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 2005World 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
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
Tyson Gay (Clermont, Fla.), men's 100 meters, 19.71
Chelsea Johnson (Los Angeles, Calif.), women's pole vault 4.65m/15-3
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.
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For more information on Team USA at the World Outdoor Championships, visit USATF.org.
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