June 24, 2007
By Gene Cherry
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (Reuters) - Former Lady Vol DeeDee Trotter ran the fastest women's 400 meters in the world this year and ended the 18-race winning streak of 2005 world silver medalist Sanya Richards at the U.S. championships on Saturday.
Trotter, fifth-place finisher in the 2004 Olympics and 2005 world championships, came from third off the final bend to claim the victory in a lifetime best 49.64 seconds.
"It was a dream," said Trotter. "I didn't think I was ready for a PR (personal record). I just put it out there."
Natasha Hastings finished second in 49.84, with Mary Wineberg third in 50.24.
Richards, who has been suffering from a flu-like illness, finished in 50.68 to miss the U.S. team for Osaka's world championships in her best event.
Her only chance of qualification is a top three finish in Sunday's 200 meters final.
"I thought I was already on the team (in the 400) and didn't fight for the third spot so I'm really disappointed," she said.
In 200 meters qualifying, Richards, the IAAF female athlete of the year, clocked 23.47 seconds into a headwind for the ninth-fastest time. Mikele Barber set the pace in 22.73.
Newly-crowned 100 meters champion Tyson Gay led men's 200 meters qualifying with a run of 20.66 seconds into a strong headwind.
"I am a little fatigued," said Gay, who on Friday won the 100 in 9.84 seconds -- the fastest time in the world this year.
"The wind was pretty bad today but everybody had to run into it."
World silver medalist James Carter won the 400 meters hurdles in a world-leading 47.72 seconds. Kerron Clement was second in 47.80 and Derrick Williams third in 48.26.
World indoor champion Reese Hoffa had the five best throws to claim the men's shot title with 21.47 meters.
Angelo Taylor, the 2000 Olympic 400 meters hurdles gold medalist, won the men's 400 meters in 44.05 seconds, narrowly beating LaShawn Merritt (44.06).
Ginnie Powell, a strong contender for a world title in Osaka, won the women's 100 meters hurdles in 12.63 seconds. World champion Michelle Perry was second in 12.72, with Lolo Jones third in 12.79.
Olympic champion Joanna Hayes went out at the semi-final stage after suffering from cramp.
Tom Pappas, the 2003 world champion, won the decathlon with 8,352 points.
The championships conclude on Sunday.