INDIANAPOLIS — After winning a pair of gold medals at the recent World Outdoor Championships and running the fastest time in the world in the men’s 400m since 2007, LaShawn Merritt (Norfolk, Va.) has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week.
Merritt ran a personal best in the men’s 400m at 43.74 to lead a 1-2 American sweep in the event as he crushed the entire field that included the Olympic champion Kirani James of Grenada. Merritt then anchored Team USA to its fifth consecutive World Outdoor Championships gold medal in the men’s 4x400m.
“I’ve always been around, I’ve always worked hard, even last season I had an undefeated year up until the Olympic Games,” Merritt said, who was forced to withdraw in London due to injury. “Eight men were going to line up who were hungry to represent their country and their sponsor and I was starving. I never stopped training, I never stopped being confident.”
The 2008 Olympic champion and two-time world champion, Merritt was the only two-time gold medalist for Team USA in Moscow. He helped lead the team to 25 total medals and a 100-point victory in the overall point standings, which was its biggest margin of victory in World Outdoor Championships history.
Now in its 12th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on www.usatf.org. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
2013 Winners: January 9, Bobby Mack; January 16, Mary Cain; January 22, Ajeé Wilson; January 30, Duane Solomon; February 6, Chris Derrick; February 13, Jeremy Taiwo; February 20, Alysia Montaño; February 27, Galen Rupp; March 6, Jenn Suhr; March 13, Tia Brooks; March 20, Bridget Franek; March 27, Ben True; April 3, Darvis “Doc” Patton; April 10, Octavious Freeman; April 24, Erik Kynard; May 1, Queen Harrison; May 8, Tyson Gay; May 15, Jon Olsen; May 22, Mary Cain; May 29, Michael Tinsley; June 5, Mary Cain; June 12, Brianna Rollins; June 26, Brianna Rollins; July 3, Thomas Burns; July 10, Ryan Whiting; July 17, William Bell. Sr.; July 24, Jenny Simpson; July 31, Tia Jones; August 14, Brittney Reese; August 21, LaShawn Merritt