June 24, 2012 / 10:30 PM / 7 years ago

Gay and Gatlin sprint into U.S. 100m finals

EUGENE, Oregon (Reuters) - Tyson Gay and 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin cruised into the 100 meters finals at the U.S. trials on Sunday, but Games bronze medalist Walter Dix barely made it.

Tyson Gay (R) and Charles Silmon (L) compete in the men's 100 metre semi-final at the U.S. Olympic athletics trials in Eugene, Oregon June 24, 2012. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola

Former world champion Gay clocked 10.04 seconds to win his race into a head wind after Gatlin claimed another semi-final in 10.06.

Mike Rodgers was even faster, sprinting 10.00 in the first race.

“It felt pretty good,” Gay, who is recovering from hip surgery last July, told reporters. “I just played it safe.”

The 30-year-old Gatlin was pleased with his race, too.

“I just wanted to go out there and go through the motions, make it to the next round and save a little energy for the finals,” the 2005 world champion said.

He missed the 2008 Olympics while serving a four-year doping ban.

Dix, who favored his left leg as he limped off the track, squeezed into the eight-man final with the last qualifying time, 10.16 seconds. He declined to speak to reporters afterward.

The final was scheduled for later on Sunday.

The trials select the U.S. team for the London Games and only the top three finishers in each event book a spot provided they meet the qualifying standard.

Editing by Alison Wildey

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