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Atlanta’s Christian Coleman wins national title in 100-meter dash

Christian Coleman didn't plan the gesture. He didn't even realize he was performing it.

Right as he crossed the finish line, the Atlanta native  outstretched his fingers on both hands in a "V'' formation — for victory.

A convincing one at that.

Coleman, who attended Our Lady of Mercy High School, cruised to the 100-meter title at the U.S. championships Friday night in a final that Justin Gatlin elected to sit out.

The 23-year-old blasted out of the starting blocks and finished in 9.99 seconds. Michael Rodgers was second by thousandths of a second over Christopher Belcher. Both times flashed 10.12.

About that Coleman gesture.

"I'm (not) thinking when I come across," Coleman explained.

About his race.

"It felt smooth. No complaints here," said Coleman, who's planning to run the 200. "I feel like I pretty much controlled it from the start."

The 37-year-old Gatlin ran in the semifinal round, but his lane was empty for the final. He already had a guaranteed 100 spot for the world championships in Doha this fall, because he's the defending champion.

Bummed not to see Gatlin?

"Not really. I just wanted to make the team," Coleman said.

Two years ago in London, Gatlin edged Coleman in the 100 final.

Round 2 is coming up in Doha in late September. Their rivalry just might be a preview of things to come at the Tokyo Olympics in a year.

In the women's 100, Teahna Daniels used a strong surge midway through the race to win in 11.20 seconds. English Gardner was second in 11.25 seconds and Morolake Akinosun third in 11.28.