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  August 26, 2011
  A Surprising Welcome in Daegu
  August 27, 2011
  Eaton and Hardee Going Toe to Toe in the Decathlon at World Championships
  August 28, 2011
  Justin Gatlin Overcomes Frostbitten Feet at World Championships
  Symmonds Qualifies for 800 Final at World Championships
  Eaton Takes Second Place In World Championship Decathlon
  August 29, 2011
  Ashton Eaton Gains a Measure of Mental Ttoughness through the Difficult Competition at the World Championship
  August 30, 2011
  Brief Update: Centrowitz and Wheating
  Symmonds Takes Fifth in 800 Final at World Championships
  September 1, 2011
  Vessey Breezes through First Round of 800 at World Chanmpionships
  Galen Rupp Makes 5000 Final at the World Championships
  Jesse Williams Strikes Gold at Worlds
  September 2, 2011
  Rachel Yurkovich Looks Ahead to the 2012 London Olympics
  Vessey Finds Another Gear to Mark 800 Meter Final at Worlds
  Lauren Fleshman Finishes 7th in the 5000 Meters at World Championships
  September 3, 2011
  World Championships Bronze for UO’s Matthew Centrowitz
  September 4, 2011
  Galen Rupp Places Ninth in World Championship 5000 Meters
  Vessey’s Quest for 800 Meter Medal Ends with Bittersweet Final
Jesse Williams Strikes Gold at Worlds

By Steve Ritchie / Special to the Statesman Journal
September 1, 2011

Jesse Williams

DAEGU, SOUTH KOREA – Jesse Williams of the Oregon Track Club Elite struck gold on Thursday evening at the World Track & Field Championships in Daegu, capping a dominant performance in the men’s high jump, and a near-perfect day for the United States team, which added three gold medals to its total.

Williams, who lives and trains in Eugene, was near-perfect, as well, clearing five heights without a miss to take the win over Aleksey Dmitrik of Russia.

Williams and Dmitrik were the only jumpers to clear 7-8½, but it took Dmitrik two tries to get over the bar at that height. Williams cleared 7-8½ on his first attempt to claim the win. Neither jumper could clear the next height, 7-9¼.

Williams’ medal was the first in the high jump for the United States since Charles Austin won gold and Hollis Conway took bronze in Tokyo in 1991.

The 27-year-old North Carolina native said he was excited to bring the gold home to Oregon.

“It has been a long road, going from Raleigh (North Carolina) to North Carolina State to USC to Eugene, Oregon . . . To bring back the gold medal, Eugene is really going to embrace it. It’s really exciting to go back home.”

Williams lauded the OTC Elite program for its support, saying the gold medal “shows that it is the best elite (track) club in the world.”

Matthew Centrowitz Hollis Conway Charles Austin Aleksey Dmitrik

Earlier in the evening session, UO senior Matthew Centrowitz made a masterful move with one lap to go to in his 1500 meters semifinal. That move helped him win the race and advance to the 1500 final on Saturday evening.

With just over 400 meters left, Centrowitz, who had led the tactical race early, found himself trapped on the rail. Leader Mekonnen Gebremedhin of Ethiopia moved slightly toward the outside of lane one, and Centrowitz surged through the tiny gap into the lead.

Once he was into the lead, Centrowitz matched the pace of each challenger and held on to win in 3:46.66.

After the race, Centrowitz explained his strategy.

“I looked outside to see if I could get out, but there was a pile of guys all the way to lane three. So I found a little opening . . . That was probably the only opening I would have found the rest of the race.”

The final of the 1500 meters will be Saturday evening at 8:15 pm (4:15 am in Oregon).


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