Men’s marathon team fourth; key athletes move on in qualifying


Jill Geer
Director of Communications
USA Track & Field

OSAKA, Japan - Team USA's men's marathon team finished fourth in World Cup competition while most American athletes expected to move on their qualifying rounds did so Saturday morning during opening-day competition at the 2007 IAAF World Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Competition continues Saturday evening.

The marathoners withstood brutal conditions in the meet's opening event. With a start time of 7 a.m., the race finished with temperatures in the mid-80s, humidity at 63 percent, and a bright sun. Employing conservative running early on, Americans steadily moved up in the field throughout the race. Top finisher was Mbarak Hussein (Albuquerque, N.M.), 21st in 2:23:04. Mike Morgan (Rochester Hills, Mich.) was 23rd in 2:23:28, Kyle O'Brien (Shelby Township, Mich.) was 32nd in 2:28:28, with Fernando Cabada (Bloomington, Ind.) 50th in 2:35:48. Simeon Sawe (Santa Fe, N.M.) did not start.

Luke Kibet of Kenya took the individual gold in 2:15:59, with Mubarak Hassan Shami of Qatar second in 2:17:18 and Viktor Rothlin of Switzerland third in 2:17:25.

Team placings were determined by combined time for the top three finishers. Team USA posted a team time of 7:15:00 for fourth, behind Japan in first (6:54:23), Korea in second (7:12:08) and Kenya in third (7:12:33). Ethiopia was fifth, well behind Team USA, in 7:19:08.

Hoffa, Nelson advance to final

Defending world champion Adam Nelson (Charlottesville, Va.) and 2007 world leader Reese Hoffa (Athens, Ga.) both automatically qualified for Saturday night's final in the men's shot put. Hoffa exceeded the automatic qualifying mark on his first throw of 20.89m/68-6.5, while Nelson did so on his second toss (20.81m/68-3.25). Noah Bryant (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Dan Taylor (Carbondale, Ill.) did not qualify, throwing 18.58m/60-11.5 and 18.45m/60-6.5, respectively.

2007 world leader Alan Webb (Reston, Va.) easily advanced to Monday's semifinals of the men's 1,500m, running 3:40.73 to place second in the first heat. 2001 World Outdoor silver medalist Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Ariz.), competing as an American for the first time on the world stage, also advanced by placing third in Heat 3 in 3:41.68. Leonel Manzano (Austin, Texas) was 13th in Heat 2 (3:45.97) and did not advance.

Gay good for second round

Tyson Gay (Fayetteville, Ark.) easily led Team USA's 100m sprinters to tonight's second round, finishing second in Heat 1 in 10.19. J-Mee Samuels (Fayetteville, Ark.) qualified on time, placing fourth in Heat 5 in 10.39. Mark Jelks (Kansas City, Mo.) fell while warming up on the warm-up track, injuring his right ankle. During his race in Heat 4, he pulled up after several meters, favoring the leg.

The second round of the women's steeplechase will be without an American representative as Anna Willard (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was eighth in Heat 3 in 9:48.62,

Jennifer Barringer (Boulder, Colo.) was seventh in Heat 1 in 9:51.04 and Lindsey Anderson (Morgan, Utah) was 10th in Heat 2 in 9:57.00.

In heptathlon competition, GiGi Johnson (State College, Pa.) posted the top American time in the 100m hurdles with 12.27 (1084 points) to stand in fifth place overall after one event. Diana Pickler (Pullman, Wash.) ran 13.34 (1075 pts) for seventh overall and Hyleas Fountain (Kettering Ohio) ran a season-best 13.66 (1027 pts) for 16th overall.

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