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USATF men take aim at Olympic glory

8/10/2016
 

RIO DE JANEIRO – Led by defending gold medalists Ashton Eaton and Christian Taylor, the next generation of USATF stars combine with experienced veterans to comprise the men’s Olympic Track & Field Team. Competition begins at Olympic Stadium on Friday, August 12.

 

Below please find an overall preview of events. For timely updates of all things USATF from Rio, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Join the social fun by downloading Trackmojis for iphone: http://www.usatf.org/News/Run,-Jump---Pole-Vault-into-a-Text-Message-with-ne.aspx

 

To review the USATF roster announcement, visit http://www.usatf.org/News/Five-individual-gold-medalists,-84-first-time-Olym.aspx


 

Men’s 100m

Competition begins: Saturday, August 13

Final: Sunday, August 14

USATF athletes: Justin Gatlin (Pensacola, Florida), Trayvon Bromell (St. Petersburg, Florida), Marvin Bracy (Orlando, Florida)

USATF at-a-glance: Gatlin and Bromell are 1-2 in the world so far this year, with their Olympic Trials times of 9.80 and 8.84. Gatlin is the 2004 Olympic gold medalist, while Jamaica’s Usain Bolt is the two-time defending champ and world record holder. Bromell is one of the most talked-about young sprinters in the world, coming off a gold medal in the 60m at the 2016 World Indoor Championships, and Bracy is the 2014 World Indoor silver medalist.
 

Men’s 200m

Competition begins: Tuesday, August 16

Final: Thursday, August 18

USATF athletes: Justin Gatlin (Pensacola, Florida), LaShawn Merritt (Portsmouth, Virginia), Ameer Webb (Tustin, California)

USATF at-a-glance: Merritt (19.74), Gatlin (19.75) and Webb (19.85) are 1-2-3 in the world as a healthy Usain Bolt of Jamaica looms as the two-time defending gold medalist and world record holder. Gatlin is the 2004 bronze medalist in the event, while Merritt competes in the Olympic 200m for the first time and Webb, the 2013 NCAA indoor and outdoor champ, makes his first Olympic Team.

 

Men’s 400m

Competition begins: Friday, August 12

Final: Sunday, August 14

USATF athletes: LaShawn Merritt (Portsmouth, Virginia), Gil Roberts (Oklahoma City), David Verburg (Lynchburg, Virginia)

USATF at-a-glance: The day after the 200m final, Merritt doubles back to try to regain the Olympic gold he won in 2008. Merritt has the world lead (43.97) with defending champ Kirani James (44.08) and Wayde Van Niekerk of South Africa (44.11) giving chase. Roberts and Verburg are both decorated 4x400m runners, with Verburg earning relay gold at World Outdoors in 2013 and 2015, and Roberts getting relay gold at 2012 World Indoors.

 

Men’s 800m

Competition begins: Friday, August 12

Final: Monday, August 15

USATF athletes: Clayton Murphy (New Paris, Ohio), Boris Berian (Colorado Springs), Charles Jock (Eugene, Oregon)

USATF at-a-glance: Three first-time Olympians bring youth and potential to the two-lapper. Berian is the 2016 World Indoor champion at a distance led by Kenya’s world record holder, David Rudisha. At 21 years old, Murphy is the 2016 NCAA Indoor 800m and Outdoor 1,500m champion, as well as the 2015 Pan Am 800m gold medalist. The 2012 NCAA champion, Jock has been relatively quiet the last four years but re-emerged with his strong showing at the Olympic Trials.

 

Men’s 1,500m

Competition begins: Friday, August 12

Final: Monday, August 15

USATF athletes: Matthew Centrowitz (Arnold, Maryland), Robby Andrews (Manalapan, New Jersey), Ben Blankenship (Stillwater, Minnesota)

USATF at-a-glance: Team USA’s 1,500m team brings racing flair and competitive excellence to the track. Centrowitz is the 2013 World Outdoor silver medalist, was fourth at the 2012 Games and is coming off the 2016 World Indoor title. The 2011 NCAA 800m champion Andrews was a 2015 World Outdoor finalist and is a consummate racer known for his late kicks. Blankenship anchored the U.S. 4x1500m team to a world record at the 2015 IAAF World Relays. For the Olympic Games, seed times are usually irrelevant, and tactical excellence rules.
 

 

Men’s 3,000m Steeplechase

Competition begins: Monday, August 15          

Final: Wednesday, August 17

USATF athletes: Evan Jager (Algonquin, Illinois), Hillary Bor (Colorado Springs, Colorado), Donn Cabral (Glastonbury, Connecticut)

USATF at-a-glance: The American record holder (8:00.45), Jager is Team USA’s best medal hope since 1984 and considered the athlete most likely to challenge African dominance in the event. An All-American while at Iowa State and now a specialist in the U.S. Army, Bor makes his first national team appearance. Cabral is the 2012 NCAA champion and placed 8th at the 2012 Olympics.

 

Men’s 5,000m

Competition begins: Wednesday, August 17

Final: Saturday, August 20

USATF athletes: Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Arizona), Hassan Mead (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Paul Chelimo (Beaverton, Oregon)

USATF at-a-glance: The ageless and uber-experienced Lagat leads two youngsters into the 5,000. Now age 41 competing at his fifth Olympics, Lagat is the oldest athlete on the team and boasts two Olympic medals, six World Outdoor medals and five World Indoor medals. A tactical race would suit him well. Mead is a nine-time NCAA All-American and competed in the 10,000 at 2015 World Outdoors; Chelimo is an NAIA champion and NCAA runner-up and was seventh in the 3,000 at 2016 World Indoors. He is a specialist in the U.S. Army.

 

Men’s 10,000m

Final: Saturday, August 13

USATF athletes: Galen Rupp (Portland, Oregon), Shadrack Kipchirchir (Beaverton, Oregon), Leonard Korir (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

USATF at-a-glance: Rupp opens his Olympic double with the men’s 10,000, where he returns as the 2012 Olympic silver medalist and American record holder (26:44.36). His training partner, Mo Farah of Great Britain, is the defending champ. Kipchirchir was 16th at 2015 World Outdoors, and Korir is a two-time NCAA champion who won the 2016 United Airlines NYC Half Marathon. Both are specialists in the U.S. Army.

 

Men’s Marathon

Final: Sunday, August 21

USATF athletes: Galen Rupp (Portland, Oregon), Meb Keflezighi (San Diego), Jared Ward (Kaysville, Utah)

USATF at-a-glance: With an 8-day rest after the 10,000, Rupp makes his Olympic marathon debut with 2004 Olympic silver medalist Keflezighi and Ward, the 2015 USATF marathon champion. Olympic marathons can be anybody’s race, and Rupp’s speed, Keflezighi’s experience and Ward’s grit could pay dividends. The 41-year-old Meb is the only man to win the NYC Marathon (2009), Boston Marathon (2014) and an Olympic marathon medal.

 

Men’s 110m hurdles

Competition begins: Monday, August 15

Final: Tuesday, August 16

USATF athletes: Devon Allen (Phoenix, Arizona), Ronnie Ash (Raleigh, North Carolina), Jeff Porter (Somerset, New Jersey)

USATF at-a-glance: Team USA went 1-2 in London and features two new faces to vie for medals. Allen is currently #2 globally with his time of 13.03 at the Olympic Trials. He won USATF and NCAA titles in both 2014 and 2016 and is on a roll. Ash is a three-time NCAA champion and Porter the 2007 NCAA indoor champ. Both are top 10 globally in 2016 among those competing at the games, and Porter is a two-time Olympian.

 

Men’s 400m hurdles

Competition begins: Monday, August 15

Final: Thursday, August 18

USATF athletes: Kerron Clement (La Porte, Texas), Byron Robinson (Chesapeake, Virginia), Michael Tinsley (Little Rock, Arkansas)

USATF at-a-glance: The 2007 and 2009 world champion, Clement is the 2008 Olympic silver medalist and is fastest in the Olympic field with a season-best of 48.40. Tinsley is the 2012 Olympic and 2013 World Championships silver medalist, while Robinson, a rising senior at the University of Texas and the 2016 Big 12 champion, makes his Olympic debut.

 

Men’s 50km race walk

Final: Friday, August 19

USATF athlete: John Nunn (San Diego)

USATF at-a-glance: A stalwart of the USATF race walking corps, U.S. Army staff sergeant Nunn competes in his third Olympic Games and his second Olympic 50 km. The Olympic Trials champ at 50 km and 20 km was 43rd at 50 km in London.

 

Men’s Decathlon

Competition begins: Wednesday, August 17

Final: Thursday, August 18

USATF athletes: Ashton Eaton (Bend, Oregon), Jeremy Taiwo (Seattle, Washington), Zach Ziemek (Itasca, Illinois)

USATF at-a-glance: The defending world and Olympic champion, Eaton is the world record holder (9045) and the heavy favorite for gold. Taiwo is currently #6 in the world and looks to fight for a medal in a field that includes Canada’s Damian Warner, the 2015 World silver medalist, and Leonel Suarez of Cuba, twice an Olympic bronze medalist. Ziemek is the 2016 NCAA indoor heptathlon champion.

 

Men’s High Jump

Competition begins: Sunday, August 14

Final: Tuesday, August 16

USATF athletes: Erik Kynard (Toledo, Ohio), Brad Adkins (Idalou, Texas), Ricky Robertson (Hernando, Mississippi)

USATF at-a-glance: Kynard took silver at London in 2012 and bronze at the World Indoors in March. He will have to be on to beat 2015 World Outdoor champion Derek Drouin of Canada and this year’s world list leader, Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar. Adkins was NCAA runner-up indoor and outdoor last year, and like Robertson, a 10-time NCAA All-American at Ole Miss, is making his Olympic debut.

 

Men’s Pole Vault

Competition begins: Saturday, August 13

Final: Monday, August 15

USATF athletes: Sam Kendricks (Oxford, Mississippi), Cale Simmons (Rocklin, California), Logan Cunningham (Smithson Valley, Texas)

USATF at-a-glance: An Army Reservist, Kendricks leads three first timers for Team USA, and is ranked #2 in the world behind world record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France. Kendricks was the 2016 World Indoor silver medalist. A First Lieutenant in the Air Force, Simmons and Cunningham are making their first appearances internationally.

 

Men’s Long Jump

Competition begins: Friday, August 12

Final: Saturday, August 13

USATF athletes: Jeff Henderson (North Little Rock, Arkansas), Jarrion Lawson (Texarkana, Texas, Michael Hartfield (Manchester, Connecticut)

USATF at-a-glance: 2015 Pan Am Games champion Henderson won the Olympic Trials with a windy 8.59m/28-2.25, the longest jump in the world this year. One centimeter behind him was NCAA indoor and outdoor champion Lawson, who won bronze at the 2012 World Juniors and has the farthest wind-legal jump in the world this year. Hartfield was a World Outdoor finalist in 2015.

 

Men’s Triple Jump

Competition begins: Monday, August 15

Final: Tuesday, August 16

USATF athletes: Will Claye (Phoenix, Arizona), Christian Taylor (Fayetteville, Georgia), Chris Benard (Corona, California)

USATF at-a-glance: One of Team USA’s strongest events, with Taylor, the reigning Olympic and World champion, and Claye the 2012 silver medalist and 2012 World Indoor champion. Those two lead the world rankings in 2016, with Benard, an Olympic newcomer, ranked #5. Taylor is the American record holder and #2 all-time globally.

 

Men’s Shot Put

Qualifying and Final: Thursday, August 18

USATF athletes: Ryan Crouser (Boring, Oregon), Joe Kovacs (Nazareth, Pennsylvania), Darrell Hill (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

USATF at-a-glance: World Outdoor champion Kovacs is the best of three first timers, topping the 2016 world list. He has thrown 22m/72-2.25 or better eight times in his career. Crouser, the 2009 World Youth gold medalist, and Hill, fourth at the 2015 Pan Am Games, are at #2 and #4.

 

Men’s Discus Throw

Competition begins: Friday, August 12

Final: Saturday, August 13

USATF athletes: Mason Finley (Buena Vista, Colorado), Tavis Bailey (Kannapolis, North Carolina), Andrew Evans (Portage, Michigan)

USATF at-a-glance: Finley won the Trials in the rain, and is the best of the three first time Olympians with the PR 66.72m/218-11 he threw in Trials qualifying. Bailey was NCAA runner-up for Tennessee in 2015, and Evans was third in 2013 for Kentucky.

 

Men’s Hammer Throw

Competition begins: Wednesday, August 17

Final: Friday, August 19

USATF athletes: Rudy Winkler (Sand Lake, New York), Kibwe Johnson (Suwanee, Georgia), Conor McCullough (Canoga Park, California)

USATF at-a-glance: Johnson was ninth at London in 2012 and won Pan Am gold in 2011 and 2015. McCullough took bronze behind Johnson at the ‘15 PAG, and was the 2010 World Junior champion. Winkler is on his first U.S. team and was the NCAA runner-up before winning the Trials.

 

Men’s Javelin

Competition begins: Wednesday, August 17

Final: Saturday, August 20

USATF athletes: Cyrus Hostetler (Chula Vista, California), Sam Crouser (Gresham, Oregon), Sean Furey (Fargo, North Dakota)

USATF at-a-glance: An Olympian in 2012, Hostetler was the 2011 Pan Am silver medalist. Furey was also in London and was a World Outdoor finalist in 2009. Making his Olympic debut, Crouser competed at last year’s World Outdoor championships. His dad, Dean, was a three-time NCAA champion in the shot and discus, and his uncle, Brian, was a two-time U.S. Olympian in the javelin.

 

Men’s 4x100m Relay

Competition begins: Thursday, August 18

Final: Friday, August 19

USATF athletes: Justin Gatlin (Pensacola, Florida), Trayvon Bromell (St. Petersburg, Florida), Marvin Bracy (Orlando, Florida), Mike Rodgers (St. Louis, Missouri), Tyson Gay (Lexington, Kentucky), Christian Coleman (Atlanta, Georgia)

USATF at-a-glance: Team USA set an American record at the 2015 IAAF World Relays (37.38), and Rodgers, Gatlin and Gay return from that lineup. The trio brings experience while Bromell, Bracy and Coleman add youth. With the right lineup and smooth passes, Team USA will try to unseat reigning champion Jamaica, who set the world record in London (36.84).

 

Men’s 4x400m relay

Competition begins: Friday, August 19

Final: Saturday, August 20

USATF athletes: LaShawn Merritt (Portsmouth, Virginia), Gil Roberts (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma), David Verburg (Lynchburg, Virginia), Arman Hall (Pembroke Pines, Florida), Tony McQuay (Riviera Beach, Florida), Kyle Clemons (Rowlett, Texas)

USATF at-a-glance: Team USA looks to avenge a rare silver-medal performance from 2012, where the Bahamas emerged as Olympic champions. Between 1976 and 2008, the only Olympic gold Team USA did not win was the boycotted 1980 Games. Look for the Caribbean countries again to make a charge at American dominance.

 

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

 


 

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