LONDON — Lady Tiger alum Lolo Jones opened her run at Olympic redemption during Monday’s qualifying action at the Olympic Stadium as she dominated the sixth and final prelim heat of the women’s 100-meter hurdles while running a 2012 seasonal best of 12.68 seconds to advance to the semifinal round.
Jones, who lined up in Monday’s qualifier with a seasonal best of 12.74 set in the weeks leading up to her Olympics appearance, clocked the second-fastest time of the round while finishing well clear of Canadian Phylicia George in second place in the sixth heat with her opening run of 12.83.
Jones advanced to Tuesday’s semifinal round as the second-fastest qualifier behind only the winning time of 12.57 by Australia’s reigning World champion Sally Pearson in the fifth qualifying heat.
“It was a comfortable race. I felt really good,” Jones said to members of the media following her qualifier. “I just felt really good today. I’m ready to go on to the next round. I’m ready to make everyone proud. It’s exciting. I’m going to do my best and fight for gold, but I don’t ever bet on the hurdles.”
After Alina Talay of Belarus won the first heat in 12.71 and Beate Schrott of Austria took the second heat in 13.09, Kellie Wells of the United States claimed the third heat in 12.69 and Nevin Yanit of Turkey won the fourth heat in 12.70 to lead Monday’s qualifiers in the 100-meter hurdles. American Dawn Harper, the reigning Olympic champion, clocked 12.75 to finish runner-up to Yanit in the fourth prelim heat.
Jones will step onto the track in the second of three semifinal heats on Tuesday afternoon at 1:15 p.m. CT, while eight finalists will then run for the gold medal later in the day at 3 p.m.
Jones, a member of LSU’s star-studded Class of 2004, is running for redemption from her disappointment in Beijing four years ago when she saw the Olympic gold medal slip away with her stumble over the ninth hurdle. Despite leading the race through eight hurdles, Jones slipped into a seventh-place finish with what proved to be a devastating end to her first career Olympic final.
Also advancing to Tuesday’s semifinal action was Lady Tiger senior Semoy Hackett, who opened with an effort of 22.81 for second place in the second qualifying heat of the 200-meter dash.
Hackett finished runner-up to the 22.71 run by 2012 world leader Allyson Felix of the United States while earning a spot in her second semifinal of this year’s Olympic Games. She has already claimed a 16th-place finish for Trinidad & Tobago in the 100-meter dash with an appearance in Saturday’s semifinal.
The semifinal round of the women’s 200-meter dash will be held Tuesday at 2:25 p.m. CT, while the final will follow on Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. at the Olympic Stadium.
For the second-straight Olympic Games, former Lady Tiger hurdles star Nickiesha Wilson saw her run for glory in the 400-meter hurdles come to an end in the semifinal round as she finished in 13th place with her run of 55.77 in the first of three heats on Monday afternoon. Wilson, who was the fastest non-qualifier for the final in Beijing in ninth place four years ago, placed fifth in her semifinal heat on Monday.
Time Schedule for LSU’s Entries at the 2012 Olympic Games
Note: Times are Central and subject to change based on round-by-round qualifying.
Tuesday, Aug. 7
1:15 p.m. – Women’s 100 Hurdles Semifinals (Lolo Jones)
2:25 p.m. – Women’s 200 Meters Semifinals (Semoy Hackett)
3:00 p.m. – Women’s 100 Hurdles Final (Lolo Jones)
Wednesday, Aug. 8
5:35 a.m. – Women’s 800 Meters Preliminary Round (Neisha Bernard-Thomas)
3:00 p.m. – Women’s 200 Meters Final (Semoy Hackett)
Thursday, Aug. 9
5:35 a.m. – Men’s 4x400 Relay Preliminary Round (Ade Alleyne-Forte, Riker Hylton)
1:30 p.m. – Women’s 800 Meters Semifinal (Neisha Bernard-Thomas)
2:20 p.m. – Women’s 4x100 Relay Preliminary Round (Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Semoy Hackett, Samantha Henry-Robinson)
Friday, Aug. 10
1:45 p.m. – Men’s 4x100 Relay Preliminary Round (Richard Thompson)
2:40 p.m. – Women’s 4x100 Relay Final (Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Semoy Hackett, Samantha Henry-Robinson)
3:20 p.m. – Men’s 4x400 Relay Final (Ade Alleyne-Forte, Riker Hylton)
Saturday, Aug. 11
2:00 p.m. – Women’s 800 Meters Final (Neisha Bernard-Thomas)
3:00 p.m. – Men’s 4x100 Relay Final (Richard Thompson)