FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas Razorback track and field and Christin Wurth-Thomas’ run at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin came to an end on Sunday.
Wurth-Thomas, the final of the 10 Arkansas former and current student-athletes who competed in Berlin, finished fifth in the 1,500 meters. She clocked a time of 4:05.21.
"We talk about experience," Wurth-Thomas. "I didn’t feel comfortable. It was my first finals. But I can’t hold my head. I made some mistakes. I felt like I closed well, which is something I haven’t been doing well this year. That was a positive. But I wasn’t in position to close, and that’s a major mistake. This is my first final. I had some nerves, and I needed to shake it out. To be running with the top of the world, I can’t be holding my head."
During the last lap, eventual race winner Natalia Rodriguez of Spain tripped Ethiopia’s Gelete Burka from behind. Following the race, Rodriguez was disqualified and Maryam Yusuf Jamal (BRN) was declared the winner (4:03.74). Lisa Dobriskey of Great Britain (4:03.75) was awarded the silver medal and USA’s Shannon Rowbury became the bronze medalist. 2009 USA Outdoor Champs runner-up Wurth-Thomas finished fifth in 4:05.21 and 2008 Olympian Anna Willard finished sixth in 4:06.19.
These championships mark the first time ever that Team USA has placed three women (Wurth-Thomas, Rowbury and Willard) in a World Outdoor Championships 1,500-meter final. Also, for the first time ever, three U.S. women finished in the top ten in the women’s 1,500 meters.
Of the 10 Razorbacks who competed in Berlin, three won medals (two silvers and a bronze). The three current student-athletes, Bailey (senior), Niit (sophomore) and Ulrey (senior), return to Fayetteville with eligibility for the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons.
To recap, Team USA won more gold medals than any other country (10). Jamaica was second with seven. Team USA won more medals than any other country (22) with Jamaica in second place (13). Tyson Gay posted an American record in 100 meters: 9.71 seconds (third-fastest time ever). Amy Yoder Begley’s sixth-place finish in the 10,000 meters (31:13.78) is the fastest time ever by an American at a World Outdoor Championships.
Arkansas at the 2009 IAAF World Championships:
Alain Bailey, Jamaica, 22nd in the qualifying round of the long jump
Veronica Campbell-Brown, Jamaica, fourth in the 100 meters, second in the 200 meters
Alistair Cragg, Ireland, 27th in the qualifying round of the 5,000 meters
Tyson Gay, USA, second in the 100 meters
Marek Niit, Estonia, advanced to the quarterfinals in the 200 meters
Jeremy Scott, USA, 17th in the qualifying round of the pole vault
Wallace Spearmon, Jr., USA, third in the 200 meters
Dorian Ulrey, USA, advanced to the semifinals of the 1,500 meters
Christin Wurth-Thomas, USA, fifth in the 1,500 meters
Amy Yoder Begley, USA, sixth in the 10,000 meters