LONDON — One-tenth of a second was all that separated Lady Tiger legend Lolo Jones from a spot on the medal podium as she capped her second Olympic Games by clocking a seasonal best of 12.58 seconds to take fourth place in Tuesday’s final of the women’s 100-meter hurdles at London’s Olympic Stadium.
After grabbing the eighth and final qualifying spot for the final with her run of 12.71 for third place in her semifinal heat, Jones lined up in lane No. 2 on the inside of the track in the medal round.
It proved to be one of the fastest hurdle races in the history of the Olympic Games as Australian star Sally Pearson struck gold with an Olympic record run of 12.35 to dethrone defending Olympic champion Dawn Harper of the United States as Harper took home the silver medal in 12.37.
Jones found herself in a battle with fellow American Kellie Wells and Nevin Yanit of Turkey for a bronze medal as each of the competitors cleared the final two hurdles of the race.
Wells emerged over the final hurdle to claim the bronze with a personal best of 12.48 while a photo finish gave Jones a fourth-place finish head of Yanit with matching seasonal-best times of 12.58.
“As an athlete, you never want to make excuses. I did the best I could tonight with the cards I was dealt,” Jones said following her race. “In ’08, I tasted the medal. Here, I was just clawing my way through each round and trying to get on the (Olympic) team. It was a different experience. I kind of figured I was out of the medals, but I was saying a prayer that I could sneak in.
“I’ll definitely be reading my Bible to try to grasp the positives and see what God has to teach me from all this. That’s the only way I feel I can get rebalanced right now because I’m so heartbroken.”
One Lady Tiger senior also earned a spot in an Olympic final during Tuesday’s semifinal action as Semoy Hackett equaled her own Trinidad & Tobago national record in the 200-meter dash.
Hackett, who qualified for the semifinal round with a run of 22.81 in the preliminary round Monday, lined up in the second of three semifinal heats with the likes of 2012 world leader Allyson Felix of the United States. After the gun, Hackett positioned herself well off the turn and battled Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast for second place in the heat before fading a bit down the homestretch.
Felix cruised to an easy heat win in 22.31, followed by Ahoure in second place at 22.49. Hackett matched her own personal record of 22.55 for third place in the heat to advance to her first Olympic final as the top timed qualifier of the semifinal round. The 200-meter final will run Wednesday at 3 p.m. CT.
Hackett equaled the 22.55 national record that she set in the 200-meter quarterfinal on May 26 at the 2012 NCAA East Preliminary Rounds held in Jacksonville at the University of North Florida.
Wednesday’s competition will also feature former Lady Tiger national champion Neisha Bernard-Thomas of Grenada as she makes her second Olympics appearance in the prelim rounds of the women’s 800-meter run. She will line up in the sixth of six qualifying heats beginning at 5:35 a.m. CT.
Time Schedule for LSU’s Entries at the 2012 Olympic Games
Note: Times are Central and subject to change based on round-by-round qualifying.
Wednesday, Aug. 8
5:35 a.m. – Women’s 800 Meters Preliminary Round (Neisha Bernard-Thomas)
3:00 p.m. – Women’s 200 Meters Final (Semoy Hackett)
Thursday, Aug. 9
5:35 a.m. – Men’s 4x400 Relay Preliminary Round (Ade Alleyne-Forte, Riker Hylton)
1:30 p.m. – Women’s 800 Meters Semifinal (Neisha Bernard-Thomas)
2:20 p.m. – Women’s 4x100 Relay Preliminary Round (Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Semoy Hackett, Samantha Henry-Robinson)
Friday, Aug. 10
1:45 p.m. – Men’s 4x100 Relay Preliminary Round (Richard Thompson)
2:40 p.m. – Women’s 4x100 Relay Final (Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Semoy Hackett, Samantha Henry-Robinson)
3:20 p.m. – Men’s 4x400 Relay Final (Ade Alleyne-Forte, Riker Hylton)
Saturday, Aug. 11
2:00 p.m. – Women’s 800 Meters Final (Neisha Bernard-Thomas)
3:00 p.m. – Men’s 4x100 Relay Final (Richard Thompson)