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Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones returns to US trials at 41

Lolo Jones, at age 41, returned to the U.S. Olympic track and field trials for the first time in 12 years on Friday, competing in the 100 metres hurdles despite being "terrified" to step onto the track.

One of the most recognisable women in American track, Jones is the oldest ever to qualify for the U.S. trials and said she hoped to inspire the younger competitors in Eugene, Oregon.

"I hope to show them like you can still be in your 40s and be good enough to qualify for the Olympic trials," said Jones who clocked a time of 14.86 seconds.

"I hope these kids can see me and be like, you know what? My world's not ending if I don't make this Olympic team. There's longevity."

Jones competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, finishing seventh and fourth, respectively. She later competed at the 2014 Winter Games in the bobsleigh.

Late scratches meant that every competitor across the opening heats would advance to Saturday's semi-final stage at Hayward Field and Jones finished last in her heat by a considerable margin.

The event was drained of some of its drama as many in the field chose to conserve their energy and 2016 Olympic silver medallist Nia Ali jogged through her race to cross the finish in 20.38.

For Jones, crossing the finish line 20 years after her Olympic trials debut was an accomplishment in and of itself, as she had not competed since April due to injury.

"I had no clue if I was going to blow my hamstring out," she said. "That was terrifying, what I just did. That's the most terrifying thing I've ever done in my career."