Hardy wins 100m gold at World Youth Champs
BRESSANONE, Italy -Italian born Prezel Hardy won Team USA's first-ever gold medal in the boys 100m Thursday evening at the 2009 IAAF World Youth Championships in Bressanone, Italy.
In the midst of heavy rain and after one false start, Hardy charged out of the blocks and kicked into high gear at the halfway point and continued to surge over the final 50 meters, crossing the line in a victorious 10.57. Hardy, who now lives in Killeen, Texas, was born on a military base in Vicenza, Italy. In the semi-final, Hardy had the fastest time winning heat 1 in 10.38.
Kori Carter (Claremont, Calif.) won Team USA's second medal of the competition and in the blink of an eye Bridgette Owens (Oak Park, Mich.) won the third. Carter had a much better start this go around, and hurdled her way to the silver medal in the girls 100m hurdles, finishing in a personal best 13.26. Owens was just behind her, setting claiming the bronze medal and her second personal best of the day in 13.39.
In the semi-final round, Bridgette Owens was second in heat 2 in a then-personal best 13.46. After being distracted at the start and failing to get out of the blocks quickly, Kori Carter finished second in heat 3 in 13.61.
Ashton Purvis (Oakland, Calif.) was second out of the blocks in the girls 100m final, but it was Great Britain's Jodie Williams who stormed to the gold medal in a world youth leading 11.39. Purvis powered her way to the finish in 11.48, earning the bronze medal in the process. Jordan Clark (Southfield, Mich.) finished fifth in 11.76. Earlier, in the semi-finals, Purvis won heat 2 in 11.53 and Jordan Clark was third in heat 1 in 11.63.
In the boys long jump final that was marred by the rain for the final three jumps, Leon Samuels (Charlotte, N.C.) finished sixth with a best mark of 7.35m/24-1.5. Carlton Lavong (Collegeville, Pa.) was 14th with 7.02m/23-0.5.
Minutes before the start of the girls 400m semi-final, the skies opened up and the rain started. In an effort to get out of the rain faster, Ebony Eutsey (Miami, Fla.) made up the stagger in the first 150m and won her heat in 53.99. Michelle Brown (Shamong, N.J.) was second in heat two in 54.77. In the boys 400m semi-final, Josh Mance (Pomona, Calif.) was second in heat 2 in 46.65.
David Smith (Jonesboro, Ga.) and Dwayne Golbek (Claremore, Ok.) each cleared the automatic qualifier of 2.10m/6-11 in the boys high jump qualifying rounds and advanced to Saturday's final.
Bronson Duran (Albuquerque, N.M.) ran a hard-fought 800m in the boys semi-final round, taking the lead 350m into the race and passing 400m in 55.04. But the pace proved to be too much for Duran as Nicholas Kipkoech (KEN) picked it up to win in 1:50.85 and Duran finished sixth in 1:53.59.
Team USA medal table as of July 9:
Prezel Hardy (Killeen, Texas) boys 100m, 10.57
Kori Carter (Claremont, Calif.) girls 100m hurdles, 13.26
Ryan Crouser (Damascus, Ore.) boys discus throw, 61.64m/202-2
Ashton Purvis (Oakland, Calif.) girls 100m, 11.48
Bridgette Owens (Oak Park, Mich.)
For more information on Team USA and the 2009 IAAF World Youth Championships, visit www.usatf.org. For complete results, visit www.iaaf.org.
Prezel Hardy - boys 100m gold medalist
"I feel great, I feel amazing, I feel blessed, rreally blessed. In my race, I had to get out because al of my competitors have better starts than me. The second time got out as hard as I could and just kept going. Something like this, a great event like this, this is not something many people can say they've done in their lifetime. This win represents the start of great things to come. It's an incredible feeling."
Kori Carter - girls 100m hurdles silver medalist
"I didn't like lane 8 but I was happy I even had a lane after my start in the semi-final. And to get second. In the world. I can't stop smiling. It's so exciting. This has been an awesome trip."
Bridgette Owens - girls 100m hurdles bronze medalist
"To find out I got a bronze medal, it was wonderful. I actually thought that I was fifth of sixth. But Kori told me and I was so happy I almost started crying. I PR'd again. Being here, at this meet, it makes me feel like I'm in the Olympics. It's been so much fun."
Bridgette Owens - girls 100m hurdles semi-final
"I felt better today than I did yesterday. I felt high over the hurdle but it was a personal best. In the final I need to get a great start and I want to be lower over the hurdles and I want to have fun."
Kori Carter - girls 100m hurdles semi-final
"I was trying to concentrate after the false start but the girl in lane 7 (Kanrisha Brathwaite, BAR), her hip number came off and blew my way, and I was looking at it when the gun went off. It was like, 'oh, no' and I took off and just tried to refocus and make my way up to second so that I could make it to the final."
Bronson Duran - boys 800m semi-final
"I got passed and I couldn't find my way back to the front. But this has been a really exciting and fun experience. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience, on the youth level at least. Meeting all of the teams has been one of the best parts. I took a picture with some athletes from Iran, we were all pointing at the flags on our uniform."
Josh Mance - boys 400m semi-final
"I felt so good. It wasn't as hard as yesterday. I feel like if everything goes well, I can PR tomorrow."
David Smith - boys high jump qualifying
"It was a lot of fun. Only three out of my group made it, that was really surprising because there were so many of us. But I was just out there, having fun."
Ebony Eutsey - girls 400m semi-finals
"I tried to go out fast and take it easy at the end so that I have something left tomorrow. I just tried to stay relaxed."
Michelle Brown - girls 400m semi-final
"I was hoping for a better time so that I could have a better lane in the final. The race was hitting my face so hard, it was horrible. But I'm not going to worry about it anymore. Tomorrow is the final. Tomorrow is the day to do it."
About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.
For more information on USATF, visit www.usatf.org
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