Wallace Spearmon Earns Bronze In 200 As Three Others Advance To World Champ Finals

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BERLIN, GERMANY -- Wallace Spearmon claimed his third medal in a World Championships 200 on Thursday behind another mind boggling world record by Usain Bolt. The sixth day of the IAAF World Championships also featured three more Aggies advancing to finals with Fabrice Lapierre, Simone Facey and Muna Lee achieving the honor at Olympic Stadium.

A time of 19.85 for Spearmon produced his season best effort as he used his closing speed over the final 90 meters to move from fifth place to bronze medal, getting past Jamaica’s Steve Mullings (19.98 for fifth) and U.S. teammate Shawn Crawford (19.89 for fourth) in the final strides of the race.

“I ran to the best of my abilities,” noted Spearmon, who also earned World bronze in 2007 after a silver in 2005. “I was looking for silver, but I'm still on the podium. “It's better than being disqualified or being fourth. I saw Bolt for maybe 3 seconds. This guy is really, really fast, he's amazing.”

Bolt broke his own world record of 19.30 set in Beijing with an unbelievable mark of 19.19 seconds. It was the second time during this World Championships for the Jamaican to break his existing world record by 0.11 of a second after lowering the 100-meter record from 9.69 to 9.58.

Panama’s Alonso Edward, who competed at Barton County junior college in Kansas this past season, set a national record of 19.81 for silver just ahead of the fast-closing Spearmon. The other American in the race, Florida States’ Charles Clark, placed sixth in 20.39.

Lapierre, competing in the long jump for Australia, needed only on attempt in the qualifying round to become one of the 12 jumpers advancing to Saturday’s final. With a mark of 26-8.5 (8.14), he just missed the automatic qualifying standard of 26-9 (8.15).

“I’m definitely happy as I haven’t jumped for a month,” Lapierre said in an Austrailian Daily Telegraph article. “I had a little injury in London last month, but it’s not too bad and I’ve had a lot of improvement.

“I just strained my hamstring in my last competition prior to the World Championships. It’s just a grade one, just a minor thing. It’s all good.”

Of the 12 finalists, eight of those jumpers were in the same group as Lapierre. His Australian teammate Mitchell Watt produced the same mark as Lapierre in the other group of jumpers. The last time two Australia jumpers were in the same final of a major championship occurred at the 2000 Sydney Olympics when Jai Taurima claimed silver while Peter Burge finished sixth.

The long jump final will take place at 11 a.m. local time on Saturday with coverage available on NBC as well as online via www.universalsports.com.

Facey and Lee ran in the same third heat of the semifinals and claimed the top two automatic positions. Lee won the race in a season best of 22.30 while Facey also produced a season best of 22.58 for runner-up.

In Friday’s 200 final, contested at 2 p.m. local time on Versus and online at www.universalsports.com, Lee will be starting from lane 3 while Facey is in lane 7. Between them are Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie of the Bahamas, Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica and American Allison Felix, who has won the past two World titles.

Then at 2:20 p.m. local time, Texas A&M incoming junior Tabarie Henry will run in the final of the men’s 400 as he represents the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Also in line to compete tomorrow during the prelims of the men’s 4 x 100 relay is Tyrone Edgar as a member of the Great Britain squad. The British relay is set to run in the second of three heats from lane 6 with the United States in lane 7. Also in the heat are Canada, Ghana, Portugal and the Netherlands.