Friday, August 28, 2015

Kara Winger earns final qualifying spot for javelin finals at world championships...

BEIJING, China—Vancouver native Kara Winger (left/photo by Paul Merca) squeezed out the twelfth and final spot to advance to Sunday’s finals in the women’s javelin competition at the National Stadium Friday night at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships.

Competing in the second of two flights, Winger, the reigning US national champion threw 204-1 (62.21m) in the second round after opening with a mark of 202-0 (61.59m).  

In round 3, she threw 194-2 (59.18m), and then watched and waited to see if her second round mark would hold up to move on.

Afterwards, she told USA Track & Field, “I felt good today, but I let the nerves get the best of me. I didn’t get a big Q, but a Q is a Q is a Q. I’m super excited for my first final on Sunday.”

The javelin finals start at 6:45pm in Beijing (3:45 am in Seattle).

University of Washington and Newport HS alum Jeremy Taiwo finished day 1 of the decathlon in twelfth place, with a first day score of 4244 points,  coming back in the final two events after a slow start in the 100 and long jump.

In the high jump, he cleared a height of 6-10.75 (2.10m/896 points), then ran 47.94 for 912 points.

Several sharp-eyed observers in the stands noticed the K-tape he wore in his left hamstring throughout the competition, and afterwards, he told USA Track & Field, “I got through the first day. My knee is bugging me a little bit since getting to Japan. I had to ease back from training and get healthy enough for this meet. It started bugging me in the long jump. I was afraid I wasn’t going to continue. I kept trying to push, I got through the 400 and I’m pretty happy about that.”

Defending world and Olympic champ Ashton Eaton of the Oregon TC Elite leads at the halfway mark of the decathlon with a first day score of 4703 points, highlighted by a world decathlon best 45.00 in the 400 meters, worth 1060 points.  Former world champ Trey Hardee was forced to withdraw after suffering an injury in the long jump.

The decathlon resumes Saturday at 9:00 am local time (6:00 pm Friday in Seattle).

Tianna Bartoletta, who ten years ago, won a world title in the long jump as a teenager in Helsinki, won another title in that event, pulling out a personal best of 23-5.25 (7.14m) on her sixth and final attempt.

Defending Olympic 110 hurdles champ Aries Merritt, who recently announced that he will have one of his kidneys replaced, finished third in 13.04, as Russia’s Sergey Shubenkov won in a national record 12.98.

NOTE:  USA Track & Field contributed to this report.

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