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

Athletics: Team USA throwers/decathletes ready to take on the world in Berlin

INDIANAPOLIS - Reese Hoffa, Christian Cantwell, Adam Nelson, Casey Malone, A.G. Kruger Chris Hill and Trey Hardee will lead Team USA's men throwers and decathletes at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, August 15-23 in Berlin, Germany.

This will be the first time Team USA has returned to Berlin for a major international championship competition since the 1936 Olympic Games, where National Track & Field Hall of Famer Jesse Owens won gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and long jump.

Shot Put

Reigning World Outdoor champion Reese Hoffa will lead a strong contingent of U.S. men's shot putters in Berlin. Hoffa posted the second farthest throw in the world this outdoor season with his winning toss of 21.89 meters /71 feet 10 inches, June 7 at the Nike Prefontaine Classic.

2004 and 2008 World Indoor champion Christian Cantwell captured the silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and easily won at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. Cantwell's winning throw of 21.82m/71-7.25, which is the third best in the world this outdoor season, gave him a winning margin of more than two feet in Eugene. Also keep an eye on two-time Olympic silver medalist and 2005 World Outdoor champion Adam Nelson, who posted the farthest throw in the world last season of 22.40m/73-6. The silver medalist at the 2007 Worlds in Osaka, Japan, Nelson is a three-time USA Outdoor champion.

U.S. contenders looking to make the awards podium in Berlin include former Ohio State University standout and 2009 USA Indoor champion Dan Taylor, who finished fourth at last year's Olympic Trials and ended the season ranked #10 in the world. Taylor posted his personal best of 21.78m/71-5.50 on May 23 in Tucson, which is currently the fourth best throw in the world this year. The trio of Cantwell, Hoffa and Taylor have combined to post nine of the top 11 throws in the world this outdoor season.

Discus

2004 Olympian and 1996 World Junior champion Casey Malone won his first-ever USA Outdoor men's discus title with his fourth round toss of 64.99m/213-3. For Malone, it was his first ever USA Outdoor Championships crown in 12 tries. Malone's triumph punched his ticket for his first trip to the World Outdoor Championships since Paris in 2003. Malone's winning throw of 68.49m/224-8 on June 20 in Fort Collins, Colo., sits atop the 2009 U.S. list.

Joining Malone in Berlin will be 2004 Olympian Jarred Rome, who was the runner-up for the second time of his career at a USA Outdoor Championships with a toss of 63.48m/208-3. Rome, who finished seventh at the 2005 World Outdoor Championships in Helsinki, will be making his third trip to the World Championships.

Three-time USA Outdoor champion and two-time Olympian Ian Waltz qualified for his third USA World Outdoor Championships team with a best of 61.91m/203-1 at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships. This will mark Waltz's third trip to the World Outdoor Championships, where his best performance came in 2005 when he finished fifth.

Hammer

Two-time Olympian A.G. Kruger won his fourth consecutive U.S. men's hammer throw title at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships with a best throw of 75.31m/247-1. A two-time World Outdoor Championships team member, Kruger finished fourth at the 2006 World Cup and fourth at the 2007 Pan American Games.

2004 NCAA champion and 2007 NACAC champion Jake Freeman finished second at this year's U.S. Nationals with a toss of 74.64m/244-10. In Princeton, N.J. on April 10, Freeman set a new personal best of 76.86m/252-2 that leads the 2009 U.S. list. Also traveling to Berlin for his first appearance at a World Outdoor Championships will be Michael Mai of the U.S. Army, who finished third at the USA Outdoor Championships when his final attempt sailed to 73.80m/242-1.

Javelin

University of Georgia sophomore Chris Hill, who finished fourth at the 2008 Olympic Trials and recently won his second consecutive NCAA Division I men's javelin throw crown, won his first U.S. title two months ago in Eugene on his second attempt that traveled 83.87m/275-2. Hill's winning toss in Eugene is his lifetime best and currently leads the 2009 U.S. list. Since the end of last season, Hill has improved his personal best by just over five feet and has secured his place as one to watch in the future.

Others competing in the javelin in Berlin include 2009 USA Outdoor Champs runner-up Mike Hazle, who's first throw of 82.06m/269-3 at Nationals was his best of the competition and landed a mere five inches shy of his personal best. Former Dartmouth standout Sean Furey will be making his first trip to a World Outdoor Championships following his third-place finish in Eugene with a best throw of 76.16m/249-10.

Decathlon

2005 NCAA champion Trey Hardee won his first U.S. decathlon national title at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships, completing the two-day, ten-event challenge with 8,261 points. Hardee posted his personal best score of 8,534 points when he finished second to 2008 Olympic gold medalist Bryan Clay at the 2008 Olympic Trials. Earlier this year he was the runner-up at Gotzis with the fourth-highest score in the world this year of 8,516 points.

The University of Oregon's Ashton Eaton, who earlier this year successfully defended his NCAA decathlon title with his total of 8,241 points, finished as the runner-up at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships with 8,075 points. Eaton will compete at a World Outdoor Championships for the first time in his career.Olympic Trials fourth-place finisher and two-time NCAA champion Jake Arnold, who finished 13th at the 2007 World Outdoor Championships, qualified for his second U.S. World Champs team with his total of 7,984 points.

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 - 3:00 p.m. NBC
August 16: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. NBC
August 17: 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Versus
August 18: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Versus
August 19: 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. Versus
August 20: 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Versus
August 21: 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Versus
August 22: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. NBC
August 23: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. NBC

For more information on Team USA at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, visit: USATF.org.

About USA Track & Field
USA Track & 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.


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