LONDON - Members of the Texas A&M track and field program, some of who were part of the unprecedented run of three dual national championships for six NCAA titles in a three-year span, will showcase their talents on a world stage as they compete in the 2012 Olympics for their respective countries.
Tabarie Henry will have the honor of carrying the flag of the U.S. Virgin Islands during the opening ceremony on Friday (July 27) evening. Henry will compete in the 400 meters, where he was a semifinalist in the 2008 Beijing Games.
"It's a great honor and a huge responsibility," noted Henry. "I appreciate being given this opportunity, especially since I missed the opening ceremony in 2008."
Other Aggies involved in track and field at the London Olympics include Wayne Davis II (110 hurdles), Deon Lendore (400m) and Janeil Bellille (400H) for Trinidad & Tobago, Kanika Beckles (400m) for Grenada, Demetrius Pinder (400m, 4x400) for the Bahamas, Gerald Phiri (100m, 200m) for Zambia and Jeneba Tarmoh (4x100 relay pool), with the United States.
While the games officially start this weekend, while a couple of soccer matches begin today, track and field will have competition open on August 3 and runs through August 12. Live coverage of the Olympics will be available online through NBCOlympics.com.
In deciding to take part in the opening ceremony, Henry sought the advice of Texas A&M assistant coach Alleyne Francique, who was a flag bearer for Grenada at the 2008 Olympics following his fourth-place finish in the 400m at the 2004 Olympics.
"I'm following in the footsteps of one of my coaches and mentor," said Henry, who placed fourth in the 2009 World Championships and was fourth at the 2012 World Indoors. "He was willing to accept that honor and take part in the opening ceremony. He strongly suggested I should do the same.
"This is my fifth major championship and I've made three finals. You want to try to treat the Olympics like another World Championship, but everybody is faster and on their 'A' game in an Olympic year."
Texas A&M athletes - Olympic Track & Field
Kanika Beckles, Grenada, 400 meters
Wayne Davis II, Trinidad and Tobago, 110 hurdles
Deon Lendore, Trinidad and Tobago, 400m and 4x400 relay
Tabarie Henry, U.S. Virgin Islands, 400 meters
Gerald Phiri, Zambia, 100m and 200m
Demetrius Pinder, Bahamas, 400m and 4x400 relay
Jeneba Tarmoh, United States, 4x100 relay pool
Incoming A&M athlete
Janeil Bellille, Trinidad and Tobago, 400 hurdles