Posted by: Joe English | September 15, 2008

Track and Field: Richards completes historic double, wins 400 at World Athletics Final

Sanya Richards at the US Trials in Eugene

Sanya Richards at the US Trials in Eugene

Sanya Richards won her third straight women’s 400m title Sunday at the IAAF World Athletics Final in Stuttgart, Germany, becoming the first athlete ever to win a 200-400 double at the meet and posting one of three American titles on the day.

The winner of the 200m on Saturday, Richards went out hard Sunday in the 400, knowing all three Olympic medalists were in the field. In addition to bronze medalist Richards, the gold medalist, Christine Ohuguoru of Great Britain, and silver medalist Shericka Williams of Jamaica, were in the race.

Although Ohuguoru ran her usual strong final straight, Richards won easily in 50.41, with Ohuguoru second in 50.83. Jamaica’s Novlene Williams was third in 51.30, and American Mary Wineberg was sixth in 51.65.

Olympic bronze medalist David Oliver led a very strong American showing in the men’s 110m hurdles, winning in 13.22, with Ryan Wilson third (13.54), Aries Merritt fourth (13.56), Tyron Akins sixth (13.62) and Joel Brown eighth (13.81).

Olympic Trials champion Derek Miles (5.80m/19-0.25) and American record holder Brad Walker (5.70m/18-8.25) went 1-2 in an unpredictable the men’s pole vault, as temperatures began the competition at roughly 52 degrees Fahrenheit. Miles’ mark was a seasonal best.

Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Brown Trafton was third in the women’s discus with a throw of 62.23m/204-2, with Olympic Trials champ Aretha Thurmond sixth with 56.99m/186-11 and Becky Breisch seventh with 53.92m/176-11.

Team USA went 3-4-5-6 in the women’s 100, led by Marshevet Hooker in third (11.06) behind Olympic gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser (10.94) and bronze medalist Kerron Stewart (11.06) of Jamaica. In a photo finish, Stewart got the nod for second over Hooker. Also for the U.S., Carmelita Jeter was fourth (11.21), Torri Edwards fifth (11.22) and Lauryn Williams sixth, also in 11.22, in a blanket finish that saw Chandra Sturrup of the Bahamas seventh in 11.23 and Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie of the Bahamas eighth in 11.25.

Tiffany Ross-Williams placed third in the women’s 400m hurdles (55.16) with Olympic silver medalist Sheena Tosta fifth (55.33), behind gold medalist Melanie Walker of Jamaica in first (54.06). American Christine Spence was seventh in 58.15.

In other American performances, Rodney Martin was fifth (20.66) and Joel Brown eighth (21.23) in the men’s 200. Olympic Trials champion Chaunte Howard was fifth in the women’s high jump with a height of 1.97m/6-5.5), and Miguel Pate was sixth in the men’s long jump (7.99m/26-2.75); Liz Wanless was sixth (17.72m/58-1.75) and Kristin Heaston seventh (16.87m/55-4.25) in the women’s shot put. Olympic Trials champion Bernard Lagat was sixth in the men’s 1,500 in 3:38.79 and Sara Slattery eighth in the women’s 3,000 in 9:16.24.

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