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Posted: August 23, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Reese, 4x400 relay squads win gold as Berlin World Championships conclude

Berlin - Brittney Reese and Team USA's 4x400m relay squads won gold, Bernard Lagat won his second medal, and Shannon Rowbury won 1,500m bronze Sunday evening at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics at the 1936 Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany.

Reese wins long jump gold medal

Two-time USA Outdoor champion and 2008 Olympic Games fifth-place finisher Brittney Reese (Gulfport, Miss.) has been the top women's long jumper throughout this outdoor season, and she proved it again this afternoon when she won the gold medal on her third attempt when she soared to 7.10 meters/23-feet 3.50 inches.

For Reese her winning leap was a personal best and the farthest jump in the world this year. Reese also owns the second (7.06m/23-2) and third (6.99m/22-11.25) best jumps this outdoor season.

2009 USA Outdoor Championships runner-up Brianna Glenn (Tucson, Ariz.) competed in her first world outdoor championships final where she placed ninth with a best of 6.59m/21-7.50.

Lagat takes second Berlin medal

2007 world outdoor 1,500m and 5,000m champion and two-time Olympic medalist Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Ariz.) won the silver medal in the 5,000 meters after a tremendous battle with Ethiopian 5,000m and 10,000m world record holder Kenenisa Bekele.

Lagat, who won the 1,500m bronze medal earlier this week, ran well despite being spiked during 5,000m qualifying, was in the lead pack throughout the race, along with 2007 world championships fourth-place finisher and U.S. two-mile record holder Matt Tegenkamp (Portland, Ore.).

The final 150 meters set up as a battle between Lagat and Bekele for the gold medal. They were even going into the final turn, until Bekele edged ahead with 70 meters remaining. Lagat pursued as best he could, but Bekele beat him to the finish line in 13:17.09. Lagat stopped the clocks in 13:17.33. Tegenkamp finished eighth in 13:20.23. 2009 USA Outdoor Championships 5,000m runner-up Chris Solinsky (Madison, Wisc.) finished 12th in 13:25.87.

Rowbury wins women's 1,500m bronze medal

Two-time USA champion and 2008 Olympic Games seventh place finisher Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco, Calif.) posted the best finish by an American in a world outdoor championships women's 1,500-meter final in 10 years. And then it got better.

Rowbury was up near the front the entire way and trailed Great Britain's Lisa Dobriskey by a few yards down the final stretch. Although Rowbury couldn't catch her, she finished fourth in 4:04.18, which is the highest finish by an American in this event since Regina Jacobs placed second in 1999 in Seville, Spain.

However, during the last lap, race winner Natalia Rodriguez of Spain tripped Ethiopia's Gelete Burka from behind. Following the race Rodriguez was disqualified and Maryam Yusuf Jamal (BRN) was declared the winner (4:03.74). Lisa Dobriskey of Great Britain (4:03.75) was awarded the silver medal, and Rowbury became the bronze medalist.

2009 USA Outdoor Champs runner-up Christin Wurth-Thomas (Springdale, Ark.) also had a strong race in finishing fifth in 4:06.19. 2008 Olympian Anna Willard (Ann Arbor, Mich.) finished sixth in 4:06.19.

This marks the first time ever that three U.S. women (Rowbury, Wurth-Thomas, Willard) have ever finished in the top ten in this event.

No mercy in men's 4x400m relay final

If the men's 4x400m relay had been a boxing match, it would've been stopped after two rounds.

Two-time Olympic Games 400m hurdles gold medalist Angelo Taylor (Atlanta, Ga.) ran a strong lead leg before handing the baton to 2009 world outdoor championships silver medalist Jeremy Wariner.

By the time Wariner was finished with his second leg run, he had extended Team USA's lead to a whopping 20 meters, and the suspense was over. It was more of the same during the third leg by 2009 world 400m hurdles champion Kerron Clement (Los Angeles, Calif.), who kept the margin in the neighborhood of 20 meters. Reigning world and Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt was a lonely competitor as he completed his anchor leg and ended the 2009 World Championships of Athletics when he crossed the finish line in the world leading time of 2:57.86.

Team USA women's 4x400m relay quartet dominates

2009 USA Outdoor Championships runner-up Debbie Dunn (Norfolk, Va.) got the U.S. off to a tremendous start in the women's 4x400m final. Dunn handed a 10-yard lead to three-time world outdoor 200m champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.).

Felix extended the lead early on in her run, and two-time world champs silver medalist Lashinda Demus (Palmdale, Calif.) had a 12-meter margin when she began her third leg.

2009 world 400m champion and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Sanya Richards (Austin, Tex.) extended the margin to 20 meters with 200 meters to go, and she crossed the finish line securing Team USA the gold medal in 3:17.83, which is the fastest time in the world this year and the fastest time globally since 1993. It is also the sixth-fastest time in history.

Symmonds finishes sixth in two-lap final

Ten men running in eight lanes answered the gun for the men's 800m final and that group included two-time USA Outdoor champion and 2008 Olympian Nick Symmonds.

Symmonds ran at the front during the first lap and traded a couple elbows with Russian Yuriy Borzakovskiy in front of the finish line just prior to beginning the second lap.

Symmonds sat in second place until there were 80 meters remaining when he was passed by Alfred Kirwa Yego (KEN), Yusuf Saad Kamel (BRN) and Borzakovskiy. Symmonds finished the race in sixth place (1:45.71), which is the highest finish by an American at a world outdoor championships since Rich Kenah won the bronze medal in 1997.

Team USA Medal Table - 2009 World Championships in Athletics
Gold (10)
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)
Dwight Phillips (Snellville, Ga.) men's long jump (8.54 meters/28 feet .75 inch)
Brittney Reese (Gulfport, Miss.) women's long jump, 7.10 meters/23-3.50
Team USA women's 4x400m relay, 3:17.83
Debbie Dunn (Norfolk, Va.), Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.), Lashinda Demus (Palmdale, Calif.), Sanya Richards (Austin, Tex.), Natasha Hastings (Los Angeles, Calif.), Jessica Beard (College Station, Tex.)
Team USA men's 4x400m relay, 2:57.86
Angelo Taylor (Atlanta, Ga.), Jeremy Wariner (Waco, Tex.), Kerron Clement (Los Angeles, Calif.), LaShawn Merritt (Suffolk, Va.), Lionel Larry (Compton, Calif.), Bershawn Jackson (Savoy, Ill.)

Silver (6)
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
Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Ariz.) men's 5,000m,13:17.33

Bronze (6)
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 200 meters, 19.85
David Payne (Covington, Ky.) men's 110m hurdles, 13.15
Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco, Calif.) women's 1,500 meters, 4:04.18
Team USA won more gold medals than any other country (10)...2nd place Jamaica (7) Team USA won more medals than any other country (22)...2nd place Jamaica (13) Team USA dominated the placing table with 231 points...2nd place Russia (154)

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

2009 IAAF World Athletics Championships Day 9 Team USA quotes

Bernard Lagat (Tuscon, Arizona), Men's 5000 meters silver medalist
I was determined to not let Bekele leave me. When he moved, I moved. In the last lap, they started going hard. With 80 to go, he went, and I passed him with 50 to go. He came back at me with 40 to go, and we struggled over 20 meters.
I gave it all I had today. I really wanted to retain my title, and wanted to defend it really, really bad. There was nothing more important than for me to defend my title. However, after the finish, after I realized that I lost to a great champion, I wasn't disappointed. In the 1500, I got bronze, and today I got the silver. What I achieved here in this meet is a step ahead of what I did last year, because of the injury.

Brittney Reese (Gulfport, Mississippi), women's long jump
The thought of winning the world championship hasn't quite sunk in yet.
I went back after the qualifying round and looked at some of my jumps from the national championships in Eugene, and it looked like I needed more speed.

Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco, California), Women's 1500 meters bronze medalist
This whole world championships have been pretty physical (in my event), and it's been a good training ground for me.
I thought with 100 meters to go, I liked my odds, but I wasn't quite able to close the gap on those girls, but that was where I wanted to be.
I anticipated (a slow early pace). I knew that in the second half, the pace would pick up. After the semi-finals, where we went through 800 in 2:20, 2:15 seemed pretty comfortable. I tried to stay relaxed, and be ready to react when stuff happens.
It's unfortunate when stuff like this happens (the fall of Ethiopia's Gelete Burka). Even if I were to get the bronze, that's not how I want to get it. I want to get it on my own terms.

Anna Willard (Mammoth Lakes, California), Women's 1500 meters
I knew (the race pace) would pick up dramatically. I didn't feel comfortable with the early pace, but I tried to put it out of my head. I was in pretty good position with 400 to go, and if I closed it out the way that I'm supposed to, then I'd be in medal contention.
However, my last 250 didn't feel so hot. I was trying to find that last gear, and it wasn't there.
It's been a big year for all of us, with improvements by all three of us.

Debbie Dunn (Norfolk, Va.), Women's 4 x 400 relay 1st leg
(On the lead leg) Around the 200-meter, I saw Allyson (Felix) open it up, and gave us a pretty bigger lead. I'm happy with the time and I'm happy to win the gold. My mindset was to put it out there. Get these girls out in front and we are going for the gold.

Allyson Felix( Los Angeles), Women's 4 x 400 relay 2nd leg
(Debbie Dunn's big lead-off leg) She did that. She made it very easy for me. She gave me a very comfortable lead. I just love coming together with these young girls. It's a great way to end the championships.

Lashinda Demus (Palmdale, Calif.), Women's 4 x 400 relay, 3rd leg
I liked that big lead. But I still didn't let myself off the hook. I did what I had to do. I saw Sanya pulling me in. She made me go for her. She finished it off for us.

Sanya Richards (Austin, Texas), Women's 4 x 400 relay anchor leg
I know what it's like to bring the stick in. I think it's encouraging when you see a teammate bringing you on. Like she said, she didn't let herself off the hook. I wasn't going to let her off the hook either. I wanted her to run her best leg. She definitely did that. I'm happy to have a good lead. At the same time, we want to run fast times. We did that today.
What does the time and gold mean?

Sanya Richards
It means that we made the right choices. Our team looked phenomenal today. I thought all three legs ran really well. We are happy to get the gold.

Allyson Felix
It tells me we have a very bright future. To run that fast, unchallenged. There's a lot left in the tank. I'm looking forward to the next time we can come together.

Lashinda Demus
It means the world to me. I'm just excited to be on the team. Like they said, in the future, this team will go places, we'll go far and we'll be in the history books.

Debbie Dunn
It's definitely an honor to run with these girls. I'm happy to be here. We will run fast in the future.

Jeremy Wariner (Waco, Texas), Men's 4 x 400 relay
When you have the best quarter-milers and the best 400 hurdlers in the world out there at the same time on one team, we expect greatness. That's what we did today, we showed greatness. Down the backstretch, I was looking at the screen the whole time to see where my position was. When I got to the turn, my coach before the race told me just open it up and that's what I did. I went out there and ran my last 200 as hard as I could to give him a big lead.

Angelo Taylor (Atlanta), men's 4x400m 1st leg
I've been doing this for a while. My first World Championship was nine years ago. It was 10 years ago. I handed it off to Michael Johnson.

Kerron Clement (Los Angeles), men's 4x400m 3rd leg
I'm really excited. We came out here and we got a gold medal. The plan was to do it all along. Once you put together the four best quarter-milers in the country, that's what's going to happen. I'm sorry, and hurdlers, me and Angelo. We did a fantastic job on the relay today. It's good motivation. We always produce fast quarter-milers in our country. I'm really excited that we were able to put together four of the best ones and bring home the gold.

LaShawn Merritt (Suffolk, Va.), men's 4x400m anchor leg
(Hurdlers and flat guys can run?) Definitely. The 400 hurdles is more work than the open 400. We had the world champion, an Olympic champion help me and Jeremy on the relay. We couldn't lose. If every man went out and did his job, we knew we were going to get the victory. I knew it was in good shape from the start, as long as everybody knew like I knew they could run. Everybody ran like I knew they could run. We had the top two quarter-milers, world champion and Olympic champion in the hurdles. Our main thing was, "Everybody, go do their jobs. Just get the stick around and have fun.

Sean Furey (San Diego, California), Men's javelin
It wasn't that great. I don't think I was too scared or nervous with the situation. I didn't feel sharp. My nervous system wasn't firing. I'm happy that I felt calm and in control.
I'll go back and watch the film, but I know I wasn't explosive with my legs. If my legs aren't explosive, then they have a hard time catching up with my arms and upper body.

Brianna Glenn (Chula Vista, California), Women's long jump
I wanted it to go a little bit better, but today just wasn't my day. I know that I have a little bit more in me, but I wasn't able to show that today.

Chris Solinsky (Madison, Wis.), Men's 5,000 meters finals
I was in it when it was easy. We didn't know what to expect. We thought the Kenyans were going to take it out on (Ethiopia's Kenenisa) Bekele, or he was going to run from the gun. It worked out to be really slow. I wasn't concentrating enough I don't think in the middle stages when it started to get to a moderate pace. I wasn't running as efficient as I should have. It cost me at the end because when they took off, it just broke my spirit. I never do this, but I looked back on the backstretch and there was nobody really behind me. They crushed my spirits. It was my first worlds. I got a lot of learning to do. It showed today, for sure. I learned a lot today.

Matt Tegenkamp (Portland, Ore. ), Men's 5,000 meters finals
It was a hard push. We got into a pace, but in the first mile and 2K was really slow. We just pushed and pushed, and everyone took a share of the lead. I did everything I could. 13:20 within four days is a huge improvement. That tells me I'm going in the right direction. It's a huge improvement over last year. I'm said it's not going be done all in one year. It will be done over a period of years. Next year, with it being an off year, we are going to focus strictly on what we need to accomplish for 2011 and 2012, which are major championships. We will have a great build in to those two years. I'm disappointed that I was right there to take the medals. It was right in my sweet spot. It just wasn't there today. You can't be disappointed. You have to have it on that day.

Christin Wurth-Thomas (Springdale, Ark.), Women's 1,500 meters final
We talk about experience. I think didn't feel comfortable. It was my first finals. But I can't hold my head. I made some mistakes. I felt like I closed well, which is something I haven't been doing well this year. That was positive. But I wasn't in position to close, and that's a major mistake. This is my first final. I had some nerves, and I needed to shake it out. To be running with the top of the world, I can't be holding my head.

Tera Moody (Colorado Springs, Colorado), women's marathon
I wanted to break 2:30 today, but with the heat, I had to be a little more conservative. I felt really great, but I just didn't have the turnover.
I felt great from the get-go. I was getting a bit impatient.

Desiree Davila (Rochester Hills, Michigan), women's marathon
I went out pretty even, and was able to pick it up along the way. A huge pack was sitting in front of me, and as it broke up, I was able to weave my way through. I felt great going into the last lap, and was able to pick people off.
I came in very fit, and having the confidence from the Chicago Marathon, and being able to move through the field was huge.

Kara Goucher (Portland, Oregon), women's marathon
My legs felt great, and I felt really relaxed. It was great to have a loop course where my husband and coach could yell at me. The pace felt comfortable, and it felt like practice.
I had a lot of problems keeping my fluids down. After the second personal fluid station, I started throwing up what I took in. I would start taking it, then a mile later, I'd throw up.
I started to cramp with 13k to go, and then the field started to surge. It wasn't there. I just wasn't good enough today. I thought I hydrated myself well leading up to the race.
When the field made their break, my body wouldn't go.

Paige Higgins (Flagstaff, Arizona), women's marathon
It went very well, but the heat got to me. Tera Moody and I pretty much buddied up together and pursued the second chase pack.
We were in it to get a real good team placing.
I liked running on a criterium-style course like this. You can figure out the undulations, and you can break up the course into sections. My coach told me to do a 30k run, and a 12k race. The fans made a huge difference, and that's why I love this course. It's very runner-friendly, and even if you're not a runner, you can see us pass by four times.

Zoila Gomez (Alamosa, Colorado), women's marathon
It wasn't what I had expected. The first 10k I was right on what I wanted to run, and on the second lap I was feeling th esame thing.
Shortly before the half-marathon, I started feeling some hot spots on the bottoms of my feet. The race was harder than I thought with the blisters and all. I'm glad I finished the race, but I wished I could have done better.

The USA Track & Field Communications Department wishes to express its heartfelt thanks to Paul Merca and Mark Foyer for all their hard work in gathering quotes from Team USA athletes during the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics.

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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