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Posted: August 10, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

(RWire) Athletics: USA Distance Squad Set for World Championships in Berlin

By: Ryan Lamppa, Running USA wire

Defending 1500m and 5000m world champion Bernard Lagat and 2007 bronze medalist Kara Goucher lead the U.S. contingent

Berlin, Germany will host the 12th World Track & Field Championships from August 15-23, and the biggest sporting event on the planet in 2009 expects 2,000 talented athletes from 200 countries and will award more than 7 million dollars in prize money.

Like past editions, Team USA will likely again earn the most medals, and this will be the first time the national team has returned to Berlin for a major international championship since the 1936 Olympic Games, where legend Jesse Owens won gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 4 x 100m relay and long jump in historic fashion.

"These World Championships are special to us for many reasons," said USATF CEO Doug Logan. "It is Team USA's chance to come back strong in the post-Olympic year, and it is an opportunity to honor the incredible legacy of the great Jesse Owens. We feel our team roster will represent the United States well on both counts."

The Team USA distance squad is led by 2007 World Championship medalists Bernard Lagat and Kara Goucher. In Osaka, Japan, two-time Olympic medalist Lagat became the first ever to achieve the 1500m / 5000m double at a World Outdoor Championship, while Goucher won the first U.S. 10,000m medal (bronze) at the World Championships. In Berlin, Lagat, 34, will defend his world titles and Goucher, 31, will run the marathon.

The U.S. best distance medal hopes should be in the men's 1500m (Lagat), women's 1500m (Shannon Rowbury, Anna Willard and Christin Wurth-Thomas), women's 3000m steeplechase (Jenny Barringer), men's 5000m (Lagat and Matt Tegenkamp), women's 10,000m (Shalane Flanagan) and women's marathon (Goucher).

For the first time in the history of the World Championships, the marathon course will not begin or end in the stadium, but rather will run through the heart of Berlin. The start and finish will be located at the Brandenburg Gate, the perfect Berlin backdrop.

The 10K loop (4 times) will go past the main sights of the city, including Potsdamer Platz, the Victory Column (Siegessäule), Bellevue Palace, the Reichstag and Museum Island, and will return via the grand boulevard Unter den Linden to its starting point at the Brandenburg Gate. On the fourth lap, an additional 2.195K loop around Alexanderplatz and past the Red City Hall will complete the 42.195K / 26.2 mile marathon distance.

In recent history, U.S. marathoners have fared well on Germany soil with two gold medals: Frank Shorter (1972 Munich Olympics) and Mark Plaatjes (1993 Stuttgart World Championships). Will history repeat in Berlin?

At the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Team USA tied the all-time WC record for gold medals with 14, matching its feat from 2005, and tied the U.S. all-time medal tally at a World Outdoor Championships with 26.

Below find the U.S. distance team for the Worlds with racing schedules and U.S. medal(s) or best finish at the international championship:

1500 meters
Saturday, August 15, 6:15pm (heat)
Monday, August 17, 8:10pm (semi)
Wednesday, August 19, 8:25pm (final)

Bernard Lagat* (Tucson, AZ), defending 1500m world champion; two-time Olympic 1500m medalist
Lopez Lomong (Colorado Springs, CO), 2009 USA 1500m champion; 2008 Olympian 1500m
Leonel Manzano (Austin, TX), 2008 Olympian 1500m; 2005 & 2008 NCAA 1500m champion
Dorian Ulrey (Port Byron, IL), third 2009 USA 1500m Championship

Medals: Gold, Bernard Lagat, 2007 Osaka; Silver, Steve Scott, 1983 Helsinki; Bronze, Jim Spivey, 1987 Rome

3000 meter steeplechase
Sunday, August 16, 11:00am (semi)
Tuesday, August 18, 7:50pm (final)

Josh McAdams (Cordova, TN), 2007 & 2009 USA 3000m steeplechase champion; 2008 Olympian
Dan Huling (Geneva, IL), 2009 USA 3000m steeplechase runner-up
Kyle Alcorn (Fresno, CA), third 2009 USA 3000m steeplechase

Best Finish: 4th by Brian Diemer at 1987 Rome

5000 meters
Thursday, August 20, 6:55pm (semi)
Sunday, August 23, 4:25pm (final)

Bernard Lagat* (Tucson, AZ), defending world champion; #2 all-time U.S. man 5000m (12:59.22)
Matt Tegenkamp (Portland, OR), fourth 2007 World Championship 5000m; 2009 USA 5000m champion; #4 all-time U.S. man 5000m (13:04.90)
Chris Solinsky (Madison, WI), 2009 USA 5000m runner-up
Evan Jager (Beaverton, OR), third 2009 USA 5000m

Medal: Gold, Bernard Lagat, 2007 Osaka

*Denotes IAAF Wildcard as defending world champion

10,000 meters
Monday, August 17, 8:50pm (final)

Galen Rupp (Portland, OR), 2009 USA 10,000 champion & NCAA 5000m / 10,000m champion; 2008 Olympian
Dathan Ritzenhein (Eugene, OR), two-time Olympian (2004 & 2008)
Tim Nelson(Redding, CA), third 2009 USA 10,000m; 2009 USA 15K and Cross Country runner-up

Best Finish: 7th by Todd Williams at 1993 Stuttgart and Abdi Abdirahman at 2007 Osaka

Marathon (part of World Cup team competition / World Marathon Majors series)
Saturday, August 22, 11:45am

Dan Browne (San Diego, CA), 2004 Olympian; 17-time USA champion
Nate Jenkins (Lowell, MA), seventh 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials
Justin Young (Superior, CO)
Matt Gabrielson (Minneapolis, MN), 2008 USA Marathon Championship runner-up
Edwardo Torres (Boulder, CO)

Medals: Gold, Mark Plaatjes, 1993 Stuttgart; Bronze, Steve Spence, 1991 Tokyo

1500 meters
Tuesday, August 18, 12:05pm (heat) MBR>Friday, August 21, 8:00pm (semi)
Sunday, August 23, 5:00pm (final)

Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco, CA), 2009 USA 1500m champion; 2008 Olympian
Christin Wurth-Thomas (Springdale, AR), 2009 USA 1500m runner-up; 2008 Olympian
Anna Willard (Mammoth Lakes, CA), 2008 Olympian (steeplechase)

Medals: Gold, Mary Decker, 1983 Helsinki; Silver, Regina Jacobs, 1997 Athens and 1999 Seville

3000 meter steeplechase
Saturday, August 15, 10:50am (semi)
Monday, August 17, 8:30pm (final)

Jenny Barringer (Boulder, CO), 2009 USA and NCAA steeplechase champion; 2008 Olympian; U.S. record holder (9:22.26)
Bridget Franek (Hiram, OH), third 2009 USA 3000m steeplechase
Lindsey Anderson (South Ogden, UT), fourth 2009 USA 3000m steeplechase

Best Finish: 9th by Elizabeth Jackson at 2005 Helsinki (medal debut event)

5000 meters
Wednesday, August 19, 10:45am (semi)
Saturday, August 22, 7:35pm (final)

Jen Rhines (Mammoth Lakes, CA), 2009 USA 5000m runner-up; three-time Olympian; #4 all-time U.S. woman 5000m (14:54.29)
Julie Culley (Arlington, VA), fourth 2009 USA 5000m

Medal: Gold, Mary Decker, 1983 Helsinki (3000m became 5000m in 1995)
Best 5000m Finish: 7th by Libbie Hickman at 1997 Athens and Jen Rhines at 2007 Osaka

10,000 meters
Saturday, August 15, 7:25pm (final)

Amy Yoder Begley (Beaverton, OR), 2009 USA 10,000m champion; 2008 Olympian
Shalane Flanagan (Pittsboro, NC), 2008 Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist; U.S record holder (30:22.22); two-time Olympian
Katie McGregor (St. Louis Park, MN), 2005 USA 10,000m champion

Medal: Bronze, Kara Goucher, Osaka 2007

Marathon (part of World Cup team competition / World Marathon Majors series)
Sunday, August 23, 11:15am

Kara Goucher (Portland, OR), 2007 World Championships 10,000m bronze medalist; third 2009 Boston Marathon
Desiree Davila (Rochester Hills, MI), fifth 2008 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Paige Higgins (Flagstaff, AZ), 2008 USA 25K champion
Zoila Gomez (Alamosa, CO), fourth 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials
Tera Moody (Colorado Springs, CO), fifth 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

Medal: Silver, Marianne Dickerson, 1983 Helsinki

NBC, Versus to broadcast meet
The 2009 World Championships will be broadcast in the United States daily on NBC and Versus. The broadcast schedule is as follows. All times Eastern; subject to change; check local listings.

August 15 - 1:00-3:00pm NBC
August 16 - 2:00-4:00pm NBC
August 17 - 1:00-4:00pm Versus
August 18 - 1:00-3:00pm Versus
August 19 - 1:30-4:00pm Versus
August 20 - 1:30-3:30pm Versus
August 21 - 1:30-3:30pm Versus
August 22 - 1:00-3:00pm NBC
August 23 - 2:00-4:00 pm NBC

For more World Championships information including the full Team USA roster by event, visit:

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