Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bellevue native Katie Burnett finishes fourth in first women's 50k race walk at world championships...

LONDON—Bellevue native Katie Burnett (left/photo by Kim Spir) finished fourth in the first IAAF world championship race walk contested over 50 kilometers Sunday as the IAAF World Track and Field Championships concluded its ten-day run.

Unlike the other events that were contested at London Stadium, the race walk was contested near Buckingham Palace on a clear, sunny day with temperatures cool enough for both the 20 and 50 kilometer walks.

Burnett set an American record of 4:21.51, obliterating her previous mark of 4:26:37 that she set in March in Santee, California.

Burnett, who attended Skyline and Newport High Schools before finishing her senior year in Arizona, walked with the lead group before she lost contact. She was dropped from medal contention at around the 30 kilometer mark.

There were seven starters in this event, which was added to the world championships program four weeks earlier. Erin Talcott of the USA was a late addition after threatening to take the IAAF to arbitration on the basis of her being an area champion, despite not meeting the time qualifying standard of 4:30:00,

Ines Henriques of Portugal won the initial world title in a time of 4:05:56, which also was a new world record. Henriques earned $60,000 for the victory as well as a world record bonus from the IAAF.

Hang Yin (4:08:58) and Shuqing Yang (4:20:49) of China took the silver and bronze medals, with Burnett 62 seconds away from a medal.

Despite the fourth place finish, Burnett, who attended the University of Arizona for one year before transferring to William Penn University in Iowa, will go home with a fourth place check for $15,000.

Afterwards, Burnett told reporters in the mixed zone,  "The crowd was outstanding. This has been such a supportive and incredible opportunity, and I'm just so glad I got to race here. I got a call four weeks ago, ‘would you do this?’ That's all the preparation I had, so to smash my PR and get a new American record, that's all I could ask for. This is just the start of a new trend. This will be the first of many 50 km championships and we're just the first of many athletes who will compete in it.”

On how she felt, she said, “I definitely started hurting after 35 km, my hips and feet were starting to hurt. It's not the softest surface, that road. The finishing carpet felt nice."

Later Sunday night, Team USA’s foursome of Quanera Hayes, Allyson Felix, Shakima Wimbley and Natasha Hastings set a world leading time of 3:19.02 to easily win the women’s 4 x 400 relay, with Great Britain second at 3:25.00, and Poland third in 3:25.41.

In the women’s 800, Ajee Wilson ran towards the front for most of the race, but could not overcome the late charge of Olympic champ Caster Semenya, who won in 1:55.16, with 2016 world indoor champ Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi second at 1:55.92, and Wilson third in 1:56.65.

The final race of the meet found Team USA’s men’s 4 x 400 relay team of Will London III, Gil Roberts Michael Cherry and Fred Kerley, the reigning NCAA champ from Texas A&M the victim of a mild upset, as Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago ran Kerley down in the last 40 meters as the two countries reversed places from the Beijing world championships.

From an American perspective, Team USA set a team record for most medals at the world championships, earning 30, surpassing the previous high of 28 set in Daegu in 2011.

After the squad’s 32 medal performance at last year’s Rio Olympics, the London world championships marked the first time the 1952 & 56 Olympics that a USA track & field squad had won 30+ medals.

No comments:

Blog Archive