Friday, August 3, 2012

Four time US Olympian Aretha Thurmond doesn't advance in discus qualifying...

LONDON--It was a bit of a tough go for Renton High School and University of Washington alum Aretha Thurmond (left/photo by Paul Merca) in Friday night's discus qualifying round at Olympic Stadium, as the four time US Olympian failed to advance to Saturday night's finals.

The veteran discus thrower started out strongly in the first of three rounds, throwing 191-6 (58.38m) to end the round in sixth.

In round two, she improved to 194-10 (59.39m), but couldn't make up ground on the field.

On her third and final attempt in the flight, she said that the disc slipped out of her hand, as it only traveled 189-8 (57.81m).

Her second round throw of the day ended up her best toss of the competition, as she finished 13th in her flight and 27th overall.

Afterwards, she said, "I prepared, and I was ready. You never know sometimes what it is going to take in these qualifying rounds, and it looks like it is going to be pretty close to the auto, which is rare for it to take the auto in the throws, so they were throwing. I enjoyed being out there, and I was getting into the groove."

"I went out there, and I competed. I always have fun. If I didn’t enjoy this, I wouldn’t do it. It’s sport, and you win some and lose some.”

Defending Olympic champ and American record holder Stephanie Brown Trafton was the only American to advance to Saturday's finals, throwing 212-10 (64.89m), while Gia Lewis-Smallwood threw 201-7 (61.44m).

In other action on the track, the word repeat was the theme of the day, as defending Olympic champs Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia and Tomasz Majewski of Poland successfully defended their 2008 titles in the women's 10000 and men's shot put.

Dibaba, nicknamed the "Baby Faced Assassin" dropped a 2:45 final kilometer to win the 10000 title in 30:20.75 over Kenya's Sally Kipyego, as the Oregon TC/Eugene member and Dempsey Indoor facility record holder at 3000m ran 30:26.37 for the silver.

All three Americans--Amy Hastings (31:10.69), Janet Cherobon-Bawcom (31:12.68) and Lisa Uhl (31:12.80) set personal bests in finishing 11-12-13.

Majewski used a sixth round toss of 71-10 (21.89m) to overtake 2011 world champ David Storl of Germany by three centimeters (71-8 3/4).

Americans Reese Hoffa (69-8/21.23m), Christian Cantwell (69-6 1/4, 21.19m) and reigning world indoor champ Ryan Whiting (67-8 3/4, 20.64m), who is coached by UW throws coach TJ Crater, finished 3-4-9.

For Hoffa, a former world champ, this marked his first time on the podium at the Olympics.

One of the most noticeable marks of the evening came in the women's 100 meters, as six women broke 11 seconds in the seven heats, which could make Saturday night's finals very interesting, led by US Olympic Trials champ Carmelita Jeter's 10.83, the fastest ever 100m heat in a major championship.

All three Team USA men's 1500 meter runners--Matthew Centrowitz, Leo Manzano, and Andrew Wheating--advanced to the semifinals, with Wheating the final time qualifier.

No athletes with Washington ties will be competing on Saturday and Sunday at Olympic Stadium.

Finals on tap Saturday include the men's 20k walk, the women's discus, men's long jump, men's 10000, and the women's 100.

Day one results are available here.

NOTE: USA Track & Field and the IAAF contributed to this report.

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