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McLaughlin's golds pace UK medal haul from Olympics

289 days ago
Kentucky Athletics
Photo: Kentucky Athletics

TOKYO - University of Kentucky track & field alumni Sydney McLaughlin (USA), Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (PR), Keni Harrison (USA) and Javianne Oliver (USA) earned Olympic Medals at the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, totaling three golds and two silvers among the group. In total, Wildcats earned 10 medals in track & field, men's basketball and shooting.

McLaughlin won two gold medals: one in the 400m hurdles with a new world record and one in the 4x400m relay alongside three other Team USA stars.

Her world record of 51.46 was an improvement upon the world record she set during U.S. Olympic Team Trials in June, 51.90. She became the first woman to run the 400m hurdles in under 52 seconds.

"I just want to set a good example, be the best that I can be and encourage people as well to be the best that they can be," McLaughlin said following her first gold medal-winning performance.

McLaughlin's 4x400m relay gold was earned through a dominant race by Sydney and her teammates, finishing almost four seconds ahead of the silver medal-winners.

Camacho-Quinn ran for a gold medal in the 100m hurdles with a time of 12.37 and broke the Olympic record in semifinals with a time of 12.26. The two-time NCAA Champion for Kentucky track won Puerto Rico its first Olympic medal in track & field.

"Everything happens for a reason and I came through with the gold," Camacho-Quinn said in Jon Mulkeen's report for World Athletics. "My first gold medal!

"Anything is possible and everybody here has been training hard for this moment. Honestly, I think all of us should be awarded for this. It's been a very hard year, but I'm really thankful."

McLaughlin and Camacho-Quinn are now both two-time Olympians, having also competed in 2016.

Harrison, the world record-holder in the 100m hurdles (12.20), ran for silver in the same race with a time of 12.52. In 2016, Harrison missed making the Team USA Olympic Team for the Rio Games after a disappointing finish at the Trials. She won every other race she ran that year, highlighted by setting the world record at 12.20 at the London Anniversary Games two weeks after her Trials setback.

"To run against Quinn, we used to be training partners," Harrison told Lewis Johnson on the NBC broadcast. "It brought me back to Kentucky days, but it was just so fun coming out here and just getting a medal for my country. Just to get a silver medal at this stage, it's amazing."

Oliver, UK class of 2018, earned a silver medal for Team USA. She ran the leadoff leg of the runner-up 4x100m relay.

She also ran the individual 100m dash, reaching the semifinal round.

Four more Wildcats and one Kentucky track & field volunteer assistant coach also competed in Tokyo.

Devynne Charlton (Bahamas), a volunteer assistant coach and a Purdue alumna that trains in Lexington under Coach Lonnie Greene, joined Camacho-Quinn and Harrison in the 100m hurdles final, finishing sixth (12.74).

Daniel Roberts, UK class of 2019 and current volunteer assistant coach, made it to semifinals in the 110m hurdles for Team USA. While running for UK, Roberts won the 2019 SEC 110H title and earned the NCAA silver medal in the 60H (indoors) and 110H along with owning the UK high hurdles records, which still stand.

Recent UK graduate Dwight St. Hillaire ran in the 400m dash and 4x400m relay, qualifying for semifinals in the individual race and running in finals in the relay for Trinidad and Tobago.

Megan Moss, a rising junior with Kentucky track & field, ran for Team Bahamas in the 4x400m relay.

Wildcat Leah Nugent ran in the 400m hurdles heats alongside McLaughlin but was disqualified for a lane violation despite a time that would have been fast enough to qualify for the semifinals had it stood.