Highly decorated Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown will see a 200-meter Olympic final from a peculiar spot the sideline.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist in the event didn’t make it out of the first round Monday, finishing third in her heat.
“I’m not even going to get into what happened because I cannot change it,” Campbell-Brown said. “Just have to move on.”
Other than that little surprise, it was business as usual in the 200 with favorite Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands easily winning her heat and Marie-Joseep Ta Lou of Ivory Coast turning in the fastest time.
In other events, there was another world record set _ the third of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in track and field _ with Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland throwing the hammer 82.29 meters to break her own mark on her way to gold.
Ruth Jebet of Bahrain captured the 3,000-meter steeplechase title, with Emma Coburn picking up the bronze _ the first female to win a medal in the event for the United States.
“I feel very honored to have that as part of my story,” Coburn said.
Finals in the women’s 400 and the men’s 800 will feature on Monday night’s program.
Campbell-Brown has been in every 200-meter final at the Summer Games since 2004 _ winning the title that year and again at the 2008 Beijing Games. She also made it into the final in 2012, but finished fourth.
Her time of 22.97 seconds Monday was much slower than her best performance this season (22.29) and way off her personal-best (21.74).
Still, she was taking the disappointment in stride.
“I’ve been through worse in my life. So this is not such a crazy hurdle to get over,” said Campbell-Brown, who will be a part of Jamaica’s 4×100 relay team. “But it’s a position I’ve never been in before. I don’t know why things happen, but sometimes you don’t meet your desire. I’ve learned to move on from things that I really don’t understand or things that don’t turn out the way I wanted.”
The 34-year-old Campbell-Brown isn’t ready to say this will be her last Olympics. A decision for another time, she said.
“The last couple of years have been tough. I’m making mistakes I never made earlier in my career,” she said. “I’m confident those things will change as I look forward to the season.”
No matter what, she’s left quite a legacy. In addition to her dominance in the 200, she has two Olympic bronze medals in the 100 and three medals in the relay.
She couldn’t be more elated over the breakout of teammate Elaine Thompson, the 24-year-old up-and-comer who won 100-meter gold on Saturday. Thompson is next up in a long line of talented female Jamaican sprinters that has included Merlene Ottey, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and, of course, the woman known, simply, as “VCB.”
“Jamaica is the sprint factory, as you all can see,” Campbell-Brown said. “We’re pleased at what we’re doing through the years. We’ve been dominating the sprints. I hope we can keep the tradition going as long as possible.”