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Gatlin back in Olympic picture

Justin Gatlin, the Olympic champion over 100 metres in 2004, will be around to renew his challenge in 2012 after an impressive win at the US Olympic trials in Oregon. The victory ensured Gatlin a place in the team for London 2012.

Gatlin suffered an enforced four year absence from athletics after testing positive for excess testosterone in 2006. He has been on the comeback trail since 2010 and his performance in this race suggests he is back to his best.

Gatlin registered a personal best of 9.80 in the race, finishing ahead of the American record-holder Tyson Gay, who was second in 9.86. "The race was a blur. I just gutted it out," Gatlin said afterwards. "I guess I set a record today, so congrats to myself."

Gatlin was relieved and happy to be back in the Olympic picture. "I heard a lot of words this season like: 'redemption', my 'journey'," Gatlin said. "I just focused on sticking to what I know and being a fast runner."

Gay was expected to be one of the main challengers to Usain Bolt in London, but his season has been all about recovering from hip surgery. "This was only my second race of the year. I feel like I'm on the way up," Gay said. "I had a lot of negative doubts and I tried to throw them out. I couldn't even jog until March."

Gatlin wasn’t worried about the prospect of facing Bolt in London. "What he's done is brought a lot of excitement to the game," he said. "But his lane is just as long as mine."

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