Floréal’s Team USA Wins the Most Medals at World Championships
BEIJING – The United States track and field/athletics team, with Kentucky’s Edrick Floréal as men’s head coach, finished the 2015 IAAF World Championships with 18 medals, the most of any nation.
Floréal’s men won eight of those medals — with Joe Kovacs (shot put), Christian Taylor (triple jump American record), Ashton Eaton (decathlon world record) and the 4×400-meter relay winning gold.
Only Kenya had more men’s medalists (10).
Kenya and Jamaica tied for the most golds with seven each, and Kenya won the medal table because it had more total medals (16) than Jamaica (12).
USATF placed third in total golds with six. American men won four of those golds.
The United States won the placing table, which accounts for first through eighth-place finishers. The U.S. had 214 points, compared with second-place Kenya’s 173.
The men’s 4x400m relay concluded the meeting on Sunday – held biennially in the years before and after the Summer Olympics – with its sixth-straight gold medal in the event to give the Americans a strong finish to build on as attention now shifts to Rio de Janiero.
“We had some superb efforts from Team USA stars like Christian Taylor and Allison Felix to name a few, but for the most part this has been a strange Championships for us,” Floréal said on Saturday.
Harrison taking motivation from semifinal disappointment
Kentucky’s Kendra Harrison – who entered the World Championships as a medal contender despite the championships being her first major international competition – was disqualified for a false start in the semifinals.
“I feel awful for the many athletes who like Keni have trained so hard and met adversity in Beijing,” Floréal, who trains Harrison, said. “Keni – like those before her – will have to find the strength to bounce back and build enough character to overcome this setback.”
Harrison apparently took her coach’s words to heart after her narrow disqualification – her reaction to the gun was .071 seconds, and the allowable limit must be greater than .1 seconds.
“I have too much to be grateful for to let this get in my way,” Harrison said after the semifinal, “God has been too good to me, and all I can do say thanks for getting me this far. I have an awesome coach and I’m glad I came to Kentucky. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me. You are the best.”