Several American runners have blazed their way to the podium during the early stages of the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, Korea this week.
In this preview of London Olympics talent next summer, five American runners have won medals in each of the sprint races.
Leading the string of medal wins was Walter Dix who raced to a silver in the 100m dash on Sunday, a race in which world record holder Usain Bolt was disqualified.
Boosted by this success, Carmelita Jeter blazed to Monday’s victory in the women’s race with a 10.90 second finish, just ahead of a photo finish pack of three runners leaning for the runner-up medals. Veronica Campbell-Brown (10.97) and Kelly-Ann Baptiste (10.98) treasured their medals on the victory stand as well.
“I didn’t know I had it until the camera was on me because it was so close. I have been dreaming of this since 2009 when I got the bronze in Berlin,” said Jeter in an IAAF press release.
The 400m specialist, Allyson Felix, was edged by an emotional Amantle Montsho who is the first athlete from Botswana to have ever won an IAAF World Championship event.
Montsho (49.56) outstretched Felix’s personal best 49.59 time in front of a large Monday night audience. Russia’s Anastasiya Kapachinskaya finished in third, clocking in at 50.24.
In a controversial 110m hurdles contest yesterday evening, American Jason Richardson (13.16) was handed the gold after Cuba’s Dayron Robles was disqualified for interfering with China’s Liu Xiang.
The three were neck-and-neck at the last two hurdles when the off-balance Robles swung his arm striking Xiang and then edged Richardson at the finish, while Xiang trailed (13.27).
The Chinese delegation filed a protest, and despite a subsequent Cuban appeal, the judges disqualified Robles, thereby moving Richardson (13.16), Xiang (13.27), and Great Britain’s Andrew Turner (13.44) up a notch.
Richardson said, “I wish it had been a drama-free race. It is a bitter-sweet experience. It’s never good when someone as talented as Dayron gets disqualified. But there are rules and we have to abide by them.”
Veteran LaShawn Merritt, a double gold medalist at the Beijing Olympics, was nipped at the line by Grenada’s Kirani James in the 400m event on Tuesday. James (44.60), Merritt (44.63), and Belgian Kevin Borlee (44.90) later celebrated their medals atop the podium.
Team USA is vying for several more medals later this week in the 200m sprint, hurdles races, as well as 4×100 and 4×400 relays.