Controversial Justin Gatlin set the stage for a world championship showdown with Usain Bolt when he won the 200m in a blazing 19.57 seconds at the US trials - the fifth fastest time in history.

Only four people, including world record holder Bolt, have run faster than the 33-year-old, whose previous best was 19.68 seconds.

"I wanted to come out and make a statement, and that's what I did," said Gatlin.

"I would say it's the most complete, technically 200m I ever ran. A lot of people were asking me what could I run if I ran through the finish line, so obviously I went out there and ran 19.5 so I hope I can do better than that."

Gatlin was so exhausted he bent over after the race.


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"It hurt. My body has never been there before. But it felt great."

Only Jamaicans Bolt and Yohan Blake and Americans Michael Johnson and Walter Dix have gone faster.

Training partner Isiah Young was second in 19.93 with the 30-year-old Wallace Spearmon taking third in 20.10.

Gatlin, the year's fastest at 100m and 200m, plans to challenge Bolt at both distances in the August world championships in Beijing.

They have not met since 2013 with Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, piling up a two-year unbeaten streak.

Source: Reuters