Team USA sprinters advance in Helsinki

08-09-2005

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Tom Surber
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USA Track & Field
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HELSINKI, Finland - All of Team USA's men 400m and 200m competitors advanced in first round competition during Tuesday's early session on a sunny and blustery day at 2005 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Helsinki.

2004 Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner (Grand Prairie, Texas) started the second heat of men's 400m qualifying in lane 8 and stormed to an early lead before holding on to win the heat in 45.24 seconds.

2004 Olympic 4x400m relay gold medalist Andrew Rock (Stratford, Wisc.) ran hard the entire way to win the fourth heat in men's 400m qualifying in 44.98 seconds. Fellow 4x400m relay gold medalist Darold Williamson (Waco, Texas) held the lead most of the way in winning heat 7 in 45.97 seconds. The men's 400m semifinals will take place Wednesday evening.

Reigning champion Capel advances in men's 200 meters

In the opening round of the men's 200 meters, 2003 world outdoor championships gold medalist John Capel ran well down the stretch in heat 3 and cruised to a runner-up finish in a seasonal best time of 20.40 seconds.

2005 USA Outdoor Championships runner-up Tyson Gay (Lexington, Ky.) won heat 6 in 19.99 seconds, as the competitors enjoyed the assistance of a strong 4.3 meters per second wind at their backs.

Reigning world and Olympic 100m champion Justin Gatlin (Raleigh, N.C.) worked only as hard as he needed to in order to advance to this evening's quarterfinals. Gatlin and his fellow competitors ran into a -2.1 mps wind, with Gatlin finishing third in 20.90. The top three finishers advance to the next round.

2005 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor champion and American indoor record holder Wallace Spearmon (Fayetteville, N.C.) made it look easy in heat 8 by winning in 20.51 into a -2.7 wind. Coming off the turn, Spearmon had the lead and stretched it to more than five meters before beginning to shut down 10 meters from the finish.

Clay leads decathlon after three events

2004 Olympic silver medalist and 2005 U.S. champion Bryan Clay (Glendora, Calif.) got off to a great start in the men's decathlon on Tuesday.

Clay got out of the blocks quickly in the first event, the 100 meters, and won his heat in 10.43 seconds, a performance that was the fastest of the day and gave him the lead with 992 points.

Olympic champion Roman Sebrle (CZE) won the decathlon long jump with a best of 7.86m/25-9.50, but Clay leapt 7.54m/24-9 on his final attempt to continue his lead in the competition with 1,937 points, with Sebrle right behind with 1,906 points.

In the shot put, Clay had a best effort of 16.25m/53-3.75, which added 867 points to his total. Clay continues to lead with 2,804 points, with Sebrle second with 2,775 points.

2005 USA Outdoor Championships runner-up and 2004 Olympian Paul Terek (Livonia, Mich.) is 11th with 2,498 points, with Phil McMullen (El Sobrante, Calif.) 21st with 2,281 points after three events.

Hysong, Walker advance, Stevenson out in men's pole vault qualifying

2000 Olympic gold medalist Nick Hysong (Phoenix, Ariz.) will move on to the pole vault final on Thursday night with his clearance of 5.60m/18-4.50 in morning qualifying. 2005 USA Indoor and Outdoor champion Brad Walker (Seattle, Wash.) also advanced with a clearance of 5.45m/17-10.75.

2004 Olympic silver medalist Toby Stevenson (Chula Vista, Calif.), who has been battling a sore hamstring of late, tried a few warm-up trips down the runway before determining that he was unable to compete.

Madison qualifies quickly in women's long jump

2005 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor champion and USA Outdoor Championships runner-up Tianna Madison (Knoxville, Tenn.) spent little time competing during Tuesday's women's long jump qualifying.

On her very first attempt, Madison soared to a personal best of 6.83 meters/22-4.75 to qualify for the final on Wednesday. Madison's performance is the best by an American this year, bettering her own previous personal best of 6.82m/22-4.50 from her win in Knoxville on April 9, 2005.

2004 Olympian and two-time USA Outdoor champion Grace Upshaw (Redwood City, Calif.) also advanced with a leap of 6.59m/21-7.50. 2005 USA Indoor champion Rose Richmond had a best jump of 6.53m/21-5.25, but will not advance to the final.

For more information on Team USA at the 2005 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships, visit www.usatf.org.