Felix, Merritt win gold at Berlin World Championships


Tom Surber
Media Information Manager
USA Track & Field

BERLIN -Allyson Felix made history by becoming the first woman ever to win three world 200-meter titles, and reigning Olympic men's 400m champion LaShawn Merritt won his first individual world crown Friday evening at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics at the 1936 Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany.

Felix does it again!

A two-time Olympic silver medalist, Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.) broke well from the start in the 200m final and was in a battle with Jamaican two-time Olympic 200m gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown as they both headed for home. However, with about 70 meters to go, Felix began pulling away and she gradually increased her lead the remainder of the race before crossing the line first in 22.02 seconds. Campbell-Brown was the runner-up in 22.35, with 2008 Olympic finalist Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie of the Bahamas third in 22.41.

Felix, who won world titles in 2005 and 2007 and has been ranked #1 in the world four of the last five years, posted the fastest time in the world this year of 21.88 in Stockholm on July 31. Felix entered the evening tied with Jamaican standout Merlene Ottey (1993, 1995), with two world titles. Now she stands alone.2008 Olympic Games fourth-place finisher Muna Lee (College Station, Tex.) met the same fate again this evening in finishing just shy of a medal in 22.48.

Merritt mines world champs gold

The men's 400m final featured a highly-anticipated battle between 2008 Olympic gold medalist and world ranked #1 LaShawn Merritt (Bryan, Texas), vs. Two-time world outdoor championships gold medalist and 2004 Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner (Waco, Tex.).

Wariner had the lead down the backstretch as Merritt ran relaxed until the last 200 meters when he began to turn it on. Wariner had a slight lead coming out of the turn that didn't last for long. Merritt passed him with about 70 meters to go and he got to the finish line first in the world leading time of 44.06 seconds. Wariner ran a season's best of 44.60 in securing the silver medal.

Women's discus final

Similar to when she won the 2008 Olympic Games gold medal last year, Stephanie Brown Trafton's (Oceano, Calif.) best throw of the evening came on her first attempt in the women's discus throw final when she sailed the platter to 58.53 meters/192 feet. Her second attempt was a foul and her third attempt was no improvement. Brown Trafton finished the competition in 12th place.2008 Olympic Games finalist Aretha Thurmond (Opelika, Ala.) placed 10th with a best throw of 59.89m/196-6.

Symmonds qualifies for 800m final

Two-time USA Outdoor champion Nick Symmonds (Springfield, Ore.) was in the middle of the pack halfway through the first lap of heat 1 of the men's 800m semifinals when Marcin Lewandowski of Poland, Abubaker Kaki of the Sudan and Bram Som of the Netherlands all got tangled up and fell to the track.

Shortly thereafter, Symmonds moved to the front and was in command the rest of the way before finishing first in 1:45.96 and qualifying for Sunday's final. Symmonds is the first American to make the men's 800m final at a world outdoor championships since Rich Kenah won the bronze medal and Mark Everett finished eighth in 1997.Six-time world outdoor championships team member Khadevis Robinson (Santa Monica, Calif.) finished fifth in heat 2 in 1:45.91 and will not advance.

Men's 4x100m relay opening round

Team USA's men's 4x100m relay squad won heat 2 of the men's 4x100m relay qualifying round in 37.97 seconds. Following the race, Team USA was disqualified for a pass out of the zone as Shawn Crawford passed the baton to anchor leg runner Darvis Patton. USA Track & Field has filed an appeal of the decision, and the appeal had not been ruled on by late Friday evening.

2009 World Outdoor Championships 110m hurdles silver medalist Terrence Trammell (Atlanta, Ga.) ran the lead leg in heat 2 for Team USA and made a solid handoff to 2009 USA Outdoor 100m champion Michael Rodgers (Round Rock, Tex.). Rodgers flew down the backstretch and gave a considerable lead, and the baton, to 2008 Olympic Games 200m silver medalist Shawn Crawford (Los Angeles, Calif.). Crawford ran a strong turn before presenting the stick to2008 Olympic Games 4x100m relay silver medalist Darvis "Doc" Patton (Grand Prairie, Tex.), who ran a strong anchor leg as Team USA finished first followed by runner-up Great Britain in 38.11.

Team USA sends three to women's 1,500m final

2008 Olympian Christin Wurth-Thomas (Springdale, Ark.) was a fixture at the front of the pack the entire race and ended up finishing fourth in heat 1 of the women's 1,500m semifinals, which earned her a trip to Sunday's final. Wurth-Thomas, who pushed hard at the beginning and was in second place early in the race, crossed the finish line in 4:04.16.

In heat two, two-time USA Outdoor 1,500m champion Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco, Calif.)and 2009 USA Indoor 1,500m champion Anna Willard (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) spent the majority of the race at the back of the pack. Coming down the final stretch, Willard stayed on the rail and Rowbury drifted to the outside with Willard finishing second in 4:10.47 and Rowbury placing third in 4:10.51.

This marks the first time ever that Team USA has placed three women in the 1,500m final. Wurth-Thomas, Rowbury and Willard will reconvene for Sunday's final at the Olympic Stadium at 5 p.m. Berlin time.

Furey qualifies for men's javelin final

2009 USA Outdoor Championships third place finisher and world championships newcomer Sean Furey (San Diego, Calif.) threw a season's best of 79.28 meters/260 feet 1 inch, which was good enough for 11th place in the men's javelin throw qualifying. Next stop for Furey will be the final on Sunday night.

2008 Olympian and 2009 USA Outdoor Championships runner-up Mike Hazle (Chula Vista, Calif.) finished 17th in qualifying with a best of 78.17m/256-5, and 2009 U.S. champion and two-time NCAA champ Chris Hill (Athens, Ga.) finished 24th with a best of 77.14m/253-1.

Reese, Glenn advance to women's long jump final

2008 Olympic Games fifth-place finisher and two-time USA Outdoor champion Brittney Reese (Gulfport, Miss.) posted the second-best performance in women's long jump qualifying with her leap of 6.78 meters/22 feet 3 inches.

Reese will move on to the final on Sunday night where she'll be joined by 2009 USA Outdoor runner-up and 2002 USA Outdoor champion Brianna Glenn (Chula Vista, Calif.), who qualified 11th with a best of 6.53m/21-5.25. 2008 Olympic Games finalist Funmi Jimoh (Stafford, Tex.) finished 21st in qualifying with a best leap of 6.34m/21-9.50 and will not advance.

Manson places ninth in men's high jump final

2008 World Indoor bronze medalist Andra Manson (Austin, Tex.) had a top clearance of 2.23m/7-3.75 and finished ninth at his first world outdoor championship.

2009 and 2006 USA Outdoor runner-up Keith Moffatt (Atlanta, Ga.) cleared the identical height and finished 11th.

Team USA Medal Table - 2009 World Championships in Athletics

Gold (6)

Christian Cantwell (Columbia, Mo.), men's shot put, 22.03m/72-3.50

Sanya Richards (Austin, Tex.), women's 400 meters, 49.00

Kerron Clement (Gainesville, Fla.) men's 400m hurdles, 47.91

Trey Hardee (Austin, Tex.) men's decathlon, 8,790 points

Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.) women's 200 meters, 22.02

LaShawn Merritt (Suffolk, Va.) men's 400 meters (44.06)

Silver (5)

Tyson Gay (Clermont, Fla.), men's 100 meters, 9.71

Chelsea Johnson (Los Angeles, Calif.), women's pole vault, 4.65m/15-3

Lashinda Demus (Palmdale, Calif.), women's 400m hurdles, 52.96

Terrence Trammell (Atlanta, Ga.), men's 110m hurdles, 13.15

Jeremy Wariner (Waco, Tex.), men's 400 meters, 44.60

Bronze (5)

Carmelita Jeter (Inglewood, Calif.) women's 100 meters, 10.90

Bershawn Jackson (Savoy, Ill.) men's 400m hurdles, 48.23

Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Ariz.) men's 1,500 meters, 3:36.20

Wallace Spearmon (College Station, Tex.) men's 200m, 19.85

David Payne (Covington, Ky.) men's 110m hurdles, 13.15

For complete results, quotes and Team USA reports, visit www.usatf.org. Fans can watch Team USA on national television broadcasts on NBC and Versus, or online via live, daily Webcast at www.universalsports.com. For complete TV listings, visit http://www.usatf.org/events/2009/IAAFWorldOutdoorChampionships/mediaCoverage.asp.

For more information on Team USA at the World Outdoor Championships, visit http://www.usatf.org/events/2009/IAAFWorldOutdoorChampionships/.