Following Justin Gatlin’s win Saturday night, it marked the first time since 2005 that Team USATF won both the men’s and women’s 100 meters in World Championship competition and first U.S. women’s sprint gold since 2011. Sandi Morris and Joe Kovacs claimed silver to raise Team USATF’s medal tally to eight after three days, and the U.S. leads the point standings by 11 over Kenya, 65-54.
Tori takes gold
All eyes were on the middle of the track, with an anticipated showdown between Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson of Jamaica in lane 6 and silver medalist Bowie(Sand Hill, Mississippi) in lane 7. Thompson got out well, as did Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast in lane 4, with Bowie in fourth or fifth in the first 40 meters. Fourth at the 2016 Games in Rio, Ta Lou opened a gap on the field. Bowie kept her composure and moved up in the final half of the race. A full-on dip at the line brought Bowie crashing to the track as Queen Elizabeth Stadium believed Ta Lou the winner. Results quickly went up, however, and showed Bowie first at 10.85, Ta Lou second in 10.86, and 200m world champ Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands third in 10.96.
In the semifinal round earlier in the evening, Deajah Stevens(Bayside, New York) finished eighth in the first semi in 11.32, and Ariana Washington(Long Beach, California) was seventh in the second section in 11.29.
Morris claims PV silver
It was a Rio rematch as Olympic silver medalist Sandi Morris(Greenville, South Carolina) cleared each of the first four heights - 4.45/14-7.25, 4.55/14-11, 4.65/15-3, and 4.75/15-7 - on her first attempt, as did Olympic gold medalist Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece.
Morris was up first at 4.82m/15-9.75, missing on her first attempt. When Stefanidi cleared the height, with a heavy brush on the bar on the way down, Morris passed to 4.89m/16-0.5, hoping a clearance at that height with two attempts would give her the gold. Morris was unable to clear, giving her silver, while Stefanidi secured the gold. Stefanidi then raised the bar to a national-record height of 4.91/16-1.25, which she cleared on her first attempt.
Kovacs takes SP silver
The defending world champ in the shot,Joe Kovacs(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) took the lead with his first-round toss of 21.48m/70-5.5, which Tomas Walsh of New Zealand exceeded on his second (21.64/71-0) and third (21.75/71-4.25) throws. Kovacs improved to 21.66/71-0.75 on his third throw to hold second place heading into the final three throws, while Olympic gold medalist Ryan Crouser (Boring, Oregon) sat fifth with 21.09 and Ryan Whiting (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) was eighth with 20.82/68-3.75.
Kovacs appeared to have unfurled a winning throw with his last attempt, the shot landing well clear of 22 meters, but the defending world champion was flagged for a foot foul. Walsh then improved to 22.03m/72-3.25 for the final, winning toss. Crouserfinished sixth with a best throw of 21.20/69-6.5, with Whiting seventh at 21.09/69-2.25. Darrell Hill(Darby, Pennsylvania) finished 11th with a best of 20.79/68-2.5.
Williams 12th in heptathlon
Kendell Williams (Kennesaw, Georgia) was the top U.S. finisher in the heptathlon in 12th, scoring 6,220 points overall after running 2:19.15 in the 800 meters. Erica Bougard(Byhalia, Mississippi) totaled 6,036 points to place 18th after running 2:08.77 in the 800, and 2012 Olympian Sharon Day-Monroe(Costa Mesa, California) placed 20th with 6,006 points after a time of 2:12.64 in the 800.
It proved a challenging night of qualifying for Team USATF, with one athlete making it through to each of the finals in the men’s 400m and 110m hurdles.
Kerley qualifies for 400m final
Fred Kerley(Taylor, Texas) will compete in his first 400 meter final, where he will be the lone American, after Sunday’s semifinals. In the first heat, he ran well over the first 200m and was level with Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas. In the final 100m, Gardiner and Nathon Allen of Jamaica pulled away to put Kerley third in 44.51. Kerley advanced to the final on time. Wil London(Waco, Texas) was fifth behind Kerley, missing out on the final with his 45.12.
In semifinal 2, LaShawn Merritt(Portsmouth, Virginia) was running to the outside of world record-holder Wayde Van Niekerk and stayed in contention until the 250m mark, where Van Niekerk pulled away. Battling a foot injury, Merritt fell back down the final straight and was seventh in 45.52. In the third and final semifinal,Gil Roberts(Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) made a mad dash through 200m before being overhauled by Isaac Makwala. Roberts battled through the last 150m and wound up third in 44.84, but missed out on the final.
Merritt returns to 110H final
Aries Merritt(Marietta, Georgia) will represent the U.S. in Monday’s 110m hurdles final, running safe and strong in heat three to automatically advance with a second-place finish in 13.25.Devon Allen(Phoenix, Arizona) missed a spot in the final by three-thousandths of a second in a blanket finish that saw the top four men clock 13.26-13.28. Allen ended up third in 13.27, a hair’s breadth behind runner-up Hansle Parchment of Jamaica, becoming the fastest-ever non-qualifier for the world championships final. Aleec Harris(Atlanta, Georgia) got out well in the first semifinal but couldn’t make an impression on the leaders as he finished sixth in 13.40.
Men’s 800m semifinals
After his compatriots did not advance out of their races, Donavan Brazier (Grand Rapids, Michigan) in the third and final 800m semifinal was left with the American mantle. Typically a front runner, Brazier was in mid-pack at the 600m mark but ran out of gas over the final half-lap, clocking 1:46.27 in seventh.
Isaiah Harris(Lewiston, Maine) ran 1:46.66 for fourth in the first semifinal, and Drew Windle(New Albany, Ohio) was fifth in the second semi in 1:46.33.
In women’s javelin qualifying, Kara Winger(Vancouver, Washington) had her best effort in round one, launching the javelin 61.27m/201-0 to finish 15th overall; she did not qualify for the final. Ariana Ince(Gonzales, Texas) had one legal throw of 54.52m/178-10 and also did not advance.
Team USATF continues competition on August 7 under the lights at Olympic Stadium in London. Fans can follow along with #TeamUSATF at #IAAFWorlds onTwitter,Instagram,SnapchatandFacebook. Full TV and webcast viewing times can be found here.
HELP TEAM USATF GIVE BACK:After a 32-medal winning performance at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Team USATF has joined forces with the American Cancer Society to raise money for the fight against cancer. Celebrate the success of Team USATF at the 2017 IAAF World Championships by making a pledge for every medal Team USATF wins in London! To make a pledge and to watch a PSA featuring Christian Taylor and cancer survivor Gabe Grunewald, visitwww.nothingisimpossible.com
TEAM USATF MEDAL TABLE
Justin Gatlin, Men’s 100m, 9.92 (8/5)
Tori Bowie, Women’s 100m, 10.85 (8/6)
Jarrion Lawson, Men’s Long Jump, 8.44m/27-8.25(8/5)
Christian Coleman, Men’s 100m, 9.94 (8/5)
Sandi Morris, Women’s Pole Vault, 4.75m/15-7 (8/6)
Joe Kovacs, Men’s Shot Put, 21.66/71-0.75 (8/6)
Mason Finley, Men’s Discus Throw, 68.03m/223-2(8/5)
Amy Cragg, Women’s Marathon, 2:27:18 (8/6)
Note: for additional video quotes, see USATF’s Instagram feed.
Women’s 100m final
Tori Bowie: “I don’t know where the finish (the dive) comes from. I guess just hunger, determination, I’m motivated, I want it. That’s the best part of my race, the last 40 meters. I’m currently still working on the beginning. It’s slowly getting better. I’m thankful with the slow progress.
“I had no idea (she won). I was happy with the finish because I felt like I was in top three, I didn’t know what place. I was like, ‘I think I’m a medalist, I think I’m a medalist,’ but I didn’t know what place. When I saw it pop up on the board and it was all confirmed, I thought, “Oh my God, I can’t believe this just happened.” It’s the best night of my life.
On her lean: I was trying to do just a modest lean like I’ve done at previous championships and for some reason, I lost control of my body tonight. I didn’t expect that to happen.
I bet I’m the only person in the world that thought I could come out here and win the 100 meters tonight. I learned a lot from tonight. I learned to always follow your heart, always follow your heart. I think the rest of the world was telling me, why are you choosing the 100 over the 200? This is how I’m feeling, this is the event I want to be the world champion in and it happened tonight.
"The dive doesn't feel too good now. (Bowie was scraped up and received medical attention after the race.) But that has saved me at championships in the past. I never give up until I'm over the line ...Ta Lou went away fast but she always is. It didn't bother me and I just kept pumping my legs and arms until the finish. I have a few cuts but I'll be ready for the 200m. I'm not afraid of what is to come."
Men’s shot put final
Joe Kovacs: “I think that at the end of the day, my last throw I did protest. I did get it measured, it was far enough to win, it was 22.08. I’m just happy I went down swinging. I’m just happy I went out there and put one out there in the end. We brought four guys to the final, I’m glad one American flag is on top of the podium. I think one should always be there on the podium. I feel good being there. Every year it’s a four-year quad and our goal is to be on top of the Olympic podium like we were in Rio and Tokyo. So this is just the experience for me. I’m glad to shake this one off. I’m excited for the next three years going into Tokyo. I think the experiences like this will help me for that.
Ryan Crouser: “For me it was just kind of a struggle. The third round, it felt like I started to get it going. It was a big throw, especially compared to the rest of my night. (The throw was declared a foul.) 22.31 is what the protest measured at. We asked for a protest, came back, they made the right call (calling it a foul). I kind of moved on from there. I tried to get going but it just wasn’t happening tonight. Physically I’m in great shape, I’d say the best shape of my life, but it’s kind of like a golf swing. There are days you go out there, swing away, and everything goes straight and far, and there’s nights you just hack at it. Tonight was one of those nights I was hacking at it.”
Ryan Whiting:“Obviously it didn’t go how I wanted it to go, but it never really does. It’s always a little harder than you think. You must be really, really on. I’m happy to be back on this stage and to have thrown 21 meters and just fight through the meet. I’m excited to go home to my family in a couple of days.
Women’s pole vault final
Sandi Morris:“Ekaterini Stefanini of Greece, she has been on her game. I feel like she has been 100 percent this whole season. I’ve been kind of struggling with some things. I knew I would have to bring my A game in order to take that gold. I am a little bit disappointed in my own performance. I know I have it 100 percent, so I can’t have any regrets. But on those last bars, I almost had that 4.89 bar on my second attempt, and then I moved the standards. It was just one of those times where I didn’t have the standards in the right spot or the right pole in my hand. My last attempt I went out, I needed a bigger pole in my hand. That’s just the pole vault. You can be doing everything right on your technique, but if you don’t have the right pole in your hand or the standards set right, it’s gonna be a miss. I’m not angry with myself. I’m going to use this other silver medal to continue to motivate me to even greater heights. It’s probably the loudest crowd I’ve ever heard.”
Men’s 110m hurdles semifinals
Aries Merritt: “There’s a lot of great hurdlers out there, and I’m pleased to be one of them still. Tomorrow I expect it to be a lot quicker. Everyone had to deal with the seven-and-a-half hour gap between rounds, which is unorthodox for sure. It’s something that we have to deal with. Tomorrow my goal is to be a lot more aggressive and not so lax. I feel like because there wasn’t as many major names in my semifinal, I didn’t execute as best as I should have, and that’s a problem. I’m so used to having the semifinal of death - like heat 1 was a semifinal of death, so they say. I’m normally in that semifinal and it forces me to execute a lot better. But I made it to the next round, and all I need is a lane.”
Devon Allen:“Football is a game of inches, track’s a game of thousandths of a second. I’ve got to learn from it, critique it. I think I’ve got a few more meets this year, so I’ve got to move on and try to run fast. World championship competition is the best competition. That’s what I live for and strive for. I was just sloppy in the middle of the race and kind of put myself out of it. I usually close well, so I knew if I stayed composed, I had a chance. I just didn’t get there.”
Aleec Harris:“I really don’t know. I have to get back with my coach and look at film. I tried to run hard in between (hurdles). I really need to know what I need to work on and analyze it. It was a great opportunity. This is a comeback year.”
Men’s 800m semifinals
Donavan Brazier: “I’m upset. Obviously I wanted to make the final. I’m just upset because I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life right now. I think I missed a very good opportunity to make the final. It will only get harder from here. I’ve just got to get better.”
Drew Windle: “I put myself more in it than I did yesterday. It’s just a high level of racing. Everybody here is really good. I just didn’t quite have it in my legs this weekend. It’s disappointing, but I have nothing to hang my head about. I had a phenomenal year. Making the semifinal will pay off down the road in other big championships.”
Isaiah Harris: “It was a very physical race. I made a couple of rookie mistakes out there, let people pass on the inside and maybe making my move a little too early. I’m really gonna take a lot away from racing this weekend. It’s all experience for the future, and I’m excited about what the future has in store for me.”
Men’s 400m semifinals
Fred Kerley: “20.47 (for the first 200m) isn’t my race plan. I got a little too happy at the beginning and I tried to finish. I know what to do to execute in the final. All I need to do is just stick to the race plan.”
LaShawn Merritt: On being injured:“I was thinking on it whether I was even going to come here and run, but I missed out on 2012 so I wanted to come out here and see what I could do. I knew I’ve been dealing with some injuries. It’s so unfortunate that it happened so close to (the world) championships. This year is a big year, but every year is a big year. It’s another year I had a setback, but I’ll just get healthy. I’ll rest now. I was supposed to be resting anyway. I’ve got something going on with my foot. If you watch film, you can see me kind of pulling my leg through. I just wanted to come and give it what I had, and that’s all I had today. I wasn’t that tired or a lot of lactic (acid), I just couldn’t push.
Wil London: “I gave it all I had. I can’t ask for more. I’ve still got the 4x4, so I can’t hold my head down too long. I’ll be back.”
Women’s javelin qualifying
Kara Winger: “I just made some of the same mistakes that I have been recently. I’ve been really frustrated this summer since USA’s. I had a really good practice in Birmingham (at team training camp) before coming here but needed one more of those at least to really lock in some technique. When you get into pressure situations, you rely on old habits, and that’s why practice is so important, to make those habits your championship technique. I didn’t make the final, and there have been too many teams that I have done that on. I’m not happy with myself and the way that I represented the U.S. today.”
Ariana Ince: “The first throw came down, I rolled my ankle and broke my shoe. After that I was a little flustered and frustrated, and I think that showed up in my throws. Kind of frustrated with how things ended up going, but I guess it just adds fuel to the fire for next year.”
Women’s 100m semifinal
Arianna Washington:“It happens. You learn from it. It’s my first time being on a senior team [in an individual event] and being on a track like this. I learned a lot. Hopefully I can come back in 2019.”
Kendell Williams:“The long jump is an event I’m usually excited about, so I’m disappointed it didn’t go well. I followed it up with a near-PR in the jav, so it was good to see that. Then the 800 wasn’t what I wanted. It was just important for me to finish and get another heptathlon under my belt.”
Erica Bougard:“The 800 is kind of my race. I just went out there and I had to finish strong. Nothing else went well today. I ran pretty good, plus it’s my PR. I’ve competed with these girls before and been top 10. I know I can compete with them. Next time I have to come out here with a better attitude.”
Sharon Day-Monroe:“To be honest, it probably couldn’t have gone worse for me over these last two days. I’m happy I finished with a pretty good 800, but I’m glad it’s over now.”