Fearless stretch run gives Simpson silver
Simpson(Oviedo, Florida) closed her eyes calmly before being called to the line. When the gun went off, an action-packed race began. Home-crowd favorite Laura Muir of Great Britain went straight to the lead, with Simpson on her shoulder to bring the pack through 400m in 1:05.35. The pace then slowed by nearly seven seconds as the field bunched up. Olympic gold medalist Faith Kipyegon moved into position off of Muir’s shoulder as Simpson ran in fourth and fifth place, going through 800m in 2:17.29.
World Indoor 3,000m champion Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands surged to the lead with 600m to go, and Simpson followed. At the bell it was Hassan, Kipyegon and Muir, with Simpson on the rail in fourth. Hassan and Kipyegon sprinted, shoulder to shoulder, down the backstretch and built up a lead of several meters, but Muir put in a huge surge with 200 to go, and the race was on.
Down the stretch, Hassan began to tire as the quartet sprinted, with Olympic 800m gold medalist Caster Semenya of South Africa giving chase. Running in fourth, Simpson boldly took the rail to pass Muir on the inside, then chased down Hassan and nearly caught Kipyegon, who won in 4:02.59. Simpson was second in 4:02.76, followed by Semenya in 4:02.90 and Muir fourth in 4:02.97.
As Simpson half-ran and half-danced around the curve, celebrating her finish with pumping fists and high knees, the in-stadium announcer understatedly observed, “Jenny Simpson always seems to get it right tactically.”
Merritt 5th in 110H
Another great American champion came up just shy of the medals. Running out of lane 9 of the men’s 110m hurdles final, Aries Merritt(Marietta, Georgia) looked strong over three hurdles but wasn’t able to find the quick tempo that propelled him to a fast time in the first round. A little slow out of the blocks, he came through the finish in 13.31 to place fifth. Olympic gold medalist Omar McLeod of Jamaica took the victory in 13.04, with Sergey Shubenkov of Russia, running unattached, second in 13.14 and Balazs Baji of Hungary third in 13.28.
In Team USATF’s third final on Monday night’s, DeAnna Price(Old Monroe, Missouri) just missed out on earning three final throws in the women’s hammer throw, utilizing a third throw of 70.04m/229-9 to finish ninth.
In Monday’s semifinal action, a trio of gold medalists all set themselves up for their respective finals.
Taylor leads strong contingent to MTJ final
Team USATF had the top two qualifiers in the men’s triple jump and three of the top six. Chris Benard(Corona, California) spanned 17.20m/56-5.25 to post the farthest jump of the qualifying round on his first and only jump, while Olympic and world champion Christian Taylor(Fayetteville, Georgia), also was one and done with his 17.15m/56-3.25 opener easily exceeding the automatic qualifying mark. Olympic silver medalist Will Claye posted a best mark of 16.95m/55-7.5 to have the fifth-best mark. Donald Scott(Apopka, Florida) had a best jump of 16.63m/54-6.75 and just missed qualifying with the thirteenth-best mark.
Clement, Holmes on to 400H final
In the first of three semifinal races, Kerron Clement (La Porte, Texas) went out relaxed and easy while Karsten Warholm of Norway stormed to a huge lead. Entering the final stretch, Clement was in fourth place by at least five meters, but ran hard off the final hurdle and took the win on the final stride of his race with a time of 48.35.
In heat 2, TJ Holmes(St. Petersburg, Florida) was undeterred by hitting the penultimate hurdle with significantly more than a light brush, and strode on to win the heat in 49.12. In the third and final heat, Eric Futch(Darby, Pennsylvania) knocked down the 8th hurdle but barely broke stride, finishing third in 49.30 and just missing out on an on-time qualifying spot in the final.
Felix and Francis impress in women’s 400
Allyson Felix (Los Angeles, California) will return to the 400m final to defend her 2015 title. In the second semifinal, she went out strong but controlled and entered the final stretch in the lead. 19-year-old Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain charged down the stretch and nipped Felix at the finish, posting a national-record time of 50.08 with Felix second in 50.12 to automatically qualify.
She will be joined in the final by Phyllis Francis (Queens, New York), the U.S. runner-up, who led the third semifinal from the gun and powered home to win in 50.37.
Quanera Hayes(Hope Mills, North Carolina) went out very conservatively in the first heat and had a huge gap to make up over the final 150m. She managed to close within a stride of the two automatic qualifiers, placing third in 50.71, but did not advance to the final.
Four Americans on to women’s 400H semifinals
The American contingent endured a bit of drama but in the end all advanced out of the first round of the women’s 400m hurdles. Olympic gold medalist Dalilah Muhammad(Bayside, New York) was dominant in heat 1, zipping past the field over the first five hurdles before settling into a rhythm that carried her to an easy 54.59 win.
Kori Carter (Hawthorne, California) had no trouble winning heat 4, racing quickly to the lead. Despite minor stride bobbles approaching the final two hurdles, Carter won in 54.99 to make it 4-4 for Team USATF in qualifying for the semifinal.
In heat 2, 2015 bronze medalistCassandra Tate (Hammond, Louisiana) kept pace with reigning world champion Zuzana Hejnova through 200m and maintained to take third in 55.48 and advance. The excitement came in heat 3 when reigning world champs Shamier Little (Chicago, Illinois) ran very quickly into the final curve and then had big trouble at the eighth barrier, smashing it and losing her rhythm. She recovered enough to navigate the ninth hurdle and had more trouble over the final barrier, but fought her way in to take third in 56.18.
Americans move on to 200m semis
All three Americans will compete in Tuesday’s semifinal of the men’s 200. In the second heat of Monday’s first round, NCAA fourth-placerKyree King (Ontario, California) matched up again with Trinidad’s Jereem Richards of Alabama, the collegiate bronze medalist, and the finish order was the same as at NCAAs. King ran a very relaxed 20.41 to take second and move on to the semifinal, and Richards won in 20.05. Ameer Webb (Harbor City, California) put it into cruise control to finish second in heat 4 in 20.22 to secure a berth in the next round. Isiah Young(Junction City, Kansas) powered over the final 50m to win heat 6 in 20.19.
Team USATF continues competition on August 8 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)
Jenny Simpson, Women’s 1500m, 4:02.76 (8/7)
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.
Men’s 110mH Final
Aries Merritt: “I failed to execute late in the race, which is my specialty. Finishing is what I do best. I don’t know what happened. Either I got too close to 9 and it caused me to float to close to Hansle over 10. It wasn’t really good execution. Executing races is what gets you a medal and I failed to do that today. But despite that, I’m happy to be here, definitely happy to be on the world stage. It’s definitely possible for me to medal in the future, now that I’ve had a proper year of training. The next year I run will definitely be better. I’ve run 13.0 this year, it just wasn’t my day.”
Women’s 1500m Final
Jenny Simpson: “On that final stretch, I just thought I could win. No one’s going to believe I’m doing this again. It felt so amazing and it was kind of a surprisingly lucid final 300m for me. I tried to stay calm and then release the beast the last 80 meters or so. I wanted to make it to the finish line because I was running so hard to stay with that group, so I wanted to preserve my ability to make it to the end. I can see how hard Faith and Hassan are racing each other and I really believe I can get one of them if they’re working this hard this far out. It’s so weird to me that I can have all of those thoughts in those few, short seconds. But I knew I could run at least one of them down. I have to give so much credit to my coach, Heather Burroughs. She’s been talking to me all week about not hesitating. When we made it to the curve, I remember thinking that whether they break to the outside or stay on the inside, don’t hesitate. You gotta just go for it. I give her huge credit for my medal tonight, because her advice really paid off.”
Women’s Hammer Throw Final
DeAnna Price: “It’s absolutely wonderful, when you’re here in London you hear the fans roaring, your adrenaline gets pumping. Today it wasn’t in it for me. They call it growing pains. You’ve just got to go through it. You’ve got to grin, you’ve got to bear it, you’ve got to move through. You haven’t heard the last of me, that’s for sure. Next year is an off year. I plan on getting married, I plan on training the whole entire time, because I just had my fire lit pretty good.”
Men’s Triple Jump Qualification
Christian Taylor: “One and done. I still have a lot of energy right now. It’s been wonderful. It’s been a great opportunity to talk about the U.S. medal count right now, to see our teammates winning night after night, it’s a great start. I want to keep it going. This is my dream. This is why I’m here. I love to win. I never take that for granted. But at the same time, I want to be the best ever. It’s 8 cm away to tie it (the world record). I don’t want to share it.”
Chris Benard: “The fact that I was able to execute in prelims says a lot. It built some confidence, but I’m still kind of nervous for what’s to come just out of the fact that I did perform so well. Now I have to try to live up to that mark. It says a lot, but it doesn’t mean anything if I don’t do it in the final.”
Will Claye: “It took me a couple of jumps. It felt like practice and I’m not the best practice jumper. It just felt good to get on the runway and see how it felt, see what I need to come with on Thursday for the final. When those lights come on on Thursday, I’ll be a whole other animal out there. It was good to get a couple of jumps in to get a feel for what the runway feels like.”
Donald Scott: “I felt good going through warmup, everything was fine. I took my first jump and I was I think a foot behind the board. My coaches told me to push out the back. On the second jump, I did that. I hit the board, I just didn’t execute well enough. On the third one, I was pumped. I just knew that was going to get it. Onto my second phase, I kind of collapsed and didn’t pull out of it well. I gave it my all. It’s my first big meet, so I’ll look forward to more. ”
Women’s 400m Hurdles Heats
Dalilah Muhammad: “For the first round you just kind of get the nerves out, get the jitters out, test where you’re at, fitness-wise. I’ve had a couple ups and downs this season. I’m happy with it.”
Cassandra Tate: “I felt a little race-rusty. I hope tomorrow will be better. I need to run much cleaner and I’ll be fine.”
Shamier Little: “I just wasn’t thinking, I was telling myself, finish, finish and I have to go through another hurdle before I finish. I just have to focus more. This crowd is crazy. I try not to look up in the stands or I get real nervous, especially if I hear people calling my name. I want to look but I’ll look at everything. I try to stay focused on me.”
Kori Carter: “I’m really confident today. I trust my coach, I trust my training. I trust my fitness. God’s put me in a place to kind of still me, so I came out confident.”
Men’s 400m Hurdles Semis
Kerron Clement: “I just had to stay focused and don’t panic. I know that my strength will carry me through off the last hurdle. I just trust my training. I’m excited to be in the final and want to win the gold medal. I got to work on the turn and finish strong and the gold medal will be mine.”
TJ Holmes: “I made sure I stayed focused. I didn’t worry about anybody else. I got out fast. I could tell that everyone was pressing on the first half, so I tried to remain calm and that way I could have something to come home with.”
Eric Futch: “I think I got out good for the first three (hurdles). I was comfortable and where I wanted to be. I made a mistake with not keeping running through hurdle four. I got stuck on my alternate leg and could never get back onto my lead leg. It was a great season for me, great experience. It was better than yesterday.”
Women’s 400m Semis
Allyson Felix: “The final is just about laying it all out there and executing my race. I’m looking forward to that. We have a lot of depth, a lot of talent. It will be good to get all of us out there together.”
Phyllis Francis: “My coach wanted me to rehearse what we’d do for finals. He gave me one job, just to go out there and win. Technically, that’s two. (laughter) Go out there, win my heat then rest up then go attack the final.”
Quanera Hayes: “I just missed it. Of course my execution could have been better. I backed off a little bit on the back stretch, but as you could see I had a lot left to fight in the end, they were getting away from me. I almost caught up to her and got second place, but I’m happy. I’m not disappointed at all. I gave it my best. It was just execution, not because of my fitness or anything else. My execution was a little off today.”
Men’s 200m Heats
Kyree King: “It felt good. I just wanted to come out here and advance. I did that, so I’m happy with whatever the outcome was. I stayed in shape (after the USATF Championships).”
Ameer Webb: “Running in Lane 2, I have to create my own strategy. It’s a terrible lane draw, but mentally I knew I had to take second and get it done. I went out there and got it done. I established some dominance from the beginning, I saw where I was coming off the bend and finished it well.”
Isiah Young: “The crowd is always loud. The track is fast. I just went out there and got a good opener to see where my body is at and I just executed my race.”