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London Olympics 2012: Galen Rupp breezes in the rain; top sprinters advance
Question of the Day
The 400 runners have semifinals Saturday, with finals scheduled for Sunday.
In the women’s 100, Felix and Jeter each won their heats easily.
“It was OK. Just wanted to make it safely to the next round,” said Felix, who is using the 100 to stay sharp for her main event, the 200. “I feel like tomorrow will be better. Always good to get that first one out of the way.”
In the women’s 100 hurdles, Dawn Harper, the defending Olympic champion, won her heat in 12.79 seconds — a victory she earned even though she didn’t have the ideal, track-grabbing spikes in her shoes.
“I actually change spikes” when it rains, she said. “Usually, the pointier ones grab the track. It was on my mind out there because I had the older ones in.”
Lolo Jones also qualified but not by much. She finished third in her heat for the last automatic qualifying spot after running 13.01. Her race was delayed when Shericka Ward false started.
“I felt really good, but it was a bad race,” Jones said. “After the false start, I just relaxed a little bit too much.”
Meet organizers scrubbed women’s pole vault preliminaries, meaning all 29 athletes, including 2008 Olympic silver medalist Jenn Suhr, will move to finals Sunday.
In the decathlon, Eaton was ahead of a world-record pace for two events. His shot put throw of 46 feet, 7 3/4 inches slowed him down, but he still ended the day with 4,728 points — 322 ahead of Trey Hardee and 17 ahead of the pace O'Brien’s was on when he set the American record in 1992.
“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work my team has put in,” Eaton said.
Eaton, an Oregon native, also closed the day by running in the pouring rain, finishing the 400 meters in 46.70 seconds. He looked very much at home.
As did Rupp, who will be joined on the 10K team by Matt Tegenkamp (27:33.94) and Dathan Ritzenhein (27:36.09).
After many months filled with injuries and the heartbreak of missing the marathon team by 8 seconds, Ritzenhein needed to beat the ‘A’ standard of 27:45 to qualify in the 10K. He did and made his third Olympics.
“It’s been a rough road,” he said. “The last few years have been very difficult, for sure.”
So while he celebrates a spot in the Olympics, most of the rest were simply glad to still be in the hunt — advancing on a slip-and-slide kind of day, knowing that under U.S. rules, the top three qualify — no excuses or second chances, no matter the conditions.
By Robert N. Tracci
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