Aug. 4, 2012
LONDON -- Former Tennessee Lady Vol Tianna Madison just missed medaling in her first Olympic appearance, grabbing fourth place for the USA in the women's 100m dash final in a career-best time Saturday at Olympic Stadium.
Running in lane nine, Madison sprinted to a personal-best readout of 10.85 seconds to card the best individual race finish at the Olympics by a UT woman since LaVonna Martin took silver in the 100-meter hurdles in 1992. According to USA Track & Field, Madison's clocking was the best fourth-place women's 100m time in any competition, anywhere, in history."
"I got in the blocks and thought this is the time for a perfect start," Madison said. "Anything less than first smarts a bit, but I looked at the board and saw 10.85 and I thought `we did it.' When it was time to put up a time, I did it, and I am just so proud of myself and the team I have behind me, my husband John and my coach Rana. I feel like I won, I really do."
Another Tennessee alum, DeeDee Trotter, reserved her spot in Sunday's women's 400m dash final at 4:10 p.m. Eastern. The three-time U.S. Olympian circled the oval in a season-best 49.87 to check in second in heat three and post the number-two readout of the semifinal round. Trotter, who was fifth in this event at the 2004 Olympiad and earned gold with the USA 4x400m relay that season, will aim for her first individual event medal on Sunday.
Keeping things loose in the post-race mixed zone, Trotter talked about her trademark face art instead of the race she just ran. Still, the comments could be construed as her plan for the Olympic final.
"I know you all want to know about my glitter face," Trotter said. "Today it is like an explosion on my face. A little more dramatic than yesterday. Tomorrow I will bring it bigger and better."
She was short and sweet on what her preparations will include for the final.
"Rest. Pray. Recover. I will rely on the fantastic team USA Track & Field has put together."
Earlier in the day during the heats of the 100-meter dash, former Vol Justin Gatlin joined USA teammate Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey in moving on to Sunday's semifinals (2:45 p.m. ET). Running in heat two, despite the slowest reaction time out of the blocks, Gatlin zipped down the track in 9.97 to finish first. His mark was second-fastest of the 24 qualifiers, ranking behind only Bailey's 9.88 readout.
"Coach wanted me to go out there and work the first 30 meters," Gatlin said. "That's what I did, dominated the race and just brought it home. It's all just technique the second half of the race. I think I had kind of a slow start, but I just want to go there and build the race each round."