FAYETTEVILLE – Former University of Arkansas Lady Razorback sprinter Veronica Campbell made it an Arkansas sweep of the 100-meter dashes at the 2007 World Track and Field Championships in Osaka, Japan on Monday in a historic photo finish.
Campbell took the women’s 100-meter title 24 hours after former Razorback Tyson Gay won the men’s championship and in doing so became the first Jamaican woman to ever win the world championship in the 100-meter dash.
“What a career Veronica is having,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “We knew that she was a special athlete when she was here and then she went on to Olympic greatness and her career continues to soar. We couldn’t be more proud of her and her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck.”
Making it through three round of competition before reaching the finals, Campbell saved her best race of the meet for last when she clocked 11.01 seconds into a 0.2 meters/second headwind. When the results were posted on the video board in Osaka, American Torri Edwards was listed as first, but after three minutes of review, it was shown that Campbell had indeed won the race with American and defending champion Lauryn Williams in second. Both Campbell and Williams clocked times of 11.01, but Campbell was clearly the winner based on the finish-line photo.
Throughout the four rounds of competition, Campbell was a force, winning each of her races. She snared her best time in the semifinals with a 10.99 and posted times of 11.33 in the preliminaries and 11.08 in the quarterfinals. What made Campbell’s victory in the 100-meter finals even more impressive on Monday was her reaction time to the gun which was an average 0.167. By comparison, Campbell’s reactions were just the fifth fastest among the eight-person field.
In other action at the World Championships, former Lady’Back Deena (Drossin) Kastor finished sixth in the 10,000-meter run. The United States Champion in June, Kastor finished the six-plus mile competition in 32:24.58, well off the pace of Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba who was one of only two competitors to break the 32-minute threshold.
The heptathlon competition featured former Lady’Back Gi-Gi (Miller) Johnson and after a splendid first day, she was forced to pull out of the seven-event competition following the long jump. Prior to her departure from the heptathlon, Johnson put up some huge numbers in the running events including more than 1,000 points in both the 100-meter hurdles and 200-meter dash. In both events, Johnson was among the top five out of the 39-person field.
The World Championships continue throughout the week with former Lady’Backs Christin Wurth-Thomas and LaShaunte’a Moore still to race. Campbell is also scheduled to return in the 200-meter dash which begins on Tuesday.
For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.