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Team USA prepared for success at IAAF World Championships

8/19/2015
 

BEIJING - Team USA athletes could see history in Beijing as track & field federations converge on the Bird’s Nest. 132 athletes have made their way to Beijing to represent USATF at the IAAF World Championships, the team’s first time competing in Beijing since the 2008 Olympic Games. Competition begins Saturday, August 22 and continues through Sunday, August 30 in Beijing Olympic Stadium.


Team USA is coming off an impressive performance at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow in 2013, scoring 282 points as a team for the most ever by a U.S. team. Team USA captured 25 medals, tying its second-highest medal output. The U.S. will look to eclipse these marks in 2015.

 

Five athletes will look to defend their world championship crowns, including Ashton Eaton (decathlon), LaShawn Merritt (men’s 400 meters), David Oliver (men’s 110-meter hurdles), Brittney Reese (women’s long jump) and Brianna Rollins (women’s 100-meter hurdles).


In addition to the five defending champions, six more American athletes received byes into the IAAF World Championships by virtue of entering the meet as the reigning Diamond League champions in their events. Those athletes include Allyson Felix (Los Angeles, California) in the 200m, Justin Gatlin (Clermont, Florida) in the 100m, Reese Hoffa (Augusta, Georgia) in the shot put, Jenny Simpson (Boulder, Colorado) in the 1500m, Christian Taylor (Fayetteville, Georgia) in the triple jump and Michael Tinsley (Little Rock, Arkansas) in the men’s 400mH.

 

The IAAF World Championships air live on the NBC family of networks, with coverage spanning across NBC, Universal Sports, and NBC Live Extra. Broadcast coverage begins live at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, August 21 with the men’s marathon.

 

Events to watch for

Men’s and women’s 3,000m steeplechase

Team USA is deep in the event on both sides with American record holder Evan Jager (Portland, Oregon) and medal contender Emma Coburn (Boulder, Colorado) looking for podium finishes. Jager came within seconds of the world record, despite falling, at the Monaco Diamond League this summer, and the world will be watching as he looks to become the first men’s steeplechase world medalist in American history.

 

Short sprints

With byes coming in both the men’s 100 meters and women’s 200 meters from last year’s Diamond League season, Team USA is flush with competitors on both sides of the 100 and 200 meters. Justin Gatlin (Clermont, Florida) will be competing in both events, as well as the 4x100m relay, while facing opposition from relay partners and teammates Tyson Gay (Los Angeles, California) and Trayvon Bromell (St. Petersburg, Florida), as well as reigning global champion Usain Bolt.

 

On the women’s side, it’s a young squad with USATF champions Tori Bowie (Sandhill, Mississippi) and Jenna Prandini (Clovis, California) leading the charge, as well as Prandini’s fellow Ducks in English Gardner (Voorhees, New Jersey) and Jasmine Todd (Chandler, Arizona). Team USA veteran Jeneba Tarmoh (Los Angeles, California) lends a hand with her depth in the 200 meters.

 

Men’s horizontal jumps

Another event category with a Diamond League champion bye, the men’s triple jump participants from Team USA know each other more than just well. Reigning Olympic champion and Diamond League winner Christian Taylor (Fayetteville, Georgia) joins compatriots and fellow Florida Gators Omar Craddock (Killeen, Texas), Marquis Dendy (Middletown, Delaware) and Olympic silver medalist Will Claye (Phoenix, Arizona) on the runway, looking to keep Cuba’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo off the medal stand.

 

Hurdles

2015 was certainly the year for the women’s 100-meter hurdles. Week-to-week, world leads were exchanged and Diamond League points and rankings were shuffled. With a bye from world champion Brianna Rollins (Miami, Florida), Team USA has medal contenders across the board with USATF champion Dawn Harper-Nelson (East St. Louis, Missouri), Sharika Nelvis (Memphis, Tennessee), and NCAA hurdles champion Kendra Harrison (Clayton, North Carolina).

 

In the 400-meter hurdles, the top athletes for Team USA are one of the youngest and one of the most senior members on the squad. World leader Shamier Little (Chicago, Illinois), two-time NCAA champion and reigning IAAF World Junior gold medalist, takes to the world championships stage at just 20 years old. Little looks to become the first American woman since Lashinda Demus in 2011 and Kim Batten in 1985 to win gold in the 400mH. On the men’s side, Bershawn Jackson (Raleigh, North Carolina) is poised for a third world medal after winning gold in 2005 and bronze in 2009.

 

Men’s shot put

With rival David Storl of Germany in the mix, USATF champion Joe Kovacs (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) looks poised and ready to battle for his first global medal. The men’s shot put is another event where Team USA has a bye, and Kovacs joins compatriots Christian Cantwell (Eldon, Missouri), Jordan Clarke (Anchorage, Alaska) and reigning Diamond League champion Reese Hoffa (Atlanta, Georgia) in the throwing circle.

 

Women’s 1500 Meters

Reigning USATF Female Athlete of the Year and Diamond League champion Jenny Simpson (Boulder, Colorado) will look to improve upon her silver from 2013 after capturing gold in 2011. Simpson will battle for supremacy with countrywoman Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco), along with countless international competitors who see the bullseye on Simpson and Rowbury’s backs.


Fans are invited to join the conversation by following USATF on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, using the hashtag #Beijing2015.

 

Broadcast Schedule

Date

Time (ET)

Network

Session

Key Events

Friday, Aug. 21

7:30 p.m.

Universal Sports

Day

Men’s marathon

Saturday, Aug. 22

3 p.m.

NBC, Live Extra

Evening

M100m heats, M10,000m

Saturday, Aug. 22

8:30 p.m.

Universal Sports

Day

M400m heats, W100m heats

Sunday, Aug. 23

1 p.m.

NBC, Live Extra

Evening

M100m final

Sunday, Aug. 23

9:30 p.m.

Universal Sports

Morning

W400m heats

Monday, Aug. 24

7 a.m.

Universal Sports

Evening

W100m final

Tuesday, Aug. 25

7 a.m.

Universal Sports

Evening

M800m, W1500m finals

Tuesday, Aug. 25

9:30 p.m.

Universal Sports

Morning

M110m hurdles heats

Wednesday, Aug. 26

8 a.m.

Universal Sports

Evening

M400m final

Wednesday, Aug. 26

9:30 p.m.

Universal Sports

Day

W100m hurdles heats

Thursday, Aug. 27

7:30 a.m.

Universal Sports

Evening

W400m final, M200m final

Thursday, Aug. 27

8:30 p.m.

Universal Sports

Day

Decathlon

Friday, Aug. 28

7 a.m.

Universal Sports

Evening

W200m, W/M 100m/110m hurdles

Friday, Aug. 28

7:30 p.m.

Universal Sports

Morning

Decathlon

Saturday, Aug. 29

2:30 p.m.

NBC, Live Extra

Evening

Decathlon, 4x100m relays

Saturday, Aug. 29

7:30 p.m.

Universal Sports

Morning

Women’s marathon

Sunday, Aug. 30

2 p.m.

NBC, Live Extra

Evening

4x400m relays




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