Portsmouth’s Lashawn Merritt qualifies for Olympics, McCorory falls short

Photo courtesy of NBC

EUGENE, OR (WAVY) – With a time of 43.97 seconds, Portsmouth’s Lashawn Merritt finished first ahead of Gil Roberts and David Verburg in the men’s 400-meter, and qualified for the U.S. Olympic team.

This will be the third trip to the Olympic games for Merritt, who won a gold medal at the 2008 games in Beijing.

Meanwhile, it was a disappointing afternoon for Hampton’s Francena McCorory, who finished fifth in the women’s 400-meter and failed to qualify for the games in Rio. McCorory, a gold medalist at the 2012 games in London and former world number one, held the lead briefly, before giving way to eventual winner Allyson Felix.

Felix, struggling with a hurting right ankle, posted the best time of the year — 49.68 seconds — to easily outdistance Phyllis Francis and Natasha Hastings, who also made the team.


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