Aug. 22, 2003
A contingent of five male athletes with USC ties will begin the pursuit of a world title at the 2003 IAAF World Track and Field Championships, beginning August 23 in Paris, France.
Allen Johnson, a current Carolina volunteer assistant coach, and Terrence Trammell, a USC graduate and current volunteer assistant, are the most heralded of those connected to the Gamecock program. The duo is coached by South Carolina head coach Curtis Frye and are prime contenders for the 110m hurdles title.
Johnson won the 2003 U.S. Championship in Palo Alto this past June, the sixth outdoor title of his impressive career. The defending 2001 and three-time World Champion has an impressive career resume that includes the 1996 Olympic gold medal. Johnson, a Columbia, S.C., resident, is in the midst of a stellar season in which he is currently ranked No. 1 in the world, won the U.S. and World Indoor Championships in the 60m hurdles and collected three other meet titles.
“These days are the prime of my career,” said Johnson after winning the 2003 U.S. Outdoor title. “A lot of athletes are having a longer ‘prime’ to their careers by working hard, eating right and staying healthy. You can maintain your peak from age 20 through 40 if you want.”
Three-time World Champion Allen Johnson (left, with Coach Curtis Frye) is the world’s top-ranked 110m hurdler and reigning U.S. Champion.
Trammell, a 13-time All-American and 6-time NCAA Champion at South Carolina, enters the IAAF Championships with the world’s No. 11 ranking. He finished as the runner-up to Johnson at both the 2003 U.S. Outdoor and Indoor Championships. Earlier this season, Trammell took first in the 60m at the Verizon Millrose Games and swept the 60m and 60m hurdles at the Tyson Invitational.
In 2002, the Carolina graduate, won the USA Indoor 60m Championship and in 2001, he took home the gold medal in the 60m hurdles at the World Indoor Championships, an indoor season in which he was undefeated in both the 60m and 60mH. Earlier that year, Trammell won his second-consecutive USA Indoor 60m hurdles title. He was a silver-medallist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
“Allen and Terrence are our best hopefuls for medals at the World Championships,” said Frye. “Both are a little dinged up right now as they reach the end of the season. We will have to see how well they are able to race.”
Canadian Brad Snyder is competing in the shot put, an event in which he owns the world’s No. 11 ranking. A dominant performer during his USC days under the tutelage of throws coach Mike Sergent, Snyder was an eight-time All-American and swept both the indoor and outdoor NCAA Championships in 1998 before adding an indoor title in 1999.
Otukile Lekote who enjoyed success during his recent Carolina career will run in the 800m for his native Botswana. Lekote, a 10-time All-American at USC, swept the 2002 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor 800m titles after winning the 2000 Outdoor Championship in his first season with the Gamecocks. He is looking to rebound at the World Championships from a disappointing 2003 collegiate season.
Adrian Durant will run sprints for the U.S. Virgin Islands after competing as a freshman at USC in 2003. During his first season with the Gamecocks, Durant placed seventh in 200m and eighth in the 100m at the NCAA East Regional.
“Competition at the World Championships will be great preparation for the 2004 Olympic year,” said Frye. “Carolina is well represented in what will be a great lead into next season.”
The World Championships in Paris begin Saturday, Aug. 23 and continue through Sunday, Aug. 31. Daily event schedules, results and other information is available online at http://www.iaaf.org. Events from the final six days of competition will be televised by ESPN2 and ABC, who broadcasts the final day only. Highlights of the first three days will be included in the first show aired.
IAAF World Track and Field Championships Television Schedule:
Tuesday, Aug. 26, ESPN2, 2-4 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Aug. 27, ESPN2, 2:30-4:30 p.m. ET
Thursday, Aug. 28, ESPN2, 2:30-4:30 p.m. ET
Friday, Aug. 29, ESPN2, 2:30-4:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, Aug. 30, ESPN2, 4:30-6:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, Aug. 31, ABC, 12:30-4 p.m. ET