Team USA picks up 2 gold, 2 silver during big night at World Champs
DAEGU, South Korea - Trey Hardee and Ashton Eaton scored a historic 1-2 finish in the decathlon, Brittney Reese defended her world title in the women’s long jump, and Walter Dix claimed a silver in a shocking men’s 100m final Sunday night at the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Athletics.
© Kirby Lee, Image of Sport
In preliminary action, Team USA advanced several athletes with medal chances on a night in which the sport’s biggest global star didn’t even start his race.
Trey Hardee (Austin, Tex.) on Sunday night won his second consecutive world title in the decathlon, making him only the third man to win at least two world titles in the 10-event competition. American Dan O’Brien on three world titles (1991, ‘93 and ‘95), and Tomas Dvorak of the Czech Republic took the next three, in ‘97, ‘99 and ‘01.
Ashton Eaton (Eugene, Ore.) became the first American to win silver in the decathlon at a World Championships, and collectively it marked the first time that a country swept the top two places in the decathlon.
Hardee entered the final two events in the lead and extended that with a personal-best throw of 68.99m/226-4 in the javelin for 874 points. Eaton threw 55.17m/181-0 for 665 points, falling to third behind Leonel Suarez of Cuba, who led the field in the javelin with a mark of 69.12m/226-9 for 876 points.
Hardee entered the 1,500m in the lead with 7,962 points, followed by Suarez with 7718 and Eaton third with 7686. Aleksey Drozdov was close on his heels in fourth with 7644.
Eaton needed to finish five seconds ahead of Suarez to overtake the Cuban for second, while Hardee needed to finish 35 seconds ahead of Suarez to keep the gold. Eaton led Suarez by slightly less than 2 seconds with one lap to go, then used every bit of his 400m foot speed to pull away with more than enough to give him the silver. Eaton’s winning time of 4:18.94 was a personal best and gave him 819 points for a total of 8,505 for the silver. Although he finished ninth, Hardee’s time of 4:45.68 was a season’s best, giving him 645 points and the win with 8607. Suarez’s season-best, second-place time of 4:24.16 gave him 783 points and a third-place total of 8501.
Ryan Harlan (Houston, Tex.) threw 58.43m/191-8 in the javelin and ran the 1500 in 5:21.63 to finish 22nd with 6761 points.
Women’s long jump final
Brittney Reese (Gulfport, Miss.) needed only one jump to successfully defend her world title in the long jump, but a Russian rival made it interesting. Reese immediately took the lead with her first jump of 6.82m/22-4.5, then fouled all of her next five attempts. She remained firmly in the lead though each round of jumping, but on her final attempt, Olga Kucherenko of Russia looked to have challenged Reese’s mark. The final measurement was 6.77m/22-2.5, which tied Kucherenko’s previous best and kept her in second. Ineta Radevica of Latvia was third with a season-best mark of 6.76m/22-2.25.
Early on, Janay DeLoach (Ft. Collins, Colo.) had a best mark of 6.39m/20-11.75 on her second attempt. After two more fouls and another jump, on her final attempt she went 6.56m/21-6.25 to move from eighth to sixth, despite not even touching the take-off board. Funmi Jimoh (Stafford, Texas) fouled on all three of her attempts and did not post a mark.
Men’s 100 final
The biggest news story came in the men’s 100, where Olympic silver medalist Walter Dix overcame a slow start to win a silver medal in 10.08. What shocked the crowd was that the gold medalist was Yohan Blake (9.92) and winning the bronze was 35-year-old Kim Collins of St. Kitts & Nevis (10.09), the 2003 world champion.
What was remarkable about the result was the absence of world record holder Usain Bolt of Jamaica, who false started and was therefore disqualified under the IAAF’s new one-and-done false-start rule. Bolt’s disqualification marked the second time in as many days that a 2008 Olympic gold medalist false-started out of these Championships; British gold medalist Christine Ohuguoru false started during Saturday’s first round of the women’s 400.
Women’s discus final
2008 Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Brown Trafton (Oceano, Calif.) had her best global championship performance since Beijing, placing fifth in the discus. Brown Trafton moved from eighth to fifth on her fourth throw with a mark of 63.85m/209-5, and the throw held up through two more rounds of throwing. Li Yanfeng of China won the competition with a toss of 66.52m/218-3, Nadine Muller of Germany was second (65.97/216-5) and Yarelys Barrios of Cuba was third (65.73/215-7).
Men’s 10,000m final
Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.) had himself in good position throughout the race. The three-time U.S. champion was mid-pack early on, with fellow American Matt Tegenkamp (Portland, Ore.) and Scott Bauhs (Danville, Calif.) near the back.
A quickening pace left a lead pack of eight men with eight laps to go. Rupp ran relaxed near the back of that pack and moved to fifth with seven laps left. Also in the pack were Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea, Imane Merga, Ibrahim Jeilan and Sileshi Sihine of Ethiopia, Mo Farah of Great Britain and Martin Mathathi and Peter Kirui of Kenya.
When the pack started to move with 600m left, Rupp could not respond. Farah took the lead and began his kick with 400m left, but Jeilan kicked him down in the final strides to win in 27:13.81. Farah was second in 27:14.07 and Merga was third in 27:19.14. Rupp finished in a season-best time of 27:26.84 for seventh, improving by one place on his finish at the 2009 World Championships. Tegenkamp was 10th in 28:41.62 and Bauhs was 14th in 29:03.92.
Women’s 400m semifinals
Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.) ran a brisk first 200m and looked easy and controlled down the homestretch, winning the first semifinal in 50.34. Francena McCrory (Hampton, Va.) ran a strong final 100m to win the second semi in a personal-best time of 50.24 and will join Felix in Monday night’s final. In the same race, defending world champion Sanya Richards-Ross (Austin, Tex.) entered the homestretch in first but was passed in the final meters, placing third in 50.66. Her time was fast enough to make her the eighth and final qualifier into the finals on time; the first two finishers in each of three semifinal heats and the next two fastest times advanced. Jessica Beard (College Station, Texas) finished fourth in the final heat, and failed to make the final from her time of 51.27.
Men’s 800m semifinals
In an uncharacteristic fashion, Nick Symmonds (Springfield, Ore.) led from the gun in his 800m semifinal and held off a strong charge by 2004 Olympic gold medalist Yuriy Borzakovskiy of Russia down the final straight. The race was decided in a photo finish, with both men clocking 1:45.73 to advance to the final.
In his semi, Khadevis Robinson (Santa Monica, Calif.) began his kick from the back of the pack with 250m remaining and quickly moved up through the pack; however, coming down the homestretch he was overtaken and faded to fifth in 1:45.27.
TEAM USA ATHLETE QUOTES
Trey Hardee, men’s decathlon
“It was good that it (personal best in javelin) happened when it did because that was a big event, that was a very important event and I needed those points.
With 300m to go in the 1,500, I saw that Ashton (Eaton) was only 120-130m ahead of me, and I thought to myself, ‘There is no way he is going to put the 20 or 30 seconds on me’. I just put my chin down. I didn’t smile, but I was smiling on the inside knowing that it was almost there, it was almost done and I won.
“The defense is kind of cool. I came in, I was the favorite...umm...I thought I was the favorite-I don’t think anybody else thought I would win. This was my title and people were trying to take it from me and I beat them. I successfully defended my title, and ten years from now it will be even cooler than it is right now.
Ashton Eaton, men’s decathlon
“I’m a bit young in this sport still. This was my 16th decathlon and things weren’t going well at the very beginning and mentally I was really, really frustrated with myself.
“Even though I knew I was in the lead yesterday, I was still so frustrated with myself because of my marks. And I think that is one of the reasons I consider myself young in the sport, I wasn’t taking it for what it was. I was in the lead which is good.
“We got five hours of sleep last night and it was a long two days...I feel like I have let a bunch of people down, including myself, by not getting the gold. But you know what, I came away okay, and I’m already ready for next year.
“It is huge [going 1-2], it is very big. Going into next year as the 100th anniversary of the decathlon, and having Bryan Clay see what we’ve done here, maybe that will get us rekindled and fired up for next year and we’ll sweep it.”
Brittney Reese, women’s long jump
“I just wanted to come out here and put a big jump in and have everybody chase it and clearly that is what I did. But I really did think that it was going to get knocked off, but I’m excited it didn’t. I can’t be more pleased than to come out here and defend the gold title and I’m excited about that.
“I knew that I was going to be the one to beat coming in, but I also knew that there are great athletes on the field, so I really did think it would take at least 7 meters to win. Me fouling all five is interesting. But I’m excited that my jump held.”
Janay DeLoach, women’s long jump
“For me sixth place is not good enough so I’m coming back with rage next year. I want something better than sixth. It’s been an amazing experience here. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be here even if I did get sixth place. Physically, I felt real good after not having competed for a month. I was ready and fresh and confident that I would do well. I made it to the finals and got sixth place. I consider that an achievement but I want something better next year.
“Brittney (gold medalist Reece) is fun being around and competing with her. I’m glad she got the gold.”
Funmi Jimoh, women’s long jump
“It was tough and it’s hard. It hurts when you work that hard for something and it doesn’t come to fruition you feel lost, and I feel a bit lost right now. Nothing but time will help this, but I’m still confident because I still feel like I was fit. I just couldn’t get the board to cooperate with me.”
Walter Dix, men’s 100m final
“I’m glad I put USA sprints back on the medal stand, but unfortunately, you saw my race, it was real sloppy with the false start with the guy right next to me, this time it was Usain. You know if they are going to take out a big guy like that, they’ll take me out next, so I’ve got to stay in those blocks.
The first 30m [was the worst part], just like the semifinals, I kept sitting in the blocks and I couldn’t move, that false start was killing us, and hopefully it will change by London. I really didn’t think they would kick him out....they have him on every poster, but I’m sure he’ll be coming back with a vengeance in the 200m, so I have to get ready for that.”
Trell Kimmons, men’s 100m semifinal
“I didn’t react too good at the start. This is my first time running the 100 at World Championships but mentally and physically I’ve been pleased competing here.”
Justin Gatlin, men’s 100m semifinal
“I’m little upset ,but I came in here a little beat up so I tried to do the best I could do. It feels good to be successful enough just to come out and get this far. I came in here injured (ankles) and I just toughed it up. It is still hurting but I did the best I could do.”
Stephanie Brown Trafton, women’s discus
“Realistically, I’m working toward the Olympic year. I wanted to win a medal here but the cards weren’t in it tonight because the girls who medaled tonight were throwing 65 meters. Maybe I had it in me, maybe not. I feel like I’m going in the right direction for next year. The Olympic year is always the time when I come out in strong fashion.”
Galen Rupp, men’s 10,000
“I was happy with the way I ran. I stayed out of trouble. There were a lot of positives to take from this. At that point I was telling myself to relax and safe as much as I could but I didn’t have it. I’m progressing from a few years ago. I just ran out of gas. I was just trying to stay as relaxed as I could in the last half of race when it picked up. But I just didn’t have it tonight.”
Scott Bauhs, men’s 10,000
“I’m walking a thin line when I do these races. I think with better conditioning and a more tactical race I think I can surprise people. But it was hot and humid and a fast race, much quicker than my PR is, makes it a tough pill to swallow. I felt good coming. I don’t want to make too many excuses. I wanted to play it smart and safe and I felt like I did that but it still didn’t happen. I’m really happy I earned this trip and I will try to use it to get better next year and many years to follow.
Matthew Tegenkamp, men’s 10,000
“Honestly, I didn’t try to pay attention to the clock and never really knew where I was. I just kept watching up front and not try to push too much effort early. After missing last year I was just trying to string it out and not put too much of an effort too early. I think this season I’ve put in the training that I need for next year especially after missing last season.
“Aerobically I’m very strong, I can handle the race but I just fatigue out. There are similarities in the 10,000 to the 5,000 but it shows you how strong and how aerobically fit you have to be in this distance.
“Next year I have both standards in 5k and 10k and when I get to U.S. Championship I’ll make a decision on where I can finish the highest in both the U.S. Championships and World Championships.
Allyson Felix, women’s 400m semifinal
“It felt comfortable. I just hopped to position myself for a good lane in the final. I feel like I did that. Now I’m going to get some rest and get ready for it by just taking care of my body, getting it flushed out and getting lots of rest. Feeling good as of right now.”
Francena McCorory, women’s 400m semifinal
“I’m very thankful and feel blessed. I’m happy to come out here and run a personal best. I just want to focus and execute my own race. I felt real good coming in and I’m positive about tomorrow. I’m just going to focus on myself tomorrow.”
Sanya Richards-Ross, women’s 400 semifinal
“That’s more than close, that was a real tough one for me. I’ve never been in that situation before, so I kind of had to hold back my tears while I was waiting for the results. It was tough, a little bit disappointing, but also exciting to be in the final.
“I really wanted to go out and run well today, so it was tough. I don’t know [what happened] my first 300 was good and I came off in the lead, which is what I wanted to do, but I just didn’t have my legs. This season I haven’t had a string of great races, it has always been something was good, something wasn’t good. So I haven’t had that consistency that I like, I honestly don’t know what it is.
“I’ve got to shake it off, my coach is going to shake me up and say, ‘come on, we have one more shot’ so I’m just gonna go for that.”
Jessica Beard, women’s 400m semifinal
“I knew I had to get out because I had some amazing girls behind me. I was in lane eight and I couldn’t say anybody so I had to get out and at least put myself in a good position to finish with them because they are very strong finishers. I think if I wouldn’t have had that start I might not have been as close as I was to them.
“My last 100 is the part of my race I really need to work on. To me I kept my form. This year my PR is 51.0, so to run 51.2 I don’t think I’m that far from it .so I think I did what I needed to do to run today.
“Anyone who made the final can win it. I don’t think you can ever count anyone out. I’ll be here cheering on Team USA that is who I want to win. It could be all USA on the podium.”
Nick Symmonds, men’s 800m semifinal
“You guys aren't used to seeing me lead from 200 in! I knew that without (David) Rudisha and (Abubaker) Kaki in the race, it could go slow, so I wanted to be up or near the front with 400 to go. I saw an opportunity, and once I got up front I told myself 'don't let anyone get in front of you, and match every single move'.
“This was a talented group of guys in the race and I know that the guys weren't gonna go berserk during the race. Yuriy (Borzakovskiy) made a strong move and told myself not to let him get around me, or else I'd get boxed. I did everything I could to hold him off the curve. I'm happy to make the finals."
Khadevis Robinson, men’s 800m semifinal
“I just didn't get it done; it's that simple. You have to run 1:44 in the semis to move on. I really liked my draw, and I didn't get it done. I was in perfect position with 100 meters to go. No excuses, those guys kicked my butt.
“I executed my race plan perfect through 700 meters. I maybe went too hard down the backstretch, but I don't think so.”
For complete results, visit www.iaaf.org
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