Gay and Spearmon Advance at World Championship
BY ANDRES FOCIL
HELSINKI, Finland – Tuesday was a busy day at the IAAF World Championships as four former Razorbacks took to the track. Tyson Gay and Wallace Spearmon Jr., both advanced to the quarterfinals of the 200-meter dash after posting quality performances in the first qualifying round.
Gay and Spearmon both cruised to win their respective heats. Gay was the fastest athlete out of the eight heats as he recorded his third sub-20 performance of the year with a 19.99 and Spearmon crossed the line with a time of 20.51. The quarterfinals were originally set to occur later in the day, but after heavy rains starting coming down the quarterfinals were delayed and moved to a start time of 5:45 a.m. CT on Wednesday, Aug. 10. The semifinals will begin at 10:40 a.m. CT and the finals will follow the next day, Aug. 11, at 2:05 p.m. CT
Omar Brown did not have as much luck after he pulled his hamstring in the opening round of the 200. Brown, representing Jamaica in heat three, was running strong in the lead, but pulled up with about 60 meters remaining in the race and was unable to finish.
Daniel Lincoln was the only U.S. athlete running in the finals of the 3,000-meter steeplechase and he had high hopes of breaking the American record of 8:09.17 with a top time of 8:12.65 entering the world championships. Unfortunately, a slow pace and a closely grouped pack prevented the Fayetteville, Ark., native from running to his fullest potential and Lincoln finished in 13th place (8:23.89). Quatar’s defending world champion and record holder Saif Saaeed Shaheen won with an 8:13.31 clocking.
“He’s only been training for four months after his injury and he still made the finals,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “That’s pretty good and overall he had a great year. He ran 8:12 in Rome and set a new personal best. If he stays healthy next year should be really good for him.”
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