Sanchez Posts Fastest 400 IH Semis Time, Felix Is Fifth In 100 Final At London Olympics|
Aug. 4, 2012
Former USC track star Felix Sanchez posted the day's best semifinal time to put him in position to win his second Olympic title in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, while Trojan Allyson Felix ran a personal best to finish fifth in the 100 meters final on Saturday (Aug. 4) in the London Olympics.
Sanchez, appearing in his fourth Olympics for the Dominican Republic, captured the first heat of Saturday's semis in 47.76, his season best. He will race for the gold on Monday (Aug. 6) at 12:45 p.m. PT. He won the 400 IH in the 2004 Athens Games. He is the USC record holder in the event and won the 2000 NCAA title.
Felix, who attended USC from 2003 to 2007 but did not compete for the Women of Troy, was running in the 100 for the first time in her three Olympic appearances. She advanced out of the 100m semifinals on Saturday morning by going 10.94 to place second in her heat, then ran a personal-best 10.89 in the final. She now will compete in her specialty, the 200 meters, where she has won a pair of Olympic silver medals, and also will run a leg on the USA's 400-meter relay squad, an event in which she owns an Olympic gold medal. She will take to the track next on Monday at 11:20 a.m. PT for the opening round races of the 200.
Three other Trojans raced on Saturday.
Bryshon Nellum began his remarkable Olympic quest by finishing second in a heat of the 400 meters (10th overall) with a 45.29 clocking, thereby advancing to Sunday's (Aug. 5) semifinals. Nellum, the 2012 Pac-12 400-meter champion who just completed his senior season at USC, has come all the way back from being a random gunshot victim in the fall of 2008 and having initial surgery on his leg in 2008, with follow-ups after the 2010 and 2011 seasons (the last surgery finally removed bullet fragments from a nerve).
Emir Bekric, an incoming sophomore competing for Serbia, placed fourth in his semifinal heat in the 400m IH (14th overall) with a time of 49.62, not quite fast enough to advance to the final. He had set a Serbian national record with a time of 49.21 on Friday in the first round heats.
Carol Rodriguez, USC's record holder in the 200 and 400 meters during her Trojan tenure (2005-08), was sixth in her semifinal heat of the 400 meters (17th overall) and did not advance to the final. Rodriguez was competing in her second Olympics for Puerto Rico.