Friday, August 15, 2008

Don’t Forget About Hyleas Fountain

Olympics Day 7 - Athletics

-Beijing-Team USA on track in Beijing.

For some odd reason, there has been very little written in the weeks leading up to the Olympics, about the women who delivered a dominant performance at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Hyleas Fountain among other things broke Jackie Joyner-Kersee’s decade old record in the heptathlon 100-meter hurdles.

Fast forward to the Olympic Games.

There were a few interviews but absent was a Visa commercial with Morgan Freeman or an athlete profile. Maybe it’s because 2007 World Champion Carolina Kluft is not competing in the heptathlon and instead is focusing on the long jump.

But none of that matters.

The world may find out that the Hyleas Fountain is the possibly the best female athlete in the world. Similar to her performance at the Olympic Trials, Fountain had an incredible day 1 in Beijing, leading the competition with 4,060 points in the first four of seven disciplines, 64 ahead of Nataliia Dobrynska of Ukraine. At this point, it will prove to be a major challenge to catch the University of Georgia alum.

Fountain ran a blistering 12.78 over the hurdles and threw down a 23.21 in the 200-meters.

Having two bad events out of four made it a tough day for Jackie Johnson of the U.S. in the heptathlon. Getting this far behind, makes her medal efforts that much more difficult.

She threw the shot just 38 feet, 9 ½ inches, well off her personal record 42 feet, 5 ½ inches at the trials, where she was second to qualify for her first Olympics. Johnson then ran 24.74 in the 200 in which her personal best is 24.01.

Johnson's first-day total is 3,592 points, 125 lower than at the trials.

The U.S. men may very well complete a 1-2-3- sweep in 400-meter hurdles.

The three U.S. runners won their respective rounds in the 400-meters: Angelo Taylor (48.67), Bershawn Jackson (49.20), and Kerron Clement ( 49.42).

The reigning Olympic champion Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic placed fifth in his heat, and failed to qualify for the next round.

By Jay Hicks.

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