Felix takes home silver, AJR in 200m

08-25-2004

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ATHENS - Allyson Felix, the 18-year-old wunderkind of women's sprinting, on Wednesday night won her first Olympic medal and secured the world junior record that she had waited a year to officially break.

Running in lane 3, Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.) put on a strong stretch run in the women's 200-meter final at Olympic Stadium but couldn't quite catch Jamaica's Veronica Campbell in lane 4. The 2004 world leader won in a personal-best 22.05 seconds, with Felix second in 22.18 and Debbie Ferguson of the Bahamas third in 22.30. American Muna Lee (Baton Rouge, La.) was seventh in 22.87.

The performance gave Felix, the youngest person on the U.S. team, the world junior record by .01 seconds. She beat the existing record of 22.19, set in 1980 by the Soviet Union's Natalya Bochina. Ironically, her time of 22.18 was not a personal best for Felix. On May 3, 2003, she ran 22.11 in Mexico City, but because meet organizers did not arrange in advance for drug testing at the meet, it could not be officially ratified by the IAAF. The record now will be hers.

Felix's prodigious teammate, 21-year-old Sheena Johnson, came just one place from winning a medal in the women's 400-meter hurdles final. The NCAA and Olympic Trials champion ran a solid race in lane 8, finishing fourth in 53.83. Fani Halkia of Greece provided the Olympic Stadium crowd's top moment of the night with her gold-medal run of 52.82 seconds. Ionela Tirlea-Manolache of Romania was second in 53.38, with Tetiana Tereshchuk-Antipova of Ukraine third in 53.44. Olympic Trials runner-up Brenda Taylor was seventh in 54.97.

Qualifying round summary

Thursday's men's 200m final has plenty of medal potential, with three Team USA contenders in the field. In Wednesday's semifinal round, Shawn Crawford (Raleigh, N.C.) and Bernard Williams (Gainesville, Fla.) went 1-2 in heat 1 in 20.05 and 20.18, respectively. Justin Gatlin (Raleigh, N.C.) then won heat 2 in 20.35 to advance.

Three men also will compete in Saturday's pole vault final, thanks to 5.70m/18-8.25 automatic qualifying clearances by Tim Mack (Knoxville, Tenn.), Toby Stevenson (Chula Vista, Calif.) and Derek Miles (Jonesboro, Ark.).

Sydney Olympic bronze medalist Marion Jones (Cary, N.C.) and 2003 U.S. champion Grace Upshaw (Menlo Park, Calif.) advanced to Friday's final of the women's long jump. Jones met the qualifying mark of 6.65m/21-10 when, after fouling on her first attempt, she went 6.70m/21-11.75 on her second attempt to post the seventh-best mark of the day. Upshaw jumped 6.68m/21-1 to qualify with the 10th-best mark. Rose Richmond (St. Petersburg, Fla.) had a best of 6.46m/1-2.5 for 20th and did not advance.

The men's 110m hurdles second round ended with two U.S. athletes advancing and one of the event's greatest athletes failing to finish.

Olympic silver medalist Terrence Trammell (Ellenwood, Ga.) automatically qualified for Thursday's semifinal by placing third in heat 3 in 13.34 seconds, and Duane Ross (Garner, N.C.) was the final of two time qualifiers with his fourth-place 13.50 in heat 1.

Allen Johnson (Irmo, S.C.), the 1996 Olympic gold medalist and four-time world champion, had the most trying race of his career in the second heat. Known for grazing hurdles, Johnson hit the fifth hurdle hard enough to cause him to stagger, falling back to fifth place. He was able to regain his form over the next two hurdles and moved back into third, appearing poised to qualify. But he crashed the eighth hurdle so hard he could not recover, and ended up skidding onto the track head-first.

In the men's 800m first round, Jonathan Johnson (College Station, Texas) placed second in the first heat in 1:45.31 and was the lone U.S. athlete to advance to Thursday's final. With the top two in each heat automatically advancing and the next six fastest moving on as well, Khadevis Robinson (Santa Monica, Calif.) was third in heat 2 in 1:46.14. With the 17th best time of the night, he was the fastest non-qualifier. Derrick Peterson (Columbia, Mo.) was fourth in heat 4 in 1:47.60.

Olympic Trials champion Kim Kreiner (Baton Rouge, La.) was 39th in women's javelin qualifying with 52.18m/171-2 and did not make the final.

U.S. Olympic women's head coach Sue Humphrey on Wednesday announced that Angela Williams (Ontario, Calif.), Marion Jones (Cary, N.C.), Lauryn Williams (Miami, Fla.) and LaTasha Colander (Garner, N.C.) will run in Thursday's semifinal of the women's 4x100m relay. The four ran 41.67 August 8 in Munich to post the 2004 world leader.

For complete Olympic track & field results, visit www.iaaf.org

Total Medals: 13

Gold (3)

Joanna Hayes, 27, Los Angeles, W100mH, 8/24

Jeremy Wariner, 20, Waco, Texas, M400m, 8/23

Justin Gatlin, 22, Raleigh, N.C., M100m, 8/22

Silver (6)

Allyson Felix, 19, Santa Clarita, Calif., W200m, 8/25

Bryan Clay, 24, Azusa, Calif., MDecathlon, 8/24

Otis Harris, 22, Columbia, S.C., M400m, 8/23

Matt Hemingway, 31, Littleton, Colo., MHJ, 8/22

Lauryn Williams, 20, Miami, Fla., W100m, 8/21

Adam Nelson, 29, Athens, Ga., MSP, 8/18

Bronze (4)

Melissa Morrison, 33, Columbia, S.C., W100mH, 8/24

Derrick Brew, 26, Baton Rouge, La., M400m, 8/23

Deena Kastor, 31, Mammoth Lakes, Calif., WMarathon, 8/22

Maurice Greene, 30, Granada Hills, Calif., M100m, 8/22