Top American Olympic Sprinters of 2008

American sprinters won 13 individual medals - including four golds - plus three relay medals in the 2004 Olympics. Despite some key injuries and unfortunate mistakes, American sprinters increased their haul to 15 individual medals, with three golds, in Beijing, and added two relay gold medals. Here are the American sprinters and hurdlers who were considered key contenders entering the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.
Allyson Felix. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
After winning a silver medal in Athens, Felix hoped to move to the top of the medals stand in 2008, but she couldn't hold off the Jamaican sprint juggernaut in the 200. Felix fared better in the 4 x 400 relay. More »
Jeremy Wariner. Andy Lyons/Getty Images
The world's top-ranked 400-meter runner had to settle for second, behind LaShawn Merritt, at the 2008 Olympic Trials, then faced off with his American rival again in Beijing. More »
of 18
Tyson Gay. Andy Lyons/Getty Images
It was truly the best of times and worst of times for Tyson Gay at the 2008 Olympic Trials, as he broke records and suffered an unfortunate setback on the way to his first Olympic berth. Unfortunately, physical woes and a relay bobble awaited him in Beijing. More »
of 18
Walter Dix. Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Walter Dix turned down the chance to run professionally in order to finish a four-year college career at Florida State University. The lack of previous pro experience certainly didn’t slow Dix down at the 2008 Olympic Trials, or in Beijing. More »
of 18

Lauryn Williams

Lauryn Williams. Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
In 2004, Lauryn Williams parlayed the third qualifying spot on the U.S. team into an Olympic silver medal in the 100 meters. She was, again, the top American finisher in the Olympic 100 meters in 2008, but she still fell short of the medals stand.
of 18
Muna Lee. Andy Lyons/Getty Images
With a surprise win in the 100 plus a strong second in the 200 at the 2008 Olympic Trials, Lee put herself among the Olympic medal favorites in both events. In Beijing, however, she was another victim of Jamaican sprint domination. More »
Torri Edwards. Andy Lyons/Getty Images
An unfortunate mistake kept Edwards out of the 2004 Olympics. A relay mistake helped keep her off the podium in Beijing. More »
Shawn Crawford. Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Shawn Crawford led a U.S. 200-meter sweep in 2004, but he couldn't hold off Usain Bolt in 2008. More »
Wallace Spearmon. Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Wallace Spearmon finished third in the 200 meters at the 2008 Olympic Trials, and almost repeated that feat in Beijing, but a misstep cost him a chance at a medal. More »
Marshevet Hooker. Andy Lyons/Getty Images
She barely made it onto the 2008 U.S. Olympic team in the 200 meters but was a solid contender in Beijing, where she reached the final. More »
Sanya Richards. Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Entering the 2008 Olympics, Sanya Richards’ track and field resume lacked just one item: an individual Olympic medal. She got it in Beijing, then added a strong relay run in the 4 x 400. More »
Kerron Clement. Andy Lyons/Getty Images
The 2007 world champion in the 400-meter hurdles competed in his first Olympic Games in 2008 and earned two medals, one in the hurdles and one in a relay. More »
Bershawn Jackson. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Once the world's top-ranked 400-meter hurdler, Jackson's victory at the 2008 Olympic Trials put him back among the sport's elite performers. He then reached the medals stand as part of an American sweep in Beijing. More »
Tiffany Ross-Williams. Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Tiffany Ross-Williams won at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, but she fell well short of a medal in the 400-meter hurdles in Beijing. More »
Terrence Trammell. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Terrence Trammell finished second to China's Liu Xiang at the 2004 Olympics. The two seemed headed for a rematach in Beijing, but both suffered bitter disappointments. More »
David Oliver. Andy Lyons/Getty Images
The 2008 U.S. champion in the 110 hurdles, Oliver was in the hunt for a gold in Beijing. More »
of 18
Lolo Jones. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
The exuberant Lolo Jones was the 2008 U.S. 100-meter hurdles champ and she appeared headed for gold in Beijing defore disaster struck at hurdle number nine. More »
LaShawn Merritt. Jonathan Ferrey

LaShawn Merritt shocked the track and field world when he defeated Jeremy Wariner in the 400 at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. Merritt's performance in the Olympics proved that the earlier victory was no fluke.

Read more:
Medal Predictions

World’s Top Contender Profiles

Summer Olympics main page More »