Monday, August 6, 2012

Vancouver's Kara Patterson readies for Tuesday's Olympic qualifying round in the javelin...

LONDON--Vancouver native Kara Patterson (left/photo by Paul Merca) and high jumper Jamie Nieto will be the two athletes with Washington ties in action on day 5 of the Olympic track & field competition at Olympic Stadium.

Patterson, the four-time US national champion who finished second at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene last month, will start in flight one of the javelin at 10:00 am, London time (2:00 am in Seattle).

After throwing a season best of 198-5 (60.49m) in the qualifying round at the Olympic Trials on June 29th, Patterson lost her four year grip on the US national title as she finished second on July 1st to Brittany Borman of the University of Oklahoma, throwing 196-2 (59.79m).

In the finals, Patterson hyperextended her knee in the fourth round, causing her to pass her two remaining throws and was only able to watch Borman take the Trials crown, and qualify for the trip to London.

Patterson's condition entering the Games remains a question mark, as she has not competed since the trials.

Patterson, who has also appeared in two world championship meets, is looking to make the finals of a major championship for the first time in her career.

"I know there's untapped potential in me that could mean a medal," she said. "I would be satisfied with top eight; anything else and I know I'm not performing my best."

Tuesday night, high jumper Jamie Nieto, who was born in Seattle, but grew up in Sacramento, California, competes with reigning world champ Jesse Williams and NCAA champ Erik Kynard in the finals of the men's high jump, scheduled for 7 pm, local time (11:00 am in Seattle).

Nieto, one of the elder statesmen on Team USA, cleared 7-5 (2.26m) to advance to Tuesday night's final.

“It has been a great year, I thank God. I’m 35 years old. It’s truly a blessing to make another Olympic finals and to be in the top 12 again.”

The start lists for day 5 are available here.


Pole vaulter Jenn Suhr ended the reign of Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva as the US Olympic Trials champ and American record holder took the Olympic title with a clearance of 15-7 (4.75m).

Her victory made Suhr the second American to win the Olympic pole vault title, joining 2000 champ Stacy Dragila in that rarified company.

“It’s very emotional. It’s something that you work so hard for, for four years, and heartbreak and joy, and then some more heartbreak. To overcome it and come out on top is something that whenever I thought of I started crying, so I knew it was just going to be emotional, whenever I thought about how it would feel to win gold. Then I would think of how it would feel to be fourth, and I’d cry over that too. It was definitely something that I’ve wanted, I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything so bad.”

Cuba's Yarisley Silva tied her own national record, clearing the same height as Suhr, while defending champ Isinbayeva took the bronze with a jump of 15-5 (4.70m).

Oregon alum Becky Holliday finished ninth with a jump of 14-7 1/4 (4.45m).

Olympic Trials champ Michael Tinsley finished second in the 400 hurdles, running a personal best of 47.91, as veteran Felix Sanchez, a USC alum from the Dominican Republic won his second career Olympic title, running 47.63.

The day 4 results are available here.

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

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