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Team USA athletes ready for IAAF World Youth Champs in Colombia

CALI, Colombia -- Team USA's roster of 49 athletes will open competition on a global stage at the 9th IAAF World Youth Championships in South America on Wednesday, July 15 as the five-day event draws more than 1,200 total competitors from more than 130 nations.
Sixteen-year-old Candace Hill  (Stockbridge, Georgia) is one most highly touted athletes on the roster after she ran 10.98 in the 100 meters at the Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle in late June. Hill’s performance took down her previous PR and set a new World Youth record. In Colombia, she will compete in two events, lining up for the 100m prelims on Thursday, July 16 and hoping to improve her 200m best of 23.05 in those rounds on Friday, July 17.
*Note: Candace Hill participated in the official IAAF World Youth Championships press conference Tuesday. Scroll down to read her quotes.
World Junior gold medalist in the 4x400m relay, Josephus Lyles (Alexandria, Virginia) highlights a strong 400m men’s field, which also features U.S. teammate Keshun Reed (Arlington, Texas). The two punched their tickets to the 400m race in Cali after finishing 1-2 at the trials event in Lisle, Illinois, where their top finishes were 45.77 and 46.06 respectively. The two will run their opening 400s on Wednesday.
Lyles joins Hill as one of six athletes competing in two events as he prepares to also take on the 200m on Friday.
In jumps, Tara Davis (Agoura Hills, California) will compete in triple jump and long jump on Friday and Saturday. Men’s horizontal jumps begin on Thursday, featuring Denzel Harper (Lithonia, Georgia) and Justes Nance (Calabasas, California) on the runway in long jump.
Over the quartermile barriers will be Sydney McLaughlin (South Plainfield, New Jersey) in the women’s 400-meter hurdles and Norman Grimes (Canyon, Texas) for the men. McLaughlin ran a lifetime best, clocking 55.28 at the qualifying event and was just .08 shy of the national high school record. Grimes approaches the heats on with a personal best of 51.67. Both will run heats on Wednesday.
Top throws athlete Bobby Colantonio (Barrington, Rhode Island) comes into the hammer throw competition having previously tossed 78.18m/256-6. He steps in the ring on Thursday.
U.S. athletes, born in 1998 or 1999 and ages 16 and 17 through December 31, 2015, were considered eligible for the team based on performances at the World Youth Trials on June 30 – July 1. Each event’s top-two finishers, who achieved or surpassed the IAAF entry standards, were eligible for nomination to the team based on the selection criteria found here.
The event schedule and results are posted at
Follow along with the action and join the conversation by following USATF on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #Cali2015.
Quotes - IAAF World Youth Championships Press Conference
Candace Hill, 100m and 200m
Current 100m World Youth Record holder
On what it means to compete at IAAF World Youth Championships
 “When I ran 10.98, it was like a dream come true. Coming into the meet, I wasn’t expecting to run 10.98. I was expecting to run low 11s like 11.1. But after I crossed the line, the officials were like, ‘You just ran a 10.98,’ and that just shattered my goals for the season. I was like, ‘I don’t have to run any faster because 10.98 - that’s incredible.’”
On how her world has changed since that 10.98 race
“Ever since that day, I have been getting a lot of media attention. They have been blowing up my Twitter and Instagram accounts to say congrats, and that has put a lot of pressure on me. I’m just going to keep it focussed and do what I do here.”
On the great sprinting tradition of the U.S. and her inspiration
“I look up to Allyson Felix because she can not only run the 200 meters, but she can also run the 100 and the 400 as well. She’s an amazing runner; she’s humble and I look up to her.”
On her experience so far in Cali and preparations for the meet
“It’s been a great experience being able to come to Cali to compete. Breaking the record coming into the meet gives me a lot of confidence, and I know that we all worked hard and are going to do well and win our medals.”
On running the 100 and 200m and the possibility of medaling in both
“It will mean a lot, winning a gold medal for the United States, and also I’m going to try to do it in the 200 as well. It would just mean a lot to bring home the gold medal for Team USA and also a lot for me as well because this is the first time competing on an international level. It will mean a lot whatever medal I bring home.”

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