At the IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Brown graduate Anna Willard '06 finished sixth in the 1,500m with a time of 4:06.19 distinguishing herself as one of the top middle-distance runners in the world. The race was won by Maryan Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain in a time of 4:03.74 following the disqualification of Spain's Natalia Rodriguez after she pushed over Ethopian Gelete Burka.
The American competitors in the women's 1,500m was the strongest contingent of Americans in quite some time. Willard ran alongside two of her American teammates, Christin Wurth-Thomas and Shannon Rowbury, who finished third and fifth, respectively. Willard ran a strong race in the preliminaries on Tuesday to qualify for the semi-finals on Friday in which she finished third in her heat to secure her spot in the final.
Following Willard's 10th place finish in the steeplechase last summer at the Olympics, she transformed herself into a world-class middle-distance runner this season and decided to run the 1,500m at this year's world championships. Willard ran a personal best of 4:01.44 at the Nike Prefontaine Classic and finished third at 2009 USA Outdoor Championship at the end of June.