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Greer makes it as USA Track & Field names Olympic roster
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Javelin thrower Breaux Greer made the US track and field team for the Beijing Games even though he failed to reach the final round at the Olympic trials.

Greer, an eight-time national champion, finished 17th at the trials this month, but he still joined Tyson Gay, Allyson Felix and Jeremy Wariner on the 126-member roster announced yesterday by USA Track & Field.

He was placed on the team, the USATF said, based on a rule that allows for "the selection of an injured athlete who competed in the Olympic trials but did not final ... as long as another athlete is not displaced from the team."

Greer hurt his shoulder while winning a bronze medal at last year's world championships and hadn't thrown in competition until July 4 at the Olympic trials.

The men's javelin competition in Beijing begins August 20.

"Will he be ready for the games? I don't know. His agent and his doctor seem to think so," said John Chaplin, the chair of US men's track and field.

Chaplin said Greer's agent submitted an injury appeal. Only two other male javelin throwers from the United States, Leigh Smith and Mike Hazle, had met the Olympic "A" qualifying standard. If Greer had not been added to the roster, the US would have been using only two of its allotted three places. Only Greer could have taken the third spot.

"Since he's the only 300-foot thrower we've got, and they're saying that it's repaired, and he'll be ready, I figured it's a very good gamble," Chaplin said in a telephone interview.

Monday's roster includes 15 Olympic medalists and 31 outdoor world championships medalists.

The United States topped the track and field medal table at the 2004 Athens Olympics with a total of 25. That was the country's largest haul since taking home 30 medals from the track at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Games.

The US also led the medal table at the 2007 world championships in Osaka, Japan, with 26.

"This Olympic team is one of our strongest ever, with more medal-winning experience in a wider range of events, from sprints to distances and field events, than we've had in many decades," USATF president Bill Roe said. "While it would take an incredible performance to match our medal counts of recent championships, we certainly feel that this team has what it takes to again top the medal tables."

(Agencies via Shanghai Daily July 15, 2008)

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