When USA vs. the World at the Penn Relays was first held in 2000, it created a platform to bring together the best track and field athletes in the world into the middle of one of the sport’s premier annual events. When the 13th edition of the competition kicks off Saturday at the 118th Penn Relays, it will also mark the fourth time the event will take place heading into the Olympic Games.
With more of the same expected Saturday, the results from the past 12 years have helped in determining the elite in track and field.
USA vs. the World is the first stop of the 2012 Outdoor Visa Championship Series and will be broadcast live Saturday on NBC from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
USA vs. the World champions turned Olympic champions
USA vs. the World has been a great indicator of Olympic success. Of the 12 total team winners in the men’s and women’s 4x100m and 4x400m at USA vs. the World from 2000, 2004 and 2008, a total of eight teams went on to win Olympic gold.
That list includes:
2000 (United States men’s 4x100m and 4x400m)
2004 (United States men’s and women’s 4x400m and Jamaica women’s 4x100m)
2008 (Jamaica men’s 4x100m and United States men’s and women’s 4x400m)
Additionally, a total of 11 athletes who ran legs on winning relays in USA vs. the World competition in Olympic years went on to win Olympic individual medals the same year.
Taylor a tradition at USA vs. the World
Saturday’s Visa men’s 4x400m may have one thing in common with the inaugural USA vs. the World 4x400m race in 2000 - Angelo Taylor.
The two-time Olympic 400m hurdles gold medalist teamed up with National Track & Field Hall of Famer Michael Johnson, Tyree Washington and the late Antonio Pettigrew to win the 4x400m 12 years ago in what remains the meet record of 2:56.60.
Taylor has run legs on six winning 4x400m teams at the USA vs. the World (‘00-’02, ‘09-’11), which includes wins in each of the last three years. Taylor, a five-time Olympic and World Championships gold medalist in the 4x400m, will have his name among those to give Team USA a shot at winning its seventh consecutive men’s 4x400m title.
Tickets are still available for this year’s event at www.ThePennRelays.com.
For more information on USA vs. the World, visit www.VisaChampionshipSeries.com.