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Joe Kovacs wins USATF AOW after Nike Prefontaine Classic win

INDIANAPOLIS --  Joe Kovacs wins USATF Athlete of the Week after an impressive performance at the Nike Prefontaine Classic on Friday, May 29 in Eugene, Oregon.
Kovacs (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) beat a strong men's shot field with his 22.12m/72-7 toss on his last attempt, turning in his second-best throw of the season. He is still one of only 22 throwers to ever eclipse the 22-meter mark in shot put and leads the world this season with his mark of 22.35m/73-4 from April.
Kovacs scored four points in the IAAF Diamond League standings after the weekend. He currently trails German thrower David Storl by two points, who finished second to Kovacs in Eugene.
“The first goal is to beat the U.S. guys ‘cause that’s going to be the tough one,” said Kovacs. “The next goal to look forward to is Worlds. It’s always good to beat whomever is on top right now.”
The 2015 IAAF World Championships begin Aug. 22 in Beijing, China, and Kovacs is expected to throw for the United States.
Other notable performances this week include:
●       Jenny Simpson (Boulder, Colorado) won the 1,500 meters in exciting fashion with an American-leading time of 4:00.98, just .02 off the world lead. Simpson is the reigning IAAF Diamond League champion at 1,500 meters.
●       Alexa Efraimson (Camus, Washington) set an American Junior record in the 1500 meters with her time of 4:03.39 in the 1,500 at the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, where she finished seventh.
●       Justin Gatlin (Clermont, Florida) dominated the men’s 200m, finishing in a world-leading 19.68, which matched his PR and kept him at No. 8 on the world all-time performers list. Gatlin now has 17 wins on the Diamond League circuit.
●       Allyson Felix (Los Angeles, California) moved back up to the 400 to win in 50.05, defeating Sanya Richards-Ross, among others at the Nike Prefontaine Classic.
Now in its 14th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
2015 Winners: January 15, Chris Derrick; January 21, Demi Payne; January 28, Casimir Loxsom; February 4, Anselm LeBourne; February 11, Jenny Simpson; February 18, Brycen Spratling; February 25, Maksim Korolev; March 4, Shannon Rowbury; March 11, Mary Norckauer; March 18, Daloria Boone; March 25, Irene Obera; April 2, Michael Stigler; April 8, Allen Woodard; April 15, Joe Kovacs; April 22, Vashti Cunningham; April 29, Jasmin Stowers; May 6, Sanya Richards-Ross; May 13, Bernard Lagat; May 20, Christian Taylor; May 27, David Oliver; June 3, Joe Kovacs.
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USA Track & Field is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit
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To nominate an athlete for Athlete of the Week, please send a detailed email about their performance to

Ryan Stevens
Communications Intern

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