Team USA medal haul continues in Helsinki

08-12-2005

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Tom Surber
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HELSINKI, Finland - Led by gold medal winning performances by Jeremy Wariner and Allyson Felix, Team USA boosted its medal total to 20 (11 gold, 7 silver, 2 bronze) on a beautiful Friday evening at the 2005 World Outdoor Championships in Helsinki.

Wariner, Rock go 1-2 in men's 400 meters

Wariner (Grand Prairie, Texas), the 2004 Olympic gold medalist, got out of lane three well and ran smoothly down the backstretch before taking command off the final turn to eventually win the race in a personal best and world leading time of 43.93 seconds.

Wariner's Athens 4x400m relay teammate Andrew Rock (Stratford, Wisc.) put on a tremendous charge down the main straightaway to take the silver medal in a personal best time of 44.35 seconds, bettering his previous personal best of 44.66 set in 2004.

Fellow 2004 Olympic 4x400m relay gold medalist Darold Williamson (Waco, Texas.) finished seventh in 45.12.

Wariner's performance betters his previous personal best set in winning the Olympic gold medal in Athens in 44.00 seconds, and it's the fastest time in the world since National Track & Field Hall of Famer and world record holder Michael Johnson won the 2000 Olympic gold medal in 43.84.

With his performance, Wariner joins fellow Americans Lee Evans, Michael Johnson, Harry "Butch" Reynolds, Larry James, Quincy Watts, Danny Everett and Steve Lewis as the only athletes in history to break the 44-second barrier.

Felix, Boone-Smith go 1-2 in women's 200 meters

In a remarkable comeback effort, 2004 Olympic silver medalist Allyson Felix and Rachelle Boone-Smith each came from behind to win the gold and silver medals respectively in the women's 200 meters.

Coming off the final turn, Felix was in third place running out of lane six between France's Christine Arron and Jamaica's reigning Olympic 200m champion Veronica Campbell. With about 60 meters to go, Felix and Boone-Smith, who was in fourth place at the time, made their charge. With a tremendous burst of speed by both Americans, Felix and Boone-Smith rocketed past Arron and Campbell to win the respective gold and silver medals. 2000 Olympic 4x400m gold medalist and third-place finisher at the 2005 USA Outdoor Championships LaTasha Colander (Columbia, S.C.) finished fifth in 22.66 seconds.

Felix becomes the first teenager (19) ever to win a world sprint title. She joins Inger Miller (1999-21.77) and Marion Jones (2001-22.39) as the only American women ever to win a 200m gold medal at a world outdoor championship. Felix and Boone-Smith's 1-2 finish is the first ever for any country in the women's 200 meters at a world outdoor championships.

Johnson wins bronze medal in 110m hurdles

Four-time world outdoor champion and 1996 Olympic gold medalist Allen Johnson (Irmo, S.C.) finished third in the men's 110m hurdles final in 13.10 seconds to add a world championships bronze medal to his trophy case.

Ladji Doucoure of France won the gold medal in 13.07 seconds, with 2004 Olympic gold medalist and co-world record holder Liu Xiang of China earned the silver medal in 13.08.

A seven-time U.S. Outdoor champion, Johnson had the second best reaction time (0.147) in the field. He was joined in the final by U.S. teammates Dominique Arnold (Diamond Bar, Calif.) who finished fourth in 13.13, two-time Olympic silver medalist Terrence Trammell (Ellenwood, Ga.), who placed fifth in 13.20 and Joel Brown (Columbus, Ohio), who finished sixth in 13.47.

Team USA women 4x100m relay team sets world leader

In the opening round of women's 4x100m relay competition, the U.S. squad consisting of Angela Daigle (Carson, Calif.), Muna Lee (Baton Rouge, La.), Lisa Barber (Raleigh, N.C.) and Lauryn Williams (Miami, Fla.) easily won heat 1 in the fastest time in the world this season of 42.16 seconds.

The 2005 USA Indoor Visa Championship Series women's champion, Daigle got out of the blocks well before handing the baton to 2005 USA Outdoor 100m runner-up Lee, who opened up a large lead on the backstretch. The reigning U.S. women's 100m champion, Barber maintained the lead on the curve before handing the baton to Williams, the 2005 world 100m champion, who ran literally by herself to the finish. Team USA will compete in the women's 4x100m relay final Saturday night at Olympic Stadium.

Team USA out of men's 4x100m relay

The U.S. men's 4x100m relay team was unable to finish its qualifying race Friday night due to a dropped baton on the first exchange, and will not advance the to the final.

2003 NCAA 100m champion Mardy Scales (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) took off at the gun running the lead leg for Team USA. In attempting to make the exchange to 2005 USA Outdoor Championships third-place finisher Leonard Scott (Irvine, Calif.), the baton was dropped and fell to the track. 2005 World Outdoor 200m fourth-place finisher Tyson Gay (Lexington, Ky.) was slated to run the third leg, with three-time world outdoor champion and former world record holder Maurice Greene (Chatsworth, Calif.) the anchor leg.

In other men's events on the track, 2005 USA Outdoor champion and 2004 Olympian Khadevis Robinson (Santa Monica, Calif.) placed eighth in the men's 800m semifinals in 1:49.13, and 2003 World Indoor champion David Krummenacker (Tucson, Ariz.) finished eighth in 1:46.76 in semifinal #3. Neither will advance to the final.

In women's 1,500m qualifying, 2005 USA Outdoor champion Treniere Clement (Knoxville, Tenn.) finished 25th overall in 4:16.51, and will not advance.

Isinbayeva sets world pole vault record

In women's field event action, Russian star Yelena Isinbayeva set a world record in the women's pole vault with her clearance of 5.01 meters/16-5.25, after securing the gold medal earlier by sailing over the bar at 4.70m/15-5. Isinbayeva's world record clearance betters her most recent world record of 5.00m/16-4.75 set last month in London. 2004 Olympian Jillian Schwartz (Jonesboro, Ark.) finished 11th in the women's pole vault with a clearance of 4.20m/13-9.25, and 2005 USA Outdoor runner-up Tracy O'Hara (Los Angeles) was unable to clear a height.

2005 USA Outdoor champion and 2004 Olympian Kristin Heaston (Palo Alto, Calif.) finished 16th in women's shot put qualifying this evening with a best throw of 17.53 meters/57 feet, 6.25 inches. 2005 third-place finisher Elizabeth Wanless (Gainesville, Fla.) placed 25th overall with a top throw of 16.50m/54-1.75.

2004 Olympian and 2005 USA Indoor and Outdoor champion Erin Gilreath (Gainesville, Fla.) had a best throw of 64.54 meters/211-9 on her first attempt in the women's hammer throw final to finish in 10th place.

Team USA Medal TallyAs of August 12Gold (11)Justin Gatlin (Raleigh, N.C.), M100, 9.88Justin Gatlin (Raleigh, N.C.), M200, 20.04Jeremy Wariner (Grand Prairie, Tex.), M400, 43.93Bershawn Jackson (Raleigh, N.C.), M400mH, 47.30Adam Nelson (Athens, Ga.), MSP, 21.73m/71-3.50Bryan Clay (Azusa, Calif.), Decathlon, 8,732 pointsWalter Davis (Baton Rouge, La.), MTJ, 17.57m/57-7.75Lauryn Williams (Miami, Fla.), W100, 10.93Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.), W200, 22.16Michelle Perry (Los Angeles), W100H, 12.66Tianna Madison (Knoxville, Tenn.), WLJ, 6.89m/22-7.25Silver (7)Wallace Spearmon (Fayetteville, Ark.), M200, 20.20Andrew Rock (LaCrosse, Wis.), M400, 44.35James Carter (Hampton, Va.), M400H, 47.43Brad Walker (Seattle, Wash.), MPV, 5.75m/18-10.75Rachelle Boone-Smith (Norfolk, Va.), 22.31Sanya Richards (Austin, Texas), W400, 49.74Chaunte Howard (Atlanta), WHJ, 2.0m/6-6.75Bronze (2)John Capel (Gainesville, Fla.), M200, 20.31Allen Johnson (Irmo, S.C.), M110H, 13.10

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