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5 US Athletes Into Inaugural IAAF Hall of Fame

Five American athletes named to innaugural IAAF Hall of Fame
ISTANBUL, TURKEY ‰ÛÒ The IAAF announced Thursday that Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Carl Lewis, Edwin Moses, Al Oerter and Jesse Owens
will be among the initial 12 members of the inaugural class for the
IAAF Hall of Fame. The IAAF and President Lamine Diack made the
announcement at a press conference held at the Turkish Olympic House in
preparation for the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Track & Field
Championships, which will begin Friday and run through Sunday at the
Atakoy Athletic Arena.
 
The IAAF announced the initial 12
names for induction into the Hall of Fame Thursday while the remaining
12 names will be announced at some point before the official induction
ceremony, which is scheduled for November 24, 2012, at the IAAF
Centenary Gala in Barcelona.
 
A ‰ÛÏWho‰Ûªs Who in American track and
field‰Û, Owens, Lewis, Oerter, Moses and Joyner-Kersee are all members of
the USA Track & Field National Hall of Fame. Along with the
announcement, the IAAF states the strict criteria for induction,
which says athletes must have won at least two Olympic or World
Championships gold medals and have set at least one world record.
Athletes also need to be retired from the sport for 10 years.
 
‰ÛÏAs part of the celebrations to mark
the centennial year of the International Association of Athletics
Federations, the IAAF is proud to announce the inauguration of the IAAF
Hall of Fame in 2012,‰Û President Diack said. ‰ÛÏThe creation of the IAAF
Hall of Fame which has long been a vision of the sport‰Ûªs world governing
body is an excellent way not only to honor the lifetime achievements of
our greatest athletes, but also heighten public awareness of our sport
and its rich
history.‰Û

Jackie Joyner-Kersee
One of the most famous American
athletes of all time, Jackie Joyner-Kersee was voted the Greatest Female
Athlete of the 20th Century by Sports Illustrated. In her time
as a multi-event athlete, Joyner-Kersee won three Olympic gold medals
and four World Outdoor Championships gold medals. She established the
world record four times in the heptathlon and did so once in the long
jump. From 1985 until 1991 Joyner-Kersee won 12 consecutive heptathlon
competitions.

Carl Lewis
Few will ever be able to duplicate
the nine Olympic gold medals, eight World Championships gold medals and
nine world records Carl Lewis was a part of during his time as a
sprinter and jumper. The IAAF induction is the latest honor for Lewis as
he was also voted Male Athlete of the 20th Century by the IAAF and
Sportsman of the Century by the International Olympic Committee. He not
only equaled Owens‰Ûª four-gold-medal performance at the 1984 Olympic
Games, but he also won long jump Olympic gold four
consecutive times from 1984 until 1996. Lewis set the world record in
the 100m three different times and was part of six world record setting
4x100m teams.

Edwin Moses
The 122 consecutive races Edwin
Moses won during his run in the 400-meter hurdles will go down as one of
the better streaks in any sport. Moses won both the 1976 and 1984
Olympic gold medals and would have been the odds-on favorite to win in
1980 if not for the U.S. boycott of the Moscow Games. Between 1977 and
1987 Moses didn‰Ûªt lose a race in the 400m hurdles. That string also
included gold medals at two World Championships and three IAAF world
cups.

Al Oerter
Al Oerter was the first of his kind
in winning four consecutive Olympic gold medals in the discus from 1956
through 1968. Oerter won his first Olympic gold at the age of 20 when he
set the Olympic record and became the youngest ever Olympic champion of
the event. One of the more dominant throwers the event has ever seen,
Oerter established a new Olympic record in each of his four Olympics.
 
Jesse Owens
Jesse Owens is known in track and
field for a pair of reasons ‰ÛÒ winning four gold medals at the 1936
Olympic Games and setting five world records in a 45-minute span in
college. In 1936, in the politically charged Games in Berlin, Owens won
gold medals in the 100m, 200m, long jump and 4x100m relay. Not until
Carl Lewis in 1984, would anyone win those same events in the same
Olympics. In 1935, as a student at Ohio State, Owens set world marks in
the 100-yard, long jump, 220-yard and 220-yard hurdles all
in less than 45 minutes.

Reigning world champs, world record holder highlight men’s team for IAAF World Indoor Championships
ISTANBUL, TURKEY ‰ÛÒ Reigning World Indoor gold medalist Bernard Lagat, 2011 World Outdoor champions Christian Taylor and Jesse Williams and world heptathlon record holder Ashton Eaton lead
a deep Team USA men‰Ûªs field into the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Track &
Field Championships. Competition begins Friday and runs through Sunday
from the Atakoy Athletic Arena.
 
Lagat has been vocal all season on
his goals to defend his World Indoor title in the 3,000-meters and will
be in search of his third World Indoor title in the event after also
winning the gold in 2004. Lagat is coming off a win in the event at the
USA Indoor Championships along with establishing an American record in
the 5,000m earlier in the year at the Millrose Games. He will face
strong competition from Great Britain‰Ûªs Mo Farah as well as 2012 USA
Indoor runner-up Lopez Lomong.

Taylor burst onto the international
scene with his World Outdoor Championships gold medal in the triple jump
and will be given his first chance for another medal on the
international scene since Daegu. Taylor teams with Will Claye to
give Team USA a good chance at a pair of triple jump medals. Claye won
the USA Indoor title in the event and owns the top two jumps in the
world this year. Claye will also compete in the long jump where he owns
the second best mark in the world this indoor season.
 
After winning a World Championships
gold medal, a Diamond League title and USA Track & Field‰Ûªs Jesse
Owens award in 2011, Williams hopes for more big things in 2012. The
two-time USA Indoor and Outdoor champion owns a season best of
2.32m/7-7.25, which currently puts him sixth best in the world.
 
No one in the history of track and
field has performed better in the heptathlon than Eaton. He set the
world record mark of 6,568 points in 2010. Eaton also won a silver medal
in the decathlon at the 2011 World Outdoor Championships. This is
Eaton‰Ûªs first full heptathlon this indoor season.
 
Trell Kimmons and Justin Gatlin battled
to a close finish at the USA Indoor Championships. Kimmons‰Ûª winning
time of 6.45 and Gatlin‰Ûªs runner-up time of 6.47 are currently the two
fastest times in the world this year and give Team USA an excellent shot
at a pair of World Indoor medals.
 
There has long been an American
presence in the shot put at the international level, and the 2012 World
Indoor Championships will be no different. 2006 World Indoor gold
medalist Reese Hoffa and 2011 USA Indoor runner-up Ryan Whiting currently own the top two spots in the world in 2012. Hoffa has also won two World Indoor silver medals in his career.
 
Brad Walker
understands how to perform on the world stage. The American outdoor pole
vault record holder and 2006 World Indoor gold medalist will be in
search of his fifth World Championships medal. His season best of
5.86m/19-2.75 currently sits fifth in the world as Walker will be joined
by Scott Roth, who placed second at the 2012 USA Indoor championships.
 
Aries Merritt and Kevin Craddock
battled through a loaded field at the USA Indoor Championships to
represent Team USA at the World Indoor Championships in the 60m hurdles.
Merrit, who claimed the U.S. indoor title, owns the third fastest time
in the world this year and Craddock, the runner-up, currently sits
fourth.
 
Matthew Centrowitz and Galen Rupp lead the middle-distance fields in the 1,500m while Michael Rutt and Tevan Everett will
represent Team USA in the 800m. Centrowitz placed second at the USA
Indoor Championships in the event along with winning a bronze medal at
the 2011 World Outdoor Championships. The American outdoor 10,000m
record holder, Rupp was recently crowned as the men‰Ûªs indoor Visa
Championships series winner. Rutt placed second at the 2012 USA Indoor
Championships.
 
Gil Roberts and Calvin Smith
will lead a group of sprinters in the 400m and the 4x400m relay.
Roberts and Smith finished first and second, respectively, at the USA
Indoor Championships and currently have the second and sixth fastest
times in the world. They will be joined by Frankie Wright, Manteo Mitchell, Quentin Iglehart-Summers and Jamaal Torrance in assembling teams for both the preliminary round and the final of the 4x400m.
 
For continuing updates on the World Indoor Championships, see www.usatf.org.

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