On the opening day of senior competition at the 2007 AT&T USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships Breaux Greer unleashed the longest throw ever seen in the United States with the 'new' javelin to become the first member of the U.S. team for the 11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Osaka Japan, on Thursday (21).
After an opening throw of 82.51 that got the crowd’s attention, Greer sent his second throw high and far, and it landed at 91.29m, bettering his month-old American and Area record of 90.71 he achieved at the adidas Track Classic on 20 May. He didn’t take his last four throws, not surprisingly, since no other thrower was within 15 metres.
“I didn't hit it hard but I hit it clean,” said Greer, who has had his share of injuries throughout his career and entered this competition with a sore groin. “I think the biggest thing is staying healthy. If you are healthy it's going to be fun and it's going to be easy. If you're healthy everything is fun.”
This was the fourth national record Greer, and he suggested that he may be capable of more.
“I know there is still more there. I don't think I'll ever be satisified. I don't know if an Olympic gold or World record would satisfy me, but I want to find out.”
The men’s Javelin Throw was one of four finals on Thursday’s program. In the other three:
- Abdi Abdirahman won the men’s 10,000 metres in 28:13.51, with Galen Rupp and Dathan Ritzenhhein also making the U.S. team for Osaka. All three have attained the 27:49 ‘A’ standard for the Worlds. “I’m not ready to hand (the national title) over yet,” said Abdirahman, who also won the title in 2001 and 2005.
- Deena Kastor won the women’s 10,000 easily in 31:57.00, with Kara Goucher second and Katie McGregor third. Oddly, although Goucher and McGregor have reached the Osaka ‘A’ standard of 31:40, Kastor hasn’t, because she has spent most of her time running road races. But she says she intends to run in the Osaka 10,000, and will undoubtedly manage to make the A standard before August 13.
- Shani Marks won the women’s Triple Jump with a jump of 14.08m (+0.3), making her the only American women to achieve even the B standard for Osaka.
Gay’s 9.98 tops impressive first round sprinting
There was some fast sprinting in the early rounds. In the men’s 100 metres, Tyson Gay had the fastest time, 9.98 (+1.5), followed by wind-legal marks by Trindon Holliday (10.03), Mark Jelks (10.04), Mickey Grimes (10.06) and Leroy Dixon (10.07). Wallace Spearmon scratched from the event, and 2003 champion Bernard Williams was disqualified for a false start.
“That's what I was looking for,” said Gay, who has 9.79 and 9.76 wind-aided performances to his credit this season. “It's prelims, but I felt real good. I'm looking forward to tomorrow. My body's a little bit out of place coming out of my drive phase, but I felt a little sluggish. Besides that I'm ready to go.”
Me’Lisa Barber’s wind-aided 10.95 (+2.6) was the fastest women’s 100, but the most impressive was an 11.01 (+0.6) by Torri Edwards.
2005 World champion Bershawn Jackson surprised by withdrawing from the 400m Hurdles (in which he is automatically qualified) and running in the 400 flat race. He qualified handily in 45.77, but the rest of the way won’t be easy: the slowest of the 16 qualifiers for the semifinals ran 46.02.
In the juniors competition, Rynell Parson, a 16-year-old San Antonio (Texas) high school student, set a World Youth best for 100 metres. His wind-legal time of 10.23 bettered the former mark of 10.24, set by Darrell Brown of Trinidad in 2001.
James Dunaway for the IAAF