BERLIN - Two-time World Outdoor champion Dwight Phillips and reigning world pole vault champion Brad Walker will headline Team USA's men's horizontal and vertical jumpers at the 12th 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.
2004 Olympic gold medalist Dwight Phillips leaped back on to the world stage this year with a monster jump at the 2009 Nike Prefontaine Classic. Phillips easily won the event when he sailed to 8.74 meters/28 feet 8.25 inches, which ties him with Larry Myricks and Erick Walder for the eighth-best outdoor mark in history. The trio are also tied as the #5 performers all-time.
In posting the longest jump in the world since National Track & Field Hall of Famer Mike Powell set the world record in 1991, Phillips took over the lead from Tyson Gay in the men's USATF Outdoor Visa Championship Series race with his total of 1,290 points. He went on to win the Visa title and the accompanying $25,000 check. Phillips won his fourth national outdoor title in the last seven years with his best of 8.57m/28 feet 1.50w, at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships in Eugene.
Other men's long jumpers making the trip to Berlin include 2001 World University Games champion and 2008 Olympian Miguel Pate, who qualified for his fourth U.S. World Outdoor Championships team with his best leap at Nationals of 8.20m/26-11. Pate's highest finish at a World Outdoor Championships was in 2001 when he finished fourth. Also look for 2008 Olympic Trials runner-up and 2006 U.S. Outdoor champion Brian Johnson, who qualified for his second World Outdoor Championships team with his runner-up finish at USA Outdoors (8.26m/27-1.25).
Leading the Team USA men's pole vault quartet will be reigning World Outdoor champion and 2006 World Indoor Championships gold medalist Brad Walker, who is the American outdoor record holder and a three-time USA Indoor champion. The 2005 World Outdoor Championships silver medalist, Walker captured his third U.S. Outdoor title with his top clearance of 5.75m/18-10.25 at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships.
He'll be joined on the Team USA roster by Derek Miles, who finished fourth at the 2008 Olympic Games, was victorious at the 2008 Olympic Trials, and won last year at Berlin and at the World Athletics Final. Miles tied for second at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships with 2009 USA Indoor champion Jeremy Scott, who is believed to be the world's tallest pole vaulter, standing 2.06 meters/6 feet 9 inches. The 2002 NCAA D-II Indoor and Outdoor champion, Scott has a personal best clearance of 5.75m/18-10.25 from this year's USA Outdoor Championships.
2004 Olympic silver medalist Toby Stevenson also cleared 5.75m/18-10.25 in Eugene, which gave him a fourth-place finish and a trip to the second World Outdoor Championships of his career.
2009 USA Indoor champion and 2008 Olympian Andra Manson currently sits atop the 2009 world outdoor list with his April 4 personal best clearance of 2.35m/7-8.50 in Austin, Texas. The 2002 World Junior and U.S. Junior champion, Manson qualified for his first U.S. World Outdoor Championships team with his second place tie at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships. 2008
Olympic Trials fifth-place finisher Keith Moffatt also made his first U.S. world team roster off his performance at the USA Championships. Manson and Moffatt each cleared 2.28m/7-5.75 in Eugene.
2004 Olympian and 2006 USA Outdoor champion Tora Harris won his second U.S. Outdoor men's high jump title at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships with a clearance of 2.31 meters/7 feet 7 inches. The 2005 and 2007 USA Indoor champion, Harris first competed at a World Outdoor Championships at the 2003 event in Paris.
2008 Olympic Trials fifth-place finisher and reigning USA Indoor champion Brandon Roulhac won the men's triple jump at this year's USA Outdoor Championships with a windy best hop, skip and leap of 17.44m/57-2.75. His wind-legal personal best of 17.26m/56-7.5 from earlier in the competition currently sits atop the 2009 U.S. Outdoor list. A newcomer to the world scene, Roulhac proved his U.S. dominance at the Nationals in Eugene by posting the five longest jumps in the final.
As Roulhac was qualifying for his first U.S. World Championships team in Eugene, two-time Olympian, 2005 World Outdoor champion and 2006 World Cup winner Walter Davis finished second at Nationals and qualified for his fifth World Outdoor Champs roster with his seasonal best leap of 16.84m/55-3. Also making the trip to Berlin will be two-time Olympian and two-time World Outdoor Championships finalist Kenta Bell, who placed fifth in Eugene with a best of 16.11m/52-10.25.
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.