200m men sweep top four spots, Perry, Davis win gold, Walker silver at World Championships

08-11-2005

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Tom Surber
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HELSINKI, Finland - Team USA athletes put on a remarkable performance Thursday night in sweeping the top four spots in the men's 200 meters and winning a total of six medals on a cold and windy night at the 2005 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Helsinki.

Gatlin, Spearmon, Capel & Gay sweep top four places in men's 200 meters

Justin Gatlin, Wallace Spearmon, John Capel and Tyson Gay put on an unprecedented display of dominance in the men's 200m final Thursday night by sweeping the top four places in an event for the first time in World Outdoor Championships history.

2005 World Outdoor 100m champion Justin Gatlin (Raleigh, N.C.) became the first to win both the 100 and 200 meters at a world outdoor championships since Maurice Greene turned the trick in 1999. Gatlin led his three U.S. teammates across the finish line to win in 20.04 seconds, with Spearmon (Fayetteville, Ark.) wining the silver medal in 20.20, and Capel (Gainesville, Fla.) capturing the bronze medal in 20.31. Tyson Gay (Fayetteville, Ark.) finished in fourth place in 20.34.

With his win Thursday night, Gatlin joins fellow Americans Calvin Smith (1987-20.16), Michael Johnson (1991-20.01, 1995-19.79), Greene (1999-19.90) and Capel (2003-20.30) as U.S. world outdoor 200m champions.

Perry wins 100m hurdles gold

An Olympic heptathlete in 2004, Michelle Perry (Los Angeles) made the switch to the 100m hurdles and has been the best in the world all season, culminating with her gold medal winning performance on a cold and windy evening in at the 2005 World Outdoor Championships in Helsinki.

Perry was smooth over the hurdles throughout and won the gold medal decisively in 12.66 seconds. Jamaica's Delloreen Ennis-London was the runner-up in 12.76 seconds, with her countrywoman Brigitte Foster-Hylton winning the bronze medal, also in 12.76 seconds.

2004 Olympic gold medalist Joanna Hayes hit the ninth hurdle hard before running directly into the final hurdle. She kept on her feet to finish the race in 13.57 seconds.

Perry, who entered the Championships owning four of the top five times in the world this season, posted the fastest time globally this year of 12.43 seconds in winning the USA Outdoor title in June. Perry is the first American woman to win 100m hurdles world championships gold since Anjanette Kirkland in 2001. Gail Devers won the event for Team USA in 1993, 1995 and 1999.

Davis wins triple jump gold medal

A two-time Olympian and the 2003 world indoor silver medalist, Walter Davis (Baton Rouge, La.) soared to a seasonal best in winning the men's triple jump gold medal at Olympic Stadium.

Davis' winning hop, skip and jump occurred in the third round when he took the lead for good by sailing 17.57 meters/57 feet, 7.75 inches. Cuba's Yoandri Betanzos won the silver medal with a best of 17.42m/57-2, with Marian Oprea of Romania picking up the bronze with a best of 17.40.

2005 USA Outdoor Championships runner-up Kenta Bell (Davenport, Fla.) had a best effort of 17.11m/56-1.75 to finish in seventh place.

Walker wins pole vault silver medal

On a difficult night for pole vaulting with windy and cold conditions, Brad Walker (Seattle, Wash.) kept his concentration through a series of misses to win the silver medal.

After two misses at his opening height of 5.50m/18-0.50, Walker cleared on his third attempt prior to missing his first try at 5.65m/18-6.50, before clearing on his second attempt. Walker missed once before clearing the bar at 5.75m/18-10.25, and at that point the gold medal would be decided between himself and Rens Blom of The Netherlands.

Bloom soared over the bar on his first attempt at 5.80m/19-0.25. Walker missed his first attempt at that height before passing and missing twice at 5.85m/19-2.25, as Bloom won the gold.

The 2005 USA Indoor and Outdoor champion, Walker established his personal best of 5.90m/19-4.25 earlier in June. Walker is the first American to win a medal in this event since 2000 Olympic gold medalist Nick Hysong took home the bronze in 2001.

The 2005 USA Outdoor Championships runner-up, Hysong (Phoenix, Ariz.) finished fifth this evening with a clearance of 5.50m/16-7.

Boone-Smith, Colander, Felix advance in 200 meters

2005 USA Outdoor Championships runner-up Rachelle Boone-Smith (Norfolk, Va.), 2004 Olympian LaTasha Colander (Columbia, S.C.) and 2004 Olympic 200m silver medalist Allyson Felix (Los Angeles) each made it through the women's 200m semifinals with little difficulty.

In the first semi, Boone-Smith finished as the runner-up, with Colander placing third with both timed across the finish line in 22.69 seconds. In the second semifinal, Felix finished first in 22.90 running into a -4.0 meters per second headwind. All will move on to Friday night's final.

All four Team USA men's hurdlers advance to final

Four-time world outdoor champion Allen Johnson (Irmo, S.C.) kept his "drive for five" alive by posting the fastest time of anyone in the men's 110m semifinals at Olympic Stadium.

Johnson won the third heat in 13.23 seconds to advance to Friday evening's final. He'll be joined there by two-time Olympic silver medalist Terrence Trammell (Ellenwood, Ga.), who won heat 2 in 13.31 seconds. In making his first World Outdoor Championships team this year, two-time Big Ten champion Joel Brown (Columbus, Ohio) qualified for the final by placing fourth in heat 3 in 13.43.

Another first-timer on a world outdoor championships team, Dominique Arnold (Diamond Bar, Calif.) finished second in heat 1 in 13.39 to move on to the final.

Robinson, Krummenacker move on to 800m semis

2005 USA Outdoor champion and 2004 Olympian Khadevis Robinson (Santa Monica, Calif.) and 2003 world indoor champion David Krummenacker each ran well in Thursday evening's 800m qualifying heats and will compete in the final Sunday night.

Robinson finished third in heat 2 in 1:46.74, with Krummenacker finishing as the runner-up in heat 4 in 1:47.82. Kevin Hicks (Tallahassee, Fla.), who placed third at this summer's USA Nationals, did not qualify for the final after placing seventh in the sixth heat in 1:50.00.

Glover, Demus move on to 400m hurdles final

After ending the 2004 season ranked #1 in the world in the women's 400m hurdles, Sandra Glover (Sugarland, Texas) finished third at the 2005 USA Outdoor Championships at Carson, Calif. Friday night, Glover got off to a good start in the second semifinal and won it in 54.16 seconds to advance to Saturday evening's final.

2005 USA Outdoor champion Lashinda Demus (Columbia, S.C.) ran well out of lane 6 in the third semifinal to finish as the runner-up in 55.00 seconds. 2005 USA Nationals runner-up Shauna Smith (Laramie, Wyo.) placed seventh in the first semi (55.97) and will not advance.

Elsewhere, 2005 USA Outdoor Championships 5,000m third place finisher Ryan Hall (Palo Alto, Calif.), and this year's national runner-up Ian Dobson (Palo Alto, Calif.) each ran in the first men's 5,000m semifinals Thursday night.

Hall grabbed the lead 1,000 meters into the contest before drifting back into the main pack with Dobson, who stayed in that position until right after the bell sounded signifying the final lap. Dobson finished the race in 10th place in 13 minutes, 27.16 seconds, with Hall placing16th in 13:59.86.

In the second heat, Tim Broe (Ann Arbor, Mich.) ran 13:51.17 to place 14th.

Team USA Medal TallyAs of August 11Gold (9)Justin Gatlin (Raleigh, N.C.), M100, 9.88Justin Gatlin (Raleigh, N.C.), M200, 20.04Bershawn Jackson (Raleigh, N.C.), M400mH, 47.30Adam Nelson (Athens, Ga.), MSP, 21.73m/71-3.50Bryan Clay (Azusa, Calif.), MDecathlon, 8,732 pointsWalter Davis (Baton Rouge, La.), MTJ, 17.57m/57-7.75Lauryn Williams (Miami, Fla.), W100, 10.93Michelle Perry (Los Angeles), W100H, 12.66Tianna Madison (Knoxville, Tenn.), WLJ, 6.89m/22-7.25Silver (5)Wallace Spearmon (Fayetteville, Ark.), M200, 20.20James Carter (Hampton, Va.), M400H, 47.43Brad Walker (Seattle, Wash.), MPV, 5.75m/18-10.75Sanya Richards (Austin, Texas), W400, 49.74Chaunte Howard (Atlanta), WHJ, 2.0m/6-6.75Bronze (1)John Capel (Gainesville, Fla.), M200, 20.31

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