PHILADELPHIA - The relay match-ups that you didn't get to see at the 2008 Olympic Games are on their way to Philadelphia. On Saturday, April 25, at the 10th edition of USA vs. the World at the 113th Penn Relays, Team USA will look to take their first steps towards redemption in the men's and women's 4x100m relays.
With a record 13 nations set to compete, including Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, Team USA is out to reclaim their stake as the dominant relay force Saturday during the first event of the 2009 USATF Outdoor Visa Championship Series. USA vs. The World at the Penn Relays will be broadcast live on ESPN2 from 4-6 p.m. Eastern Time.
Events at this year's USA vs. the World include the Nike men's 4x100m, the Visa women's 4x100m, the Nike men's 4x400m, the Visa women's 4x400m, the men's distance medley relay and the women's sprint medley relay.
The races that could have been
2008 Olympic 100m and 200m bronze medalist Walter Dix, 2004 Olympic 4x100m gold medalist and two-time World Outdoor gold medalist Darvis Patton and three-time Olympic medalist Shawn Crawford lead Team USA Nike men's 4x100m relay pool that will take on the 2008 Olympic Games gold and silver medal teams from Jamaica and Trindad & Tobago, respectively. Each team will have three of the four team members from Beijing with Jamaica bringing Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Asafa Powell (former world record holder) while Trinidad & Tobago's team will feature Richard Thompson, Marc Burns and Emmanuel Callender. Also in Team USA's pool is two-time Olympic 110mH silver medalist Terrence Trammell.
On the women's side, two-time Olympic 200m silver medalist Allyson Felix and 2004 Olympic 100m silver medalist and two-time World Outdoor medalist Lauryn Williams lead Team USA's lineup that also includes 2005 World Outdoor 4x100m gold medalist Muna Lee and 2000 Olympic bronze medalist and two-time World Outdoor 4x100m medalist Torri Edwards. They will be faced with the Jamaican contingent including 2008 Olympic 100m gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser and Beijing 100m bronze medalist Kerron Stewart. Stewart was on the receiving end of a botched baton exchange in Beijing that forced the Jamaican's out of medal contention. Also in the mix for the Visa women's 4x100m will be Nigeria, who is bringing three of four team members from the bronze-medal winning team at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Potent 4x400m lineups
The 2008 Olympic 400m gold medalist, LaShawn Merritt leads a Nike men's 4x400m lineup that includes two-time Olympic 400mH champion Angelo Taylor and surprise 2008 Olympic bronze medalist David Neville, all of whom were part of the gold-medal winning 4x400m in Beijing. Also in the mix are 2008 Olympic 400mH silver medalist and 2007 World champion Kerron Clement and 2004 Olympic and two-time World Outdoor 4x400m gold medalist Darold Williamson. They will be challenged by the Bahamas who are bringing all four members of their silver medal-winning team from Beijing.
In the Visa women's 4x400m, Team USA brings 2008 Olympic 400m bronze medalist and #1-world ranked Sanya Richards, Allyson Felix and Natasha Hastings. They will face stiff competition from Jamaica's team that includes Olympic relay bronze medalists Shericka Williams, Rosemarie Whyte and Novlene Williams-Mills, and 2008 Olympic 400mH champion Melaine Walker.
In the men's distance medley relay, athletes to watch include 2008 Olympian and two-time Penn Relays outstanding performer Leonel Manzano, four-time USA Outdoor champion Khadevis Robinson and 2008 Olympian Lopez Lomong. Three-time Olympian Hazel Clark leads the way in the women's sprint medley relay that will also feature 2005 World Outdoor 200m silver medalist Rachelle Smith, and the Barber twins - 2005 World Outdoor 4x100m gold medalist Lisa and 2007 World Outdoor 4x100m gold medalist Miki - among others.
Final lineups for the 2009 USA vs. The World at Penn Relays will be determined Friday. For more information on this event and the 2009 Visa Championship Series visit www.visachampionshipseries.com.
About USA Track & Field
USATFTrack & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.
For more information on USATF, visit USATF.org.