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Pinder, Henry, Phiri advance to Olympic semifinals

August 04, 2012
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

LONDON - Three of the four Aggie sprinters in action on Saturday morning at Olympic Stadium advanced to the semifinals of their respective events among another full crowd of 70,000 fans.

Demetrius Pinder of the Bahamas won his heat of the 400 meters in 44.92 while former teammate Tabarie Henry of the U.S. Virgin Islands finished fourth in the same heat with a 45.43 that advanced on time. Deon Lendore of Trinidad & Tobago placed fifth in another heat, but his 45.81 didn't advance him on time.

For the semifinal round Pinder and Henry find themselves in the same heat once again. This time the top two finishers and the next two fastest times will advance to the final. Pinder is in lane five while Henry is stationed in lane two. The race will be run at 8:40 p.m. (2:40 p.m. in Texas).

Others in the same heat with the A&M pair include Conrad Williams of Great Britain, Pavel Mastak of Czech Republic, Steven Solomon of Australia, Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad, Russian Ravel Trenikhin and Rabah Yousif of Sudan.

In the 100 heats, Gerald Phiri clocked 10.16 for third place and earned an automatic position for the semfinal. Phiri raced in the same opening heat as American record holder Tyson Gay, who claimed the heat in 10.08 while Richard Thompson of Trinidad, the 2008 silver medalist, finished second in 10.14.

For the semifinal Phiri will be in lane 9, adjacent to Thompson, in the second of three heats. The heat also includes Jamaica's Usain Bolt, defending Olympic champion and current world record holder. The top two plus the next two fastest times qualify for the final.

Also in the hot heat with Phiri is American Ryan Bailey, who matched his career best of 9.88 in the prelims, Great Britain's Dwain Chambers, Daniel Bailey of Antigua, Antonie Adams of St. Kitts and China's Bingtian Su.

Seeing her first race of the Olympics on Sunday will be Janiel Bellille of Triniday, who is an incoming junior at Texas A&M. Bellille is stationed in lane seven of the fourth of five heats in the opening round of the 400 hurdles. The top four in each heat, plus the next four fastest times will move on to the semifinal.

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