Superstar athletes look to Osaka at AT&T USA Outdoor Champs

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    Ryan
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    INDIANAPOLIS – At least 30 Olympic medalists, 30 World Championships medalists and 13 American record holders will vie for national crowns and coveted spots on the Team USA roster this weekend at the 2007 AT&T USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, June 21-24 in Indianapolis. The top three finishers in each event who have met IAAF qualifying standards will be selected for the Team USA roster for the IAAF World Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which will take place August 25-September 2 in Osaka, Japan.

    The fifth and final event of USA Track & Field's 2007 Outdoor Visa Championship Series, the AT&T USA Outdoor Championships will be televised live on ESPN2 from 8-9 p.m. on Friday, June 22, and tape-delayed from 7-8 p.m. Saturday, June 23. The meet will air live on NBC from 2-3 p.m. Saturday, June 23, and from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, June 24. All times are Eastern.

    In addition to previously announced standouts in the men's 200 meters, shot put and 400m hurdles, and women's hurdles and 400 meters, major headliners at the Championships include Allyson Felix, Bryan Clay, Lauryn Williams, Jenn Stuczynski, Deena Kastor, Bernard Lagat, Dwight Phillips, Tianna Madison and Walter Davis among many others.

    Despite her automatic bye on to the Team USA World Championships roster as the reigning women's 200m world champion, Allyson Felix is slated to attempt a 100/200 double at Indy. Felix, who owns the fastest 200m time in the world this year (22.18 seconds) will face a strong field in the 100 meters from reigning World Outdoor champion Lauryn Williams and 2003 World 100m champion Torri Edwards, who posted the fastest time in the world this year with her May 20 win at the adidas Track Classic in 10.90 seconds. In the 200, her competition includes World Outdoor Championships silver medalist and defending U.S. champion Rachelle Boone-Smith and IAAF World Athlete of the Year Sanya Richards, who won the 200 at the 2006 IAAF World Cup in Athletics.

    Jenn Stuczynski has breathed new life into American women's pole vaulting by becoming the nation's dominant competitor in that event in a relative short time. A standout basketball player who first tried the pole vault two years ago, Stuczynski became only the third woman in history – and the first American – to clear the 16-foot barrier on June 2, 2007, with her American record winning clearance of 4.88 meters/16 feet at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York City. It was her second American record of the outdoor season and is the top vault in the world so far in 2007.

    More top athletes

    In field event action, seven-time U.S. champion Breaux Greer will once again be a heavy favorite in the men's javelin. Greer, who has been ranked #1 in the U.S. the last seven years in a row, posted the top throw in the world this year and American record with his winning toss of 90.71 meters, 297 feet 7 inches, in winning at the adidas Track Classic.

    2004 Olympic silver medalist and reigning world champion Bryan Clay will look to win his third U.S. men's decathlon title in the two-day competition beginning on Friday. Clay will face a strong challenge from reigning U.S. champion and 2003 world champion Tom Pappas.

    2004 Olympic women's marathon bronze medalist and American 10,000m record holder Deena Kastor will be gunning for her fifth title in that event Thursday night. Kastor, who last year became the first American woman to run under 2 hours 20 minutes in winning the 2006 Flora London Marathon in 2:19:36, has already won national titles this year in cross country, the marathon and 15 km road race. In the women's 5,000 meters, look for Shalane Flanagan, who in 2007 has set American records indoors in the 3,000m (8:33.25) and outdoors in the 5,000 (14:44.80)

    In the men's distance races, Olympic and world outdoor medalist Bernard Lagat is currently entered in the 1,500m – an event where he holds the American record – and 5,000m, the events he won at this meet last year to become the first man ever to win that distance double. The American record holder in the half marathon, Ryan Hall leads entrants in the men's 10,000 meters along with two-time U.S. champion Abdi Abdirahman.

    The men's 110-meter hurdles should be a thrilling finishing between American record holder Dominique Arnold and two-time Olympic medalist Terrence Trammell.

    Additional athletes to watch include world and Olympic men's long jump champion Dwight Phillips, reigning world indoor and outdoor men's triple jump champion Walter Davis, men's Olympic pole vault champion Tim Mack and 2005 World Outdoor women's long jump champion Tianna Madison. Other American record holders competing in the championships include women's javelin thrower Kim Kreiner, women's discus thrower Suzy Powell, women's hammer thrower Erin Gilreath, men's steeplechaser Dan Lincoln, 5,000m runner Matt Tegenkamp, who set broke the American record in the 2-mile (8:07.07), and five-time USA 20 km race walk champion Tim Seaman.

    Ticket information is available at http://www.indianasportscorp.com and (800) HI-FIVES. Tickets can also be purchased through all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge-by-phone numbers and http://www.ticketmaster.com. All ticket purchases include free parking. USATF welcomes you to pay with your Visa.

    For more information on the 2007 AT&T USA Outdoor Championships and USATF's Visa Championship Series, visit http://www.usatf.org and http://www.visachampionshipseries.com.

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