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Kendricks takes PV gold; Jager snares steeple bronze


LONDON -- Sam Kendricks went from Olympic silver medalist to World Championships gold medalist Tuesday evening, winning the men’s pole vault at Queen Elizabeth Stadium to close out competition for the night. With a bronze medal from Evan Jager in the steeplechase - the first medal by an American in that discipline - Team USATF brought its medal tally to 11 through five days of competition.

Men’s Pole Vault Final

Kendricks (Oxford, Mississippi) was perfect over the first five heights, with 5.89m/19-3.75 his highest first-attempt clearance. He entered the next height of 5.95/19-6.25 in first place, with Piotr Lisek of Poland and world record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France the only other two athletes jumping at the height. All three men missed on their first two attempts, with Lisek going out on his failed third attempt. Kendricks, however, sailed fully clear over the bar, forcing Lavillenie to pass on his third try in an attempt to steal victory with a first-attempt clearance at 6.01/19-8.5 - his lone path to victory.

Kendricks jumped first and missed, but Lavillenie did the same, giving Kendricks Team USATF’s first gold medal in the men’s vault since 2007.

Men’s Steeplechase Final

Fresh off an Olympic silver medal, American record holder Evan Jager (Algonquin, Illinois) added more history to his career accomplishments by becoming the first-ever American medalist at the World Championships in the steeplechase.

Running with a taped right hamstring, Jager endured some bumps and stumbles in the first three laps of the race. He moved to the lead 3:40 into the race and increased the pace to sting out a crowded pack, setting up a duel with two-time Worlds silver medalist Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya and Soufiane Elbakkali of Morocco. At the bell lep, Jager led Kipruto and Elbakkali, but on the backstretch, Kipruto sprinted into the lead. Elbakkali passed Jager on the curve before the water jump, and the two men sprinted down the homestretch while Jager, glancing backward, held off a hard-charging Mahiedine Mekhissi of France. Jager finished in bronze-medal position with a time of 8:15.53, with Kipruto in 8:14.12 and Elbakkali in 8:14.49. American Stanley Kebenei (Colorado Springs, Colorado) ran to a strong fifth-place finish in 8:21.09.

Kerley seventh in men’s 400m Final

Competing in his first major international championship, Fred Kerley (Taylor, Texas) started strongly in the men’s 400 final running out of lane 2 but faded in the final stretch to place seventh in 45.23. Meanwhile, the heavily favored world record holder, Wayde Van Niekerk, ran a fairly conservative race. He hit the homestretch in the lead and continued on to win in 43.98, with Steven Gardiner of Bahamas second in 44.41 and Abdalelah Haroun of Qatar third in 44.48.

Women’s Shot Put Qualifying

Olympic gold medalist Michelle Carter (Red Oak, Texas) was one and done with a throw of 18.92m/62-1, while USATF champion Raven Saunders (Charleston, South Carolina) surpassed the automatic standard with an 18.63m/61-1.50 on her second throw. Dani Bunch (Mahomet, Illinois) had a best throw of 17.39/57-0.75 to rank 18th and did not advance.

Three Americans make women’s 400m hurdles final

Americans will occupy three of eight lanes in the final of the women’s 400 hurdles. In Tuesday’s second semifinal, Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad (Bayside, New York) set a blistering pace down the backstretch to take a big lead and won the heat in 55.00.

Kori Carter (Hawthorne, California) went out strong on the backstretch and strode to an automatic spot by placing second in heat 1 to two-time world champion Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic with a time of 54.92. Shamier Little (Chicago, Illinois) was fourth in the heat in a time of 55.76 and did not advance. Cassandra Tate was third in semifinal 2 in a time of 55.31 to qualify for the final on time.

Duncan, Stevens through in women’s 200

Kimberlyn Duncan (Katy, Texas) came off the turn even with Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji and then pulled ahead over the final 20m to win the second heat in 22.74.

Deajah Stevens (Bayside, New York), showing the form that won her the U.S. crown in Sacramento, came off the turn one step ahead of the field and then gradually increased her lead to the line to win heat three easily in 22.90. World 100m champion Tori Bowie withdrew from the 200 as she continues to recover from her fall to the track at the finish of the 100m final Sunday evening.

Team USATF continues competition on August 9 under the lights at Olympic Stadium in London. Fans can follow along with #TeamUSATF at #IAAFWorlds on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. Full TV and webcast viewing times can be found here.

HELP TEAM USATF GIVE BACK: After a 32-medal winning performance at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Team USATF has joined forces with the American Cancer Society to raise money for the fight against cancer. Celebrate the success of Team USATF at the 2017 IAAF World Championships by making a pledge for every medal Team USATF wins in London! To make a pledge and to watch a PSA featuring Christian Taylor and cancer survivor Gabe Grunewald, visit


Gold (3)

Justin Gatlin, Men’s 100m, 9.92 (8/5)

Tori Bowie, Women’s 100m, 10.85 (8/6)

Sam Kendricks, Men’s Pole Vault, 5.95m/19-6.25 (8/8)

Silver (5)

Jarrion Lawson, Men’s Long Jump, 8.44m/27-8.25 (8/5)

Christian Coleman, Men’s 100m, 9.94 (8/5)

Sandi Morris, Women’s Pole Vault, 4.75m/15-7 (8/6)

Joe Kovacs, Men’s Shot Put, 21.66/71-0.75 (8/6)

Jenny Simpson, Women’s 1500m, 4:02.76 (8/7)

Bronze (3)

Mason Finley, Men’s Discus Throw, 68.03m/223-2 (8/5)

Amy Cragg, Women’s Marathon, 2:27:18 (8/6)

Evan Jager, Men’s 3000m Steeplechase, 8:15.53 (8/8)


Note: for additional video quotes, see USATF’s Instagram feed.

Men’s Steeplechase Final

Evan Jager: “I talked with Jerry before the race. We both thought that it was probably going to go slow. We didn’t think there was anyone in the field with Conseslus (Kipruto) getting hurt and not having really run any fast races this year, Birech not being at his top form, Kemboi not being in his top form. … I thought it was going to go a little slow for the first (kilometer) and if that happened, we thought it was best for me to try to get rid of guys by going hard from 3 or 4 laps to go. You make it a strength race by going a little bit further out and I thought that I was in the best 3000m steeplechase in the field. I just wanted to make it hard. It’s tough, it’s hard to run over half the race from the lead and still win. I was essentially a rabbit for Conseslus and Elbakkali. I knew that they were probably strong enough to be there with a lap to go. I was just hoping I was strong enough to take the kick out of their legs and still have something the last 100 meters. I didn’t quite have it that last lap. I figured I was still pretty close to first, so I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t come away with the win, but I’m happy I stayed in the top three and got on the podium.”

Stanley Kebenei: “I’m feeling good. I think that I didn’t really get what I wanted. I wanted to be top three. It’s a lesson, it’s a good experience. I’m happy with the result, I’m happy for my teammate, Evan Jager for the bronze, so it was good.”

Men’s 400m Final

Fred Kerley: “It was a great experience just to be at the World Championship, I know what I can do going forward. (On maintaining running 43s) It’s easy to maintain. It’s just a mindset at the end of the day.”

Men’s Pole Vault Final

Sam Kendricks: “My goodness, I have never been in a competition like [today]. The crowd gave everything in their hearts to support me. After that final jump, I went to give my mother and father a hug. They mean the world to me. My...girlfriend was there as well so it was a great moment. It is all part of a mission for me. I make a goal and chop it down to make it attainable. I've finally got that world title and I could not be happier. I've enjoyed 10 straight victories this year, it is a blessing to get another today. I compete against these guys all the time so we are no strangers to one another. It was another fantastic competition today and I had to jump high to take the gold.”

Women’s 400m Hurdles Semis

Kori Carter: “I’m excited. This is what we’ve been training so hard this season for. This is what all the sacrifices I’ve made are for, it all amounts to this. To get a shot to show the world what I have, I’m excited for it. I’m just going to tell myself to focus and execute and do what I’ve done to get to this point and bring everything I have that last 100 meters.”

Cassandra Tate: “I was in lane 9 so I had to run blind. I knew I was going to start seeing other athletes around hurdle 8, so I did my best to focus on myself and not get caught up in what was going on because I couldn’t see anything.”

Dalilah Muhammad: “For all of us to make it through safely is amazing. I want to just get out hard, command the race and bring it on home. This race, I would’ve like to have run a little bit better, honestly. Sometimes you just have to make small changes in the race to get ready for Thursday.”

Women’s 200m Heats

Kimberlyn Duncan: “It was nice. I was just trying to make it to the next round and try to keep warm because of this weather. The goal was to make it to the next round and I’m very happy about that.”

Deajah Stevens: “My coach told me to run the first 60 and just carry it in and that’s what I did. I’m definitely one of my favorites. I’m keeping the most confidence going into it (the next round). This is only the first round, I have one more round to get to the final, so I’m going to focus on that.”

Women’s Shot Put Qualifying

Raven Saunders: “It was okay. The first one was like a warm-up, I was trying to get a feel for it. The second one I went after it. 18.30 is a mark that I know that on any given day I can hit. I was just out there trying to hit the qualifier. On thought process for final: I’m really just going for it all. I’m still a young shot putter out here, one of the youngest and I’m in medal contention. I’m looking forward to going out there and giving it my best and bringing home a medal for Team USA.”

Michelle Carter: “For me, I like to conserve my energy, I like to get one throw. For some people it may take a few throws, like a mini-practice before you get to the main show. Remind yourself of your ques and go out there and try to execute the best way you can. Each throw I’m always working on something, I want to improve every throw. As long as it happens, I’m okay with it.”

Dani Bunch: “It’s just frustrating. I had a really good year and it wasn’t what I was expecting. It keeps you humble. I was hoping to make it to the podium this year, but you’ve just got to take these losses and work from them and grow.”

Amanda Brooks
Marketing and Communications Manager
USA Track & Field

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