Walter Dix doesn't run in 200 meters
EUGENE, Ore. -- Some of the biggest names in American sprinting were on the sideline and not in the starting blocks for the opening round of the 200 meters.
As expected, Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay didn't run in the event Friday at Olympic track trials.
But the absence of Olympic bronze medalist Walter Dix was a bit of a surprise. Dix was hampered by a sore left hamstring that slowed him in the 100, but he thought he might be ready for the 200.
Cyphers: Track Trials Deliver Drama
Track's easy to understand, right? Just run faster or jump higher or throw farther than everybody else, and you win. Except that's not the whole story at the U.S. Olympic trials, writes Luke Cyphers. Story
Now, Dix's only option for making it to the London Games will be as a member of the 400 relay team, should he be selected. Dix was expecting big things, too, especially after capturing bronze in both the 100 and 200 at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Gatlin said after winning the 100 he would focus on one event, just to save wear and tear on his body.
Same with Gay, who finished second in the 100 despite a surgically repaired hip that limited him to just one meet in the last year before taking the stage at trials.
"We're missing Tyson, Walter and Justin -- that's U.S. best right there," said the 34-year-old Doc Patton, who easily advanced. "The door is open for anyone in the field right now."
Possibly sprinters such as Calesio Newman or Isiah Young -- unfamiliar names now, but maybe bigger names should they make team. Newman and Young both won their heat.
They may be the sprinters up next for world-record holder Usain Bolt and his training partner Yohan Blake, who are currently trying to earn spots to the Olympics at Jamaican trials.
Shawn Crawford is in the running, too, to take on Bolt & Co. Crawford won the 200-meter title at the 2004 Olympics and was bumped up to silver in Beijing.
In that race, Crawford originally finished fourth, only to move up two spots when Netherlands Antilles sprinter Churandy Martina and American Wallace Spearmon were disqualified for running outside their lanes.
Feeling Martina had won the medal fair and square, even though the rules said differently, Crawford gave it back to Martina.
Spearmon turned in the best time Friday, finishing in 20.17 seconds. That's even with pulling up early to conserve energy and take it easy on his left Achilles tendon, which has been giving him some trouble.
"It's the first round. You're not supposed to run that hard," Spearmon said. "It was a good run."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
MORE OLYMPICS HEADLINES
- Durant, USA pull away from Spain to win gold
- Clippers' Paul has successful surgery on thumb
- Schmitt back to school after Olympic stardom
- Olympian Raisman, Poland Spring sign deal
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
All the information you need for track and field rules, athletes, schedules and history.