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Posted: August 18, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: USA athletes breeze through qualifying

BERLIN - Team USA advanced 12 of 16 athletes through the rounds Tuesday morning at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics at the 1936 Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany.

Crawford, Spearmon and Clark to run tonight's 2nd round

Veterans Shawn Crawford (Los Angeles) and Wallace Spearmon (College Station, Texas), if Spearmon can be considered at veteran at just 24 years old, easily moved into tonight's second round while rookie Charles Clark clawed his way in.

Two-time Olympic 200m medalist Shawn Crawford easily won heat 1 in the first round of the men's 200 meters in 20.60. It was the fastest time in this morning's first round. Two-time World Outdoor medalist Wallace Spearmon coasted to second place in heat 9 in 20.66 and reigning NCAA Outdoor champion Charles Clark (Virginia Beach, Va.) took third in heat 2 in 20.87.

Rome and Malone goe to discus final

On his first throw of the competition, two-time Olympian Casey Malone (Ft. Collins, Colo.) automatically qualified for the men's discus final with his toss of 65.13 meters/213 feet 8 inches. 2004 Olympian Jarred Rome (Chula Vista, Calif.) automatically qualified for the final on his second throw with a mark of 65.51m/214-11.

Three-time USA champion Ian Waltz (Chula Vista, Calif.) had his best effort on his third throw of the day with a mark of 62.04m/203-6. Waltz did not qualify for the final.

Three move on in men's 400m

Wearing his signature red, white and blue shades, two-time world champion Jeremy Wariner (Waco, Texas) cruised through the first round of the men's 400m, winning heat 6 in 45.54. Reigning Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt (Suffolk, Va.) easily won heat 4 in 45.23.

Lionel Larry(Compton, Calif.) , who placed fourth in heat 1 in 45.64, was the last qualifier on time into Wednesday's semifinal. Texas A&M's Gil Roberts (Oklahoma City, Okla.) was fifth in heat 5 and did not advance.

Willard and Wurth-Thomas head to 1,500m semi

Former American record holder in the steeplechase, Anna Willard (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.), ran a strong race and finished fifth in heat 2 in 4:08.13. Leading for much of the race, Christin Wurth-Thomas (Springdale, Ark.) finished fourth in heat 3 in 4:08.23. Willard and Wurth-Thomas each automatically qualified for Friday's semifinal.

After some bumping and shoving in the first 200m which caused Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco, Calif.) to fall to the track, she finished 11th in heat 1 in 4:10.30.

Acuff and Howard soar into high jump final

2005 world silver medalist Chaunte Howard (Snellville, Ga.) cleared the automatic qualifier, 1.95m/6-4.75, on her first attempt and finished tied for fourth overall in qualifying of the women's high jump. Four-time Olympian Amy Acuff (Isleton, Calif.) cleared 1.95m/6-4.75 on her second attempt to finish eighth in qualifying and save her a spot in the final. This is Acuff's eighth appearance at a World Championships and sixth straight finals appearance.

2008 Olympian Sharon Day (Costa Mesa, Calif.), who finished 10th in the heptathlon at these Championships, had first attempt clearances at 1.80m/5-10.75, 1.85m/6-0.75 and 1.89m/6-2.25 before going out at 1.92m/6-3.5.

Team names Thurmond and Lagat captains

Team USA voted via email on Sunday to name the captains for this team in Berlin. A four-time world team member and three-time Olympian, four-time USA Outdoor champion Aretha Hill Thurmond has been named captain of the women's team. Three-time U.S. 5,000m and two-time U.S. 1,500m champion Bernard Lagat, who made history in 2007 when he became the first man ever to win the 1,500m/5,000m middle-distance double at World Outdoors, has been named the men's team captain.

Team USA Medal Table - 2009 World Championships in Athletics
Gold (1)
Christian Cantwell (Columbia, Mo.), men's shot put, 22.03m/72-3.50
Silver (2)
Tyson Gay (Clermont, Fla.), men's 100 meters, 19.71
Chelsea Johnson (Los Angeles, Calif.), women's pole vault 4.65m/15-3
Bronze (1)
Carmelita Jeter (Inglewood, Calif.) women's 100 meters, 10.90

2009 IAAF World Athletics Championships Day 4 Team USA morning quotes

Shawn Crawford (Los Angeles), Men's 200
I did what I was supposed to do. I came out in the preliminary and qualified for the next round. I tried to get as many cobwebs out as I could.
Wallace Spearmon (College Station, Texas), Men's 200
I ran easily for the first round, and tried to save as much as possible for the next round.

Casey Malone (Ft. Collins, Colo.), Men's Discus
It's great to be one and done! The throw felt technically sound, so I'm happy with it!
I couldn't ask for a better performance in the morning then getting it done quickly. There are 15 competitors in that preliminary. If you don't do it for your first throw, you are sitting around for 15 minutes before you get another. It's the same thing if you don't get it on that one. You really want to get it done early so you are not out there for 45 minutes, mostly on your feet.
(On the throw) That was the type of throw I was looking to get our here. I really want that type of performance regardless of whether it was a qualifier for not. That is the farthest throw I have ever had at a championship event. I'd like to build off that going into the finals. I'm not complacent to end it there. I'm pretty much happy with practice and how everything is going for the finals. I wanted to get it done early, get out of here and go rest.

Jarred Rome( Chula Vista, Calif.), Men's discus
This is the best I have ever felt for a major championship. In 2005, I got seventh. I was a few centimeters away from medaling. This year, I started the year slow. I was feeling OK in nationals. I made the team. I've been over here for two months, since nationals, just training. My warm-ups were good, all over the qualifier. My first one, I think, I got the nerves a little bit. The second one, I hit really hard, 65.50. I'm ready to medal.

Lionel Larry (Compton, Calif.), Men's 400 meters
I thought I could have gone a little bit better. It was kind of windy. If I had gone a little bit faster, I won't have to play the waiting game. I still have to figure out what I am going to do for the next day. I have to wait and see. The wind was in my face for 300 meters.

Gil Roberts (Oklahoma City), Men's 400 meters
I just had a bad race. I just didn't have it today. It was windy. But I am not making any excuses. I lost because I lost. It was just not my time.

LaShawn Merritt (Suffolk, Va.), Men's 400 meters
It was a good race. 45.2 I got out good. I ran pretty comfortable. I did what I had to do and that's get ready for tomorrow. If there was a wind, there was a wind for everyone. Everybody felt the wind. But I didn't feel it that much. I ran a comfortable race and finished up like I wanted to. Clocked in this morning, went to work and now I am going to clock out and get ready for tomorrow.

Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco), Women's 1,500 meters
I was running. It was pretty packed up. I got tripped up by the same girl. I fell down at 200, got up, got back to the pack and the same girl cut me off again. It was a little bit frustrating. After falling, I tried to be smart catching up again, but I was a little timid by the time I got going again. I'm pretty disappointed. But that's how it goes sometimes.
I'm hoping we will protest. I'm hoping to get another shot at it. That is definitely not what I am capable of. That's how it goes when it's a semi or a quarterfinal. You usually go slow and it's usually packed up. I tried to stay on my feet. But unfortunately today, I was unable to. I was on the outside of lane 1, where everyone wants to be. It was kind of a messy race, with a lot of people moving around in there. I hope I get a chance at going again. I hope I have a chance of making the finals.

Anna Willard (Mammonth Lakes, Calif.), Women's 1,500 meters
It was a physical race. There was a lot of shoving. But that's fine. I expected that. You expect the physicality, especially in the first round. Everyone is super antsy, with all the waiting. It's already been a couple of days of the championship and everyone is excited to go. When you are running slower than your PR pace, everyone wants the perfect position, so that's going to happen.

Christin Wurth-Thomas (Springdale, Arkansas), Women's 1500 meters
In the beginning, there was some jostling going on. I don't like to feel that there are people on top of me, so I was telling myself, "'This is butt-slow! We go faster than this at USAs, so let's just go!'"
I felt comfortable during the race, and over the last 50 meters, I looked up at the monitor knowing where I was at, and basically shut it down. I was hoping that the pace would be faster, but hey, it's the prelims, so you gotta go with it.

Amy Acuff (Isleton, Calif.), Women's high jump
I'm really excited. I don't take making the finals for granted. Everyone is a treasure. I'm really happy to be there, especially in Berlin. I felt like I got up at 6 a.m. I felt like it was early in the morning. I drank my little green tea, but it didn't really kick me up. I think I will feel better in the final. I want to go back (to the hotel), take a nap and get rested and try to have a more fluid run. I'm just going to let myself go and not micromanage everything.

Chaunte Howard (Snellville, Ga.), Women's high jump
(On getting excited after clearing at 1.89) I did get excited. I didn't particularly feel great today. I'm usually a morning person. But this morning I felt kind of flat. To go ahead and clear 1.89 then clear 1.92 and 1.95 on first appearances let me know that it's going to be a good result. (Clearing 1.95) That was a sigh of relief. I was up praying all night because I couldn't sleep. I felt like everything was going to work out today.

For complete results, quotes and Team USA reports, visit

Fans can watch Team USA on national television broadcasts on NBC and Versus, or online via live, daily Webcast at For complete TV listings, visit

For more information on Team USA at the World Outdoor Championships, visit

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

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