By Gary Smith, TrackAlerts.Com Contributor
EUGENE – English Gardner recorded an eye-popping world-leading 10.79 seconds in the 100m semis at the USATF Championships on Friday.
Gardner, who now trains under the legendary John Smith, rocketed from the blocks and kept going to flash a stunning lifetime best in a 1.5 m/s wind reading.
The former Oregon Ducks paced home current NCAA champion Jenna Prandini (Oregon), who ran 10.92, with Jeneba Tarmoh also breaking the 11-seconds barrier, at 10.98 for third place in the heat.
Kentucky graduate Dezerea Bryant took the other qualifying spot in 11 seconds flat.
In the second semi-finals, Tori Bowie recorded the fastest time of the semis, at 10.72, but this was done with the help of a +3.2 m/s tailwind.
Bowie, who survived a faulty start decision, powered home over the final 40m to edge out Carmelita Jeter (10.76).
Oregon’s Jasmine Todd was third in 10.86, with Tianna Bartoletta taking fourth in 10.90. Candyce McGrone ran 10.91, but will not be in the final after she finished fifth.
The men’s semi-finals saw Tyson Gay and Trayvon Bromell taking their respective heats.
Bromell, who posted a career-best time of 9.84 to win his heat Thursday night, returned Friday with an impressive 9.76, but the wind reading was a +3.7 m/s.
Nevertheless, the 19-year-old looked quite spectacular in doing so and has to be one of the heavy favourites for the title later tonight.
Joining Bromell in the final from heat one were Diondre Batson (9.86), Isiah Young (9.93) and Beejay Lee (9.94).
Gay won the second semis and he pulled Michael Rodgers (9.86), Remontay McClain (9.89) and Ronnie Baker (9.94) with him into the final.
Looking at the times from the semi-finals, things are setting up for a cracker later on, with English Gardner looking very good and has to be the outstanding favourite to win the women’s title.
On the men’s side Gay and Bromell look well set to battle things out for the top spot as World Championships places are up for grabs.
In the first round of the women’s 100m hurdles, Sherika Nelvis posted a world-leading 12.34 secs to be the fastest qualifier going into the semi-finals.