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Felix grabs Gold

Allyson Felix - 200m Gold

Allyson Felix – 200m Gold

LONDON – Led by gold medals from Allyson Felix, Aries Merritt and Brittney Reese, Team USA won a staggering 7 medals in a 90-minute span at Olympic Stadium Wednesday night, winning three of four possible golds and 7 of 12 possible medals overall.

Team USA’s medal tally now stands at 20 The 11 medals already won by American women is their second-highest Olympic total in history, behind only the boycotted 1984 Games, when American women won 16 medals. It is one more than the 10 won in 1992. Seven medals is the biggest single-day medal haul since the U.S. won nine medals on August 6, 1992, when six finals were contested.

Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.) won gold in the women’s 200 meters, Merritt (Bryan, Texas) took the 110m hurdles and Reese (Gulfport, Miss.) the women’s long jump; Jason Richardson (Los Angeles) won 110m hurdles silver and LaShinda Demus (Palmdale, Calif.) earned her second Olympic silver in the women’s 400m hurdles; winning bronze for the Americans were Carmelita Jeter (Gardena, Calif.) in the women’s 200 and Janay Deloach (Ft. Collins, Colo.) in the women’s long jump.

Felix, Jeter deliver in 200

After twice taking the runner-up spot at the Olympic Games, Felix won her first individual Olympic gold to become the most decorated woman in 200m history. At age 26, she now has seven Olympic and World Championship medals in the 200, four of them gold.

Running in lane 7, outside all her top rivals save Jeter, Felix came off the curve with a very slight lead over two-time 100m gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. The strongest finisher in the world, Felix strode home aggressively to win in 21.88. Fraser-Pryce took the silver in 22.09, with Jeter third in 22.14 to become the first American since Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988 to win medals in both the 100 and 200 at the Olympics.

Two-time defending champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica (22.38) and Sanya Richards-Ross (Austin, Texas, 22.39) rounded out a USA-JAM-USA-JAM-USA finish. The two countries each won three medals in the short sprints (100,200) in London.

Merritt, Richardson true to form in 110H

Americans went 1-2 in the men’s 110m hurdles for the first time since 1996. World Indoor champion Aries Merritt has been the top hurdler in the world this year, running 12.93 three meets in a row coming into the Games. In London he broke through that time barrier, running a clear race and leading from start to finish to win in 12.92.

The 2011 World Outdoor champion, Richardson was slightly sluggish out of the blocks but passed world record holder Dayron Robles of Cuba over the fourth hurdle to move into second. He finished in 13.04 to win the silver medal, holding off Hansle Parchment of Jamaica, who was third in 13.12. Robles pulled up midway through the race with what appeared to be a leg injury.

Merritt had posted the fastest time in the semifinal round earlier in the night, winning the second heat in 12.94. Richardson all but walked across the finish line to win the first semifinal in 13.13; Jeff Porter (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was fifth in heat 3 in 13.41 and did not advance.

Reese adds Olympics to gold-medal collection

A two-time World Outdoor and two-time World Indoor champion, Reese kept her international dominance going in the long jump, becoming only the third women in history to win all three major international championships.

After fouling on her first attempt, Reese was perfectly on the board with only millimeters to spare on her second jump. She delivered a leap of 7.12m/23-4.25, which put her into first place. The mark was good enough to cement her gold medal spot throughout the competition, with Elena Sokolova of Russia second with 7.07m/23-2.50. Deloach sat in fourth place after four rounds of competition, but on her fifth attempt she leapt into third place with a mark of 6.89m/22-7.25 to win bronze in her first Olympic Games, just 1cm ahead of fourth.

Demus battles for silver

Having struggled with injuries all season and battling back problems in London, Demus ran a composed race in the 400 hurdles. Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer got out well in the outside lane, with Demus and Natalya Antyukh of Russia very close behind. The Russian moved into the lead halfway through and had a stride and a half lead over Demus coming off the penultimate hurdle. The 2008 silver medalist and 2011 world champion, Demus closed hard as both women lunged for the finish. Antyukh won in a personal-best time of 52.70, with Demus second in a season best of 52.77. Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic won bronze in 53.88. Georgeanne Moline (Tucson, Ariz..) finished fifth in a personal-best 53.92, and T’erea Brown (Miami, Fla.) was sixth in 55.07. Demus and Moline ran the fastest second and fifth-place times, respectively, in Olympic history.

Eaton, Hardee stand 1-2 in decathlon

With day 1 complete in the decathlon, Ashton Eaton (Eugene, Ore.) and Trey Hardee (Austin, Texas) stand in first and second place with 4661 and 4441 points, respectively. Wednesday night, Eaton cleared 2.05m/6-6.25in the high jump for 850 points, the second-best clearance in the competition, and ran 46.90 in the 400 for first and 963 points. Hardee high jumped 1.99m/6-6.25 (794 points) and ran 48.11 (904 points) in the 400. Oleksiy Kasyanov of Ukraine is third overall with 4346 points.

Qualifying summary

For the first time since 2000, Team USA will have two women in the final of the 1500m as Morgan Uceny (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) and Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco, Calif.) automatically advanced to the final. Both running in the first heat, Uceny was third in 4:05.34, with Rowbury fifth in 4:05.47. Defending world champion Jenny Simpson was 12th in heat 2 in 4:06.89 and did not advance.

Wallace Spearmon (Dallas, Texas) will be the lone American in the men’s 200m final after running 20.02 to place second in the first semifinal. Isiah Young (Lafayette, Miss.) was eighth in heat 2 in 20.89 and Maurice Mitchell (Tallahassee, Fla.) was fourth in heat 3 (20.56); neither advanced.

In men’s javelin qualifying, Craig Kinsley (Providence, RI) posted the best mark of the day among Americans with his toss of 78.18m/256-6 for 23rd overall; Cyrus Hostetler (Eugene, Ore.) threw 75.76m/248-6 for 32nd and Sean Furey, (San Diego, Calif.) threw 72.81/238-10 for 37th. None will compete in the final.

Team USA Medal Count – 20 total
Gold (5)
Brittney Reese (Gulfport, Miss.), WLJ, 7.12m/23-4.25
Aries Merritt (Bryan, Texas), M110H, 12.92
Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.), W200, 21.88
Jenn Suhr (Churchville, N.Y.), WPV, 4.75/15-7
Sanya Richards-Ross (Austin, Texas), W400, 49.55

Silver (8)
Jason Richardson (Los Angeles, Calif.), M110H, 13.04
Lashinda Demus (Palmdale, Calif.), W400H, 52.77
Leo Manzano (Austin Texas), M1500, 3:34.79
Dawn Harper (Los Angeles, Calif.), W100H, 12.37
Erik Kynard (Manhattan, Kans.) MHJ, 2.33m/7-7.75
Michael Tinsley (Round Rock, Texas), M400H, 47.91
Carmelita Jeter (Gardena, Calif.), W100, 10.78
Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.), M10,000m, 27:30.90

Bronze (7)
Janay DeLoach (Fort Collins, Colo.), WLJ, 6.89/22-7.25
Carmelita Jeter (Gardena, Calif.), W200, 22.14
Kellie Wells (Orlando, Fla.), W100H, 12.48
Justin Gatlin (Orlando, Fla.) M100, 9.79
DeeDee Trotter (Orlando, Fla.), W400, 49.72
Will Claye (San Diego, Calif.), MLJ, 8.12m/26-7.75
Reese Hoffa (Athens, Ga.), MSP, 21.23m/69-8

Athlete Quotes

Allyson Felix, 200m: “I was in tears in Beijing, and gosh, complete opposite tonight. For it all to come together is just extremely special, I’m overjoyed. I was just thinking ‘be aggressive.’ It’s the Olympics, anything can happen. Bobby told me ‘go out and get it.’ I knew if I went out and ran my race it would come together. It felt good, I said ‘ thank you Lord.’ It was relief, joy, just a flood of emotions, I don’t think it has all set in yet.”

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