SOURCE: A Liberian Olympic Blog
Sprinter Emmanuel Matadi, one of two runners qualified for the Liberian Olympic Team in Rio, placed Third in the Men's 100 meters, while female sprinter Ada Udaya placed 3rd in her 100 meters’ heat and 4th in her semi-final heat, at the championships which began last Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016.
Matadi also returned to compete in the men’s 200m race and placed 1st in his heat with 20 .68 seconds. He advanced to the semi-finals where he placed 1st in his heat again with the 3rd overall fastest time, 20.51 seconds securing his spot in the men’s 200m finals. Matadi’s third place finish in the finals landed him the Bronze medal with a 20.55 finish in the men’s 200m finals.
Udaya wrapped up her championship appearance with a 23.67 second run. This placed her 6th overall in the women’s 200m race.
Udaya, along with other global track & field athletes, is fighting to qualify for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games. The athletes have until July 11 to clinch their spot among the 2,005 international track stars who will compete in Rio.
On day 4, Udaya returned to the track to compete in the women’s 200m race. She placed 2nd in her heat with 23.75 seconds. Udaya’s time advanced her to the women’s 200m semi-finals, but again did not qualify her for Rio. In the semi-finals, Udaya placed second in her heat and advanced to the finals.
The Liberian runner clocked in at 11.67 seconds, which does not give her an automatic ticket to Rio. She missed the 11.32 seconds women’s entry standard by .35 seconds, a blink of an eye and did not make it to the Women’s 100 meters finals.
But all is not lost. The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), who set the qualifying standards, stated: If there are places remaining at the end of the qualification period, the IAAF will invite the best ranked athletes to compete, in order to achieve the ideal number of entries in each event.
Another athlete, Heptathlete Maya Neal began her competition in the African Senior Championship Heptathlon, ranking seventh in the Shot Put Finals and sixth in the 200 meters’ final. Neal continued her championship competition finishing seventh in the Long Jump Finals and 5th in the Javelin Finals.
The championships are held every four years and hosted by the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA). Two-time Liberian Olympian Sayon Cooper leads the Liberian Track & Field Team as head coach.