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Team USA women ready for action in Rio

8/9/2016
 

RIO DE JANEIRO - With by far the largest single team of any federation or sport at the 2016 Olympic Games, Team USA will look to find its fortunes on the track and in the field when competition begins at Olympic Stadium on Friday, August 12.
 

Team USA’s women’s delegation poses a formidable front. Allyson Felix, Jenn Suhr and Brittney Reese highlight the roster as individual 2012 Olympic gold medalists. The USA women’s relays swept to gold in 2012, including a world record in the 4x100m relay that featured both Felix and Tianna Bartoletta, who will compete in the 100 meters and long jump.  

 

The women’s newcomers are equally impressive, with teen queen and World Indoor champion high jumper Vashti Cunningham joining accomplished, first-time Olympians like World Outdoor champion Brianna Rollins and World Indoor champion Nia Ali in Rio.

 

Below please find an overall preview of women’s events.

 

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Women’s 100m

Competition begins: Friday, August 12

Final: Saturday, August 13

USATF athletes: English Gardner (Voorhees, New Jersey), Tianna Bartoletta (Tampa, Florida), Tori Bowie (Sandhill, Mississippi)

USATF at-a-glance: The U.S. trio is second (10.74), and in a three-way tie for third (10.78), respectively, on the 2016 IAAF world list, with all three running their fastest times at the Olympic Trials. Elaine Thompson of Jamaica leads the world at 10.70.

 

Women’s 200m

Competition begins: Monday, August 15

Final: Wednesday, August 17

USATF athletes: Tori Bowie (Sandhill, Mississippi), Deajah Stevens (Bayside, New York), Jenna Prandini (Clovis, California)

USATF at-a-glance: Bowie leads the charge to try to take down reigning world champion Dafne Schippers of The Netherlands. Schippers has the world lead at 21.93, with Bowie at 21.99. Stevens is currently sixth on the world list, and Prandini is 12th.

 

Women’s 400m

Competition begins: Saturday, August 13

Final: Monday, August 15

USATF athletes: Allyson Felix (Los Angeles), Phyllis Francis (Queens, New York), Natasha Hastings (Brooklyn, New York)

USATF at-a-glance: The 2015 world champion, Felix ran a stunning world leader at the Olympic Trials (49.68) and has spent the last month continuing her strong comeback from an April ankle injury.  Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas is the current world leader (49.55) while Francis and Hastings are third and fifth-fastest among Olympic entries. Hastings is an Olympic 4x400m relay gold medalist as well.

 

Women’s 800m

Competition begins: Wednesday, August 17

Final: Saturday, August 20

USATF athletes: Kate Grace (Santa Monica, California), Ajee’ Wilson (Neptune, New Jersey), Chrishuna Williams (Dallas, Texas)

USATF at-a-glance: Wilson is the most experienced of the trio as the 2016 World Indoor silver medalist and 2012 World Junior champion. Caster Semenya of South Africa dominates the 2016 world list with a best of 1:55.33, but 800m races are notorious for their unpredictability.

 

Women’s 1500m

Competition begins: Friday, August 12

Final: Tuesday, August 16

USATF athletes: Jenny Simpson (Oviedo, Florida), Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco), Brenda Martinez (Rancho Cucamonga, California)

USATF at-a-glance: Likely Team USA’s most internationally experienced and accomplished crew, Simpson is a former world champion (2011) and silver medalist (2013); Rowbury is a World Indoor (2016) and Outdoor (2009) silver medalist and the American record holder, and Martinez is the 2013 World Outdoor bronze medalist at 800 meters.

 

Women’s 3,000m Steeplechase

Competition begins: Saturday, August 13

Final: Monday, August 15

USATF athletes: Emma Coburn (Crested Butte, Colorado), Courtney Frerichs (Nixa, Missouri), Colleen Quigley (St. Louis, Missouri)

USATF at-a-glance: Coburn is the American record holder and currently is #3 on the 2016 world list. She leads the charge as the U.S. tries for its first international medal in the event. Frerichs was sixth at 2012 World Juniors, and Quigley won the 2015 NCAA title for Florida State.

 

Women’s 5,000m

Competition begins: Tuesday, August 16

Final: Friday, August 19

USATF athletes: Shelby Houlihan (Sioux City, Iowa), Kim Conley (Santa Rosa, California), Abbey D’Agostino (Topsfield, Massachusetts)

USATF at-a-glance: Conley returns for her second Olympic 5,000m, having represented Team USA in London. Houlihan was runner-up at the Olympic Trials and was the 2014 NCAA 1,500m champion, while D’Agostino is a seven-time NCAA champion.

 

Women’s 10,000m

Final: Friday, August 12

USATF athletes: Molly Huddle (Providence, Rhode Island), Emily Infeld (University Heights, Ohio), Marielle Hall (Haddonfield, New Jersey)

USATF at-a-glance: Infeld and Huddle went 3-4 at the 2015 World Outdoor Championships and hope to have similar success in Rio. A project of the USATF Junior Olympic program, Hall was a semifinalist at the 2009 World Youth Championships at 800m, and ran the 5,000m at the 2015 World Outdoors.

 

Women’s Marathon

Final: Sunday, August 14

USATF athletes: Amy Cragg (Leavenworth, Kansas), Desiree Linden (Chula Vista, California), Shalane Flanagan (Marblehead, Massachusetts)

USATF at-a-glance: Cragg is the two-time defending U.S. marathon champion and moves up from the Olympic 10,000m in 2012, while Linden is the 2011 Boston Marathon runner-up and Flanagan the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in the 10,000m. It will be the second Olympic marathon for Flanagan and Linden.

 

Women’s 100m hurdles

Competition begins: Tuesday, August 16

Final: Wednesday, August 17

USATF athletes: Brianna Rollins (Miami, Florida), Kristi Castlin (Douglasville, Georgia), Nia Ali (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

USATF at-a-glance: Three first-time Olympians are all medal threats. Rollins is the 2013 World Outdoor champion; Ali is the 2016 World Indoor champion, and Castlin has the second-fastest 2015 time among Olympic entrants (12.50), behind only Rollins (12.34).                                                                                       

 

Women’s 400m hurdles

Competition begins: Monday, August 15

Final: Thursday, August 18

USATF athletes: Dalilah Muhammad (Bayside, New York), Ashley Spencer (Indianapolis, Indiana), Sydney McLaughlin (Dunellen, New Jersey)

USATF at-a-glance: Another event with three Olympic rookies, and another event with impressive potential. Muhammad was the 2013 World Outdoor silver medalist and is fastest in the world in 2016 (52.88). Spencer (54.02) is third-fastest among the 2016 Olympic field and is the 2012 World Junior champion and 2016 world indoor 400m dash silver medalist. The Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year, at age 16 McLaughlin is the youngest athlete on the team. She shattered the world junior record with her 54.15 at the Olympic Trials, which makes her fifth-fastest in the Rio field.

 

Women’s 20 km race walk

Final: Friday, August 19

USATF athletes: Maria Michta-Coffey (Farmingville, New York), Miranda Melville (Rush, New York)

USATF at-a-glance: The United States’ most accomplished women’s race walker and the American record holder, Michta-Coffey is six-time national 20km champion who placed 29th at the 2012 Olympic Games. She is joined by fellow New York AC teammate Melville, the 2015 national champion.

 

Heptathlon

Competition begins: Friday, August 12

Final: Saturday, August 13

USATF athletes: Barbara Nwaba (Los Angeles), Heather Miller-Koch (Columbus, Wisconsin), Kendell Williams (Marietta, Georgia)

USATF at-a-glance: Nwaba is the two-time defending national champion and currently has the seventh-best performance in the world in 2016. Currently #9 in the world, Miller-Koch is a former Division II athlete who won the 2015 Pan Am Games silver medal. Williams is the 2014 World Junior Championships gold medalist. She currently is #11 globally.

 

Women’s High Jump

Competition begins: Thursday, August 18

Final: Saturday, August 20

USATF athletes: Chaunté Lowe (Atlanta, Georgia), Vashti Cunningham (Las Vegas, Nevada), Inika McPherson (Port Arthur, Texas)

USATF at-a-glance: At age 32 and with three children, Lowe may be in the best shape of her life, physically and mentally. The American record holder, Lowe is the 2016 world leader (2.01m/6-7). Cunningham is the 2016 World Indoor champion and currently is fifth-best in the world the 2016 (1.97/6-5.5). At 5-feet-4 in height, McPherson is a two-time USA indoor champion who jumps heights higher over her head than any woman in the world.

 

Women’s Pole Vault

Competition begins: Tuesday, August 16

Final: Friday, August 19

USATF athletes: Jenn Suhr (Fredonia, New York), Sandi Morris (Greenville, South Carolina), Lexi Weeks (Cabot, Arkansas)

USATF at-a-glance: Suhr returns to defend her Olympic gold medal from 2012. In 2016, she has broken the world record indoors (5.03m/16-6) and won the World Indoor title. Morris hits the Olympic runway for the first time and is coming off silver at World Indoors (4.95m/16-2.75) and in July posted the highest jump ever by an American woman outdoors (4.93m/16-2), the top global mark outdoors in 2016. Only 19 years old, Weeks won the 2016 NCAA indoor and outdoor titles as a freshman at Arkansas. She set a national high school record in 2015.

 

Women’s Long Jump

Competition begins: Tuesday, August 16

Final: Wednesday, August 17

USATF athletes: Brittney Reese (Inglewood, California), Tianna Bartoletta (Toledo, Ohio), Janay DeLoach (Fort Collins, Colorado)

USATF at-a-glance: One of Team USA’s most fearsome threesomes, Reese is the defending gold medalist, Bartoletta is the reigning world champion, and DeLoach is the 2012 bronze medalist. Reese has a stranglehold on the world lead with her jump of 7.31m/23-11.75 at the Olympic Trials. Deloach is currently #5 and Bartoletta #13 in the world.

 

Women’s Triple Jump

Competition begins: Saturday, August 13

Final: Sunday, August 14

USATF athletes: Keturah Orji (Mount Olive, New Jersey), Christina Epps (Morristown, New Jersey), Andrea Geubelle (University Place, Washington)

USATF at-a-glance: Competing for the University of Georgia, Orji broke the 12-year-old American record with her NCAA winning mark of 14.53m/47-8, good for #9 globally this year. Epps has represented Team USA at the 2015 World Outdoor and 2016 World Indoor Championships. Geubelle was a three-time NCAA champion at the University of Kansas and was the 2013 USATF outdoor champion.

 

Women’s Shot Put

Qualifying and Final: Friday, August 12

USATF athletes: Michelle Carter (Ovilla, Texas), Raven Saunders (Charleston, South Carolina), Felisha Johnson (Indianapolis, Indiana)

USATF at-a-glance: The strongest of the throwing events for Team USA’s women, the shot put features 2016 World Indoor champion Carter, who was third at 2015 World Outdoors and holds the American record indoors (20.21m/66-3.75) and outdoors (20.24 m/66-5). Coached by Olympic head coach Connie Price-Smith, the 20-year-old Saunders was the 2015 NCAA, USATF Junior and Pan Am Junior champion. She repeated as NCAA champion in 2016, breaking the meet record (19.33/63-5). Johnson was the 2015 USATF Indoor champion in the weight throw before making her first national team at the Olympic Trials.

 

Women’s Discus Throw

Competition begins: Monday, August 15

Final: Tuesday, August 19

USATF athletes: Whitney Ashley (Moreno Valley, California), Shelbi Vaughan (Azle, Texas), Kelsey Card (Plainview, Illinois)

USATF at-a-glance: Another event with three first-time Olympians, Ashley represented Team USA at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships, where she placed ninth. Just shy of her 22nd birthday, Vaughan won bronze at the 2012 World Junior and 2011 World Youth Championships. A seven-time NCAA All-American for Wisconsin, Card is the Big 10 record holder.

 

Women’s Hammer Throw

Competition begins: Friday, August 12

Final: Monday, August 15

USATF athletes: Amber Campbell (Indianapolis, Indiana), Gwen Berry (St. Louis, Missouri), DeAnna Price (Moscow Mills, Missouri)

USATF at-a-glance: All three Americans are world top 10 in 2016. The 2015 Pan Am Games silver medalist and 2011 bronze medalist, Campbell is a former American record holder in the hammer and is a six-time indoor weight throw national champion. Berry is a three-time indoor WT champion, and Price broker her own meet record in winning the 2016 NCAA hammer title (234-8).

 

Women’s Javelin

Competition begins: Tuesday, August 16

Final: Thursday, August 18

USATF athletes: Maggie Malone (Geneva, Nebraska), Kara Winger (Seattle, Washington), Brittany Borman (Festus, Missouri)

USATF at-a-glance: A senior at Texas A&M, Malone broke the collegiate record in winning the NCAA Outdoor title (62.19m/204-0), making her #21 on the 2016 world list. Winger is the American record holder (66.67m/218-8) and a three-time Olympian, while Borman is a three-time NCAA champion and two-time Olympian.

 

Women’s 4x100m Relay

Competition begins: Thursday, August 18

Final: Friday, August 19

USATF athletes: English Gardner (Voorhees, New Jersey), Tianna Bartoletta (Elyria, Ohio), Tori Bowie (Sandhill, Mississippi), Morolake Akinosun (Aurora, Illinois), Jenna Prandini (Clovis, California), Ariana Washington (Long Beach, California)

USATF at-a-glance: Team USA shattered the world record in 2012 (40.82), with Bartoletta running lead-off. With the top three at the Olympic Trials all under 10.80 and Felix eligible to run as well, the U.S. has potent lineup options.
 

Women’s 4x400m Relay

Competition begins: Friday, August 19

Final: Saturday, August 20

USATF athletes: Allyson Felix (Los Angeles), Phyllis Francis (Queens, New York), Natasha Hastings (Brooklyn, New York), Taylor Ellis-Watson (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Francena McCorory (Hampton, Virginia), Courtney Okolo (Carrollton, Texas)

USATF at-a-glance: Team USA is riding a three-Olympic gold-medal streak in the 4x400 and looks to keep it going. With Felix, Okolo, Hayes and Francis sitting 2-3-4-5 in the world in the 400 this year, the math favors the Americans.

 

For a complete schedule of Olympic Track & Field events, including results, visit https://www.iaaf.org/competitions/olympic-games

 

For a complete list of entries for all events and countries, visit https://www.iaaf.org/news/iaaf-news/rio-2016-final-entries

 

Follow along with all of the action from the Rio Olympic Games by following USATF on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #Rio2016


 

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