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Team USATF relays advance to finals with wins, world leads

8/12/2017
 

LONDON -- Team USATF went four-for-four in relay qualifying Saturday morning, turning in four wins and four world-leading times at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stadium.


The women’s 4x100m relay team of Aaliyah Brown (Frankfort, Illinois), Allyson Felix (Los Angeles, California), Morolake Akinosun (Chicago, Illinois) and Ariana Washington (Long Beach, California) ran through a safely-executed semifinal round. Running conservatively until she had the baton firmly in hand, Felix began gaining ground in the last half of the second leg, and Akinosun blazed around the curve to put Washington in prime position to stride down the homestretch and win in a world-leading 41.84.


Taking the track in the next event, the American men’s 4x100 team of Michael Rodgers (St. Louis, Missouri), Justin Gatlin (Pensacola, Florida), Beejay Lee (West Covina, California) and Christian Coleman (Atlanta, Georgia) similarly took a safe approach to the relay. Rodgers gave the U.S. a lead coming out of the first leg, and while Coleman got the baton a hair behind Great Britain for the anchor, he sprinted to the finish relaxed in first, in a world-leading time of 37.70. Team GB finished just .03 off its national record in 37.76.


In the women’s 4x4, Quanera Hayes (Hope Mills, North Carolina) gave the United States a lead out of the gate with a 49.97 split and handed off to Kendall Ellis (Pembroke Pines, Florida) well in first. Ellis went out hard and brought it in with a 51.59 leg. Shakima Wimbley (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) busted it open with a split of 49.20, putting Team USATF up by a huge margin. Natasha Hastings (Brooklyn, New York) anchored in 50.90 in what was essentially a solo run to win in a world-leading 3:21.66.


Running in lane 9, men’s 4x4 lead-off Wil London III (Waco, Texas) separated himself down the homestretch and handed off roughly even with France. Bryshon Nellum (Long Beach, California) relaxed his way into the lead, and down the homestretch, Trinidad & Tobago and Great Britain had pulled even, with T&T having the slightest of edges. Michael Cherry (Chesapeake, Virginia) ran a strong third leg to give Tony McQuay (Riviera Beach, Florida) a 2-to-3 stride lead for the anchor. The 2012 Olympic relay silver medalist and 2016 gold medalist eased up through the homestretch and brought home the win with a 44.73 split and a world-leading time of 2:59.23.


Hardee’s hurdle snafu ends podium hopes

In the opening decathlon event of the day, the 110m hurdles, two-time world champion Trey Hardee (Hiram, Georgia) hit the third hurdle hard and crashed through the fourth, tumbling to the track. He eventually got up and finished in 48.55 but was disqualified for not going over the fourth hurdle. He registered three fouls in the discus and bowed out of the competition.

Devon Williams (Kennesaw, Georgia) ran 14.27 in the hurdles (940 points) and threw 44.29m/145-3 (752 points). Zach Ziemek (Itasca, Illinois) ran 15.36 in the hurdles (807 points) and recorded a season’s best in the discus, throwing 47.32m/155-3 on his second throw of the morning to score 815 points.


Team USATF continues competition tonight 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 www.nothingisimpossible.com


TEAM USATF MEDAL TABLE

Gold (8)

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)

Phyllis Francis, Women’s 400m, 49.92 (8/9)

Kori Carter, Women’s 400m Hurdles, 53.07 (8/10)

Christian Taylor, Men’s Triple Jump, 17.68m/58-0.25 (8/10)

Brittney Reese, Women’s Long Jump, 7.02m/23-0.5 (8/11)

Emma Coburn, Women’s 3000m Steeplechase, 9:02.58 AR (8/11)


Silver (8)

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, 21.66m/71-0.75 (8/6)

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

Dalilah Muhammad, Women’s 400m Hurdles, 53.50 (8/10)

Will Claye, Men’s Triple Jump, 17.63m/57-6.25 (8/10)

Courtney Frerichs, Women’s 3000m Steeplechase, 9:03.77 (8/11)


Bronze (7)

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)

Michelle Carter, Women’s Shot Put, 19.14m/62-9.5 (8/9)

Kerron Clement, Men’s 400m Hurdles, 48.52 (8/9)

Allyson Felix, Women’s 400m, 50.08 (8/9)

Tianna Bartoletta, Women’s Long Jump, 6.97m/22-10.5 (8/11)


Quotes

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


Women’s 4x100m relay

Aaliyah Brown: “It was a great run. That was my first time ever running first leg. I felt very comfortable giving it to Allyson. She is a veteran. By any means, she will make sure I got the baton to her. It felt very good to run that first leg.”

Allyson Felix: “I think we just wanted to focus in. It’s a prelim. I think we knew we didn’t need to come in here and do anything crazy. We just needed to get the baton around safely, and we can lay it all out there tonight. We had a relay camp in Birmingham and in Monaco.”

Morolake Akinosun: “As comfortable as you can feel in the 4x100. You’re running at top speed and mistakes do happen. Sometimes you miss. Yes, you can be very comfortable and you can still make mistakes. Being around each other for the last 3 to 4 works helps too. You get to know each other well. Chemistry on the track helps.”


Men’s 4x100m relay

Justin Gatlin: “[My teammates] think and act like veterans, and I’m proud of them. I think having the gold medal and silver medal [in the 100] on the relay team, which hasn’t been done in a long time, it gives us a confidence-booster that the speed can get around the track. We just make sure that the technique and the stick is around the track. I don’t want to go out there and try to predict what we can do. I think we are confident. I think the guys who haven’t been active at [this] world championships, the first and third leg, they are really hungry and that gives them focus for the 4x1.”


Women’s 4x400m relay

Quanera Hayes: “It feels great. Even when we’re in practice, we’re always communicating well with each other. Our practices run very smoothly, so when we get out here on the track in the actual races, it’s just like we’re at practice. We’re having fun and work very well together.”

Kendall Ellis: “It was just amazing to have such talented women to run with [and to have] someone you can rely on to pass the baton off to. The energy at practice and the hotel has been great; we’ve been feeding off each other’s excitement. I wanted to represent my country and do my part.”

Shakima Wimbley: “I was thankful for the opportunity. My teammates are wonderful, phenomenal and I wanted to bring the stick around to them safely and put us in a great position."

Natasha Hastings: "The ladies put me way out in front and the GB fans were going a little crazy. So I thought, 'hey wait, am I doing something?' But once I came around the final bend, I looked up and saw that we were in good position, I just knew I could relax and to come out with a world lead, I certainly wasn't expecting to run that fast in the first round. We're just looking to go out tomorrow, go for gold and maybe make some magic happen."


Men’s 4x400m Relay

Wil London III: “It always feels like an open 400 but with a baton in your hand. Being in lane 9, I couldn't see anybody, my mind was just saying, 'go! Get off the baton and hand it off in first. On atmosphere) This crowd was amazing. I've never run in an atmosphere like this before. They're so engaged in the meet and it's fun to be around.”

Michael Cherry: “Third leg, you want to just get the baton and stretch the lead. I feel like I did that and Tony held it down. It was a great first race for us. (If running in college makes relays easier) For me and Wil, we've been running relays all year, so it's the same thing and we're just wearing a different uniform. I'm representing my country instead of LSU.”

Tony McQuay: “Winning feels great. The first race means shaking off those pre-race butterflies, seeing how the guys are going to come out and then being able to come back and compete the next day. The crowd and atmosphere were great; our coaches believe in us and we believe in ourselves. To come out with a world-leading time in the prelim, you can't ask for much better.”



Amanda Brooks
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USA Track & Field
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