Nine advance out of qualifying rounds, Kipchirchir records top 10k in USATF WC history

Nine advance out of qualifying rounds, Kipchirchir records top 10k in USATF WC history

Provided by USATF

LONDON -- Nine Team USATF athletes advanced out of Friday’s qualifying rounds, including six-for-six on the track, highlighting a night that also saw two of the fastest 10,000m performances in USATF history from Rio Olympians and training partners Shadrack Kipchirchir and Leonard Korir.

Kipchirchir, Korir find themselves in fast final & USATF history books

Kipchirchir (Colorado Springs, Colorado) turned in the top time for Team USATF athletes in the men’s 10,000m final, making his mark on the American track & field history books with the fastest 10,000m performance ever by an American at the World Championships. Hassan Mead (Eugene, Oregon) stayed toward the middle of the pack over the first mile, keeping himself no further than 10m behind Kamworor. Shifting between sixth and seventh in a strung-out pack, Mead fell back over the second mile to ninth as the speed quickened. Hometown favorite Mo Farah continued to surge and forced Cheptegei and Kamworor to pick up the pace once again.

As the lead pack broke away with 12 laps remaining, Kipchirchir and Korir (Colorado Springs, Colorado) went with them and hung on to the back of the pack. Another surge with only five laps to go saw Korir drop back while Kipchirchir remained with the leaders. As Farah, Cheptegei and Tanui pushed the pace over the final two laps, Kipchirchir lost his place with the lead pack to finish ninth in a personal best 27:07.55, making the 2016 Olympian the third-fastest performer in USATF history. Korir crossed 13th in a personal best 27:20.18 to become the sixth fastest USATF performer in history. Mead was 15th in a personal best 27:32.49.

Three through in women’s 1,500m

All three American women moved on to the semifinals after a relatively speedy first round of competition. Olympic bronze medalist Jenny Simpson (Oviedo, Florida) was at or near the front through a slowish 800m of 2:19.20, was third with one to go and ended up second in the second heat in a time of 4:08.92 to automatically move on to the semifinals. Simpson briefly got into traffic in the final lap, but moved to the outside of the pack in lane 3 in the homestretch.

Sara Vaughn and Kate Grace both advanced on time in two quickly paced heats. In heat 1, Grace (Santa Monica, California) ran in fourth place with a lap to go, and finished seventh, just missing an auto Q at 4:04.56. Running in the third heat, Vaughn (Gering, Nebraska) pace picked up after the 800m mark, leaving her with a lot of ground to make up. She closed well to end up eighth in a PR 4:04.56 and ensure that all three Americans advanced.

Team USATF goes 3-for-3 in men’s 100m heats

All three Team USATF athletes automatically advanced in the men’s 100m heats, with 2017 world leader Christian Coleman (Atlanta, Georgia) running one of the fastest times of the night, looking smooth out of lane nine and cruising to an easy win of 10.01 in the first heat. USATF 100m champion Justin Gatlin (Pensacola, Florida) controlled the race all the way to win the fifth heat in 10.05. Chris Belcher (Sayville, New York) was slow out of the blocks but made up substantial ground from 60m-90m to finish third in 10.13 and easily advance.

Morris clears path to pole vault final

Olympic silver medalist Sandi Morris (Greenville, South Carolina) jumped at three heights and had three straight clearances to nab a spot in the final with a best of 4.55m/14-11. Morris tied with two other vaulters for second as reigning Olympic champ Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece was the only woman to attempt or clear 4.60m/15-1, her opening height.

Returning to the stadium where she won Olympic gold in 2012, Jenn Suhr (Fredonia, New York) missed all three attempts at her opening height of 4.55m and didn’t qualify for the final. In her international debut, Emily Grove (Pontiac, Illinois) didn’t clear the opening height of 4.20m/13-9.25.

Finley an auto Q for discus final

Mason Finley (Chaffee County, Colorado) had a first-round 63.98m/209-11 that would have been enough to advance, but he then surpassed the automatic qualifying standard in round two with a 64.76m/212-5 to seal his place in the final in the deepest qualifying competition in World Championships history.

Andrew Evans (Portage, Michigan) had a best of 61.32m/201-2 and did not advance, while Rodney Brown (Chappell Hill, Texas) fouled all three attempts.

Lawson to compete in men’s LJ final

Of Team USATF’s three men’s long jumpers, it was the man who has not yet claimed a global title who advanced to the final. Jarrion Lawson (Texarkana, Texas) opened with a jump of 8.02 meters, then hit 8.05m/26-5 on his third attempt to hit the automatic standard exactly. 2016 World Indoor champion Marquis Dendy (Middletown, Delaware) jumped a best of 7.78m/25-6.25 in the second round and did not qualify for the final, while 2016 Olympic gold medalist Jeff Henderson (North Little Rock, Arkansas) had a tough day and did not advance with a best of 7.84m/25-8.75.

Team USATF continues competition on August 5 at Olympic Stadium in London. Fans can follow along with #TeamUSATF at #IAAFWorlds on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. Full TV and webcast viewing times can be found here.


Note: for additional video quotes, see USATF’s Instagram feed.

Justin Gatlin, men’s 100m first round: (On the U.S. faring well in the first round): “Belcher has a good, strong, competitive mentality, so does Christian. Christian is ready to go out and run. I saw his race, and he ran really, really relaxed. He didn’t have that patented ‘get out of the blocks fast,’ he just stayed calm and ran his race.” (More Gatlin quotes available on Instagram)

Christian Coleman, men’s 100m first round: “I was really in control of my nerves and I feel really excited. I just had to come out and execute and stay within myself. I felt really good about my race and I’m excited for the next round. I have a lot of confidence and I look forward to tomorrow.”

Jarrion Lawson, men’s long jump qualifying: “I was actually happy with the first jump (8.02m). It was my first time “jumping” jumping in two-and-a-half, three weeks. To go out there and jump over 8 meters on the first one kind of knocked some rust off.”

Jeff Henderson, men’s long jump qualifying: “This is not what I wanted at all. I wanted to be better. I suppose it’s harder to come back the very next year (after winning Olympic gold). It’s been a long year. I didn’t get as much training as I did last year. But I’ll be back next year. You’ll see the old Jeff very, very soon.”

Marquis Dendy, men’s long jump qualifying: “It was a little rough. I had my approach a little bit too close. I wasn’t able to get on the board the way I wanted to, which resulted in pretty bad jumps. It’s another one that I didn’t get the chance to make the finals, but I’m still feeling blessed because last year at the Olympic Trials I tore my achilles, so being here is something that I cherish a lot. I’ve just got to go back to the drawing board and figure some stuff out, come back next world championships and take care of business a little better.”

Jenny Simpson, women’s 1500m first round: “I just saw the replay, and it looked scarier than it felt to me. It felt really smooth and really good. I was behind Laura (Muir of Great Britain) and Genzebe (Dibaba of Ethiopia) the whole last quarter and I thought, these two and the top half of the heap and I kind of expected them to string it out a little bit more than they did, but then obviously in the last 20 meters I thought, if you’re here and people come on the outside, you’re pretty helpless. So I better be the person on the outside, even if it’s kind of late in the game for that. I tried to be really careful and made sure I wasn’t impeding anyone.

Sara Vaughn, women’s 1500m first round: “I had no idea how fast we were running, so I’m also pleased with a PR. It felt really smooth. I just felt them get away a little bit with out 600 meters to go. I didn’t respond maybe as quickly or as well as I should have, but I made it through on time, so it’s OK I guess. After I finished I looked around. There’s nothing like this in the world. It’s so amazing.”

Kate Grace, women's 1500m first round: "It was fast. I thought maybe with Caster (Semenya) in there, that people would try to take it out fast, but I didn't think it would stay pushing that long. Good news is that I'm confident that time will get through. I definitely got pushed hard early, which wasn't ideal, but there was good energy [from the crowd]."

Mason Finley, men's discus throw qualifying: "Today went really well for me; I got the auto-qualification mark. My first throw went well and coach gave me my technical adjustment and I was able to focus. I went to go grab my disc for my second throw and I couldn't find it; it wasn't there. And they said somebody else threw my disc, cracked it and broke it. I found one similar to mine and it didn't bug me too much, and luckily I got my auto-Q. I'm facing off against some phenomenal throwers. I want to keep progressing and try to get it over 66m. I think that will be the medal range."

Rodney Brown, men’s discus throw qualifying: “I felt good, I just didn’t get one out there today. It’s the same result as the last time I was at the World Championships. I’ve just got to figure out a way to get it done. There’s no excuses for me. I felt good and warmed up well. Didn’t get it done.”

Andrew Evans, men's discus throw qualifying: "It was a rough night and didn't throw well enough. I couldn't find the feeling and it happens. My practices have been kind of questionable and I threw like I threw in practice. I wished I could have felt better."

Shadrack Kipchirchir, men's 10,000m final: "The race was so fast and I gave it all I had. Those guys ran so well and I ran a PB, so I'm happy with that. I didn't get the [place] I wanted. I came in thinking I could be top three and I gave it all I had but with two laps to go, I couldn't go with them. I'm glad I ran that fast but I wanted to place higher. I stayed at the back of the pack and I didn't have it in my legs to go with them. Leonard (Korir) is my training partner and it's so easy to run with someone you are training with.”

Leonard Korir, men’s 10,000m final: “The race was okay, and I felt good, but the pace was really quick.”

Hassan Mead, men’s 10,000m final: “It was an awful race.”

Sandi Morris, women’s pole vault qualifying: “I like to treat it like any other competition but it was kind of hard because the opening bar options were either a little bit lower than I normally come in or a bit higher than I normally come in. So I decided to play it safe and come in lower than usual and made that on first attempt, because I didn’t want to sit around for a long period of time before my opening bar. So I came in at that, made it, and the next two bars I made on my first attempts as well. At that point I knew I was top 12.”

Emily Grove, women's pole vault qualifying:

"It wasn't my best performance. It was the first time I'd never made a bar before but, you know, I had some jumps I just didn't put it together on the right one."

Jenn Suhr, women’s pole vault qualifying: “The second one (attempt) I thought I made it but something lifted it off. The third one, I switched to a bigger pole and got hit with a headwind right at the end and couldn’t turn turn it up. I can’t leave with a bad experience because 2012 here was a great one, so I’m just gonna forget this ever happened. I think I need a little time off. It’s been 12 outdoor seasons straight and constantly qualifying for U.S. teams and qualifying for finals, I just think I need a little time to relax and have a little bit of a life. When I walked in the stadium I had tears in my eyes just from good memories, so I don’t want to leave disappointed.”

2013 Moscow women’s 4x400 medal ceremony reallocation - Team USA gold medal

Francena McCorory

On what it means to get gold...

“It means the world. Even though it’s a little late, I’m glad that the IAAF brought us out here so we can kind of relive our moment since the first one was kind of stolen from us. It was awesome.”

Jessica Beard

“Knowing that you earned that medal but you didn’t get your moment. These are moments that you don’t get back. It’s unfortunate, but this is a good thing. Hopefully it can happen sooner (medal reallocations in the future), with technology they will have same-day and we won’t have to wait as long. I’m glad for this.”

Ashley Spencer

“It means a lot to me. When I first got the call that we were moving up to gold, I actually cried. A lot can happen in four years. You don’t know where you’re going to be. For me to be very much still in the sport and getting upgraded to be able to call myself a world champion when I was under the age of 21, it’s nothing that you can really describe into words. That’s probably why I cried. To be celebrated like this at the 2017 World Championships, on the podium, it’s a blessing.”

Natasha Hastings

“Sometimes I get out there sometimes and you wonder, do I have a fair shot at this? As much as I’m doing the right thing, is everyone else doing the right thing? … I have to tell you that is something that is discouraging when you get on the track. I can only speak for myself doing it the right way.”

Amanda Brooks