Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bowerman finalists Rollins and Barrett shine on penultimate day of world champs...

MOSCOW, Russia--Two collegiate athletes in the running for this year's Bowerman Award, given to the top female and male track & field athletes in collegiate track & field proved that they are more than ready to take on the world at the biggest stage of track and field.

Brianna Rollins (left, with Brigetta Barrett/photo by Paul Merca), who competed at Clemson, overcame a slow start out of lane 6 to come from behind on Olympic gold medalist Sally Pearson of Australia in lane 5. The NCAA and USA champion, Rollins overtook Pearson over the eighth and ninth hurdles, keeping her cool as she cruised to a well-executed victory in 12.44, adding the World title to her belt. Pearson clocked  season-best 12.50. Tiffany Porter of Great Britain was third in a personal-best 12.55, with Olympic silver medalist Dawn Harper fourth in 12.59 and Queen Harrison fifth in 12.73.

Olympic silver medalist Brigetta Barrett from the University of Arizona sailed over the bar on her first attempt at her opening height of 1.89m/6-2.25, then 1.93m/6-4, 1.97m/6-5.5, and 2.00m/6-6.75 to sit in first heading into 2.03m/6-8. Barrett failed to clear but Russian Svetlana Shkolina made her first attempt, giving Shkolina the gold and Barrett the silver. With her clearance, Barrett tied the best height ever by an American at the Worlds.

It was a strong night for Team Russia, as they picked up wins from Svetlana Shkolina in the women's high jump (6-8/2.03m), the women's 4 x 400 meter relay (3:20.19), and a bronze medal from Dimitri Tarabin in the men's javelin (282-11/86.23m).

Tarabin's clutch sixth-round throw shot down any hopes of Kenya's Julius Yego (above/photo by Paul Merca) obtaining a medal of any color, as he stood third at 280-2 (85.40m) with two throwers remaining in the last round.

Yego's story is just as amazing, as he taught himself how to throw the javelin with the help of videos posted on YouTube, as Kenya doesn't have the coaching and equipment resources.

In 2012, Yego qualified for the Olympics, and made the finals, finishing 12th with a throw of 253-1(77.15m).

Yego entered the world championships with a previous personal best of 269-4 (82.09m).

The Bolt show continued, as he cruised to victory in 19.66, with countryman Warren Weir second in 19.79, and American Curtis Mitchell third in 20.04.

The world championships conclude Sunday with finals in the women's javelin, 800, and 4 x 100, and the men's triple jump, 1500, and 4 x 100m.

NOTE:  USA Track & Field and the IAAF contributed to this report.

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