OSAKA, Japan – A sweep of the relays capped the final day of the IAAF World Championships on Sunday and produced a new standard in gold medals for the United States men’s squad with Texas A&M’s Pat Henry serving as the head coach.
The United States led the overall medal count with 26 medals with a breakdown of 14 gold, four silver and eight bronze. The U.S. men claimed 10 gold, three silver and six bronze of that total count.
Kenya was runner-up in gold medals with five while Russia was second to the U.S. in total medals with 16 (four gold, nine silver and three bronze) during the 11th edition of the World Outdoor Championships.
The only other time Team USA has accumulated 26 medals was in 1991, the last time the World Championships were held in Japan when Tokyo was the host site. It surpassed the recent tally of 25 medals achieved during the 2005 World Championships and the 2004 Olympics.
The gold medal count for the men established a new record for Team USA, surpassing the nine won in Helsinki, Finland, during the 2005 Worlds and the nine claimed in Tokyo back in 1991.
In fact, the U.S. men in Osaka equaled the number of gold medals claimed by the 1996 men’s Olympic team in Atlanta, which established the present standard over the past 40 years since the 1964 and 1968 Olympics when the American men claimed 12 golds.
A total of 19 medals earned by the U.S. men’s team is also the highest number since the 1991 Worlds, when Team USA totaled 20. Including U.S. Olympic teams during the past 17-year span, the 2007 version of the U.S. men’s squad matched the 19 medals won during the Athens Olympics in 2004 and trails the 20 accumulated at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.
When the U.S. men won the 4 x 400 relay in 2:55.56, a world leading time for 2007, on Sunday evening in Japan it not only meant a sweep of relays for the men’s team, but USA swept the women’s relays as well. It marked the first time in the history of the World Championships a country has won all four relays.
The 4 x 400 effort by the U.S. men was the third fastest ever on the all-time list, trailing only a 2:54.20 (U.S. at Goodwill Games 1998) and a 2:54.29 (U.S. at 1993 World Championships). It marked the eighth victory by Team USA in World Outdoor Championships.
On Saturday the U.S. men’s 4 x 100 won with a world-leading time of 37.78 seconds, the seventh Worlds win by the Americans. It became the 15th fastest time ever run and the eighth fastest ever at the World Championships.