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Americans 1-2 after first day of World Championships Decathlon

8/10/2013
 
MOSCOW - Olympic Champion and world record holder Ashton Eaton sits atop the point standings with 20-year-old Gunnar Nixon in second after the first day of competition at the IAAF World Championships in Luzhniki Olympic Stadium.

The World Championships boast nearly 50 hours of television coverage in the U.S. with broadcasts airing during all nine days of competition. View the complete broadcast schedule here.

Nixon (Edmond, Okla.) won the high jump at 2.14m/7-0.25 to take the overall lead after four events, with Eaton (Bend, Ore.) clearing a relatively subdued 1.93m/6-4 and falling back to third. Eaton stormed back to the top of the list in the 400m, running his best decathlon race ever with a 46.02 that broke the World Championships meet record. That moved him nine points ahead of Nixon after the first day with a score of 4,502.

Unfortunately, neither Trey Hardee (Austin, Texas) nor Jeremy Taiwo (Renton, Wash.) finished the first day of competition. Taiwo, who suffered a left knee injury earlier in the long jump, was unable to warm up in the high jump and left the field. Hardee entered the high jump at 1.90m/6-2.75, but with a cramp in his left hamstring, he was unable to record a height and is out of the competition.

In the men’s 10,000m final, the field went through the first mile in just over 4:28, with all three Americans in the middle to back of the pack. Through 3000 meters, Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.) and Dathan Ritzenhein (Portland, Ore.) were running with Farah in mid-pack, with Derrick toward the back. Passing through 5,000m in just under 28:00 pace, Rupp moved into the top 10 after 14 laps and stayed in that group as the entire field remained in contention through 7,000m.

With six laps to go Rupp was in fourth and was on the leader’s shoulder with 2,000m left. Ritzenhein took over the lead with 1000 to go, but quickly yielded to Mo Farah and Rupp. A furious last 800 saw Farah pull away for the win as Rupp finished fourth in a season-best 27:24.39. Ritzenhein also clocked a season best in 10th at 27:37.90, Chris Derrick (Portland, Ore.) ended up 18th in 28:04.54.

The American women all finished in the top-25 of the marathon in spite of a mid-day start that produced bright sun and temperatures in the 80’s and humidity as high as 66 percent. Deena Kastor (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) started with a large pack through before settling in around 13th place for much of the race. As others succumbed to the heat, Kastor moved up through the field over the last 15 km to cross the line 9th in 2:36:12.

Dot McMahan (Rochester Hills, Mich.) and Jeanette Faber (Nashville, Tenn.) ran together with a conservative start. While the duo went through the first 5km in 54th and 55th place, they gradually moved up, with McMahan placing 18th in 2:39:52 and Faber 23rd in 2:44:03.
In the first round of the men’s 100m, Justin Gatlin (Clermont, Fla.) recorded the first ever sub-10 second performance on Russian soil as he won the third heat in 9.99, the fastest-ever first-round time. Mike Rodgers (Round Rock, Texas) then lowered the boom in heat six with a 9.98 that became the fastest ever run in the first round of the Worlds. Charles Silmon (Waco, Texas) took 5th in the fifth heat in 10.34 and did not advance to the next round.

In the women’s 400m, all three women moved through to Sunday’s semifinal as automatic qualifiers. Ashley Spencer (Indianapolis, Ind.) took the first heat in second place, crossing the line at 51.48. In the second heat, Natasha Hastings (Atlanta, Ga.) finished second to Christine Ohuruogu, in a time of 50.64. In the third round, Francena McCorory (Hampton, Va.) cruised to the fastest time ever by a U.S. runner in the first round in 50.56 to win the heat.

In the women’s long jump, Tori Polk (Marietta, Ga.) tied her personal best on her second attempt, spanning 6.75m/22-1.75 to automatically advance to the final. Defending champion Brittney Reese (Chula Vista, Calif.) narrowly advanced to the final as the 12th qualifier with a 6.57m/21-6.75, one centimeter behind last year’s Olympic bronze medalist Janay DeLoach Soukup (Fort Collins, Colo.). Funmi Jimoh (Houston, Texas) also jumped 6.57m/21-6.75, but lost out to Reese for a finals berth on the tiebreaker.

After fouling on his first attempt in the men’s hammer qualification, A.G. Kruger (Ashland, Ohio) sent the hammer 73.35m/240-7 on his second attempt. Kruger’s best mark was not enough to advance to the final as he was 17th out of the 28 competitors.

In the first round of the women's 3,000m steeplechase, no U.S. athletes advanced to the final. Ashley Higginson (Marlboro, N.J.) was close to advancing as she finished with a season-best 9:45.78 in heat 2 to take 11th. Nicole Bush (Wyoming, Mich.) finished 13th in the same heat in 9:58.03. In the first heat, Shalaya Kipp (Boulder, Colo.) moved up throughout the the race to finish ninth in 9:45.97

Athlete Quotes
Galen Rupp, men’s 10,000m final
“I just didn't kick (the last two laps). It's not that complicated. I put myself in a good position. The race was slow, so I thought I did a good job of staying up front with the leaders. I was right there where I needed to be.i just didn't quite have it those last two laps. The goal here was to get a medal. I have to have a short memory now and get ready for the 5k.”

Dathan Ritzenhein, men’s 10,000m final
“I was pretty gassed out. I guess the biggest thing is that this could be my last time on the big stage. I've got lots of road stuff left in me. I can't wait to move up to that. I just wanted to be in the front of the world championships at some point. Maybe I could've gotten a couple of more places, but I think the difference between tenth and maybe I've been 6th before. I wanted to give it a shot.”

Chris Derrick, men’s 10,000m final
“On paper, it's the perfect race for me. It's right at my PR pace, real steady, not a lot of surges. I  just got so hot. I feel like I was riding the edge for a long time, and I guess I was right at the back. Guys would fall off, we'd run around them. There'd be little yo-yos with the pace. I'd try to get back on, and it was way too hard. With six laps to go I just totally fell to pieces.”

Deena Kastor, women’s marathon final
“It was a torture. You think you want to celebrate the finish line when it comes, but then you look up to the mixed zone and see all those steps, so I had to rally one last time.  It was a hard race out there. I felt like I was trying to get those negative thoughts out.  It was a lot of mental work out there, from compromising from wanting a top-five finish, to a top-ten finish, to just wanting to finish altogether. I actually was surprised I was able to hold off and get ninth because I was really suffering that last 5-10 km.”

Dot McMahan, women’s marathon final
“It was very hot. Definitely the hottest conditions I’ve raced in. I wanted to be in top 20 and I accomplished that. The time is irrelevant, I knew it was going to be slow. It was about place, not pace today. I’m very happy with how I moved up. I was at 50-something and moved up to finish.”

Jeannette Faber, women’s marathon final
“I’m happy its over. I went in just adjusting all expectations and just trying to place as well as possible. It was just tough to do that. The second half hurt a lot worse than I even anticipated, and I feel I saw more women drop out ahead of me than I actually passed. In the end, I’m happy with my place. “

Ashton Eaton, men’s decathlon day 1
“The high jump is definitely rusty because I wasn't able to do it a lot this year. I think for the long jump, shot put and high jump I was just lacking motivation. I think it's been a long three years. I was kicking my own butt in Daegu, I was kicking my own butt last year to be in really good shape and do great things, which I did. And I tried to go into this year the same way with training, but it's just finally here in August and I'm exhausted.”

Gunnar Nixon, men’s decathlon day 1 
“I’m right where I want to be, I’m just out there having fun. I had two personal bests today. The long jump was a 15 centimeter personal best and the shot put was a thirty centimeter personal best, an overall day 1 personal best, so I’m pretty happy. I’m out there having fun, no pressure.  I’m trying to do my best in each event.”

Jeremy Taiwo, men’s decathlon day 1
“My knee started bothering me, the inside of my left knee, during the long jump, so then I rested and didn’t take my last jump. After the break I came back to the high jump, and when I took my first practice jump, I didn’t even get off the ground. I just felt like I didn’t have anything in my leg. Walking over to my coach I realized that it hurt really badly on the outside of my knee and it was really unstable. I tried to jog on it and it kept giving out and the pain got worse. So I went in to the medical staff and that’s all. I feel like my next world championships is going to be fine. I got out here and felt relaxed, like it was just another meet. I ran fast, I had a good long jump, and I was excited to have a really good met. I guess my body wasn’t ready for the whole thing.”

Trey Hardee, men’s decathlon day 1
“I just started cramping. Just in my takeoff leg, the left leg. Warm ups were great, but it’s just one of those things. I landed on the pit after my second attempt and my hamstring was grabbing. The third jump came around too quick. I was trying to jog and summon some energy, and it just wasn’t letting me run. The more I opened my gate and the more I tried to run, the more it just wanted to cramp up. It was at 1.90, which in warmups I cleared in two steps. It wasn’t the bar, it wasn’t anything. My body was just like ‘no it’s not going to happen today.’ This will be the first major championship I haven’t medaled at, including indoors since 2008. And this was probably the one I was most mentally prepared for.”

Justin Gatlin, men’s 100m 1st round
I’ve just been getting stronger, getting my technique better. I’ve worked with Ralph Mann and he’s showed me a lot of my flaws from my races. I’ve been trying to correct them. Just to be able to come out today on this track and run a good time in the first round, I’m happy. The track is very fast, the crowd is very good. Mondo is very fast. I think the way the stadium is constructed with no tailwinds, no headwinds it’s just mano-y-mano.”

Charles Silmon, men’s 100m 1st round
“I’m disappointed. This wasn’t my best performance today.”

Mike Rodgers, men’s 100m 1st round
“It was pretty easy, I just ran off the track. It feels great. Hopefully I can run 9.8 or 9.7 tomorrow.”

Ashley Spencer, women’s 400m first round
"It went pretty well. There are a couple of kinks I have to work out tomorrow, but nothing I can't handle. It is incredible to be here. My freshman year of college all I wanted to do was become a Big-10 champion, and now I am here, representing my country on the biggest stage of my life, so it is really exhilarating."

Natasha Hastings, women’s 400m first round
"Great race. I certainly wasn't expecting to run that fast in the first round, but I guess it is a fast track. It's certainly a confidence boost. I'm looking to make a big PR here this weekend, if I can go out and run 50.4 and not even feel like it, I think something special is getting ready to happen."

Francena McCorory, women’s 400m first round
“I felt great. I wasn’t expecting that time, so it just shows that I’m fit, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.Since we have three rounds two days in a row, so that can be tough, but I can handle it.”

Tori Polk, women’s long jump qualifying
“Today was good it was great. Nice runway, nice surface, good competition. I just went out with a goal to get the qualifier, that's really what it's all about.”

Brittney Reese, women’s long jump qualification,
“Today I was sluggish. I’m catching a slight head cold. I haven’t been getting enough rest.  I’m going to get a massage and get straight to bed. I’ll get plenty of rest and get ready for tomorrow.”

Janay DeLoach Soukup, women’s long jump qualification
“I came in knowing I was going to be jumping off my right foot. Basically I came out here to try to focus as much as I can to get a good pop off. I think I had a really good first jump, even though I fouled it. I just tried to come back after that, and I'm proud of myself. I did 6.58 off my opposite leg. I'd only jumped off of it just once before in a meet. It's a little awkward, I'm not as confident but I think tomorrow is a new day, a new dawn.”

Funmi Jimoh, women’s long jump qualification
“I only got one mark in, my back was hurting me a bit. Brit [Britney Reese] and I jumped the same distance. I felt ok, but my body's not 100 percent.”

A.G. Kruger, men’s hammer qualification
“The first one was a foul, but I don't know where I fouled. I walked out of the ring thinking nothing of it, then I look up at the board and it says 'X'.The officials are the officials, so you can't control that. The next throws were just kind of consistent. I wish I had that first throw back to get that rhythm going right away and then attack a litllte more. So we'll see what group two has and hopefully I can sneak in on spot twelve.”

Shalaya Kipp, 3,000m steeplechase first round
"I haven't raced with an outside water pit in a while and it is a lot different. Girls were trying to hug that turn tighter, and the first couple of ones I thought I was going to go down, but I managed to stay up and just kept on going. Before the day started I said, 'you know I have to realize I'm lucky to be here, that was a big goal of mine all season, I have to be happy with that, regardless if I'm running on the 13th or not.”

Ashley Higginson, 3,000m steeplechase first round
"I was a little nervous about going out too hard, so after I saw the first heat I thought we'd be a little quicker, but not much quicker. I think I'm the first one out, so that sucks. It's unfortunate, but it is what it is. I'm just disappointed because we have some stellar steeplers who made the final last year and they are both not here. You need to step up when some of the leaders in your event aren't here, so I'm just disappointed in that sense to let them down because they have been huge supporters and I know they'd love to be here."

Nicole Bush, 3,000m steeplechase first round
"I just wasn't tough enough I guess. The race got away from me before I knew it, and the next thing it was kind of over, and then it was actually over. I finished but it wasn't pretty at all. It is a really great experience and a really big opportunity [to be here]. It's just going to make me hungry and get to cross country and really hit the track in the spring."

For more information on Team USA at the IAAF World Championships, visit www.USATF.org. Live results and startlists are available at www.IAAF.org.

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