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Women’s 4x1 golden again in 4-medal night for Team USATF


LONDON -- Another night, another four medals for Team USATF at the IAAF World Championships Saturday night at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stadium. A gold from the women’s 4x100, silver from the men’s relay and Dawn Harper-Nelson in the 100 hurdles, and bronze for Paul Chelimo in the men’s 5,000 meters brought Team USATF’s medal tally to 27 medals with one day of competition remaining.

By winning relay gold, Allyson Felix became the winningest athlete in World Championships history with 15 total medals.

Another golden moment for women’s sprint relay

Coming off of two consecutive Olympic gold medals, Team USATF was riding high in the women’s 4x100 relay. Running in lane 4 Saturday night, the U.S. had the opportunity to chase its top competitors, with Great Britain in lane 5 and Jamaica in 7. Aaliyah Brown (Frankfort, Illinois) was even with Team GB on the first leg, with Jamaica seemingly in the lead. Brown had a safe handoff to Allyson Felix (Los Angeles), who held position with Jamaica and GB. Morolake Akinosun (Chicago, Illinois) pulled even with the British and Jamaicans around the bend, but a late hand-off with 100m gold medalist Tori Bowie (Sand Hill, Mississippi) stalled progress for just a moment. Bowie, however, quickly turned on the afterburners and brought the U.S. gold in a world-leading 41.82. With a red flag raised by officials, Team USATF waited to celebrate until they saw video of their handoffs on the jumbotron, after which it was smiles and flags all around. Great Britain finished second in 42.12, with Jamaica third in a season-best 42.19.

Men’s 4x100m relay takes silver behind British

In the blocks for the highly anticipated men’s 4x1, Team USATF was in lane 4, Jamaica in 5, France in 6 and Great Britain in 7. Team GB’s Chijindu Ujah got off to a sizable lead on the entire field while Michael Rodgers (St. Louis, Missouri) kept pace with the rest of the pack. By the second hand-off and the second leg by 100m champion Justin Gatlin (Pensacola, Florida), the Americans were close to even with the Brits, with the Jamaicans in third. Jaylen Bacon (Eastover, South Carolina) brought the stick to anchor leg Christian Coleman (Atlanta, Georgia) slightly behind Great Britain’s anchor Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake. After a quick look backward during the exchange, Team USATF’s 100m silver medalist tried to run down Mitchell-Blake but ran out of real estate, finishing in a season-best 37.52 to claim silver behind the host country’s world-leading 37.47. Usain Bolt, running behind Coleman, pulled up with an apparent left hamstring injury midway down the homestretch. Japan took bronze in 38.04.  

Harper-Nelson hustles to hurdle silver

At age 33, Dawn Harper-Nelson (East St. Louis, Illinois) once again proved that few hurdlers have more mettle - or medal - in championship races. The 2008 Olympic gold medalist, 2012 Olympic silver medalist and 2011 World Outdoor bronze medalist added yet another medal to her collection with a run for silver.

At the gun, world record-holder Keni Harrison (Clayton, North Carolina) burst out of the blocks ahead of the field and cleared the first hurdle, which had plagued her in the semifinals. She knocked over the second, third and fourth hurdles as Christina Manning (Waldorf, Maryland) surged, along with 2012 gold medalist Sally Pearson of Australia. In the last half of the race, the cagey Harper-Nelson built momentum and finished a clear second in a season-best 12.63. Pearson took the gold in 12.59, with Pamela Dutkiewicz of Germany third in 12.72, ahead of Harrison in fourth in 12.74 and Manning fifth, also in 12.74. Running outside in lane 9, Nia Ali (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) struggled to find her rhythm was eighth in 13.04.

Chelimo seals bronze in 5,000

In a race that was Mo Farah’s swan song on his home turf, American Paul Chelimo (Colorado Springs, Colorado) aimed to spoil the party. The Olympic silver medalist bolted to the lead of the 5,000m final, then slowed the pace down in what developed as a very tactical race. Chelimo eventually settled into third as a series of lead changes began.

Selemon Berega of Ethiopia took the first go at leading duties with seven laps remaining, but Farah led the pack that reeled him in half a lap later. Chelimo went to the lead at the 2800m mark, but Australian Patrick Tiernan tried to steal the race with a surge that put him clear of the pack by five meters.

With 800m to go, the pack went after him the young Aussie. Sitting as far back as sixth, Chelimo bided his time over the final 600m dash for the finish.  At the bell, Yomif Kejelcha of Ethiopia led his countrymen, Muktar Edris and Selemon Berega, in boxing in Farah. Chelimo moved from sixth to fourth down the backstretch, then made a run for the win, passing Farah around the curve as the partisan London crowd roared and Farah fought back, giving chase to Edris.

At the finish, it was Edris with gold in 13:32.79, Farah sneaking past Kejelcha on the inside to take second in 13:33.22 and Chelimo third in 13:30.33. American Ryan Hill (Hickory, North Carolina) withdrew from the final with illness after being advised by doctors not to compete.

Americans turned in three additional top-10 finishes in finals Saturday. Team USA’s women’s high jumpers both had a best clearance of 1.92m/6-3.50. Inika McPherson (Port Arthur, Texas) made 1.92/6-3.5 on her first try and then missed her three attempts at 1.95/6-4.75. 2016 World Indoor champion Vashti Cunningham (Las Vegas, Nevada) was clear on her first attempts at 1.84m/6-0.50 and 1.88/6-2 but took three tries to get over 1.92/6-3.50 and went out at 1.95/6-4.75. The duo finished ninth and 10th, respectively.

The decathlon competition finished with the pole vault, javelin throw and 1500m run. Devon Williams (Kennesaw, Georgia) cleared 4.60m/15-1 in the vault for 790 points, and his javelin best of 57.93/190-0 scored 707 points. He ran 4:40.50 in the 1,500 for 677 points, finishing 10th with 8,088 points. Zach Ziemek (Itasca, Illinois) cleared 5.00m/16-4.75 and 5.10m/16-8.75 on his first attempts in the pole vault with ease to score 941 points, and threw 58.35/191-5 in the javelin for 713 points. Ziemek withdrew from competition with an injury prior to the 1500m and did not complete the decathlon.

Team USATF continues competition on the morning of August 13 with the women’s 50 km and 20 km race walks at The Mall 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


Gold (9)

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)

Women’s 4x100m Relay (Aaliyah Brown, Allyson Felix, Morolake Akinosun, Tori Bowie), 41.82 (8/12)

Silver (10)

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)

Dawn Harper-Nelson, Women’s 100m Hurdles, 12.72 (8/11)

Men’s 4x100m relay (Michael Rodgers, Justin Gatlin, Jaylen Bacon, Christian Coleman), 37.52 (8/12)

Bronze (8)

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)

Paul Chelimo, Men’s 5,000m, 13:33.30 (8/11)


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

Women’s 100mH Final

Dawn Harper-Nelson: “The race was so intense. In the blocks, you try and get yourself tense and ready to go. I was shaking in the blocks. I was saying if he doesn’t start this gun, I’m going to have to raise my hand. When the gun went off, I can honestly say I don’t remember the first two hurdles. It was such a blur just trying to go intense and make sure you’re with the ladies. Towards the end, I could see Sally out of the corner of my eye. Of course it’s me and her! But it was so sweet for it to be me and her. To come across the line and lean for the ending and get a get a silver! Silver tastes like gold tonight. Just so you know, Dawn is not laying her head down sad tonight. I’m really excited to have the year that I’ve had and to come out with a medal for the US. It’s just such a blessing. You know when the gun goes off, you can count on Dawn!”

Keni Harrison:  “I think it was probably third or fourth one. You can tell. Sometimes at these championships it isn’t about just executing the race. I had a few nicks and I tried to get back into it. People see world record holder, they see number one in the world but this is my first time making the final ever. To get fourth, it’s a bittersweet moment right now.”

Christina Manning: “It was a lot, it was my first world championships. I was happy to make the final. I had a good start, it’s just when I collide, it’s hard for me to keep going. Me and Dawn hit but I felt good coming into the race.”

Nia Ali “I had a really good warm-up. After I started hitting one hurdle, it’s a chain reaction.”

Women’s High Jump Final

Vashti Cunningham: “It went bad. I couldn’t really tell you (why). It’s a pretty unpredictable event.”

Inika McPherson: “My grandmother passed away a couple years ago and she was Blackfoot Native American and I wanted to pay homage to her and just have fun with it. I had a good time (today). I wasn’t 100 percent coming into it, but I just really went for it. It didn’t come out to my favor, but I was jumping with some incredible jumpers and the crowd was amazing.”

Men’s 5000m Final

Paul Chelimo: “My goal today was to go out and do my best. I knew it was going to go out slow. If it was going to go out slow it going to be an odd race. You never know who’s going to win a slow race. I wanted to go out there and control things. I’m just happy with my performance. It’s my second championships and I’ve medaled. I can’t ask for more. I like fast races. Today it just wasn’t going to be one. I wasn’t going to go out there by myself and push the whole  time. It is what it is and I’m happy with my performance today. I’m going to come back again stronger.”

Women’s 4x100m Relay - Final

Aaliyah Brown: “It was definitely a great feeling being the starter for these women. This is a very elite group. To be able to start with these women, this is my first world championships team, to even be on the team with Allyson and be part of her gold medals, it’s a great feeling.

Allyson Felix: “It’s just fun to be on the relay. I never take it for granted. I’m honored to run with these ladies. Like Morolake said, tonight wasn’t perfect, but we were able to get it done. That means a lot.”

Morolake Akinosun: “It feels incredible. We’re world champions and we were able to go ahead and get the job done. It wasn’t perfect tonight but we got the baton around.”

Tori Bowie: “I felt really confident, especially in my teammates. We just kept everything really simple. Worked hard, trusted each other and came out here and got the job done. I think we’re all pretty grateful tonight.”

Men’s 4x100m Relay - Final

Michael Rodgers: “That was a very exciting 4x1. Kind of bittersweet. We didn’t get (the gold) but we got the baton around. We got a medal, not good exchanges. Team GB was just a better team.”

Justin Gatlin “My whole thing was making sure we had a bond, synergy and we got the stick around. We did that. I think it’s a great foundation to build on. The last few years we’ve bobbled sticks or been dq’d and to be able to finish the night off with a great run, smooth execution all around the track, I think that we can consistently get on the podium from now on.”

Jaylen Bacon: “I definitely think it was a learning experience. I think I did well for the most part. There’s always room for improvement, always things to work on, so I’m definitely going back to the drawing board.”

Christian Coleman: “I got the stick and I was just trying to go as fast as I can. I saw Nick and Neal on my outside and it was a good battle. He’s a great runner. I just came up a little short.”


Devon Williams: “I feel pretty good to be honest. Usually after the 1500 I’m laid out for at least 15 minutes. So I feel pretty good. It was a good experience. I didn’t perform the way I wanted to. It was an experience and that counts for something. I look forward to making my next senior team. (On what he’d do differently next time) I wouldn’t do anything differently. I’ve done a lot of decs this year. So my body is just getting kind of tight and tired. I wasn’t clicking the way I wanted to. I gave it my all, so there’s nothing that I would change. It just wasn’t there.”

Amanda Brooks
Marketing and Communications Manager
USA Track & Field

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