Spearmon wins bronze in Berlin
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Former Razorback and American and NCAA 200-meter indoor record holder Wallace Spearmon, Jr. picked up another World Championships medal in the final of his signature event at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin on Thursday.
Spearmon, Jr., running out of lane four, didn’t have his best start of the competition. Making up for it on turn, he kicked in his famous closing speed to cross the finish line in third place with a time of 19.85. His time is a season best and the third-fastest of his career.
"I thought I was close enough to Alonso Edward (silver medalist) to catch him down the straightaway," Spearmon, Jr. said. "I’m still lacking something. I got a late start to the season so now I have to go home and do some work at the end of the year. I was a little bit tired before the race but I feel like I am finally getting consistent running the turn."
With his bronze medal, Spearmon, Jr. becomes the first man to win three-consecutive World Outdoor Championships 200-meter medals (2005, 2007, 2009) since Namibia’s Frankie Fredericks won four in a row (1991, 1993, 1995, 1997). He won silver in 2005 and bronze in 2007.
Veronica Campbell-Brown competed in the 200-meter semifinals. She finished second in her heat with the second-fastest semifinal time of the event. She clocked a season-best time of 22.29. She will run in lane five in Friday’s final.
Soon-to-be Razorback senior Alain Bailey made his World Championships debut as a member of Team Jamaica on Thursday. Competing in the qualifying round of the long jump, he finished 11th in his flight with a mark of 25-10.25. He did not advance to the final.
Bailey’s lengthy season has come to an end. After a stellar campaign that saw him win two SEC titles, earn All-America honors, lead the nation in the long jump and win the Jamaican National title in the long jump, Bailey will return to Fayetteville with eligibility for indoor and outdoor track and field.
The SEC Outdoor Champion while sporting a Razorback jersey, Jeremy Scott competed in the qualifying round of the pole vault on Thursday. He finished ninth in his flight with a clearance of 18-2.5. He did not advance to the final.
"It was a struggle the whole day," Scott said. "I’m not happy; the qualifying height was well within my range, and I just couldn’t get things going in the right direction. I was working on my run-up when I got over here to Europe and I got that down. The transition from the run to the jump wasn’t real fluid. I felt a little bit out of myself today. I had two or three jumps where I felt, ‘What just happened?’, when normally I can tell right away what I just did."
A seven-time NCAA Champion and collegiate record holder during his tenure at Arkansas, Alistair Cragg finished 13th in his qualifying round of the 5,000 meters. His time of 13:46.34 is not fastest enough to advance to the finals.
Friday holds prelims of the men’s 4×100-meter relay, Christin Wurth-Thomas in the semifinals of the 1,500 meters and Campbell-Brown in the 200-meter final.
NBC, Versus to broadcast meet
The 2009 World Championships will be broadcast in the United States daily on NBC and Versus. The broadcast schedule is as follows. All times Eastern; subject to change; check local listings.
August 21: 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Versus
August 22: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. NBC
August 23: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. NBC
For more information on Team USA at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, visit: www.usatf.org.