U.S. wins three medals on day 4 of Pan Am Athletics competition


Vicky Oddi
Communications Coordinator
USA Track & Field

RIO DE JANEIRO - The American women took first and third in the women's 400-meter hurdles, with Sheena Johnson winning gold and Nicole Leach claiming bronze, and Kibwe Johnson won silver in the men's hammer throw Wednesday at the 2007 Pan American Games at Joao Havelange Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In the final event on the track for the night, 2004 Olympic Trials champion Sheena Johnson (Stafford, Va.) stole the show in the women's 400-meter hurdles, winning gold in 54.64 seconds. 2006 World Junior runner-up Nicole Leach (Philadelphia, Penn.) took the bronze in 54.97.

On his final throw of the night, Kibwe Johnson (Ashland, Ohio) unleashed a throw of 73.23 meters/240 feet 3 inches to win the silver medal in the men's hammer. Two-time U.S. champion A.G. Kruger was fourth with his best effort of 68.71m/225-5.

The finals in the women's 400m saw 2004 Olympic 4x400m gold medalist Monique Henderson (San Diego, Calif.) take sixth place in 52.28 while 2007 NACAC champion Debbie Dunn (Capitol Height, Md.) was eighth in 52.97. There was some confusion at the start of the race as both Dunn and Laverne Jones of the U.S. Virgin Islands jogged out of the blocks thinking that there had been a false start and then, realizing that the race was not going to be called back, sped up. On the men's side, Jamaal Torrance (Orlando, Fla.) took seventh in 46.05 and Lionel Larry (Compton, Calif.) did not finish.

The women's heptathlon concluded today with GiGi Johnson (State College, Penn.) placing fifth with 5,619 points. Johnson's efforts for the day included 6.11m/20-0.5 in the long jump, 35.38m/116-1 in the javelin and 2:30.95 over 800m.

In other finals at the track, Jenny Adams (Tromball, Texas) finished sixth in 13.15 and Yvette Lewis (Newport News, Va.) was eighth in 13.69 in the women's 100m hurdles. Andrew McClary (Shelton, Wash.) was 14th in the final of the men's 1,500m, crossing the line in 4:03.58.

In the women's long jump, Shameeka Marshall (Mitzpah, N.J.) was seventh with a leap of 6.25m/20-6.25 and Cynthia "Janay" DeLoach was tenth with 6.04m/19-9.75. Sharon Day (Costa Mesa, Calif.) tied for sixth in the women's high jump with her clearance of 1.81m/5-11.25 and Inika McPherson (Port Arthur, Texas) was tenth with 1.78m/5-10.

Around the rounds

Latonia Wilson (Amite, La.) and Shareese Woods (Fort Lee, Va.) both qualified for the final in the women's 200m after making their way through the rounds Wednesday night. Wilson placed third in 23.29 in heat 2 of the prelims while Woods won heat 3 in 23.44. In the semifinals, Woods took third in heat 1 in 23.11 and Wilson was fourth in heat 2 in 23.29.

Both Jordan Vaden (Chatham, Va.) and Rubin Williams (San Jose, Calif.) will be chasing the gold medal in the men's 200m Friday night. In the first round, Williams won heat 1 in 20.72 while Vaden won heat 4 in 20.87. Vaden then took second in semifinal heat 1 in 20.64 and Williams was second in heat 2 in 20.66.

LaRon Bennett (Athens, Ga.) has the fastest qualifying time heading into the finals of the men's 400m hurdles. Bennett won his semifinal heat in 49.09.

Team USA Athletics medal tally as of July 25 - Gold (4) Sara Slattery (Phoenix, Ariz.), W10,000: 32:54.51; Ed Moran (Dayton, N.J.) M5,000: 13:25.60; Miki Barber (Montclair, N.J.) W100: 11.02; Sheena Johnson (San Diego, Calif.) W400mH: 54.64 Silver (4) April Steiner (Mesa, Ariz.) WPV: 4.40m/14-5.25; Mechelle Lewis (Fort Washington, Md.) W100: 11.24; Darvis Patton (Dallas, Texas) M100: 10.17; Kibwe Johnson (Ashland, Ohio) MHT: 73.23m/240-3 Bronze (2) Bashir Ramzy (Dallas, Texas) MLJ: 7.90m/25-11; Nicole Leach (Philadelphia, Penn.) W400mH: 54.97

For more information and complete results from the 2007 Pan American Games, visit www.rio2007.org.br.


Sheena Johnson, women's 400m hurdle champion - It was good, I got in my stride pattern I wanted and finished strong. I was really happy with my performance today.

Nicole Leach, women's 400m hurdle bronze medalist - It was cool. Lane 6 really isn't my lane, it's a lot harder not having anyone in front of me to chase. I did well, hit all my steps. I'm not upset at all.

GiGi Johnson, 5th in the women's heptathlon - My whole goal was to train through this meet and now I know what I have to work on for Worlds. My trip was good. The fans here push you to work harder. To compete in this atmosphere will prepare me for Worlds.

A.G. Kruger, 4th in men's hammer throw - The other athletes competed well, I did not. Technically it wasn't good, I had a bad day.

Kibwe Johnson, men's hammer throw silver medalist - I am extremely happy with my last throw and the silver medal. This is my first U.S. team, my medal means a lot to me. I'm all smiles.

LaRon Bennett, men's 400m hurdle semifinal - I went 49.1 and got first in my heat. I'm a little tight, but I'll be good for the final.

Andrew McClary, 14th in men's 1,500m - My foot hurts but I'm not going to blame it on that. This was my worst race in three years. It was a rough race, I just wasn't in it.

Shareese Woods, women's 200m semifinal - My race was ok, I mad it back. That's all I needed.

Latonia Wilson, women's 200m semifinal - It was ok, I made it through to finals. I will execute my race better in finals.

Jordan Vaden, men's 200m semifinal - It was good. I could have pressed coming off the turn, but I didn't want to push it before the final.

Rubin Williams, men's 200m semifinal - My plan is to go out and win here on Friday, the goal is always to win. I'm making good progress for next year heading into the Olympics. I'm aiming to make it in the open 100 or 200. I'm not intimidated by the top guys. Everybody is human so everybody can be beaten.

Jenny Adams, 6th in women's 100m hurdles - One word, disappointing. I just didn't know when I needed to go, the surge didn't come. It's all about '08 now.

Yvette Lewis, 8th in women's 100m hurdles - Terrible, I hit a hurdle pretty hard. Now I've got the triple jump final. I better jump farther now.

Debbie Dunn, 8th in women's 400m - I thought it was a false start. Me and lane 7 stopped. The crowd noise was so loud, I couldn't tell what was going on. I'm very disappointed. I wanted to at least run a personal record but my race was not good. I thought they were going to call us back.

Cynthia "Janay" DeLoach, 10th in the women's long jump - I just had a bad day. The best part about this meet is that I got to come to Brazil. I'm so happy to be here.

Shameeka Marshall, 7th in the women's long jump - I kept fouling, I fouled all three in the final. My competition was good, I was ready for it. I'm usually right on the board, but I've been all over the board for the past two meets.

Inika McPherson, 10th in the women's high jump - My hamstring would not let me move my feet tonight.


Men's hammer throw

1. James Steacy, CAN, 73.77m/242-0

2. Kibwe Johnson, USA, 73.23m/240-3

3. Juan Ignaclo Cerra, ARG, 72.12m/236-7

4. A.G. Kruger, USA, 68.71m/225-5

Men's 1,500m

1. Hudson Souuza, BRA, 3:36.32

2. Juan Luis Barrios, MEX, 3:37.71

3. Bayron Piedra, ECU, 3:37.88

14. Andrew McClary, USA, 4:03.58

Women's long jump

1. Maurren Maggi, BRA, 6.84m/22-5.25

2. Kella Costa, BRA, 6.73m/22-1

3. Yargeris Savigne, CUB, 6.66m/21-10.25

7. Shameka Marshall, USA, 6.25m/20-6.25

10. Cynthia DeLoach, USA, 6.04m/19-9.75

Women's high jump

1. Romary Marla Rifka, MEX, 1.95m/6-4.75

2. Nicole Forrester, CAN, 1.95m/6-4.75

3. Levern Spencer, LCA, 1.87m/6-1.5

6. Sharon Day, USA, 1.81m/5-11.25

10. Inika McPherson, USA, 1.78m/5-10

Women's 100m hurdles

1. Deloreen Ennis-London, JAM, 12.65

2. Perdita Felicien, CAN, 12.65

3. Angela Whyte, CAN, 12.72

6. Jenny Adams, USA, 13.15

8. Yvette Lewis, USA, 13.69

Women's 400m

1. Ana Gabriela Guevara, MEX, 50.34

2. Christina Amertil, BAH, 50.99

3. Indira Terrero, CUB, 51.09

6. Monique Henderson, USA, 52.28

8. Debbie Dunn, USA, 52.97

Men's 400m

1. Chris Brown, BAH, 44.85

2. Tyler Christopher, CAN, 45.05

3. Chris Lloyd, DMA, 45.40

7. Jamaal Torrance, USA, 46.05

8. Lionel Larry, USA, DNF

Women's heptathlon

1. Jessica Zelnika, CAN, 6,136

2. Gretchen Quintana, CUB, 6,000

3. Lucimara Silva, BRA, 5,873

5. GiGi Johnson, USA, 5,619

12. Hyleas Fountain, USA, DNF

Women's 400m hurdles

1. Sheen Johnson, USA, 54.64

2. Nickiesha Wilsom, JAM, 54.94

3. Nicole Leach, USA, 54.97