By Gene Cherry
(Reuters) – With eight Olympic gold medalists on its 132-member roster, the United States are ready to be the powerhouse team at next month’s athletics world championships.
Triple jumper Christian Taylor, shot putters Ryan Crouser and Michelle Carter, long jumpers Tianna Bartoletta and Jeff Henderson, 400 meters hurdlers Dalilah Muhammad and Kerron Clement and 1,500m runner Matthew Centrowitz all were in the U.S. squad announced on Monday for the Aug. 4-13 championships in London.
“It looks entirely possible that Team USA could match its impressive Rio (Olympic) tally in August,” international athletics expert Mel Watman told Reuters after last month’s U.S. championships.
The Americans won 32 medals at the Rio Games, 13 of them gold, and similar overall numbers are forecast for London.
Strong showings by 100m hurdles world record holder Keni Harrison and the relay teams, plus leading performances in the triple jump, shot put, women’s 400m hurdles and women’s long jump should make for frequent trips to the podium for the Americans.
Gold could also come in the men’s pole vault where Olympic bronze medalist Sam Kendricks has been dominant and in the women’s 400m where world champion Allyson Felix is the outdoor season’s fastest.
Medals should be in the mix as well for Olympic 100m silver medalist Justin Gatlin, who faces retiring Jamaican world record holder Usain Bolt one last time, and for double Olympic medalist Tori Bowie, who is scheduled to contest both the 100m and 200m.
The world also will have a chance to assess rising U.S. stars Christian Coleman, who clocked a season-leading 9.82 seconds in the 100m in June, and Fred Kerley, the year’s second fastest 400m runner at 43.70 seconds.
(Editing by Christian Radnedge)