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Justin Gatlin named USATF Athlete of the Week after record-breaking 200 meters


INDIANAPOLIS -- Justin Gatlin wins USATF Athlete of the Week after becoming the fifth-fastest athlete in history over 200 meters with his victory at the 2015 USATF Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon.


Gatlin (Clermont, Florida) ran the top time in the prelims in 19.92, the only man to go sub-20 in the opening rounds. The two-time Olympian ran a similar time in the semifinals, going sub-20 once again in 19.90 to emerge as the only man below 20 seconds. In the final, Gatlin bested his previous Hayward Field record of 19.68, set at the Nike Prefontaine Classic in May, to win the USATF title in a meet-record time of 19.57.


“A lot of people had been asking me what I could run if I ran through the finish line,” Gatlin said Sunday. “I wanted to show them. I had one race to go, and I wanted to go out and make a statement. That’s what I did.”


Gatlin’s 19.57 makes him the fifth-fastest 200m performer in track & field history and is the fastest 200m time in the world since Usain Bolt’s 19.32 in 2012 at the London Olympic Games. Gatlin hasn’t dropped a race since September 6, 2013.


Gatlin had previously punched his ticket to the IAAF World Championships with his 2014 Diamond League crown in the 100 meters.


“I’d say [I have a better chance at winning] the 100, just because it comes first. But I’m going to put all my effort into both of them. A lot of people try to peak for the World Championships. I just want to maintain.”


Other notable performances this week include:

  • Tianna Bartoletta (Tampa, Florida) set a new world lead with a leap of 7.12m/23-4.50 to win her first outdoor long jump national title after a runner-up finish at last year’s outdoor championships.

  • Christel Donley (Colorado Springs, Colorado) broke the women’s W80 heptathlon world record with her score of 5,375 points at the USATF National Masters Combined Event Championships.

  • Evan Jager (Portland, Oregon) set a new meet record in men's 3000m steeplechase, finishing in 8:12.29. The previous record of 8:15.02 was set by Daniel Lincoln in 2004 at U.S. Olympic Trials.

  • Noah Lyles (Alexandria, Virginia) broke a 32-year-old meet record and recorded the fastest junior time in the world this year with a 20.18 in the 200m. His finish made Lyles the third-fastest high schooler ever.

  • Rita Hanscom (San Diego, California) set a new W60 heptathlon world record with her score of 6,043 points at the USATF National Masters Combined Event Championships, breaking the listed record of 5458 by Germany’s Ulike Hiltscher.

  • John Maurins (Mentor, Ohio) set an American junior record in the shot put with a winning toss of 21.90m/71-10.25.

  • Doug Osland (Roseville, California) set an American record in the M60 decathlon at the USATF National Masters Combined Event Championships with his score of 7,638 points. He demolished the listed American record of 7,287 (Emil Pawlik, 2003).

  • Jenn Suhr (Churchville, New York) cleared 4.82m/15-9.75 at USATF Outdoor Championships, setting a new world lead. Her win was Suhr’s 16th pole-vault title, giving her the most wins in American history.

  • Kaylin Whitney (Clermont, Florida) set a new world youth record with 22.47 in the 200m. Whitney just missed the U.S. Team with a fourth place finish.


Now in its 14th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.


2015 Winners: January 15, Chris Derrick; January 21, Demi Payne; January 28, Casimir Loxsom; February 4, Anselm LeBourne; February 11, Jenny Simpson; February 18, Brycen Spratling; February 25, Maksim Korolev; March 4, Shannon Rowbury; March 11, Mary Norckauer; March 18, Daloria Boone; March 25, Irene Obera; April 2, Michael Stigler; April 8, Allen Woodard; April 15, Joe Kovacs; April 22, Vashti Cunningham; April 29, Jasmin Stowers; May 6, Sanya Richards-Ross; May 13, Bernard Lagat; May 20, Christian Taylor; May 27, David Oliver; June 3, Joe Kovacs; Grant Fisher, June 10; Ben True, June 17; Candace Hill, June 24; Justin Gatlin, July 1.


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USA Track & Field is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit


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