Sunday, August 11, 2013

Reese and Eaton add world titles to their Olympic crowns on day 2 of the world championships...

MOSCOW, Russia--Brittney Reese (left/photo by Paul Merca) won her sixth international title since 2009 and Team USA brought home gold in the decathlon for the eighth time in World Championships history as Ashton Eaton maintained his title as World’s Greatest Athlete, winning with 8809 points on the second day of competition Sunday at the 2013 World Outdoor Championships at Luzhniki Stadium.

Reese, who resides at the US Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, became one of Team USA’s most-decorated athletes, continuing her undefeated championships streak in the women’s long jump. 

Reese, who competed this winter at the University of Washington's Dempsey Indoor facility, moved into first for good on her second jump, breaking the seven-meter barrier with a leap of 7.01m/23-0. 

After good performances earlier in the day in the hurdles and discus, Eaton, the University of Oregon grad jumped a season best 5.20m/17-0.75 in the pole vault and extended his lead to 181 points. His third-round javelin throw of 64.83m/212-8, a decathlon PR, virtually assured him of gold, carrying a 168-point lead into the 1500m. A leisurely and careful 4:29.80 gave Eaton a world title to go with his Olympic gold and world record.

Shalane Flanagan was Team USA’s best finisher in the women’s 10,000m placing eighth at 31:34.83.  Flanagan took off after 250 meters and led the pack during the first 3600m, but fell off the pace and drifted back when the tempo picked up. Jordan Hasay, the University of Oregon grad, ran 32:17.93 to finish 12th and Arizona State alum Amy Hastings was 14th in 32:51.19.

Despite a thunderstorm that surrounded the skies around Luzhniki moments before the featured men's 100 meter race, Usain Bolt of Jamaica won yet another world title, scooting across the track in a Russian all-comers record of 9.77 seconds to hold off the challenge of US veteran Justin Gatlin, who ran a season best 9.85.

Bolt put behind him the nightmare false-start in the final in Daegu two years ago which saw him default his title to teammate Yohan Blake. Blake was absent injured from Moscow, but there is little doubt the result would have been the same had he been here.

He has now extended his span of domination in the 100m to five years, a match for pretty well any other sprinter in history. Carl Lewis did better in one aspect, winning every global title at 100m from the first World Championships in Helsinki in 1983 through to Tokyo in 1991, but Bolt has an edge for impact. His 9.69 in Beijing and 9.58 in Berlin took the event to a new dimension.

Monday night, University of Washington alum Brad Walker, who won a world title in 2007 in Osaka, but hasn't appeared in the world championships since, looks to find the magic in the pole vault finals, which begins at 7 pm local time (8 am in Seattle).

Complete day 2 results are available here.

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

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