INDIANAPOLIS - Reigning national 100m/200m champion Tyson Gay and 2005 World Outdoor Championships 200m silver medalist Wallace Spearman will lead a young and very talented group of U.S. sprinters at the 2007 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Athletics in Osaka, Japan, August 25-September 2.
Gay enters the Championships still riding the momentum from his amazing display at the AT&T USA Outdoor Championships in June at Indianapolis, where he won the 100m and 200m titles in the most dominant display of sprinting excellence ever seen at a single track meet in the history of the sport.
Gay captured the 100m title by scorching the track in the second-fastest clocking ever run into a headwind (.5 mps) with his time of 9.84 seconds, which is second only to Maurice Greene's 9.82 run into a -0.2 mps headwind at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton. Gay's time shattered the meet record of 9.90 jointly held by former world record holders Greene and Leroy Burrell.
The men's 200m final also was run into a headwind (0.3 mps) though that did not deter Gay in the slightest. Running on a wet track in the final, Gay grabbed the lead early on and won the race in the second-fastest time in history of 19.62 seconds. Only the world record of 19.32 by National Track & Field Hall of Famer Michael Johnson is faster in the history of the event. Gay's performance set a new meet record bettering the 19.66 run by Johnson at the 1996 Olympic Trials, which at the time was the world record.
With his performance, Gay became the fastest 100-200m sprinter in history, and both his times from Indianapolis continue to lead the 2007 world lists.. Since Indy, Gay has wins in Lausanne (200m-19.78), London (100m-10.02) and in Sheffield (100m-10.13).
Spearmon looks to add to U.S. World Champs success in 200 meters
Michael Johnson, Maurice Greene, Calvin Smith and Justin Gatlin have all won 200m gold at the World Outdoor Championships since its inception in 1983, and Wallace Spearmon is hoping to join that accomplished group when he steps into the blocks in Osaka.
He nearly captured gold at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki when he crossed the finish line in the final in 20.20 seconds, just .14 behind Gatlin. Since then, Spearmon has been one of the most consistent performers in the sport. After ending the 2005 campaign ranked #2 in the world by Track & Field News, he ended the 2006 season as the USA Outdoor and World Cup champion and ranked #3 globally. Last year's highlight came with his win at Daegu where he posted a personal best of 19.65 seconds, which stands as the fourth-best performance in the history of the event.
Spearmon is enjoying a strong 2007 outdoor season in finishing as the runner-up (19.89) to Gay at the AT&T USA Outdoor Championships, and posting a seasonal best of 19.82 seconds with his win in New York at the Reebok Grand Prix. Can he dig deep within himself to summon the speed to finish ahead of Gay and the rest of the world's greatest half-lappers in Osaka? Only time will tell.
Samuels, Jelks, Martin bring talent & youthful exuberance to U.S. sprint corps
J-Mee Samuels, Mark Jelks and Rodney Martin will each compete in a USA singlet at a World Championship for the first time in Osaka.
Samuels, who ran the lead leg of Team USA's bronze medal-winning 4x100m relay at the 2007 Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, will compete in the 100 meters in Osaka after placing fifth (10.22 seconds) at the AT&T USA Outdoor Championships in June. A junior at the University of Arkansas, Samuels is the 2005 USA Junior, National Scholastic and Junior Pan Am 100m champion.
He'll be joined in the Team USA 100m lineup by Mark Jelks, who posted his fastest time since setting his personal best of 10.02 seconds in 2005 with his 10.04 finish in a qualifying heat at USA Nationals.
Rodney Martin raised the eyebrows of many track aficionados with his surprising third place finish against a loaded field in the 200 meters (20.18 seconds) at the 2007 AT&T Outdoor Championships. Martin will look to improve on his career best time of 20.14 set in 2006 when he competes in Osaka.
Fans can watch Team USA on national television broadcasts on NBC and Versus, or online via live, daily webcast at www.wcsn.com. For complete TV listings, visit http://www.usatf.org/events/2007/IAAFWorldOutdoorChampionships/TVSchedule.asp
For more information on Team USA at the World Outdoor Championships, visit www.usatf.org/events/2007/IAAFWorldOutdoorChampionships/