MIAMI (AFP, REUTERS) – American Trayvon Bromell underlined his credentials as the Tokyo Olympics 100m gold-medal favourite on Saturday (June 5) by running the fastest time this year of 9.77 seconds at the New Life Invitational in Miramar, Florida.

He becomes the ninth man to dip under 9.80 seconds for the 100m, slashing nearly a 10th of a second off his personal best of 9.84.

In a wind of 1.5m/sec, he stormed to victory at the World Athletics Continental Tour Silver meet. Fellow American Marvin Bracey was second in 9.85sec followed by Chris Royster in 10.08sec.

The world indoor 60m champion in 2016, he faced just three competitors in his heat, getting off to a strong start and powering away.

It continues an impressive build-up towards the Tokyo Olympics for Bromell, the 25-year-old who has battled injuries the past few seasons.

In April, he clocked a then world-leading 9.88sec at a meet in Jacksonville, Florida.

Bromell’s form suggests he is firmly in the frame as a potential 100m gold medallist in Tokyo, where world champion Christian Coleman will be absent because of a doping ban.

Bromell exploded onto the athletics scene in 2015, when he ran a personal best time of 9.84sec for the 100m before his 20th birthday – the fastest time ever run by a teenager over the distance – before later claiming a bronze at that year’s World Championships in Beijing.

After winning the 60m indoor world gold in 2016, he suffered disappointment at the Rio Olympics, finishing eighth in the final won by Jamaican legend Usain Bolt.

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He later suffered a torn Achilles in the final of the 4x100m relay, the start of an injury nightmare that saw him miss two full years of competition.

Reigning Olympic double sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah won the women’s 100m and 200m events, clocking 10.87 and 22.54 seconds, respectively.

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