Friday, July 22, 2016

Historic Medal Sweeps for Team USA

Historic Medal Sweeps for Team USA

Marcus Krah (Durham, North Carolina)

Historic Medal Sweeps for Team USA


BYDGOSZCZ, Poland -- A pair of gold-silver sweeps in the men’s 110m hurdles and women’s 800 and a dominant performance in the women’s 100 meters in three consecutive races to conclude the evening pushed Team USA to the top of the medal table Thursday at the end of day three of the IAAF World U20 Championships at Zawisza Stadium.

From the first step of the men’s 110m hurdles final, Marcus Krah (Durham, North Carolina) was in control, and he never relinquished his lead as he blasted to a 13.25 to lead a 1-2 U.S. finish. Amere Lattin (Missouri City, Texas) was out quickly, just behind Krah, and he overcame a tough middle portion of his race to come back and outlean Japan’s Takumu Furuya for the silver in 13.30. It was the first 110H sweep ever for the U.S. at the World U20s.

Krah was the first American to win the World U20 110m hurdles title since 2012 Gold Medalist and World Record (high hurdles) holder Aries Merritt.

Samantha Watson (Henrietta, New York) and Aaliyah Miller (McKinney, Texas) gave Team USA a first-ever sweep of the women’s 800m medals, with Watson slingshotting off the final bend to pull clear and come away with the gold in 2:04.52, and Williams going wide to sprint past the rest of the pack over the final 100 and take silver in 2:05.06.

Williams was at the front of the pack at 400m in a slowish 63.53, with Watson safely in fourth. Over the next 200m, the field started to pick up the pace and Watson used the racing savvy that carried her to World Youth gold last summer to move into position for her final strike. Through the last bend Watson kept her spot on the inside, while Williams was stuck back in the pack and had to go into lane three to make her final move. Ethiopia’s Tigist Ketema was the only obstacle to a U.S. sweep, and Williams held her off in the last 20m.

Showing the same form that took her to World Youth gold in Cali last summer, Candace Hill (Conyers, Georgia) overcame a slow start and powered to the front to win the women’s 100m in a Championships record 11.07. Hill was in the middle of the field over the first part of the race, but by 50m she was at top speed and passed local favorite Ewa Swoboda of Poland. Swoboda set a national Junior record of 11.12 to take second.

Sprinting to an early lead and making up the stagger on the two athletes outside her by the 100m mark, Lynna Irby (Indianapolis) came off the final turn battling for gold with Tiffany James of Jamaica. That duo were side-by-side down the stretch, with the Jamaican edging ahead in the final stride to win in 51.32. Irby set a lifetime best of 51.39 for silver.

Kiana Phelps (Kingsley, Iowa) threw her best of the day in round two of the women’s discus final, spinning the platter 52.60m/172-7 to end up fifth. Teammate Elena Bruckner (San Jose, California) was seventh with an opening throw of 52.04m/170-9.

After clearing a PR 4.20m/13-9.25 on her third try, Carson Dingler (Macon, Georgia) soared over a lifetime-best 4.25m/13-11.25 on her first attempt to secure fifth place in the women’s pole vault. Rachel Baxter (Anaheim, California) was 10th after making 4.10m/13-5.25.

Clearly the class of the field in the women’s 400m hurdles, Anna Cockrell (Charlotte, North Carolina) had the fastest time overall in the semifinals, taking the final section in 56.10. Her time was more than a second faster than the next-quickest qualifier.

He may have had only the fifth-fastest time in the 200m semifinals, but Michael Norman (Murrieta Valley, California) was in cruise control mode and hardly broke a sweat after blasting through the curve and running away to win the second section in 20.71. Micaiah Harris (Chesapeake, Virginia) ran 20.97 from lane nine in his semi and did not advance.

A pair of runner-up finishes in the semis saw Team USA’s 400m men advance to the final, with Wil London (Waco, Texas) clocking the third-fastest time overall in section three in 45.49. Southeastern Conference indoor/outdoor champion Kahmari Montgomery (Plainfield, Illinois) was second in the first semi in 45.71, fifth-fastest overall.

Kaylee Hinton (Rockwall, Texas) is 11th (3309), and Emma Fitzgerald (Braintree, Massachusetts) was 19th overall (3180) in the heptathlon after day one.

Christopher Nilsen (Kansas City, Missouri) and Deakin Volz (Bloomington, Indiana) both qualified to the men’s pole vault final as each cleared 5.20m/17-0.75 before qualifying wrapped up with fourteen athletes advancing.

Both Americans entered in the women’s long jump qualification moved re through to the final.
Bria Matthews (Forest Park, Georgia) jumped 6.13m/20-1.5 (-0.5) - 10th best of qualification, while
Samiyah Samuels (Houston) jumped 6.08m/19-11.5 (-1.0) good for 11th.

Taylor McLaughlin (Scotch Plains, New Jersey) advanced automatically to the 400m hurdles semifinal, taking second place in heat two in 51.28Q.

Kai Benedict (Reno, Nevada)(University of California in Berkeley) advanced to the 3,000 meters steeplechase final on time with a PB of 8:51.37q

Norman and Harris also advanced to the 200m semifinal, and Krah and Lattin moved on to the 110m hurdles final on Thursday morning.
Team USA had eight - 6 men, 2 women - advance during the Thursday morning session.

Team USA has won 216 medals at the IAAF World U20 Championships since the competition was first held in 1986 in Athens. Team USA has won 98 golds to date, 55 by men and 43 by women.

The IAAF World U20 Championships were previously known as the IAAF World Junior Championships before undergoing a rebranding heading into 2016. The last World U20 (then known as Junior) Championships was held in Eugene, Oregon in 2014.

Field events at the World U20 Championships are employing a new competition protocol in finals.

Twelve competitors will qualify for each final. Qualifying marks are wiped out at the start of the final. The field of 12 will get three attempts before being cut to the top six. The remaining six athletes will receive one more attempt, as opposed to the prior protocol of three more, for a total of six attempts.

The best mark after each competitor has made four attempts will win.

The U.S. U20 team was selected based on performances at the USATF Junior Championships from June 24-26 in Clovis, California.

Bydgoszcz hosted the World U20 Championships in 2008. The city is the first to host the World U20 Championships twice.

Follow the World U20 Championships on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using #Bydogszcz2016, and watch on Universal HD and the NBC Sports app. NBC will be live streaming the final two days of coverage – Saturday, July 23 from 11 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. ET. and Sunday, July 24 from 10 a.m. to 1:10 p.m. ET.

Athlete quotes
Candace Hall - 100m
On running in such a competitive final …
“Running against those girls is nerve-wracking because I’ve never been in such a fast Championships final at the this level or at the youth level. I mean Cali (2015 World U18 Championships) was hard, but this was faster.”

On rebounding from the U.S. Olympic Team Trials  …
“Coming back here and winning a title really lifted my confidence back up.”

On her performance in the final …
“I feel like I got out and then accelerated and just leaned at the finish, yeah.”

Marcus Krah - 110m hurdles
On winning the World U20 Championship …
“It’s unbelievable. It hasn’t hit me already. I’m just so happy and even happier that Amere Lattin got second so the U.S. was able to go 1-2.”

On Lattin being more experienced and giving him advice …
“Definitely (He told me) ‘ stay focused, run my race and don’t worry about anybody else.”

On if he’s conscious of the other competitors’ position as the race progresses ...
“I didn’t see anybody. I didn’t know where Amere was. I was hoping once I crossed the line that he was there - and he was.”

Samantha Watson - 800m
On if she was conscious of trying to go 1-2 with teammate Aaliyah Miller …
“When I was coming down the homestretch I didn’t know where Aaliyah was. I tried to find her on the big screen. I saw that she did after. It was nice to do that (finish 1-2).”

Lynna Irby - 400m
On her reaction to claiming silver …
“It feels exciting. I know my training is going in the right direction and I peaked at the right time.”

On going out quick in the first 200m …
“I had no idea. I didn’t know where anyone else was in that race until the last 80 meters. Sure enough there she (Tiffany James) was. I knew it was going to be a battle. I was still really excited with my time.”

Michael Norman Jr. - 200m
On competing for Team USA …
“It’s a lot of fun. This is my first time experiencing competing against other countries. I’m just trying to enjoy the experience.”

On his last month whirlwind …
“It’s been really hectic. Packing then leaving, packing then leaving again. But it’s been a fun experience. It’s just some other stuff like packing that’s not as fun. But once you get here it’s a lot of fun.”

Kai Benedict - 3k steeplechase
On his race …
“I made the final so I’m feeling pretty great. This is my first experience at an international meet. I just found out I made the final so I’m hyped that I get to run on Sunday. Watching the other race I thought the first few laps would be slow. I didn’t want to get caught up in other people's’ pace.”

On this experience …
“It’s so unbelievable I get to come out here and represent my country. In the final we’ll see what I can do. I PR’d by a second here so maybe we can get another one in the final.”

Kyle McLaughlin - 400m hurdles
On starting off his championships …
“I was pretty nervous going into the race. I’m jsut shaking out the rust so I’m hoping I come back tomorrow a little better.”

(after three days)
1. United States: 9 (4 gold, three silver, two bronze)
(after three days)
1. United States: 87

THURSDAY EVENING – July 21, 2016
1. Candace Hill: 11.07

2. Lynna Irby 51.39

1. Samantha Watson: 2:04.52
2. Aaliyah Wilson: 2:05.06

1. Marcus Krah: 13.25 (+0.2)
2. Amere Lattin: 13.30 (+0.2)

5. Kiana Phelps: 52.60m/172-7 t
7. Elena Bruckner: 52.04m/170-9.

5. Carson Dingler: 4.25m/13-11.25
10. Rachel Baxter: 4.10m/13-5.25.

10. Charles Brown Jr.: 15.60m/51-2.25 (-1.7)
12. Armani Wallace: 15.10m/49-6.5 (-3.2)

200 METERS (semifinals)
5. Michael Norman Jr.: 20.71Q (+1.5)
10. Micaiah Harris: 20.97 (+1.5)

400 METERS (semifinas)
1. Wilbert London III: 45.59Q
5. Kahamari Montgomery: 45.71Q

100 METERS (semifinals)
1. Candace Hill: 11.12Q (+2.0)
16. Celera Barnes: 11.- (+0.4)

400 METER HURDLES (semifinals)
1. Anna Cockrell 56. 10Q

THURSDAY MORNING – July 21, 2016
200 METERS (heats)
4. Michael Norman Jr.: 20.74Q (+1.3)
14. Micaiah Harris: 21.19Q (+1.3)

400 METER HURDLES (heats)
4. Taylor McLaughlin: 51.28Q
DQ. Justin Alexander

11. Kai Benedict: 8:51.37q
17. Alex Rogers: 8:59.00

POLE VAULT (qualification)
2. Deakin Volz: 5.20m/17-0.75 (q)
7. Christopher Nilsen 5.20m/17-0.75 (q)

LONG JUMP (qualification)
10. Bria Matthews: 6.13m/20-1.5 (-0.5) (q)
11. Samiyah Samuels: 6.08m/19-11.5 (-1.0) (q)

HAMMER THROW (qualification)
15. Sade Olatoye: 58.52/192-0
18. Joy McArthur: 57.04m/187-1

HEPTATHLON (through four events)
11. Kaylee Hinton: 3309
19. Emma Fitzgerald: 3180

TV/Streaming Schedule - IAAF World U20 Championships
Start (ET)
End (ET)
8:00 PM
9:00 PM
Day 3
9:00 PM
10:00 PM
Day 4
11:00 AM
2:15 PM
NBC Sports App
Day 5
9:00 PM
10:00 PM
Day 5
10:00 AM
1:10 PM
NBC Sports App
Day 6
9:00 PM
10:00 PM
Day 6

Contributed by Glen McMicken, and Jake Most, Team USA Press Officer - IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016

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