Felix earns 9th medal; Team USA wins four more medals at World Championships
DAEGU, South Korea - The hits keep coming for Team USA with another four medals, including gold in the women’s 4x400m relay, at the 13th IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships Saturday night.
Sanya Richards-Ross and Allyson Felix earned their third straight gold medals in the women’s 4x400, combining efforts with Jessica Beard and Francena McCorory in allowing Team USA to continue its dominance in the race, while posting a world leading time of 3:18.09. Team USA has now won 10 medals in the relay, including six gold.
Appearing in her fourth World Championships Felix has now won nine career medals, including seven gold, while ties her with Jearl Miles Clark of Team USA, for the second highest number of medals ever won by a woman at the World Outdoor Championships. Jamaica’s Merlene Ottey owns the women’s record for career medals won at 14.
The 4x400 relay also gave the Team USA women its fifth gold medal of this year’s World Championship meet, tying the most ever accumulated by American team (1993, 1995, 2005).
For just the third time in World Championship history, Team USA collected two medals in the women’s hurdles with Danielle Carruthers and Dawn Harper earning silver and bronze.
Walter Dix pocketed his second silver medal in the sprints, placing second behind world-record holder Usain Bolt in the men’s 200m to conclude the Saturday night program which saw champions crowned in six events. Earlier, Dix placed second in the 100 last Sunday.
Matt Centrowitz, who captured both NCAA and USA Outdoor championship titles earlier this year, got things rolling for Team USA by earning a surprising bronze medal in the men’s 1,500m.
Team USA pushed its nation leading hardware total to 21 medals, including 10 gold, seven silver and four bronze. That is just one medal shy of equaling its total medal count of 22 at the 2009 World Outdoor Championship.
With the hammer throw, 800m and 4x100 relay remaining, Team USA’s women already have 11 medals, tying their all-time World Championships high of 11 from 1993.
Women’s 4x400m Final
Sanya Richards-Ross (Austin, Texas) ran the third fastest leadoff leg in history with a 49.2 second split before handing off to four-time World Championship medalist Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.), who ran a 49.3 second leg. The duo enabled Team USA to own a 15-meter lead at the halfway point.
Team USA’s winning time of 3:18.09 was a world best and the fastest relay time ever run in September.
Jessica Beard (College Station, Texas) ran the third leg in 49.9. Francena McCorory (Hampton, Va.) held off Jamaica’s Shericka Williams with a 49.6 anchor leg giving Team USA its sixth gold medal in the relay.
Women’s 100m Hurdles Final
Team USA drew the last three outside lanes. In a photo-finish Danielle Carruthers (Kennesaw, Ga.), running in lane six, and Dawn Harper (Los Angeles, Calif.), in lane eight, placed second and third, respectively, being credited with lifetime bests of 12.47. Harper atoned for a seventh-place finish in the 2009 World Championships.
Kellie Wells (Orlando, Fla.), who entered the meet owning a world leading mark of 12.50 en route to winning the U.S. Championships, hit the fifth and sixth barriers before tumbling into the seventh hurdle and did not finish. Wells, competing in her first world championships, earned a ticket into the finals by finishing second in the first heat in 12.79
Australia’s Sally Pearson, running in lane three, set a championship record in winning the race in 12.28 which also is the world’s fourth fastest time ever.
Men’s 200m Final
Walter Dix (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), running in lane four, was even with world record holder Usain Bolt at the turn, before settling for a silver medal with a season best time of 19.70 seconds. That clocking was the fastest time ever run by an American at the World Outdoor Championships.
It marked Team USA’s 18th medal earned in the 200 at the World Championships.
Bolt, defending his world championship title, ran a world leading time of 19.40 seconds.
Men’s 1500m Final
Nick Willis of New Zealand took the lead in men’s 1500m, and the 21-year-old Matt Centrowitz (Arnold, Md.) held on right behind him in second. However, they could not hold the pace and at 600m they began to drift farther back into the field. Centrowitz, the U.S. champion, ran through the bell lap in the middle of the pack but never let the leaders completely break away. As the men rounded the final curve, Centrowitz unleashed a fearsome kick on the outside and moved into third place, winning the bronze in 3:36.08.
Team USA has now medaled in three World Championships in a row, with the most recent being Bernard Lagat’s bronze in 2009. Centrowitz is the youngest American to ever medal, and was the youngest of the field, which curiously saw the three youngest athletes become the three athletes on the podium.
Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop won the race in 3:35.69, becoming just the third runner in history to win a gold medal in the 1,500 at the Olympics and World Championships.
Women’s High Jump Final
Brigetta Barrett (Tucson, Ariz.), the youngest competitor in the field at 20-years-old, finished 10th at 1.93m/6-4. She cleared the opening height of 1.89m/6-2.25 and then needed her third jump to clear 1.93m. World leader Anna Chicherova from Russia captured the gold clearing 2.03m/6-8 on her first attempt.
Sanya Richards-Ross, 1st leg Women’s 4x400m Final
“I asked Jon Drummond (relay coach) if I could run first leg tonight. I wanted the opportunity to run out of the blocks. We had a lot of faith in our youngsters, and that we were going to get them a lead, and I'm really proud of them. Everyone was nervous about this, because I'm so used to running the anchor leg. I wanted to leave the championships on a positive note.
“It was nice to go out and get a medal. All my teammates ran great tonight, and I was proud to be a part of this team.”
Allyson Felix, 2nd leg Women’s 4x400m Final
“This is a great team, and we have so much depth. It was all about holding on to the lead tonight. Everyone had a different experience (running on relay teams). We felt confident that Sanya could run a great leadoff leg. We just wanted to hold on, and Sanya made it easy on us. I'm still set to run on the 4 x 100 team.”
Jessica Beard, 3rd leg Women’s 4x400m Final
“Me and Fran (McCorory) knew we were the young ones, and the veterans set us up so well. Sanya, I think she ran 49 out of the blocks, then Allyson (Felix) came and ran 49 again. I knew with the lead they gave us I had to at least maintain it or open it up for Fran. I just wanted to leave everything out there on the track. We just stayed focused on the goal to win the gold medal. There was a lot of hype because Russia ran 3:22 in the semis. We just stayed focused. We just went out there and represented Team USA, and I don’t think anybody can ask for anything more.”
Francena McCorory, 4th leg, Women’s 4x400m Final
“I wanted to run a hard 300 and bring it home, so I was just focusing on that. It’s my first world championships. I’m honored that they trusted me to run last, I just thank God to be a part of such a wonderful team and I had a good time.”
Dawn Harper, Women’s 100m Hurdle Final
“Intense, point blank. Lane 8, they tried to count me out. But seriously, a year out from surgery [on right knee] to come back from a personal best when I thought I would never hurdle again and to bring back hardware for the U.S., this is what it’s about. There are those moments when you rise to the occasion. To come back and be at this moment is such a blessing. Like I said, that race was intense, people were rolling, and I was blessed to be one of them.”
Danielle Carruthers, Women’s 100m Hurdle Final
“The whole experience was amazing. From the time I started training in October to this point, each practice got better, each competition got better and then I got here and my Achilles started hurting. So I’ve had a group of people around here just helping me the whole time to get my leg together, and for me to come out today and run 12.47, PB, and get a medal...I was going to quit in 2008. The whole thing is so amazing. I’ve worked so hard, I’m just glad that hard work has its rewards.”
Walter Dix, Men’s 200m Final
“It's great! Two bronzes in 2008 and two silvers here. I knew I had to beat (Bolt) off the curve, because if he didn't, he'd sweep past me. In the future, I'll get stronger, and I'll be better prepared to beat him. I run the curve pretty hard, and you really have to be running to get me off the curve.”
Matt Centrowitz, Men’s 1500m Final
“I’m still trying to figure it out. Taking that victory lap I didn’t think it was real. It was a tough race and it was similar to the semis with a little tactics in there being involved. It just came up to not giving up that last 200 meters.
“We definitely had a great showing here. She [Jenny Simpson, women’s 1500m champ] went in a couple days of go and was definitely inspiring and made me think it was possible that I could come close to something like that, that is one I really started believing. She set the tone.
“I was happy. I was in a good position. He [New Zealand’s Nick Willis] was clicking off a very even pace and I didn’t really want to look at the time but it felt pretty comfortable.
“They went so hard with 350 to go. Even if I wanted to I couldn’t cover them it was so hard, they were so fast. Each 50 [meters] was just one more guy, one more guy, then I found myself in almost medal position and l kept digging down.”
Brigetta Barrett, Women’s High Jump Final
“I wanted to be clean through at least 1.97, that would have been a PR, and I knew I had to do at least 2 meters in the mix.
“It hurts to know that your potential and what you can do, you’re not doing. But it is okay, I’m thankful that I made it this far to make it to the final. I’ve had an amazing year, so I feel I’ll be able to go home with my head held high, but this was kind of anti-climatic.”
Amberlynn Weber (Spokane, Wash.) women's wheelchair 800, seventh (1:55.43)
“It went really well. It was my first experience in this kind of arena with so many people and I was pushing against some heavy competition. It was awesome seeing everyone encourage us I will hopefully be going to the Paralympics next year. This was a good qualifier to get me ready for that.”
Joshua George (Champaign, Ill.), men's wheelchair 400, fourth (50.97)
"That was horrible. I felt a little sluggish the first half of the race and I had too much ground to make up in the second half. I came on strong in the second half. I've been training for longer distances and the kind of showed in that race. My quickness off the line for the first 150 meters wasn't where it needed to be. I'll be ready for some of this shorter stuff by the time London (2012 Paralympics) rolls around."
Team USA Medals
W4x400 relay (Sanya Richards, Allyson Felix, Jessica Beard, Francena McCorory), 3:18.09, 9/3
M4x400 relay (Greg Nixon, Bershawn Jackson, Angelo Taylor, Lashawn Merritt), 2:59.31, 9/2
Dwight Phillips (Snellville, Ga.), MLJ, 8.45m/27-8.75, 9/2
Lashinda Demus (Palmdale, Calif.), W400H, 52.47AR, 9/1
Jenny Simpson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), W1500, 4:05.40, 9/1
Jesse Williams (Eugene, Ore.), MHJ, 2.35m/7-8.5, 9/1
Carmelita Jeter (Gardena, Calif.), W100, 10.90, 8/29
Jason Richardson (Inglewood, Calif.), M110H, 13.16, 8/29
Trey Hardee (Austin, Texas), Decathlon, 8607, 8/28
Brittney Reese (Gulfport, Miss.), WLJ, 6.82m/22-4.5, 8/28
Walter Dix (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), M200, 19.70, 9/3
Danielle Carruthers (Kennesaw, Ga.), W100H, 12.47PR, 9/3
Carmelita Jeter (Gardena, Calif.), W200, 22.37, 9/2
Lashawn Merritt (Suffolk, Va.), M400, 44.63, 8/30
Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.), W400, 49.59PR, 8/29
Ashton Eaton (Eugene, Ore.), Decathlon, 8505, 8/28
Walter Dix (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), M100, 10.08, 8/28
Dawn Harper (Los Angeles, Calif.), W100H, 12.47PR, 9/3
Matt Centrowitz (Arnold, Md.), M1500, 3:36.08, 9/3
Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.), W200, 22.42, 9/2
Jillian Camarena-Williams (Tucson, Ariz.), WSP, 20.02m/65-8.25, 8/29