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Americans struggle at track world championships

Americans struggle at track world championships
Jeff Henderson,who entered the long jump competition as one of the favorites, finished ninth. (Adrian Dennis / AFP/Getty Images)

The U.S. team was supposed to shine at the track and field world championships in Beijing this week.

It hasn't worked out that way. At least, not so far.

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On Tuesday, for the second time in four days, the Americans failed to reach the podium, leaving their medal count at a mediocre six with only one gold. That puts them in sixth place, well behind Kenya with its nine overall and four golds.

Among the frustrated U.S. athletes was Jeff Henderson, who entered the long jump competition as one of the favorites and finished ninth.

"It's a hard pill to swallow," he said. "There are no words I can say about how disappointed I am."

In other action on Tuesday, Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin advanced easily through the preliminaries of the men's 200 meters and Allyson Felix qualified for the women's 400-meter final.

Wednesday will bring a chance for the Americans to turn things around, with contenders in the finals of the women's 400-meter hurdles and women's pole vault.

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