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

Athletics: Richards wins 400m gold, Clement defends hurdles title at World Championships

BERLIN - Sanya Richards won a long sought after individual 400m gold medal and Kerron Clement held on to his world hurdles crown Tuesday evening at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics at the 1936 Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany.

Richards wins gold medal in women's 400 meters

2008 Olympic bronze medalist and world ranked #1 Sanya Richards (Austin, Tex.) won the first individual women's 400m world title of her career when she crossed the finish line first in this evening's final in the world leading time of 49.00 seconds.

Richards was even with Russia's Antonina Krivoshapka with 200 meters to go in the race. After leaving Krivoshapka behind, Richards still had to hold off a strong challenge from Jamaica's Shericka Williams down the final stretch. Richards broke away from Williams with 70 meters to go and ran by herself the rest of the way to victory. Williams was the runner-up with a personal best of 49.32, with Krivoshapka finishing third in 49.71.

The 2005 World Outdoor Championships silver medalist, Richards joins Jearl Miles (2003, Stuttgart) as the only Americans ever to win this event at a World Outdoor Championship.

Richards has been ranked #1 in the world in her event in each of the last four years and had yet to win an Olympic or World Championships individual gold medal, until tonight.

In her first ever trip to a World Outdoor Championships, 2009 USA Outdoor Championships runner-up Debbie Dunn (Norfolk, Va.), finished sixth in the final in 50.35.

Clement keeps world title

2007 world champion and 2008 Olympic Games silver medalist Kerron Clement (Gainesville, Fla.) joined elite company this evening in winning his second consecutive world outdoor title.

Clement, who entered this evening's action as the #1 ranked men's 400m hurdler in the world, was in command throughout tonight's final and won it convincingly in the fastest time in the world this year of 47.91 seconds.

Clement joins National Track & Field Hall of Famer Edwin Moses (1983, 1987) and Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic (2001, 2003; who finished 8th tonight) as the only men ever to win the world 400m hurdles title twice, with all three accomplishing the feat in consecutive years.

2005 world outdoor champion, 2008 Olympic bronze medalist and reigning USA Outdoor champion Bershawn "Batman" Jackson (Savoy, Ill.), came from behind late in the race and out-leaned Jehue Gordon of Trinidad (17-year old 2009 Pan Am Junior silver medalist) for the bronze medal with his national record time of 48.23.

2008 Olympian Javier Culson (PUR) posted a national record with his silver medal winning finish in 48.09.Other Americans who have won world 400m hurdles titles include Kevin Young (1993) and Derrick Adkins (1995).

Yurkovich places 12th in javelin final

Two-time NCAA champion Rachel Yurkovich (Eugene, Ore.), who at these Championships became the first American woman to qualify for the women's javelin final at a World Championships since Karin Smith finished 10th in 1983, finished 12th in tonight's final with a best throw of 51.15 meters/167 feet 9 inches.

Demus, Williams move on to 400m hurdles final

2005 World Outdoor silver medalist and current world leader (52.63, July 28) Lashinda Demus wasted no time in grabbing control of the third semi final of the women's 400m hurdles. Demus led very shortly after the gun and was in command the entire way in winning the race easily in 54.25 seconds. She'll next take to the track for the final on Thursday night.

Also securing a spot in the final was 2008 Olympic Trials champion Tiffany Williams (Orlando, Fla.), who ran out of lane 5 in heat 2, and finished third in 53.28 seconds. 2008 Olympic Games silver medalist and 2007 Pan Am Games champion Sheena Tosta (Chula Vista, Calif.) ran in lane eight in the first semi final and finished sixth in 56.31.

200m trio advances to semifinals

Team USA's men's 200m threesome all advanced through to the semi finals with little difficulty led by 2004 Olympic gold medalist and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Shawn Crawford (Los Angeles, Calif.). Crawford got out well and appeared in great form in heat 2. He grabbed the lead early out of lane 3 and held it the rest of the way in cruising to the win in 20.37.

2005 World Outdoor Championships silver medalist and 2007 World bronze medalist Wallace Spearmon (College Station, Tex.) got out in his usual fashion and made up enough ground over the last 60 meters to secure a second-place finish in 20.44.

2009 NCAA Outdoor champion and runner-up at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships Charles Clark (Virginia Beach, Va.) finished fourth in the first heat in 20.55 out of lane 8. Clark advanced to the semis on time. Next up will be the semifinals Wednesday night at Olympic Stadium.

Harper, Cherry, Powell advance in 100m hurdles

A talented and accomplished quartet of Team USA 100m hurdlers hit the track early this evening for their first round of competition. First to answer the gun was reigning Olympic and U.S. champion Dawn Harper (Los Angeles, Calif.), who broke well at the start in heat 1 and held the lead throughout in winning in 12.70 seconds. Her performance was the third-fastest of the round.

Next up in heat 2 was 2008 Olympic Games fourth-place finisher Damu Cherry (Winter Garden, Fla.), who was in third place at the fourth hurdle, and in first place as she soared over the eighth hurdle. Cherry went on to win easily in 12.71 seconds, with Lacena Golding-Clarke of Jamaica the runner-up in 12.90.

Michelle Perry (Santa Clarita, Calif.) stepped into the blocks in heat 3 as the two-time defending world champion in this event. However, things did not go well for Perry and she finished seventh in 13.68 seconds. Perry injured her right knee (lateral collateral ligament) while warming up at the Herculis Super Grand Prix in Monaco on July 28. Perry's knee was wrapped in white tape and she was limping after crossing the finish line.

Two-time USA Outdoor champion Ginnie Powell (Los Angeles, Calif.) got out well in heat 4 and wound up finishing as the runner-up in 12.77. Harper, Cherry and Powell now look forward to tomorrow night's semifinals.

Team USA Medal Table - 2009 World Championships in Athletics
Gold (1)
Christian Cantwell (Columbia, Mo.), men's shot put, 22.03m/72-3.50
Sanya Richards (Austin, Tex.), women's 400m, 49.00
Kerron Clement (Gainesville, Fla.) men's 400m hurdles, 47.91

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
Bershawn Jackson (Savoy, Ill.) men's 400m hurdles, 48.23

For complete results, quotes and Team USA reports, visit USATF.org.

Fans can watch Team USA on national television broadcasts on NBC and Versus, or online via live, daily Webcast at UniversalSports.com. For complete TV listings, visit http://www.usatf.org/events/2009/IAAFWorldOutdoorChampionships/mediaCoverage.asp.

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

2009 IAAF World Athletics Championships Day 4 Team USA evening quotes

Sanya Richards (Austin, Texas), Women's 400 meters gold medalist
First, it feels so great to finally hear that I am a world champion. It's an overwhelming experience. I really enjoy to competing here in Berlin. I have only good memories. And now I can say my first title was on the blue track in a world leading time. So, I'm really, really happy.
(Expectations or extra pressure?) I did in the past, that's what I wanted to shed this year. This year, I was having a really good time. The rounds went exactly as I hoped. Today, I came out and had fun. I was really confident in my race and my race strategy. I enjoyed every step around the track today. I'm just really thrilled to be a world champion. I can't say I'm glad to have waited this long. I would have loved to win in the Olympics and prior World Championships. I definitely think you to learn things to grow. I've been through a lot and I learned a lot. I feel like I'm a much better athlete because of it.
I'm happy it came in 2009 and hopefully this will be the start of a lot more titles to come. I did go out well in the Olympics. I don't think the first 200 was the reason I lost the Olympic final. Today, my today split was 23.0, almost the same pace as the Olympics. It's just control.
I'm in much better shape this season. Shericka (Williams) and Antonina (Krivoshapka) went out really fast. I think all of us went 23.0 flat. It was a really fast race. That's what you expect at a major championship. Everyone is running their best race. I was really comfortable with my strategy. I felt really strong. I worked the curve as best as I could. Once I pulled up on Shericka and made my move, I just hoped I could hold her off.

Debbie Dunn (Norfolk, Va.), 6th in Women's 400 meters
(On starting in Lane 1): It's not fun for the 400. But a lot of people would kill to have Lane 1 today. I did and I was very happy to have the chance to run the final. I thought it was a good race. I feel like I should have made a lot more impact. Unfortunately, I didn't. I wish I had a better lane. I think I would have made an impact. I have to settle for what I did today. I'm very honored and proud to represent the U.S. Next year is going to get even better. I'm looking forward to the years to come. I'm happy for Sanya. We are going to go for the gold in the 4 x 400.

Bershawn Jackson (Champaign, Illinois), Men's 400 hurdles bronze medalist
I executed a real good race. Those guys went out so hard. I give them the praises--they were the better men.
I wasn't surprised that it went out as fast as it did.
I'm a warrior and I'm a fighter, and I'll be back.

Kerron Clement (Gainesville, Florida), Men's 400 hurdles gold medalist
My plan all along was to defend my title, and there was no way anyone was going to take that away from me. My race plan was to go out fast. I knew that once I went out hard, that no one was going to keep up with me for the last 150, and once I got over the last hurdle, it was mine.

Rachel Yurkovich (Eugene, Oregon), Women's javelin
I felt pretty good in warmups. I just wasn't throwing well
It's kind of hard to get into a groove when the competition's stopped for a ceremony or races, but that's no excuse. I tried to go into it with a positive attitude, and on my last throw I had nothing to lose. I tried to be happy and go out there and (do it).
I was just thrilled to have made it this far. I'm happy to be here.

Dawn Harper (Los Angeles), Women's 100-meter hurdles
It was a good race. It went nice and smooth, exactly how my coach wanted me to do it. It was nice and smooth over the top of the hurdles. I'm exacted about that. It gives me confidence going into tomorrow. (On being assigned lane 1) I appreciated that because Lane 1, Heat 1, No. 1. Can anybody see that?

Damu Cherry (Winter Garden, Fla.), Women's 100-meter hurdles
It was a good opener. I wanted to work on a little part of my race. I did. It wasn't great, but it can get better for tomorrow. The false starts were a bit nerve-wracking. But I told myself to stay focused and concentrate on my lane.

Ginnie Powell (Los Angeles), Women's 100-meter hurdles
It was clean. I hit one hurdle. But it was a good race. I was looking to actually work on my trail leg. I hit a hurdle with it, probably because I slowed up a bit. You can't do that in the hurdles. But it's the first round and that's why I slowed up.

Michelle Perry (Santa Clarita, Calif.), Women's 100-meter hurdles
I'm injured. I have a torn LCL. I have to have surgery on it. It happened in Monaco.

Charles Clark (Virginia Beach, Virginia), Men's 200 meters
I thought I was pushing for a third place finish, so I'll have to wait and see if I make the semi-finals. It's been a great season so far, so I can't complain.

Wallace Spearmon, Jr. (College Station, Texas), Men's 200 meters
The race seemed pretty easy tonight. I didn't want to expend any more energy than I had to, because I know that in the finals, I'm going to need all of it.
As long as I was in the top two, that's all that matters, so that I can get one of the preferred lanes.
I did take a peek at the big screen to see where I was at and to make sure no one would sneak up on me. I didn't want to see anyone come up and pass me.
(on what it's going to take to beat Usain Bolt)--Run faster! He's running like he's from Mars or wherever Flash is from.

Sheena Tosta (San Diego, California), Women's 400 hurdles
I don't know what happened. I did what I wanted to do over the first 8 hurdles I tried to go, but I couldn't go.

Tiffany Williams (Orlando, Florida), Women's 400 hurdles
Technically, it was a great race. It was much better than my first round. I was thinking about staying relaxed, but I probably got a little too relaxed. But, I did make the final, and that's all that counts. I'm excited, and very grateful to be in this final. I have a day to rest, and I just have to get that second half of the race down.
I have to attack the critical zone a lot harder. It's going to take 53-low or 52-high to get a medal.

Lashinda Demus (Palmdale, California), Women's 400 hurdles
I wanted to run good through the 300m mark, and I did that tonight. I just practiced on my race for the finals. I'm gonna put it together and have a good race.
I'm the underdog--I'm not the Olympic champion

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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