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Posted: August 21, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Felix, Merritt win gold at Berlin World Championships

BERLIN - Allyson Felix made history by becoming the first woman ever to win three world 200-meter titles, and reigning Olympic men's 400m champion LaShawn Merritt won his first individual world crown Friday evening at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics at the 1936 Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany.

Felix does it again!

A two-time Olympic silver medalist, Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.) broke well from the start in the 200m final and was in a battle with Jamaican two-time Olympic 200m gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown as they both headed for home. However, with about 70 meters to go, Felix began pulling away and she gradually increased her lead the remainder of the race before crossing the line first in 22.02 seconds. Campbell-Brown was the runner-up in 22.35, with 2008 Olympic finalist Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie of the Bahamas third in 22.41.

Felix, who won world titles in 2005 and 2007 and has been ranked #1 in the world four of the last five years, posted the fastest time in the world this year of 21.88 in Stockholm on July 31. Felix entered the evening tied with Jamaican standout Merlene Ottey (1993, 1995), with two world titles. Now she stands alone.

2008 Olympic Games fourth-place finisher Muna Lee (College Station, Tex.) met the same fate again this evening in finishing just shy of a medal in 22.48.

Merritt mines world champs gold

The men's 400m final featured a highly-anticipated battle between 2008 Olympic gold medalist and world ranked #1 LaShawn Merritt (Bryan, Texas), vs. Two-time world outdoor championships gold medalist and 2004 Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner (Waco, Tex.).

Wariner had the lead down the backstretch as Merritt ran relaxed until the last 200 meters when he began to turn it on. Wariner had a slight lead coming out of the turn that didn't last for long. Merritt passed him with about 70 meters to go and he got to the finish line first in the world leading time of 44.06 seconds. Wariner ran a season's best of 44.60 in securing the silver medal.

Women's discus final

Similar to when she won the 2008 Olympic Games gold medal last year, Stephanie Brown Trafton's (Oceano, Calif.) best throw of the evening came on her first attempt in the women's discus throw final when she sailed the platter to 58.53 meters/192 feet. Her second attempt was a foul and her third attempt was no improvement. Brown Trafton finished the competition in 12th place.

<2008 Olympic Games finalist Aretha Thurmond (Opelika, Ala.) placed 10th with a best throw of 59.89m/196-6.

Symmonds qualifies for 800m final

Two-time USA Outdoor champion Nick Symmonds (Springfield, Ore.) was in the middle of the pack halfway through the first lap of heat 1 of the men's 800m semifinals when Marcin Lewandowski of Poland, Abubaker Kaki of the Sudan and Bram Som of the Netherlands all got tangled up and fell to the track.

Shortly thereafter, Symmonds moved to the front and was in command the rest of the way before finishing first in 1:45.96 and qualifying for Sunday's final. Symmonds is the first American to make the men's 800m final at a world outdoor championships since Rich Kenah won the bronze medal and Mark Everett finished eighth in 1997.

Six-time world outdoor championships team member Khadevis Robinson (Santa Monica, Calif.) finished fifth in heat 2 in 1:45.91 and will not advance.

Men's 4x100m relay opening round

Team USA's men's 4x100m relay squad won heat 2 of the men's 4x100m relay qualifying round in 37.97 seconds. Following the race, Team USA was disqualified for a pass out of the zone as Shawn Crawford passed the baton to anchor leg runner Darvis Patton. USA Track & Field has filed an appeal of the decision, and the appeal had not been ruled on by late Friday evening.

2009 World Outdoor Championships 110m hurdles silver medalist Terrence Trammell (Atlanta, Ga.) ran the lead leg in heat 2 for Team USA and made a solid handoff to 2009 USA Outdoor 100m champion Michael Rodgers (Round Rock, Tex.). Rodgers flew down the backstretch and gave a considerable lead, and the baton, to 2008 Olympic Games 200m silver medalist Shawn Crawford (Los Angeles, Calif.). Crawford ran a strong turn before presenting the stick to2008 Olympic Games 4x100m relay silver medalist Darvis "Doc" Patton (Grand Prairie, Tex.), who ran a strong anchor leg as Team USA finished first followed by runner-up Great Britain in 38.11.

Team USA sends three to women's 1,500m final

2008 Olympian Christin Wurth-Thomas (Springdale, Ark.) was a fixture at the front of the pack the entire race and ended up finishing fourth in heat 1 of the women's 1,500m semifinals, which earned her a trip to Sunday's final. Wurth-Thomas, who pushed hard at the beginning and was in second place early in the race, crossed the finish line in 4:04.16

In heat two, two-time USA Outdoor 1,500m champion Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco, Calif.) and 2009 USA Indoor 1,500m champion Anna Willard (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) spent the majority of the race at the back of the pack. Coming down the final stretch, Willard stayed on the rail and Rowbury drifted to the outside with Willard finishing second in 4:10.47 and Rowbury placing third in 4:10.51.

This marks the first time ever that Team USA has placed three women in the 1,500m final. Wurth-Thomas, Rowbury and Willard will reconvene for Sunday's final at the Olympic Stadium at 5 p.m. Berlin time.

Furey qualifies for men's javelin final

2009 USA Outdoor Championships third place finisher and world championships newcomer Sean Furey (San Diego, Calif.) threw a season's best of 79.28 meters/260 feet 1 inch, which was good enough for 11th place in the men's javelin throw qualifying. Next stop for Furey will be the final on Sunday night.

2008 Olympian and 2009 USA Outdoor Championships runner-up Mike Hazle (Chula Vista, Calif.) finished 17th in qualifying with a best of 78.17m/256-5, and 2009 U.S. champion and two-time NCAA champ Chris Hill (Athens, Ga.) finished 24th with a best of 77.14m/253-1.

Reese, Glenn advance to women's long jump final

2008 Olympic Games fifth-place finisher and two-time USA Outdoor champion Brittney Reese (Gulfport, Miss.) posted the second-best performance in women's long jump qualifying with her leap of 6.78 meters/22 feet 3 inches.

Reese will move on to the final on Sunday night where she'll be joined by 2009 USA Outdoor runner-up and 2002 USA Outdoor champion Brianna Glenn (Chula Vista, Calif.), who qualified 11th with a best of 6.53m/21-5.25. 2008 Olympic Games finalist Funmi Jimoh (Stafford, Tex.) finished 21st in qualifying with a best leap of 6.34m/21-9.50 and will not advance.

Manson places ninth in men's high jump final

2008 World Indoor bronze medalist Andra Manson (Austin, Tex.) had a top clearance of 2.23m/7-3.75 and finished ninth at his first world outdoor championship.

2009 and 2006 USA Outdoor runner-up Keith Moffatt (Atlanta, Ga.) cleared the identical height and finished 11th.

Team USA Medal Table - 2009 World Championships in Athletics
 
Gold (6)
Christian Cantwell (Columbia, Mo.), men's shot put, 22.03m/72-3.50
Sanya Richards (Austin, Tex.), women's 400 meters, 49.00
Kerron Clement (Gainesville, Fla.) men's 400m hurdles, 47.91
Trey Hardee (Austin, Tex.) men's decathlon, 8,790 points
Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.) women's 200 meters, 22.02
LaShawn Merritt (Suffolk, Va.) men's 400 meters (44.06)

Silver (5)
Tyson Gay (Clermont, Fla.), men's 100 meters, 9.71
Chelsea Johnson (Los Angeles, Calif.), women's pole vault, 4.65m/15-3
Lashinda Demus (Palmdale, Calif.), women's 400m hurdles, 52.96 
Terrence Trammell (Atlanta, Ga.), men's 110m hurdles, 13.15
Jeremy Wariner (Waco, Tex.), men's 400 meters, 44.60

Bronze (5)
Carmelita Jeter (Inglewood, Calif.) women's 100 meters, 10.90
Bershawn Jackson (Savoy, Ill.) men's 400m hurdles, 48.23
Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Ariz.) men's 1,500 meters, 3:36.20
Wallace Spearmon (College Station, Tex.) men's 200m, 19.85
David Payne (Covington, Ky.) men's 110m hurdles, 13.15

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 7 Team USA quotes

Allyson Felix (Los Angeles), women's 200m gold medalist
I'm just extremely happy. Three times is very special, even more special to take place in this stadium with so much history. I don't think I could have asked for more tonight. Looking at the time, I would have liked to run a little faster. I think the conditions might have played a role in it. We were warming up, had to stop and come inside. But tonight, I really focused on the win. That's really what I went after.
I was hearing it a lot in the media about the battle between us and Jamaica. Tonight I went out there and just focused on myself. I focused on what I needed to do to make my country proud. The rivalry to me is fun and exciting. I am looking forward to the relays. Tonight, I went out, had fun and am happy to bring the gold back to the USA. My start I guess was decent. I felt Veronica. But I was very confident in my strength coming home.

LaShawn Merritt (Suffolk, Virginia), Men's 400 meters gold medalist
I worked hard to get here. I got through the rounds smoothly, and I told you guys that I was going to win here two days ago.
I just hit my zones harder. When I got to the backstretch, I went to work. At 300, I was in great position. Actually, I came home strong, and at 350, I realized I had cleared the field.
In a lot of races last year, I didn't feel like I got the respect that I deserved. It was like 'he won because everyone was tired, or his competitors didn't have a great race, or he drew the inside lane.'
This year, hopefully I get the respect I deserve.

Jeremy Wariner (Waco, Texas), men's 400m silver medalist
I felt in good form today. I got out real good. I had a great start for the first time. Through the first two I was in good position. I worked like I needed to. I was in wonderful position. Unfortunately, LaShawn had a great finish today. I was disappointed that I lost. But LaShawn is a great competitor. We fight each other every time we are on the track. We are both going to run fast because we both want it. It's good to lose to somebody like him. He's a great competitor. We both have the same mindset when we get into a race. If I have to lose, it's good to lose to somebody like that.
I'm still disappointed with the silver medal. I had high expectations to come here and defend my title. I had a slow start this year. Right before U.S. Trials, I had a slight ankle injury. We took time off from competing to train. I think that had a little bit of effect on me. I only ran three times before the world. I was in great shape, but not race shape.

Aretha Thurmond (Opelika, Alabama), 10th in women's discus
Going into the second round, I know that I had a decent throw, but I knew that it wasn't going to hold up. I thought that it would take another meter or two to guarantee a spot in the final.
The power and the velocity of the discus was what I needed, but I just didn't get the height. In a (enclosed) stadium, you have to put up a little more height. On the last throw, I tried to time it but just quite didn't get it.
It's tough to do everything right, but miss on one thing. That's the curse of a technical event like the discus. I wish that it was just aggression, but it's not. I need technique, poise and composure. It's passive-aggressive. The intensity was there, the excitement was there, and the energy was there.
For me (the rain delay) wasn't the preparation I would've liked. I like taking a few warmup throws at the practice track, but instead it was going from one holding tank to another, and then it's like, "BAM! Two practice throws at the stadium, and let's go". If I had three more throws, who knows what the outcome might have been.

Stephanie Brown Trafton (Oceano, California), 12th in women's discus
It's been a rough go these last two days. The ring was fine. If anything, it was warming up, then having to sit there. There's nothing I can really point to. Physically, I'm kind of worn out, but I know I can get some big marks.
At the world championships, it's going to take more than physical preparation. I'm a young athlete, and this is my first world championship, and it's going to be an awesome thing to continue growing in the sport.
Right now, it's not happening physically. I'm physically exhausted, but yet I'm relieved more than anything else.

Keith Moffatt (Newport News, Virginia),11th in men's high jump
I'm not disappointed. This is my first world championship. I am happy that I made the finals. To be out here for five hours warming up with the rain coming down, I am not too mad. It wasn't my day.
We did a lot of warmups at the practice track, but no real jumping, because it was so wet.

Mike Hazle (Chula Vista, California), men's javelin
I figured I was in 81-82 meter shape which would have gotten me into the finals. Sometimes it backfires when you're in really good shape, you lose the feeling for things, and you actually have to slow down on the runway.
It's a tricky situation, trying to control your emotions and the technical aspects. It's like swinging a golf club--if you try to kill it, you're going to slice it, and if you don't swing hard enough, it's not going anywhere, so you have to find that balance. Today, I feel like I was more on the killer side.

Brittney Reese (Gulfport, Mississippi), Women's long jump
The plan was to hit the first one, even though the landing wasn't quite what I liked.
To get 6.78 behind the board (she was 14 cm behind the board according to the TV monitor) is remarkable. I didn't get as extended on the landing as I'd like. I've been working on my landing a lot.

Brianna Glenn (Chula Vista, Calif.), women's long jump
I was trying to make it a little easier on myself. The most important thing was to qualify. I wanted to get it done on my first jump and also miss this terrible weather. But it didn't happen that way, and I tried to make the best of it. I got really lucky and blessed that my 53 made it through. Now, I just have to prepare for Sunday. It's a big sigh of relief. I know I gave my friends and coaches a little bit of a heart attack there. But it ended up OK. (On the rain) By the time I took my third jump, it was coming down so hard that standing there, it was hard to see. It was right in your face. But everybody had the same rain. What can you do?

Terrence Trammell (Atlanta), Men's 4x100 relay
I wanted to make sure we had good sticks. It was wet out there, and of course we had a 40-minute delay. I think things went well.

Michael Rodgers (Round Rock, Texas), Men's 4x100 relay
We made safe passes. Hopefully we will better things for the finals and have a fast time.

Shawn Crawford (Los Angeles), Men's 4x100 relay
I'm happy that we got it around. Everything that we wanted to do our there and intended to do we did, which was advance to the final. We got it done with safe passes. Hopefully we will stretch it out in the finals and bring something home nice for the United States.

Darvis "Doc" Patton (Grand Prairie, Texas), Men's 4x100 relay
I miss my daughter so much. I had a lot of confidence. Last year was in the past. The only time it gets brought up is with some of the media people. Hats off to Coach Harvey Glance. We've been having fun. We had a relaxed atmosphere. The main thing was to go out there and have fun. We don't think about the importance of the meet. It's just a regular track meet. We did that and we advanced to the finals. We are looking forward to it tomorrow.

Chris Hill (Athens, Ga.), Men's Javelin
It was interesting. You come out. We got 24 guys. You do your throw and you go and sit down for 20 minutes, then you throw again. It was probably hard to get anything done, much less. The rain delay comes in and you sit for an hour, then you come back out. I can't be upset because I improved on my last throw. I tried to throw it fair and hard. Sean's throw was bigger than mine. He threw it further. He came to play. I'm tired. It was a long season. I'm ready for some rest.

Sean Furey (San Diego), Men's Javelin
That's usually how my form is. I don't get high points for my form. The javelin is all about manning up. That's what I did. I love adversity. I loved that it was raining. I loved that I had one warm-up throw (after the rain-delay). I wanted to come out there and be the biggest man. That's what competition is all about for me. I want to go out there and execute and just put it all on the line. If I can do that, I'm happy. I hopped to smack the crap out of (the third throw) and I got lucky. The throw felt awesome. It's the best I ever threw.

Muna Lee (College Station, Texas), Women's 200
It was pretty tough for what it was. It was good and bad. I should have finished in the top three. But the last 20 meters are something I have to work on for the future.

Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco), Women's 1,500 meters, semifinals
It was fun out there, coming off a fall in the quarterfinal and a thunderstorm before this, I just kind of had to laugh and go and have a good time. It was a great field. I figured it would be kind of slow, tactical and a kick. I just prepared myself for that. (Last lap) I knew it would open up the last 100 meters. It always does. I just tried to stay smooth and relaxed as much as possible. When I found the opening, I went hard for the finish. I was so frustrated with the way that the quarterfinals went because I prepared for the final. I got myself in the best shape I have ever been in for this final race. I knew I had to make my way into the final field. If I wasn't going to be in the semi, I would like it to be because I had a bad day and I was not tripped. I was disappointed with that, but I am thankful for the appeals process and USATF who fought so hard on my behalf. That was one of the reasons I had to go out there and have some fun.

Christin Wurth-Thomas (Springdale, Ark.), Women's 1,500 meters, semifinals
I'm excited. That's what it's all about. It was about me coming in, relaxing and having fun. Now, it's showtime. Let's see what we can do in the final. The goal is to make it to the finals. I didn't want to get into trouble. By sitting on the outside of Lane 2, I don't get in trouble and I put myself into position. It felt easy, it felt comfortable. I know I have more of a kick. But I knew I was safe. I keep saying we had to match the guys. The guys had three in. We can't be done by them. It was about getting three in.

Anna Willard (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.), Women's 1,500 meters, semifinals
It's a great day. It's really exciting. I know all three of us belong in there. It's great for everybody else to see what's happening with the American women's middle distance running. My plan was to stay toward the front and use my tools, and at 300 meters, try to kick it in.

Nick Symmonds (Springfield, Ore.), men's 800 meters semifinals
I'm always out there in the back. My premonition was that I was going to move up well in the home stretch no matter what happens. That's what I tried to do. I knew whether slow or fast, I needed to move up in the home stretch. (the spill at 300) That doesn't happen too often. But when it does, you have to take advantage of it. I didn't look back. I tried to get athletically around them, shoot that gap and keep my cool for 500 meters. As an amateur, I might have hesitated a little bit. But in this type of race, hesitation will kill you in a race like the 800. You have to take advantage of things when they come your way. I saw a replay of it. In the race, I know people went down.
Khadevis Robinson (Santa Monica, Calif.), men's 800 meters semifinals
It was a bumpy race. That's part of the deal. I should have known better. I thought I might get in the back a little bit. I would avoid it. I didn't quite time it as well as Nick did. I had to run on the inside. With 200 to go, those guys were going. I had to jump inside and jump back out, trying to make up some room. Everybody got bumped. I am 33. I watched all these guys develop. They all know me. I have beaten all of them. I remember all these guys when they were 18 or 19. I used to eat them alive. But people get better. I have always been one to give people advice.

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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