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Olympic Games 2008: Jeremy Wariner leads U.S. qualifers on the track

19 August 2008
www.universalsports.com

Jeremy Wariner (Image of Sport) Jeremy Wariner (Image of Sport)
www.imageofsport.com
By Dave Ungrady

Americans Jeremy Wariner, LaShawn Merritt and David Neville all qualified for the final on Thursday.

Wariner, the defending Olympic champion, won his heat in 44.15.” Coach Ford and Michael (Johnson) both wanted me to work on the first 200 meters like I did yesterday,” he said. “I worked the turn a lot better today. I was able to shut it down with 50 meters to go. It was a real good time with the way I ran. I'm excited about Thursday."

Merritt won heat three in 44.12, the fastest semifinals time. "I set it up well, so I didn't have to run as hard coming home,” he said. “That's what it is all about. A lot of countries haven't been through three rounds like we did at nationals. The U.S. team has an advantage in these rounds. I know how to run a preliminary. I know how to get through a semifinal and the final is all about leaving it on the track."

Neville finished second in heat two in 44.91. “I thought I got out well and then I came off the first turn and I saw everyone was pretty far ahead but I didn't panic,” he said. “I just kept with my rhythm.”

Men’s 110-meters hurdles second round
Americans David Payne and David Oliver won their heats and advanced to the semifinals. Payne won the first heat in 13.24.

"It was a good race for me," he said. "I think that it was right where I need to be and will set me up well for my final."

Oliver won the fourth heat in 13.18, the fastest time of the qualifying round."I just went out there today to make it to the next round and work on a few things," he said. "That's exactly what I did, so I'm happy that I made it."

World record holder and gold medal favorite Dayron Robles of Cuba won the third heat in 13.19. Liu Xiang of China, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist and American Terrence Trammell, the silver medalist the Athens Games, both failed to advance out of the first round due to injury.

Men’s 200 meters semifinals
Shawn Crawford, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist, led a trio of Americans who qualified for the final. Crawford finished second in heat two in 20.12, behind winner Usain Bolt’s 20.09. Wallace Spearmon, Jr. finished third in 20.14.

"I'm trying to run myself into shape after injury," said Spearmon, who won the bronze medal in the event at the 2007 world championships. "I'm getting faster every round."

Walter Dix, who won a bronze medal in the 100 meters on Sunday, finished third in the first heat in 20.19.

Bolt of Jamaica, a silver medalist in the event at the 2007 world championships, won the 100 meters Saturday in a world record 9.69.

Women's 200 meters second round
Americans Allyson Felix, Muna Lee and Marshavet Hooker all advanced to the semifinals. Felix finished second in the first heat in 22.74 behind Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica, the defending Olympic champion who ran 22.64.

"It was good," she said. "I just wanted to get through comfortably. Being out there, I'm kind of blind, so I don't really know how fast I need to be going. I just really wanted to run a decent turn."

Hooker finished third in heat three in 22.76 and Lee was second in heat four in 22.83. "It was pretty good," said Lee. "I just wanted to hold my form. I didn't want to go into the normal Muna Lee swing. It felt much better than any other time."

Jamaicans Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart, who won silver and bronze medals respectively in the 100 meters on Sunday, also advanced to the semifinals.



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Merritt won heat three in 44.12, the fastest semifinals time. "I set it up well, so I didn't have to run as hard coming home,” he said. “That's what it is all about. A lot of countries haven't been through three rounds like we did at nationals. The U.S. team has an advantage in these rounds. I know how to run a preliminary. I know how to get through a semifinal and the final is all about leaving it on the track."
Neville finished second in heat two in 44.91. “I thought I got out well and then I came off the first turn and I saw everyone was pretty far ahead but I didn't panic,” he said. “I just kept with my rhythm.”" target="digg"> Digg



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