds in the 400M should he leave London with the top honor again — Taylor said he ‘Thanked the Lord,” for all his success and added that he feels more motivated right now than at any point in his career.
“Not many people make it to their fourth Olympic team, so this is something that I really wanted to do,” Taylor said. “I knew the competition I was facing. My main goal was just to stay healthy, and goal No. 2 was just to make the team.”
Taylor really should’ve been talking about his wire-to-wire win in the finals afterward, rather than second place. Taylor burst out to a 10-stride lead after 200 meters and was leaving his competitors in the dust. But his fast pace caught up with him on the second-to-last hurdle and he clipped it just barely as he went over. That took Taylor briefly out of his stride and caused him to mistime the final hurdle ever-so-slightly, lose his lead and allow Tinsley to catch him.
Olympic silver medalist Kerron Clement finished third.
Taylor joined a lot of other American track stars Sunday on the next flight to London.
Wallace Spearmon dominated the men's 200 controversy-free with his easy victory.
Spearmon got off to a slow start, but recovered in time to win in 19.82 seconds Sunday at Hayward Field.
His victory — and his chance for redemption at the London Games after losing the bronze medal to disqualification in Beijing — was an expected finish to what should have been the conclusion to the trials.
RUNOFF FOR FINAL WOMEN’S 100M SPOT TONIGHT: Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh will run this afternoon to settle a third-place tie in the 100 for the final spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
Felix and Tarmoh finished in a dead heat for third in the 100 more than a week ago behind winner Carmelita Jeter and Tianna Madison, putting the team for the event in limbo. Track officials had no policy in place to resolve it but the next day devised a tiebreaker that included the options of a runoff or a coin flip.
The decision was put off eight days to allow Felix and Tarmoh to focus on the 200, which Felix handily won Saturday night. Tarmoh finished fifth. On Sunday morning the athletes got together with track officials and decided on the Monday runoff.
USA Track and Field was criticized because there was no tiebreaking policy in the first place and because the matter lingered for so long.
BLAKE GOES 2-FOR-2 VS. BOLT IN JAMAICA TRIALS, WINNING 200M SUNDAY: No posing, no salutes, no fist pumping. Yohan Blake simply paced in front of the jam-packed grandstand at National Stadium and stared up into the crowd, letting all those fans soak in a nice, long look.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the man to beat at the London Olympics.
In a result that can no longer be considered a surprise, Blake beat Usain Bolt in the 200 meters at Jamaican Olympic trials Sunday, finishing in 19.80 seconds to edge the world-record holder by 0.03.
When it was over, Bolt was the first one to approach his training partner and buddy and give him a big bear hug.
“A lot of people gave me encouragement, said, ‘Yohan Blake, you can do it,’ ” Blake said.
The win came two days after Blake, the reigning world 100 champion, beat Bolt in the 100 by running a 9.75.
That was a shocker, but there were explanations — most notably the terrible starts Bolt got off to throughout the 100 heats and in the final.
As they approached the finish line in the 200, Bolt was grimacing — or was that the hint of a frustrated smile — as he looked to his left to see what hardly anyone could have imagined earlier this week: Blake beating him to the finish line for the second time in the span of three days.
“I’ll have to figure out what I did wrong and work on it,” Bolt said.
In the women’s 200, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran a personal best 22.10 seconds to also complete the 100-200 sweep. She’ll be joined by Sherone Simpson and two-time defending Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown.