Team USA World Champs preview - Tuesday, August 9 events


Jill Geer
Director of Communications
USA Track & Field
317-261-0478 x360

Tuesday, August 9events

U.S. TELECAST: 5-6 p.m. Eastern, PAX (check local listings)

U.S. Webcast:


Men's 3,000m steeplechase final, 8 p.m.

U.S. entrants: Daniel Lincoln

The scoop: Two-time U.S. outdoor champion Daniel Lincoln is in the best shape of his life, having already set a personal best this year (8:12.65). This is the event in which the Kenyans are most dominant, so expect a scorching race in the 8:00 range. It would take the race of his life to match the best performance ever by an American at Worlds - 4th by Brian Diemer in 1987, before Kenyan dominance was in full force.

Women's 800m final, 8:25 p.m.

U.S. entrant: Hazel Clark

The scoop: Clark was 7th at the 2000 Olympic Games, where she set her then-PR 1:58.75, but this is her first World Championships final. She has never been fitter and is coming off a PR 1:57.99 in Oslo, making her the world's sixth-fastest woman in 2005. Having won her semifinal round on Sunday, she showed she has more than just a fast time on her mind for the final. This event is more open than it has been in years, with Maria Mutola nearing the latter part of her career and Olympic champion Kelly Holmes not competing.

Men's 400m hurdles final, 9:25 p.m.

U.S. entrants: Kerron Clement, Bershawn Jackson, James Carter

The scoop: This has the potential to be one of Team USA's strongest events of the Championships. When his steps are on, Clement is nearly unbeatable; Jackson has had numerous, confidence-building wins this season; and Carter - who has two Olympic fourth-place finishes on his resume - looked very strong in the semis, running a season-best time. Any of these three men could potentially win, and any or all could medal. The 400m hurdles is unpredictable, though, with the final stretch being the place were dreams are made and dashed.

Men's decathlon, 11:35 a.m.-8:45 p.m.

U.S. entrants: Bryan Clay, Paul Terek, Phil McMullen

The scoop: The 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400m are on tap for the decathlon. A new father, Clay is the Olympic silver medalist and will look to match or improve on that performance in Helsinki. McMullen was 15th at 2001 World Outdoors; Terek's international experience includes placing 21st at the 2004 Olympics and 12th at 2003 World Outdoors.


Men's javelin qualifying, 11:45 a.m., 1:20 p.m.

U.S. entrant: Breaux Greer

The scoop: When he's healthy, Greer is one of the world's top three throwers. Shoulder problems have kept him from competing since the U.S. outdoor championships, so this competition will be on sheer willpower. Advancing to the final will be difficult, but the determination of a man who set an American record and won the World Athletics Final last year on a torn ACL can't be underestimated.

Men's pole vault qualifying, 12:10 p.m.

U.S. entrants: Brad Walker, Nick Hysong, Toby Stevenson

The scoop: Walker has been the top U.S. vaulter in 2005, winning the U.S. indoor and outdoor titles, at age 24. The 2000 Olympic champion, Hysong is the last American to win a World Championships medal, taking bronze in 2001. His runner-up performance at USA Outdoors shows he can compete in challenging weather conditions, which could come in handy in Helsinki. Stevenson is the Olympic gold medalist and could have another strong meet here.

Men's 200m first round, 12:20 p.m.; quarterfinals, 7:25 p.m.

U.S. entrants: Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay, Wallace Spearmon

The scoop: Team USA swept the Olympic medals in the 200, but a new cast of characters reports to Helsinki. Returning from Athens is bronze medalist Justin Gatlin, whose speed, strength and experience will serve him well after he doubles back from his dominant performance in the 100 meters here in Finland. Arkansas teammates Spearmon (19.89 in London) and Gay (19.93 at NCAA champs) have pure speed to burn and are the world's two fastest men in 2005.

Men's 400m first round, 1:40 p.m.

U.S. entrants: Jeremy Wariner, Darold Williamson, Andrew Rock

The scoop: Like the 200, one of Team USA's three Olympic medalists (the gold-winning Wariner) is back in this event. The Americans are again the men to beat, with Wariner (44.20 at USA Outdoors) leading the world in 2005. Williamson is second-fastest globally this year (44.27 at NCAAs), with Rock sixth (44.70 at USAs). All three should advance automatically.

Women's long jump qualifying, 2:15 p.m.

U.S. entrants: Grace Upshaw, Tianna Madison, Rose Richmond

The scoop: Two-time U.S. outdoor champion Upshaw was a finalist at 2003 World Outdoors (8th) and the 2004 Olympic Games (10th), so she brings the advantage of experience. Only 19 years old, Madison won the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor titles, owning a personal best of 6.78m/22-3. Richmond was a 2004 Olympian, and she won the 2005 USA indoor title.

Women's 100m hurdles first round, 6:40 p.m.

U.S. entrants: Michelle Perry, Joanna Hayes, Virginia Powell

The scoop: Team USA could have their strongest overall hurdling performance here in years. U.S. champion Perry (12.44) and Olympic gold medalist Hayes (12.47) are 1-2 on the world list in 2005, with Perry owning four of the five fastest times. Powell is the NCAA champion and is eighth on the world list.

Men's triple jump qualifying, 8:15 p.m.

U.S. entrants: Walter Davis, Kenta Bell, Tim Rusan

The scoop: Davis is one of Team USA's most experienced horizontal jumpers, with two Olympics and two World Outdoors appearances to his credit. He looks to improve on his fifth-place finish at 2001 Worlds, to date his best international performance (he was 11th at both the 2000 and '04 Olympics). Bell is a 2004 Olympian and the 2003 USA Outdoor champion; he was 6th at 2003 World Outdoors and 9th at the Olympics. A two-time U.S. indoor champion, this is Rusan's first World Outdoor competition.