Friday, October 28, 2011

Washington alum Aretha Thurmond wins third career Pan Am Games discus medal with second place finish...

GUADALAJARA, Mexico--University of Washington alumnus Aretha Thurmond (left/photo by Dena Evans) capped off a long 2011 season by finishing second in the discus at the Pan Am Games on the final day of track & field competition at Telemex Athletics Stadium.

Thurmond earned her third career Pan American medal when she placed second with a throw of  59.16m/194-1. Thurmond won the gold medal at the 2003 Pan Am Games, and finished second in 1999.

Cuba's Yarelis Barrios took the gold medal with a toss of 214-7 (66.40m), setting a new Pan Am Games record.

Afterwards, Thurmond said, “I don’t care if it’s summer time, winter time or fall you can’t turn an opportunity down. My expectations are always high. I always shoot for the top spot, I’m not going to lie, but I’m still happy with the silver medal. It’s been a long season. I’ve been training my tail off, so I can just hang my head high knowing that I gave it my all today."

“I’ve really enjoyed it here. We have a really young team over here. I think it’s great when you can stay with a sport and show them a different side to the sport ... the international relations … the respect for your competitors and the appreciation for the caliber of competition that this is. Everyone is bringing their ‘A’ team. This isn’t like a slam dunk here. I think it’s great for them to see those of us who were able to come from World Championship team and be on this team sets a good example."

In looking forward to the 2012 season and trying to make her fourth Olympic team, she said, “We have depth that is unbelievable right now in the women’s discus and we have to be ready.”

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