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Shawn Crawford Pulls Out of Helsinki 200, Opens Door for Wallace Spearmon, 2005 World Leader, to Run
by Bob Ramsak

(c) 2005 TRACK PROFILE Report, all rights reserved
July 24, 2005

A foot injury will force Shawn Crawford, the Olympic 200 meter champion, to bypass the event at next month’s world championships, his agent confirmed today, paving the way for Wallace Spearmon Jr., the year’s fastest man in the event, to compete in Helsinki.

“He has been injured with a foot injury since the fall and it worsened at nationals with all of the rounds,” Crawford’s agent Kimberly Trammell said in an email to The TRACK PROFILE Report. “As a result, he will try only to compete in the 100 meters and [4x100] relay” at the world championships.

Crawford hasn’t competed since June’s U.S. national championships in Carson, Calif., where he finished second in the 100 meters and third in the 200, earning a spot on the U.S. team in both sprints.

His withdrawal in the longer sprint would open the door for Wallace Spearmon Jr., who finished fourth at the U.S. selection meet. Last Friday, the 20-year-old Spearmon won the 200 meter dash at the Norwich Union British Grand Prix in London clocking 19.89, the fastest performance in the world this year. Spearmon has produced three of the four fastest performances over the distance this season, including a 19.91 victory at the NCAA Championships on June 11 and a 19.97 win at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. in April. Immediately following his successful NCAA title defense, Spearmon forfeited his remaining two years of eligibility at the University of Arkansas to accept a five-year professional contract with Nike rumored to be worth $3 million.

In Athens last summer, Crawford stormed to a gold medal in the 200 with a dominating 19.79 performance, leading the first U.S. podium sweep in the event in 20 years. Four days earlier, Crawford finished fourth in the 100 in 9.89 in the fastest-ever Olympic final. This season, Crawford has recorded bests of 9.99 and 20.12.

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