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The United States put on a show at the 2011 World Championships. The team led all countries with 25 medals, 12 of which were gold. Coming into the 2012 Diamond League season, a lot of new names and returning athletes in their best form emerged from this event. In preparation for London, it really yielded the best results the U.S. could have hoped for.
LaShawn Merritt finished just three-tenths of a second behind Grenada's Kirani James. Meritt's race showed that, even in the loss, he is still one of the best in the world and that he is still the likely favorite to win the gold. Merritt also helped lead the U.S. to gold in the 4x400-meter relay, setting a world-leading time in the process.
Matthew Centrowitz finished with the bronze in the 1500, emerging as a possible medal contender to follow in the coming year.
Jason Richardson had a huge meet, finally beating China's Liu Xiang. As the 2011 world champion, Richardson was poised to have a strong Diamond League. After showing he could beat Xiang, Richardson became an instant medal contender.
Jesse Williams and Christian Taylor both became U.S. and World Champions at this meet. Taylor even set a world-leading time. Building off of these strong performances, both are expected to perform at high levels the following season in the Diamond League.
Then there was the decathlon. Trey Hardee, one of the potential medal favorites in London, barely edged current national champion Ashton Eaton to win the decathlon. Both of them put up a huge showing and made it known to the rest of the world that, in order to get a medal in the event at London, they would have to go through them first.
Carmelita Jeter backed up her solid U.S. Nationals with a great World Championships showing. She won the 100, beating Veronica Campbell Brown, and finished second to Brown in the 200. Her showings at the Nationals and at this meet clearly put her as a favorite heading into London.
Allyson Felix also won two medals at this event and was one of several female athletes that set personal bests. Dawn Harper set a PB in the 100-meter hurdles and is one to watch for in London. Lashinda Demus, the gold-medal favorite for London, also set a world-leading and American record in the 400-meter hurdles.
Brittany Reese once again dominated the long jump, making her the prohibitive favorite to win the event at the London Games.