Jumpers JuVaughn Harrison and Armand Mondo Duplantis head a list of 12 track and field athletes with LSU and Southeastern Conference [SEC] connections who are set to represent their respective countries at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The Games will begin on Friday, July 23, 2021 and run through Sunday, August 8.
Harrison, who was dominant during the collegiate campaign, will line-up for the United States in the men’s high jump & the long jump, and will become the first man to contest the double in those two events at the Olympics for the United States since Jim Thorpe in 1912.
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Meanwhile, Duplantis, the world record holder in the men’s pole vault, will compete in that event while wearing the colors of Sweden.
The 21-year-old who was named the SEC Indoor and Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year in 2019, will make his Olympic debut and will be targeting “LSU track and field’s second ever individual gold medal at an Olympic Games,” according to the LSU athletics website. Duplantis will hope to join Glenn ‘Slats’ Hardin who was the first track and field athlete for the Tigers to win an Olympic individual gold medal at the 1936 Games in the 400 hurdles.
Elsewhere, LSU and the SEC will be represented at the Tokyo Olympics by 2008 silver medalist in the 100m, Richard Thompson who is part of the Trinidad & Tobago relay team, along with country mates Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Semoy Hackett, and Akanni Hislop.
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Baptiste who will be making her fifth career appearance at the Olympics, will race in the women’s 100m and 4x100m. Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake will represent Great Britain for the second time at the Olympics and will compete in the men’s 200m and 4x100m, while Damion Thomas who finished second at the 2021 Jamaica Olympic Trials, will make his Games debut in Tokyo.
Favour Ofili will featured for Nigeria in the women’s 200m, 4×100m and 4×400, Michael Cherry will line up for the United State in the men’s 400m and 4x400m, while Vernon Norwood is part of USA 4x400m relay pool and Aleia Hobbs is a member of the American women’s 4x100m relay pool.
LSU AND SEC OLYMPIC BOUND ATHLETES
Track and Field
Favour Ofili – Nigeria – 200m, 4×1, 4×4
Mondo Duplantis – Sweden – Pole Vault
Michael Cherry – USA – 400m
Vernon Norwood – USA – Relay Pool
Damion Thomas – Jamaica – 110m Hurdles
JuVaughn Harrison – USA – High Jump & Long Jump
Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake – Great Britain – 4x100m Relay, 200m
Richard Thompson – Trinidad & Tobago – Relay Pool
Kelly-Ann Baptiste – Trinidad & Tobago – 100m, 4x100m Relay
Semoy Hackett – Trinidad & Tobago – Relay Pool
Akanni Hislop – Trinidad & Tobago – Relay Pool
Aleia Hobbs – USA – Relay Pool