DAEGU, South Korea - Hyleas Fountain of Team USA delivered back to back season best performances to lead the women’s heptathlon on the morning of the third day at the 13th IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
In qualifying action, Team USA showed its dominance in the 400 meter hurdles, advancing all seven performers into the semifinal rounds.
After two events in the morning session, Olympic silver medalist Hyleas Fountain (Dayton, Ohio) stands atop the standings with 2,228 points after turning in season best performances. Jessica Ennis of Great Britain is currently in second with 2,187 points. Sharon Day (Costa Mesa, Calif.), the reigning U.S. national champion, is 15th with 2,001 points.
In the high jump, Fountain sailed through the first six increases of the bar and then needed all three jumps to clear 1.89m/6-2.25 to surpass the rest of the field. Day recorded a best clearance of 1.80m/5-10.75.
Fountain found herself narrowly in first place by only two points over Ennis after the first event of the heptathlon. Fountain ran a season best time in the 100m hurdles of 12.93 (1135 pts.) to edge out Ennis who finished two-hundredths of a second behind. Day knocked .13 seconds off of her personal best by finishing 5th in her heat in 13.69.
Men’s 400 Hurdles 1st round
As expected, Team USA advanced all four hurdlers into the semifinal round. But two-time defending world champ Kerron Clement (Los Angeles, Calif.) made things interesting in the second heat which featured world leader L.J. VanZyl from South Africa. Clement stuttered going into the last hurdle but recovered to finish fourth in 48.91 with that time ranking eighth overall among the 24 qualifiers.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Angelo Taylor (Decatur, Ga.) was second in heat three in 49.38, while Bershawn Jackson (Raleigh, N.C.), who won the 2005 world title, looked smooth in winning the fourth heat in 49.82. U.S. champion Jeshua Anderson (Woodland Hills, Calif.) won the final heat in 48.83 which ranked seventh overall.
Women’s 400m Hurdles 1st round
Queen Harrison (Blacksburg, Va.) opened things up for Team USA by placing third in heat one in 55.11. Running in lane four, two-time World silver medalist Lashinda Demus (Palmdale, Calif.) won the third heat by 10 meters with a clocking of 54.94. Jasmine Chaney (Mesa, Ariz.) was fourth in the fifth heat in 56.28.
Men’s Discus Qualifying
In his first World Championships appearance, Jason Young (Lubbock, Texas) threw in the first group and secured a mark of 63.14m/207-2 on his final throw. Young then had to wait through the second group to see if his mark would hold off enough competitors to send him to the final, and indeed it did as he finished 11th overall out of both groups.
Jarred Rome (Chula Vista, Calif.), appearing in his fourth straight World Championships, posted a top mark of 62.22m/204-1 coming on his second attempt to place 14th place out of the field. Lance Brooks (Denver, Colo.) threw 61.07m/200-4 in his first World Championships appearance which ranked 24th. Neither Rome nor Brooks advanced to the final.
Men’s 3,000 Steeplechase Qualifying
Team USA did not advance anyone into the finals. The trio of Billy Nelson (Boulder, Colo.), Dan Huling (Columbus, Ohio) and Ben Bruce (Eugene, Ore.) faced the hottest day yet of the championships. Huling turned in the fastest American performance with his ninth-place finish in the second heat in 8:34.70. Bruce also finished ninth in the third heat in 8:39.96, while Nelson was 12th in the first heat in 8:51.20.
Kerron Clement, men’s 400 hurdles
“I just lost focus on that last hurdle. Honestly, I’m in great shape. I felt really good up until that last hurdle. I just need to go back and tweak a few things. I accomplished what I wanted to do in the race...which is just relax when I come home. I missed up on the last hurdle, but I will be fine going into the semifinals. I just need to stay focused.
“It has been a roller-coaster ride. Throughout all this you just have to stay focused. You can’t dodge yourself.”
Bershawn Jackson, men’s 400 hurdles
“It was really hard for me today. It was so hard to run slow. The intensity level was really high and guys really were shutting it down for the runs. I am going to get ready for tomorrow night and hopefully execute a good race to get ready for finals.
“It will take a PR for me (47.30) and executing a good race, getting out strong, running a good back stretch, coming around the turn and keeping my good posture. It will take a perfect race. “We come to the world championships to see who the best are.”
Angelo Taylor, men’s 400 hurdles
“I did exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to run the first six hurdles hard and then just see where I was and then just relax and cruise and see what happens. There were pretty fast times today but they have to turn around and do it again tomorrow. But I have experience and I’m ready to rock and roll.”
Jeshua Anderson, men’s 400m hurdles
“Today went real good. The hardest part of the race was getting to the first hurdle.I couldn't see it as the clock was in the way. I've done this race so many times, so I know instinctively when a hurdle is coming up, and that hurdle came up fast--that track is fast! I can't wait to let loose and let my stride go...I want to make sure I keep my country in the finals, go out there and let it loose.”
(on winning the World University Games title) “I got a big confidence boost from that. I ran well in the first round, but lost a little focus in the semis. In the finals I ran out of lane 8, which was a blessing as I couldn't see anybody, and had to battle the climate and the humidity.”
Queen Harrison, women’s 400 hurdles
“Today was about shaking the cobwebs off and really see where I’m at because I hadn’t run a 400 hurdles in a while. I feel good. I really wanted to see if I could cruise it in the first round but the girl on the outside caught me at end. But that’s okay. I’ll still get a good lane tomorrow.
“I really learned to run rounds at a young age, so I feel confident where some people might burn out. I feel like I can save it all for end. I feel like all the training is under my belt now. It’s just about execution. All I will do now and between my next races is rest and mentally prepare myself.”
Lashinda Demus, women’s 400 hurdles
“I ran a very comfortable race.The main thing today was to work on the first half of my race and I did that. Each round we’ll work on something different and today I think I executed it. The third time is always a charm. The more USA members we have in that final the more comfortable I am and I think they will run.
“I pick and choose which races I was going to run this year for the simple fact was that I didn’t want too many people getting use to running with me. It was planned not to run that many races this year because of this championship.”
Jasmine Chaney, women’s 400 hurdles
“I definitely had a lot of nerves going into the race. But once I got to the line I felt better. I had this feeling that came over me and said ‘just run and you’ll be fine.’
“I had a few mishaps that I am definitely going to have to fix tomorrow if I want to get to the finals. Now, it’s just a matter of real executing. I ran my race but now I need to execute. I actually got to see Lashinda (Demus) before I ran and she said ‘Queen (Harrison) is in and we both have to get in.’ It felt good to know that before she ran her race she cared about me. That was very comforting.”
Ben Bruce, men’s 3,000 steeplechase
“I kind of wanted to take myself out of the race, meaning if they were running slow I was going to run up in the lead, and if they were running fast I was going to run wherever that pace and that comfortability of that 8:25 effort was. For the first few laps I was perfect where I wanted to be.
“It’s the first day the sun has been out her and it changes things a lot...I could tell earlier that it wasn’t going to be the greatest day, but it could be a good day. When I went around people I felt the effort really increase, so I knew to give myself any type of chance...I started to see people coming back, but I had nothing to go after them.”
Dan Huling, men’s 3,000 steeplechase
“Well, it ended up being quick. That is something that last year I would have been really excited for, a fast race in prelims. But obviously I didn’t have it today, and it’s disappointing and embarrassing. It’s a little breath of relief for the year now that I’m done.
“I got what I need to out of this. I saw what it took to make the final. But performance wise I didn’t get what I needed to out of this because I wasn’t out there grinding like I can.”
Billy Nelson, men’s steeplechase
“It went out like I thought; it was fairly slow early on. I was in it, and on one of the laps on the backside I kind of got boxed in and I surged around and maybe too early. When the group went I couldn’t respond.
“I’m very happy with my year. It’s definitely a bounce back season for me. I back where I think I belong and I think I should be competing with these guys.”
Jason Young - men’s discus
“I need six people to throw farther than I did to make it. I think I can sneak in there for sure. I think I could have thrown a meter further, but I kept popping the discus up.“
Jarred Rome, men’s discus
“I had three throws where I was blocked off in the front. I don’t know...I’ve been throwing the best I’ve thrown in my career in the last month, and I don’t know...I had a really bad day..I don’t understand.”
“It was definitely a lot hotter than normal, but it’s hot in San Diego where I train all the time. It was a technical thing.”
Lance Brooks, men’s discus
“I competed well. I wouldn’t change anything. I would do it all over the exact same. It was just good being here. Obviously I wanted to throw better, but I threw well and it was a good experience. It was good to get in the groove and know what is going to happen if I make the Olympic team. I kind of have a better idea of how it is going to work now next year.”
Fore complete results, visit www.iaaf.org