With 30 medals in 2017, including 10 golds, the U.S. smashed its record for most medals at a single World Championships, surpassing the 28 won in 2011 in Daegu, South Korea. Coming on the heels of Team USATF’s 32-medal performance at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, it marked the first time since the 1952 and 1956 Olympic Games that U.S. won 30+ medals at consecutive global championships.
In London Sunday night, Kenya finished second in the medal count with 11. Team USATF also dominated the scoring tables with 272 points over Kenya in second with 124.
By winning gold in the 4x400 - and running the fastest split, for good measure - Allyson Felix increased her record, all-time World Championships medal tally to 16. The evening closed out a tremendous championships for the sport: London 2017 set a record for most tickets ever sold for an IAAF World Championship at more than 705,000 for the 10-day competition; an additional 150,000 fans lined the streets of London to watch the marathons.
Women’s 4x400 takes gold with record margin of victory
With two medalists in the lineup, a U.S. victory was anticipated, and did the Americans over-deliver.Quanera Hayes (Hope Mills, North Carolina) ran lead-off for the U.S. as Jamaica took the early lead. Hayes made up ground in the homestretch and handed off to 2015 400m world champion Felix (Los Angeles) roughly even with Jamaica, which had an opening split of 50.98. Felix absolutely streaked around the curve and the backstretch and opened up a 15-meter lead, running a 48.2 split. Shakima Wimbley(Fort Lauderdale, Florida) only lengthened that lead, handing off to 2017 world champion Phyllis Francis (Queens, New York) with a lead that can only be described as enormous after her split of 49.6 … and the lead only grew. At the line, Francis split 50.2 and stopped the clock at 3:19.02, Team USATF’s fastest since winning the 2012 Olympic gold medal in the same stadium. Great Britain finished second in 3:25.00, with Poland third in 3:25.41. It was the largest margin of victory ever in a World Championships 4x400 relay, at 5.98 seconds.
Silver for young Team USATF men’s 4x400m squad
Running a lineup that had only one athlete with previous IAAF World Championships experience in Gil Roberts(Oklahoma City, Oklahoma), and just one man who made the 400m final in Fred Kerley (Taylor, Texas) the men’s 4x4 promised excitement, if not unpredictability. Wil London II (Waco, Texas) opened for the U.S. and ran a great homestretch to lead at the first handoff in 44.08. From there, Gil Roberts took over leading duties, holding off Trinidad & Tobago in the homestretch in a split of 44.08 to hand off to Michael Cherry(Chesapeake, Virginia) with a two-stride lead. Cherry ran 44.87 and at the last handoff, Kerley had just one stride on Trinidad & Tobago’s 2012 Olympic bronze medalist and 2015 World Championships silver medalist, Lalonde Gordon. Great Britain’s Martyn Rooney trailed in third. As the crowd erupted in a deafening roar in the homestretch, Gordon overtook Kerley to win in a world-leading time of 2:58.12. Team USATF took silver in a season’s best 2:58.61, with Team GB third in 2:59.00.
Wilson takes bronze, runs fastest time by American at Worlds
Based on the semifinal rounds and Diamond League results, the women’s 800 medals looked to be a four-way battle between American record holder Ajee’ Wilson (Neptune, New Jersey), Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya of South Africa, Olympic silver medalist Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and bronze medalist Margaret Wambui of Kenya.
And it played out that way. Wilson went to the lead at the break, with Niyonsaba on her shoulder, and Wambui in third. Niyonsaba edged ahead in the first homestretch to tow the field through 400m in 57.98, with Wilson just behind and Wambui on Wilson’s shoulder. Niyonsaba made her move around the curve just after the bell, and Wilson, Wambui and Semenya gave chase.
Semenya then hit turbo mode at the 200 and sprinted away to win in 1:55.16, with Niyonsaba second in 1:55.92 and Wilson third in 1:56.65, the fastest time by an American at the World Championships and the fourth fastest time ever by an American. Teammate Charlene Lipsey (Hempstead, New York) finished seventh in 1:58.73.
Three top-10 finishes round out U.S. finals
Americans turned in three additional top-10 finishes in the women’s 5000m, men’s 1500m and men’s high jump finals Sunday. The women’s 5000m started as a stroll, at more than 82 seconds for the first 400 and 2:40 for the 800. With 9 laps to go, Olympic champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia picked it up with Hellen Obiri of Kenya on her shoulder. The American trio of Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco, California), Molly Huddle (Elmira, New York) and Shelby Houlihan (Sioux City, Iowa) ran in the second trail pack, with Rowbury ninth, Huddle 12th and Houlihan 14th. Throughout changes in packs and pace, those places roughly held through the remainder of the race. Rowbury finished ninth in 14:59.92, Huddle was 12th in 15:05.28, and Houlihan ended 13th in 15:06.40. Obiri took the gold in 14:34.86.
In the men’s 1500m final, Johnny Gregorek (Seekonk, Massachusetts) was competing on his first Team USATF national team. In a race with a relatively honest pace, Gregorek for most of the race sat at the back of a strung-out, single-file pack that was led by Timothy Cheruiyot and Elijah Manangoi of Kenya. Down the homestretch, Gregorek moved up to finish 10th in 3:37.56. Manangoi took gold in 3:33.61.
Competing in his first World Championships men’s high jump final, USATF Outdoors championBryan McBride (Peoria, Arizona) cleared 2.20m/7-2.50 on his first attempt, 2.25/7-4.50 on his second try but went out at 2.29m/7-6, placing eighth.
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)
Sam Kendricks, Men’s Pole Vault, 5.95m/19-6.25 (8/8)
Phyllis Francis, Women’s 400m, 49.92 (8/9)
Kori Carter, Women’s 400m Hurdles, 53.07 (8/10)
Christian Taylor, Men’s Triple Jump, 17.68m/58-0.25 (8/10)
Brittney Reese, Women’s Long Jump, 7.02m/23-0.5 (8/11)
Emma Coburn, Women’s 3000m Steeplechase, 9:02.58 AR (8/11)
Women’s 4x100m Relay (Aaliyah Brown, Allyson Felix, Morolake Akinosun, Tori Bowie), 41.82 (8/12)
Women’s 4x400m Relay (Quanera Hayes, Allyson Felix, Shakima Wimbley, Phyllis Francis), 3:19.02 (8/13)
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, 21.66m/71-0.75 (8/6)
Jenny Simpson, Women’s 1500m, 4:02.76 (8/7)
Dalilah Muhammad, Women’s 400m Hurdles, 53.50 (8/10)
Will Claye, Men’s Triple Jump, 17.63m/57-6.25 (8/10)
Courtney Frerichs, Women’s 3000m Steeplechase, 9:03.77 (8/11)
Dawn Harper-Nelson, Women’s 100m Hurdles, 12.72 (8/11)
Men’s 4x100m relay (Michael Rodgers, Justin Gatlin, Jaylen Bacon, Christian Coleman), 37.52 (8/12)
Men’s 4x400m Relay (Wil London III, Gil Roberts, Michael Cherry, Fred Kerley), 2:58.61 (8/13)
Mason Finley, Men’s Discus Throw, 68.03m/223-2(8/5)
Amy Cragg, Women’s Marathon, 2:27:18 (8/6)
Evan Jager, Men’s 3000m Steeplechase, 8:15.53 (8/8)
Michelle Carter, Women’s Shot Put, 19.14m/62-9.5 (8/9)
Kerron Clement, Men’s 400m Hurdles, 48.52 (8/9)
Allyson Felix, Women’s 400m, 50.08 (8/9)
Tianna Bartoletta, Women’s Long Jump, 6.97m/22-10.5 (8/11)
Paul Chelimo, Men’s 5,000m, 13:33.30 (8/11)
Ajee’ Wilson, Women’s 800m, 1:56.65 (8/13)
Note: for additional video quotes, see USATF’s Instagram feed.
Women’s 800m Final
Ajee’ Wilson:“I felt great. My coach told me to get out. If I found myself in the lead, cool, if not, don’t fight for it. Coming off the last turn, I saw that the three of us had pulled away, so I was just like, hey go for it. I’m going to get a medal. I just gave it all I had the last phase. I’m happy, I’m grateful that I got a medal. I also wish I could’ve gotten gold today, but that’s what I had today. I’m super excited with my performance. I couldn’t be happier.”
Charlene Lipsey: “I was just telling myself to stay close. I knew it was going to come down to a kick. I was trying to stay close and my coach said to bring it home strong, so that’s what I did. I think it’s unpredictable, especially for a final. It didn’t really play out the way that I expected it to, but overall it was a good race.”
Women’s 5000m Final
Shannon Rowbury:“Props to the women who were in the top. They ran great races, and today was their day. That chase pack, I knew it was the pack that I needed to be in. The surge that they made, I just couldn’t quite cover it. I’m still a newbie at the event. The women who won today ran the best race today. I was hoping for a quicker race, actually. It’s such a great stadium with a great crowd, I hoped we would get after it a little more and I could set a PR.”
Molly Huddle:“I’m excited to move onto the marathon. It’s a new territory, it’s fresh and it’s motivating me now.”
Shelby Houlihan: “I felt really good. It was definitely the weirdest race I’ve ever been in. It was kind of fartleky the first few laps. We were going super slow then sprint a straight. Go super slow then sprint kind of on and off. I was in the back and I wasn’t panicking. I felt really comfortable, really fine, conserving more energy than other people. When they actually went I was in the back and couldn’t respond.”
Men’s 1500m Final
Johnny Gregorek: “I’m pretty disappointed. I definitely wanted to come out and medal, at least get in the top group. I couldn’t get it going, I didn’t have a whole lot in my legs. I wanted to be in a better position, I just couldn’t quite move up. Definitely a huge lesson for the future. I have to get stronger for these rounds. It’s just motivation. I think that it’s important to have moments like this. I was feeling a little invincible coming into this final. I’d recovered really well. But 600 meters into the race, I was in the well already. It was one of those things where next time I have to be stronger, more composed in the rounds and I’ll be ready to contend better in the final. I hope I get another chance, I intend to get another chance.”
Men’s High Jump Final
Bryan McBride: “It’s kind of like a bittersweet thing. It’s amazing to be in the final, it’s the first time I’ve ever been to a major championship, let alone the final. When you look at the placements, if I’d done what I did in the prelims, that’s a bronze medal. So it’s kind of heartbreaking in a sense when you think about it that way. Things happen and you just have to learn from them. I’ll walk out of here with my head high, knowing that I left it all on the track.”