LaShawn Merritt is an American track and field athlete who competes in sprinting events, specializing in the 400 metres. He is a former Olympic champion over the distance and his personal best of 43.65 seconds makes him the seventh fastest of all time. He was a successful junior athlete and won the 400 m gold at the 2004 World Junior Championships in Athletics, as well as setting two world junior records in the relays, he became part of the American 4×400 meter relay team and helped win the event at the 2006 IAAF World Indoor Championships. He established himself individually in 2007 by winning a silver medal in the 400 m at the 2007 World Championships, he came out on top of a rivalry with Jeremy Wariner in 2008 by winning in the 2008 Olympic final in a personal best time, by a record margin of 0.99 secs. He broke the Olympic record in the relay with the American team, recording the second fastest time ever. Merritt established himself as the World Champion with a win at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics in the 400 m and the 4×400 m relay.
In October 2010, he was suspended for 21 months after using a penis enlargement product that contained a banned substance. Merritt is a native of Virginia where he graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School. LaShawn spent one year as a college athlete at East Carolina University, signing an endorsement contract with Nike during his first season of indoor track, making him no longer eligible to compete in an NCAA event, he transferred to Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He studied business administration at Norfolk State University located in Norfolk. Merritt came to prominence as a junior athlete at the 2004 World Junior Championships in Athletics, he took the gold medal in the 400 meters race and set two junior world records as part of the American 4×100 and 4×400 meter relay teams. He took part in the 2005 World Championships in Athletics, his first major senior championship, acted as the relay substitute for the men's 4×400 m, he helped the team win their heat and was substituted for Jeremy Wariner for the final, where the American team won the gold medal.
He broke into the senior ranks in 2006, was selected for the 4×400 m relay team for the 2006 IAAF World Indoor Championships. Along with Tyree Washington, Milton Campbell and Wallace Spearmon, he won the World Indoor title in the event. Outdoors, he improved his best to 44.14 seconds for a bronze medal at the 2006 IAAF World Athletics Final and was selected to represent the United States at the 2006 IAAF World Cup, at which he won the 400 m competition. Prior to the 400 m final at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics in Osaka, Merritt stated his intent to beat all-comers, he achieved his first sub-44 second run, finishing in 43.96, beat 2000 Olympic champion Angelo Taylor to the line. However, this was not enough to beat the reigning World and Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner, half a second ahead; the silver medal was Merritt's first at a global championships over the 400 m. He again formed part of the United States' 4×400 meter relay team and, with fellow individual medallists Wariner and Taylor among the team, the American's eased to victory some three and a half seconds ahead of the Bahamians.
With Wariner absent from the field, Merritt won the gold medal at the 2007 IAAF World Athletics Final. Merritt's 2008 season was distinguished by a considerable rivalry with Wariner, who had won the 400 m at every major global championship since 2004; the 2008 IAAF Golden League provided the venue for many of their duels. He scored his first major win over Wariner in a close affair at the Internationales Stadionfest in Berlin, he confirmed his Olympic place a month by winning at the 2008 United States Olympic Trials, again defeating the reigning Olympic champion Wariner. In July at the Golden Gala meeting, Wariner responded by edging a win in the 400 m by just 0.01 seconds. At the Meeting Gaz de France in Paris, the last Golden League competition before the Olympics, Wariner seemed to have the momentum behind him after a win in 43.86 seconds. Merritt won the 400 m at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. A close race between Merritt and Wariner was expected, though it ended in a rout; the 0.99-second margin between Merritt's first-place finish and Wariner's second-place finish was the largest in an Olympic 400 m final.
His time of 43.75, a new personal best, made him the fifth fastest 400 m runner on the all-time lists, still two places behind Wariner, third on the all-time list of fastest runners. He teamed up with Wariner, Angelo Taylor and 400 m bronze medallist David Neville for the men's 4 × 400 m relay; the team defeated the Olympic record mark which had stood since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics by running a time of 2:55.39, the second fastest in the history of the event. Weeks after the Olympics, he lost to Wariner by a large margin at the Weltklasse Zürich, although Wariner's winning time of 43.82 seconds was still slower than Merritt's Olympic winning run. Merritt secured his fourth win over Wariner that season at the 2008 IAAF World Athletics Final. Although the two had both beaten each other that season, Merritt had won all the most important races, ending the season as the Olympic and American champion over 400 m as well as taking home the World Athletics Final payday, he opted to miss out on the 2009 indoor season to focus on improving his technique.
With Wariner qualified for the World Championships as the defending champion, Merritt won the 400 m at the 2009 US Championships somewhat uncontested, equalling his own world leading time of 44.50 seconds. At the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, in Berlin, he went on to win the 400 m in a world-leading time of 44.06 seconds, once again beating Wariner. On 22 April 2010
Meseret Defar Tola is an Ethiopian long-distance runner who competes chiefly in the 3000 metres and 5000 metres events. She has won medals at top-tier international competitions including Olympic and World Championship gold medals over 5000 metres, she broke the world record in the event in 2006, broke it again in 2007 and held it until 2008, when fellow Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba beat her time. In 2007 on a track in Brussels Belgium, she became the only woman, with a 2 mile run in less than 9 minutes; this is an improvement for the world record by 11 seconds. Defar has been successful in the 5000 m at the Olympic Games, taking gold at the 2012 London Olympics, 2004 Athens Olympics and bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she has experienced similar success in the World Championships, taking silver in 2005 Helsinki Championships and gold at the 2007 Osaka Championships. Defar held the indoor records for 3000 metres and two-mile run, she has dominated the 3000 m indoor event, winning four consecutive gold medals at the IAAF World Indoor Championships from 2004 to 2010.
She is a two-time champion at the All-Africa Games, a four-time medalist at the African Championships and a two-time gold medalist at the World Junior Championships. Defar took a break from competition in 2014, she vowed to return by 2015 although she did not compete in the August World Championships in Beijing. Defar won the 5000 metres gold medal at the inaugural Afro-Asian Games in 2003, she won gold medals in the women's 5000 metres at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens with a time of 14:45.65 and 5000 metres at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. She won bronze medal at 2008 Beijing Olympics. On 3 June 2006 she ran the 5000 metres in New York City in a then-world record time of 14:24.53 – she subsequently improved the record to 14:16.63 at the Bislett Games in Oslo on 15 June 2007. On 3 February 2007 she ran the 3000 metres indoor in Stuttgart in a world record time of 8:23.72. On 20 May 2007 she ran the 2 mile in Carson, California in a world best time of 9:10.47. On 1 September 2007 she won gold in 14:57.91 at 5000 m at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, to go along with her Olympic victory and world record.
On 14 September 2007, she set a world best in the women's 2-mile at the Van Damme Memorial meet, shaving 11.89 seconds off the 9:10.47 mark she set in May at Carson, California. In 2007, Defar won the female IAAF World Athlete of the Year award, she won a silver medal at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki. In 2006, she won the World Indoor Championships over 3000 metres, defending her title from the 2004 IAAF World Indoor Championships. In the Reebok Boston Indoor meeting of January 2008, Defar ran a time of 9:10.50 in the two-mile event to establish a new two-mile indoor world best time, breaking the previous indoor best by over twelve seconds. Defar won her third consecutive World Indoor gold medal in the 3000 m at the 2008 World Indoor Championships in Athletics. At the 2008 African Championships in Athletics, Defar was defeated in the 5000 m by compatriot Meselech Melkamu. At the 2008 Bislett Games, Defar's 5000 m world record was broken by Tirunesh Dibaba, she took. Defar began the 2009 athletics season by improving upon her personal bests, setting a new 5000 m world indoor record of 14:24.37 and an indoor world best over two miles with a 9:06.26 run.
She competed in the 10,000 metres event at the British national trials in July, attempting to take a spot on the Ethiopian team at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics. In spite of the wet and windy conditions, she ran a personal best of 29:59.20 minutes – breaking Paula Radcliffe's UK all-comers’ record, becoming the fifth woman to run sub-30 minutes, earning qualification for the Championships in the process. In Berlin, Meseret was leading the 2009 World Championships in Athletics – Women's 10,000 metres until the last 50 metres when her legs appeared to tie up, handing the gold medal to Kenya's Linet Masai and was passed by three other athletes, finishing with a time of 30:52.37. She ran in the 2009 World Championships in Athletics – Women's 5000 metres final and was leading at the top of the home straight, but was passed by two Kenyan with metres to go, Vivian Cheruiyot and Sylvia Kibet, she went on to beat both athletes in the 3000 m at the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Final a month setting a world leading time of 8:30.15 in the process.
Rebounding from her bronze medal championship performance, she scored a fourth straight gold medal in the 3000 m at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships. Moving on to the road circuit, she won her third title at the Carlsbad 5000, although her time of 15:04 did not trouble her own course record. At the 2010 African Championships in Athletics, she represented Ethiopia in the 5000 m and won the silver medal behind Vivian Cheruiyot. SHe won the 3000 m gold at the 2010 IAAF Continental Cup a month later, she made her half marathon debut at the Rock'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon and succeeded first time, winning in a time of 1:07:44. This mark improved upon Berhane Adere's fastest time on American soil for the distance and was the fifth fastest debut. At the beginning of 2011 she made a world record attempt for the indoor 3000 m and came just short with a run of 8:36.91 minutes. She was dominant on the outdoor circuit, taking 5000 m wins at the FBK Games, Bislett Games and Meeting Areva, her win streak ended at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics, where she first dropped out of the 10,000 m was beaten by Vivian Cheruiyot and Sylvia Kibet in the 5000 m, ending up with the bronze medal.
At the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Ch
The shot put is a track and field event involving "putting" a heavy spherical object—the shot—as far as possible. The shot put competition for men has been a part of the modern Olympics since their revival in 1896, women's competition began in 1948. Homer mentions competitions of rock throwing by soldiers during the Siege of Troy but there is no record of any dead weights being thrown in Greek competitions; the first evidence for stone- or weight-throwing events were in the Scottish Highlands, date back to the first century. In the 16th century King Henry VIII was noted for his prowess in court competitions of weight and hammer throwing; the first events resembling the modern shot put occurred in the Middle Ages when soldiers held competitions in which they hurled cannonballs. Shot put competitions were first recorded in early 19th century Scotland, were a part of the British Amateur Championships beginning in 1866. Competitors take their throw from inside a marked circle 2.135m in diameter, with a stopboard about 10 centimetres high at the front of the circle.
The distance thrown is measured from the inside of the circumference of the circle to the nearest mark made on the ground by the falling shot, with distances rounded down to the nearest centimetre under IAAF and WMA rules. The following rules must be adhered to for a legal throw: Upon calling the athlete's name, the athlete may choose any part of the throwing circle to enter inside, they have thirty seconds. The athlete may not wear gloves; the athlete must rest the shot close to the neck, keep it tight to the neck throughout the motion. The shot must be released above the height of the shoulder; the athlete may touch the inside surface of the circle or toe board, but must not touch the top or outside of the circle or toe board, or the ground beyond the circle. Limbs may, extend over the lines of the circle in the air; the shot must land in the legal sector of the throwing area. The athlete must leave the throwing circle from the back. Foul throws occur when an athlete: Does not pause within the circle before beginning the putting motion.
Does not complete the putting movement within thirty seconds of having their name called. Allows the shot to drop below his shoulder or outside the vertical plane of his shoulder during the put. At any time if the shot loses contact with the neck it is technically an illegal put. During the putting motion, touches with any part of the body: the top or ends of the toe board the top of the iron ring anywhere outside the circle. Puts a shot which either falls outside the throwing sector or touches a sector line on the initial impact. Leaves the circle before the shot has landed. Does not leave from the rear half of the circle; the following are either obsolete or non-existent, but believed rules within professional competition: The athlete must enter the circle from the back. The athlete entering the circle exiting and re-entering it prior to starting the throw results in a foul. Loose clothing, shoelaces, or long hair touching outside the circle during a throw, or an athlete bringing a towel into the circle and throwing it out prior to the put, results in a foul.
Shot put competitions have been held at the modern Summer Olympic Games since their inception in 1896, it is included as an event in the World Athletics Championships. Each competition has a set number of rounds of throws. There are three preliminary rounds to determine qualification for the final, three more rounds in the final; each competitor is credited with their longest throw, regardless of whether it was achieved in the preliminary or final rounds. The competitor with the longest legal put is declared the winner. In open competitions the men's shot weighs 7.260 kilograms, the women's shot weighs 4 kilograms. Junior and masters competitions use different weights of shots below the weights of those used in open competitions. Two putting styles are in current general use by shot put competitors: the spin. With all putting styles, the goal is to release the shot with maximum forward velocity at an angle of forty-five degrees; the origin of this technique glide dates to 1951, when Parry O'Brien from the United States invented a technique that involved the putter facing backwards, rotating 180 degrees across the circle, tossing the shot.
Unlike spin this technique is a linear movement. With this technique, a right-hand thrower would begin facing the rear of the circle, kick to the front with the left leg, while pushing off forcefully with the right; as the thrower crosses the circle, the hips twist toward the front, the left arm is swung out pulled back tight, followed by the shoulders, they strike in a putting motion with their right arm. The key is to move across the circle with as little air under the feet as possible, hence the name'glide'. Known as rotational technique, it did not receive much attention until the 1970s. In 1972 Aleksandr Baryshnikov set his first USSR record using a new putting style, the spin
Icahn Stadium is a 5,000 seat track and field and multipurpose facility located on Randalls Island in Manhattan, New York City. Designed within the former site of Downing Stadium, it opened on April 23, 2005. Icahn Stadium is named after American businessman Carl Icahn, who made a $10 million donation towards the construction of the new stadium; the stadium features an International Association of Athletics Federations Class 1 certified running track with a 400-meter Mondo Super X Performance surface, it has been the site of many international and regional track and field events. Icahn Stadium was built to replace Downing Stadium, opened in 1936 as part of a larger New York City Parks project that included the construction of the Triborough Bridge; the opening of Downing Stadium made history as the facility hosted the U. S. Olympic Trials in 1936, at which Jesse Owens qualified for two events in the upcoming Berlin Olympics. Downing Stadium made history in 1939 as the site of the first televised college football game, Fordham vs. Waynesburg.
The site went was subsequently home to the New York Cosmos soccer team, as well as various sporting events and summer concerts. The stadium lights, taken from Ebbets Field after it was torn down, were left in place to light the new field. After years of use, the old facility was in need of renovation. In order to maximize the potential of the site, the old stadium was razed, Icahn Stadium was constructed in its place along with Field 10, a FIFA-certified soccer field, on the north side; the track and field built is one of only five International Association of Athletics Federations Class 1-certified tracks in the United States. The 5,000 seat stadium is sheltered by a cantilevered roof, is illuminated by a pair of lighting towers. In addition, the soccer field on the north of the stadium is outfitted with a scoreboard, fencing and bleachers for spectator events. Run by the Randalls Island Park Alliance, Icahn Stadium serves the residents of New York City and beyond, it houses some of RIPA’s various Randalls Island Kids programs, including the Jesse Owens track club, RIK Dance programs, components of RIK summer camp.
RIPA was founded in 1992 as a public–private partnership to work on behalf of Randalls Island Park. The Alliance, in conjunction with City leadership and the local community, works to realize the Island’s unique potential by developing sports and recreational facilities, restoring its vast natural environment and maintaining parkland, sponsoring community-linked programs for the children of New York City. RIPA runs free youth sports programs that bring over 14,000 under-resourced public school children from Harlem and the South Bronx to the island annually. Since its opening, Icahn Stadium has hosted more than 200,000 high school and professional athletes and spectators during the track season; each year, the number of meets and events that are scheduled has grown, bringing larger numbers of people to the facility. In 2005 the Reebok Grand Prix was held at the stadium. Known as the Adidas Grand Prix of the IAAF Diamond League, the annual summer tournament welcomes top runners from around the world.
From its inception it has distinguished itself as one of top meets to feature Olympic and World Champions. On May 31, 2008, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt set the world record in the 100m on the Icahn Stadium track with a time of 9.72 seconds at the Reebok Grand Prix.02 seconds faster than the previous record held by his countryman, Asafa Powell. On June 9, 2012, Kenyan runner David Rudisha set the record in the 800m in the U. S. with a time of 1:41.74 seconds at the Adidas Grand Prix. In December 2012, the New York Lizards of Major League Lacrosse announced that the team would play two home games at Icahn Stadium for the 2013 season; the team played at the venue on June 6 and 13, 2013. On June 27, 2013, the New York Cosmos revealed that their annual Cosmos Copa NYC soccer tournament would hold its final at the stadium, as many of the games were held at Randalls Island. Due to scheduling issues, the final was relocated. However, the site was used as a venue for the 2014 Cosmos Copa group stages.
Icahn Stadium was incorporated as a training center into the New York City bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Future New York City Olympic bids will potentially use the stadium as a training facility, because it meets IAAF specifications. Icahn Stadium
Renaud Lavillenie is a French pole vaulter. He is the current indoor world record holder, with a height of 6.16 m set indoors on 15 February 2014. Lavillenie won gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London and silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. In addition to his Olympic victories, he has won three World Indoor Championships gold medals, three European Championships gold medals and four European Indoor Championships gold medals, he has won one silver medal and four bronze medals at the World Championships. As of 25 August 2016, he holds the French national records for the highest pole vault clearance both outdoors and indoors, he has been the pole vault overall winner of the IAAF Diamond League in seven consecutive years, from 2010 to 2016. Outside pole vaulting, Lavillenie is a keen motorcyclist, raced in the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours for motorcycles, finishing 25th. Lavillenie subsequently entered the 2014 race. Lavillenie's younger brother Valentin Lavillenie is a pole vaulter. Renaud Lavillenie was born in Barbezieux-Saint-Hilaire, France.
His father was a pole vaulter. Renaud made his pole vault competition debut in 2003, at the age of 17. Lavillenie's 2008 outdoor personal best was 5.65 metres, achieved on 27 June in Villeneuve-d'Ascq. His 2008 indoor personal best was 5.81 metres, achieved on 5 December in Aulnay-sous-Bois. Lavillenie's 2009 indoor personal best was 5.80 metres – he cleared that height in Moscow and to win the 2009 European Indoor Championships pole vault final in Turin. Lavillenie improved his outdoor personal best to 5.81 m in May 2009, beating veteran French pole vaulter Romain Mesnil in Forbach. Two weeks he improved his outdoor personal best to 5.96 m at a meeting in Aubière, setting a world-leading outdoor mark. He achieved another world-leading outdoor mark with a winning jump of 6.01 metres on 21 June 2009 at the 2009 European Team Championships in Leiria, Portugal. That 6.01-metre mark broke Jean Galfione's ten-year-old French national outdoor record of 5.98 m set in Amiens on 23 July 1999 and would remain as the French national outdoor record until Lavillenie beat it by 1 cm in July 2013.
At the 2009 World Championships, Lavillenie vaulted 5.80 m in the pole vault final to win the bronze medal behind Steven Hooker and Romain Mesnil. He took part in the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Final but failed to record a mark and finished last. At the 2010 World Indoor Championships, Lavillenie's only cleared 5.45 m in the qualification round and did not qualify for the final. He enjoyed better success at the inaugural 2010 IAAF Diamond League, in which he won four of the seven pole vault events to become its pole vault overall winner. At the Adidas Grand Prix on 12 June 2010, he won the pole vault event with a jump of 5.85 m, beating Steven Hooker into second place. Seven weeks he captured his first European Championships pole vault title in Barcelona, with a jump of 5.85 m in the final. On 5 March 2011, in the 2011 European Indoor Championships pole vault final in Paris, Lavillenie vaulted 6.03 m to win his second consecutive European Indoor Championships gold medal and break the French national indoor pole vault record, held by Jean Galfione since 6 March 1999.
That jump of 6.03 m was the third-highest personal best indoor clearance of all time. Only Sergey Bubka and Steve Hooker had registered higher personal best indoor clearances. Lavillenie only managed fifth place in the pole vault event of the outdoor 2011 European Team Championships, he won four of the seven pole vault events in the 2011 IAAF Diamond League to become its pole vault overall winner for the second year running. At the 2011 World Championships he cleared 5.85 m to win the World Championships pole vault bronze medal for the second time running. Lavillenie underwent surgery on his left hand after he broke it due to a snapped pole accident in December 2011. Lavillenie returned to competition in February 2012 and won the Pole Vault Stars meet with a clearance of 5.82 m. At the 2012 World Indoor Championships, Renaud Lavillenie won his first World Indoor Championships or World Championships gold medal by clearing 5.95m in the final, 15 cm better than the silver and bronze medallists. At the 2012 European Championships, Lavillenie cleared 5.97 m in the final to win the European Championships gold medal for the second time in a row.
At the 2012 Olympic Games, Lavillenie won the gold medal by clearing 5.97 m in the final. He was in the bronze medal position behind two Germans at 5.91 m – Björn Otto and Raphael Holzdeppe – when he cleared the aforementioned height on his third and final attempt. He had earlier failed to clear 5.97 m on his second. After securing the gold medal when Otto and Holzdeppe failed to match or better his 5.97 m, Lavillenie had one failed attempt at 6.02 m and two unsuccessful attempts at 6.07 m. He thus won France its 14th track and field Olympic gold medal in history, became the first French track and field Olympic champion since 1996 and the third French men's Olympic pole vault champion. Lavillenie won five of the seven pole vault events in the 2012 IAAF Diamond League to become its pole vault overall winner for the third year running. At the 2013 European Indoor Championships, Lavillenie won the pole vault title for the third time in a row after clearing 6.01 m in the final. He did not miss any attempts at 6.01 m and below, with first time clearances at 5.61, 5.76, 5.86, 5.91, 5.9