DEAGU, South Korea - The duo of Ashton Eaton (Eugene, Ore.) and Trey Hardee (Austin, Texas) lead the men’s decathlon after the conclusion of the first day of the 13th IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Deagu Stadium Saturday night.
|© Errol Anderson, The Sporting Image
Hardee joined teammates Sanya Richards-Ross (Austin, Texas) and Brittany Reese (Gulfport, Miss.) who opened defense of their world titles on strong notes.
Hardee tallied 4,393 points after the first day of the decathlon to trail Eaton, the current world leader, who scored 4,446 points.
Reese, the reigning world indoor and outdoor champion, had the third best qualifying mark in the women’s long jump at 6.79m/22-3.5. She is the world leader in the event at 7.19m/23-7.25 set en route to winning the USA Outdoor title June 11.
Richards-Ross, who ranks second in the world in the 400 this year with a time of 49.66 in her tune-up before the Worlds, won heat five in the women’s 400 qualifying at 51.37 which ranked fourth overall.
Other highlights from the evening session included Shalane Flanagan (Portland, Ore.) improving her previous world championships placing in the final of the women’s 10,000m. Team USA advanced all entrants in the women’s 400m (four) and men’s 100m (three), as well as three women in the long jump.
Flanagan led the women’s 10,000m for the first two miles with Jen Rhines (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) trailing in the second position. However, the American duo was unable to hold their positions after two miles into the race and began to fall further back in the pack.
Flanagan finished in seventh in 31:25.57, improving her placing from the 2009 World Championships by seven places, and dropped nearly seven seconds from her time as well. Rhines finished 9th in 31:47.59, and Kara Goucher (Portland, Ore.) who is coming back from a hip injury finished in 13th place in 32:29.58.
Team USA finished day one of the decathlon with Eaton, sitting in first place and Hardee in second. Eaton leads by 53 points, and Hardee has an 83-point margin over third place Kasyanov Oleksiy of Ukraine who finished fourth in the 2009 World Championships.
In the final event of the evening, Eaton turned in the fastest 400m time of in the field of 46.99 to win his heat, while Hardee clocked 48.37. Harlan posted a time of 51.57.
In the fourth event of the decathlon, all three Americans cleared an identical height of 2.02m/6-7.50. That mark is a season best for Hardee; however, it is well off of Eaton’s season best of 2.10m/6-10.75. For Harlan, the mark is just shy of his season best of 2.05m/6-8.75 set at the USA Championships.
With a strong lineup, Team USA qualified all four sprinters into Sunday night’s semifinal round of the women’s 400-meter dash. Sprinters Sanya Richards-Ross, Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.) and Francena McCorory (Hampton, Va.) entered the World Championships owning three of the top eight times in the world this year.
Richards-Ross opened defense of her 400 title by winning the fifth heat in 51.37 seconds. Reigning US outdoor champion Felix, attempting both the 200 and 400 titles at the World Championships, was second in the first heat in 51.45.
Jessica Beard (College Station, Texas), the 2011 NCAA indoor and outdoor 400 champion from Texas A&M, advanced to the next round by placing fourth in heat two in 52.40. McCorory, the U.S. indoor record holder, placed third in heat four in 52.18 to also qualify into the semifinals.
Team USA chances of earning multiple medals in the event for the first time since 1993 improved when reigning Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu from Great Britain was disqualified after a false start in heat three
Women’s Long Jump
Led by Reese, Team USA had the most qualifiers for the finals in this event than any country. Reese won heat one on her final attempt at 6.79m/22-3.5) while placing third overall in qualifying. Funmi Jimoh (Stafford, Texas) placed sixth overall in qualifying at 6.68m/21-11), while Janay DeLoach (Fort Collins, Colo.) grabbed the last qualifying spot with a mark of 6.51m/21-4.25). Tori Polk (Marietta, Ga.), making her first World Championship appearance, was 33rd overall in qualifying at 5.66m/18-7
Team USA breezed through the first round of the men’s 100m to advance all three athletes to tomorrow’s semi-final round. In his first World Championships appearance, Olympic bronze medalist Walter Dix (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) turned in the fastest time of the Americans to win the second heat in 10.25.
Trell Kimmons (Coldwater, Miss.) took second in the first heat in 10.32, and 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin (Orlando, Fla.) got off to a quick start in the third heat to finish second in 10.31.
Men’s Hammer Throw
Kibwe Johnson (Kamloops, B.C.) did not advance to the finals as he threw 75.06m/246-3 on his first throw and fouled on his remaining two attempts to finish 14th overall in qualifying. Johnson’s mark fell short of his personal and season best of 80.31m/263-6. Michael Mai (Mountain View, Calif.), competing in his second world championship, was 27th overall in qualifying with a mark of 69.96m/229-6.
Shalane Flanagan, women’s 10,000m
“Leading is always such a vulnerable position to be in and I took that gamble today, it felt like I was thrown to the front and I thought, ‘You know what, maybe it’s a sign, maybe I should lead tonight.’ ... I wanted to make those ladies who are doubling earn it and make them work for it, and I did for part of it...I kept it an honest pace, nothing too pedestrian....I just didn’t have it..I didn’t have those changing of the gears..I felt really strong, I just felt like I didn’t have the wheels tonight to turn it over.”
Jen Rhines, women’s 10,000m
“I felt really comfortable running by Shalane, I figured she didn’t want to jog around for a while and I thought I would be able to stick in there longer when the pace picked up because I was coming in with my best shape of the season, so I am a little disappointed that I didn’t really hang in there that long, it just seemed to take it out of me really fast. My goal was more like top six or at least top eight so I’m not thrilled with it, but it is all I had out there today.”
Kara Goucher, women’s 10,000m
“I’ve been battling an injury and I kept thinking if my workouts go to the crapper I’ll just give up my spot, and even though I’ve been in a lot of pain, my workouts have just progressed and progressed, So I just knew I would have so much regret if I didn’t try..You only get so many chances...When I was warming-up it was the best I’ve felt in weeks....I fought all the way to the end.”
Ashton Eaton, men’s decathlon
“I thought I was going to come into this competition and just excel like I always have...That thought is an indication of my naivety,...this is my 16th decathlon...I’m young but learning.”
Trey Hardee, men’s decathlon
“I’m near the top of the leader board, so you can never really complain about that because it is all relative because nobody is having a good day. I think people are going to come out tomorrow a little more focused, a little more aware of what the conditions are, how the track feels and the stadium and everything, so tomorrow will be exciting.
“You have to be [pleased]. I’m not injured, I didn’t have any horrible events; I had a few bad events, but it is what it is. Hopefully this knocked some rust off and I’ll be fine. I just have to be myself and keep having fun.”
Ryan Harlan, men’s decathlon
“I was physically okay but it was just pretty frustrating. We have to run in 11 hours so I might get six hours of sleep if I’m lucky.
“In the 100 I really didn’t hear the gun. I scratched on my longest jump. Even though I won the shot put my last two throws were probably better but they came off one finger - that was frustrating. In the high jump I was about three bars from where I should be. That’s about all I had today in the 400.”
Francena McCorory, women’s 400m
“I was just trying to work on my race pattern. I feel really good. Nothing surprised me out there...I’ve been running against these same individuals.”
Allyson Felix, women’s 400m
“I felt controlled. I wanted to establish a fast 150 then go from there. It was a little bit quicker than what I hoped for, but I wanted to make it as easy as possible. I feel good, and excited to get started.”
Jessica Beard, women's 400m
“ I think I got out pretty well, though I maybe got too relaxed down the backstretch and off the curve. It was a pretty smooth race though, and it wasn't too exhausting. I think I may need to run something big--maybe even a PR.”
Sanya Richards-Ross, women’s 400m
“The race went well tonight. Coach wanted me to run the first 200 and then gauge the race...I think that first race is always a little tricky because it is hard to kind of stop and go, stop and go, but I ran well....The one thing he told me for sure was to win the race, so I did that, so I am really looking forward to going out tomorrow and executing more of a full race.
“I feel really healthy, this is the best I’ve felt in a long time, so I really hope I’ll be able to run and defend my title on Monday.”
Trell Kimmons, men’s 100m
“My start was good...the thing was to get to the next round. I was coming here for the 4x100 relay but I was always ready for the 100 and still in race sharp for the 100. I really didn’t have anything to prove but in a way I need to get a medal. I felt good. My coach prepared me physically and mentally on the track coming into the race. I knew once I transitioned and got out well the race would be good.”
Walter Dix, men’s 100m
“The race went well. It was exactly what I wanted to do to draw a good lane for tomorrow. I think Usain will be the man to beat...he’s the world champion....I’m focused on winning. Whoever is in that race I’m trying to beat. Usain (Bolt) definitely provides motivation.”
Justin Gatlin, men’s 100
“It felt good. One of the things I learned in running in championships throughout my career is not about getting a leading time. It is about getting the automatic qualifier. I got my automatic qualifier into the next round and it is going to be a long day tomorrow. So, I'm going to compete hard, put a more complete race together and work my way hard to the finals.
“It will be probably one of the most epic world championships that we’ve probably seen. Not taking away nothing form Tyson Gay or Asafa Powell, but you have a lot of young guys gunning for Bolt at that podium.
“My feet are getting better and better every day. I’m just grinning and bear it through the pain that is there and just get myself on that track. It’s not 100 percent healed.”
Brittney Reese, women’s long jump
“It wasn’t quite as I thought it should have been today, but my legs are a little sluggish...I think once I go back and get some rest and come back out here, I think I’ll be ready to go. My last jump was where I really need to be and I’m glad I ended it on that kind of a note.I’m just happy I got through to the next round and I’m ready to go.”
Janay Deloach, women’s long jump
“I felt pretty good all day..I thought I was jumping well and I fouled a pretty decent one, then scratched the second, then third I jumped 6.51, but I have more in me. I feel pretty good, it just wasn’t my day, but I think I squeaked through. I’ve got work to do tomorrow, that first jump has to be it.”
Funmi Jimoh, women’s long jump
“I am happy...I am relieved...It is always the stressful part in qualifying, and once you’ve qualified, you can be like ‘I’m gonna compete like crazy’...My first jump is the jump that got me into the final, and after that I fouled my second jump and then third jump there were some technical difficulties, so there was a lot of downtime. It was a bit difficult, bit it didn’t affect me too much....I need to rest up, take care of my body, and tomorrow come out very aggressive and do my best..at the end of the day it is about making the final.
Tori Polk, women’s long jump
“Being the 18th jumper, it was pretty much just trying to stay warm and ready. the first jump, just get a mark out there, the second jump had a slight delay, about 15-20 minute delay...I was behind the board a bit on my second jump, and the last one just hang in there.
“I am very fortunate to be here. A lot of people didn’t make it this far and it gives me motivation to strive harder, and work harder next year so I can get back and try and do it again.”
Michael Mai, men’s hammer throw
"I did a lot of good things, but I didn't put it together on any one throw, so I'm obviously disappointed in the result.
(On his second round foul, which he felt was his best throw) "I just got a little excited on the last turn, and pulled it a little bit into the net."
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