Palo Alto (California): World record holder Tim Montgomery and Olympic champion Maurice Greene will still need top three finishes in their chosen events at the US nationals to ensure a place in the Paris world championships.
Montgomery needs a place in the 100 metres at the championships starting on Thursday to book a trip to Paris, where he broke the world record last September.
Greene, as the defending champion, has a free ride to the worlds in the 100 metres. But he, too, must earn his way on to the American team in the 200 metres, the event in which he plans to compete in the four-day US championships.
Montgomery appears to have the easier route with Greene out of his path in the 100 metres. His seasonal best time of 10.04 seconds, although nearly three-tenths of a second slower than his world record 9.78 seconds, is still the second fastest by an American behind Greene’s 9.94.
Greene is only the fourth-fastest American this season over 200 metres and the authoritative Track & Field News magazine has predicted he will not even make the team.
But his training partner Jon Drummond has warned Greene’s rivals not to underestimate the 1999 world champion.
“To all those who say that Maurice is washed up, they’re a bunch of fools who want something to say to excite conversation on the internet,” Drummond said.
Likewise, Montgomery says that the outburst of condemnation that followed his work with banned Canadian coach Charlie Francis last winter will not affect his long-range goals.