Wednesday June 27, 2012
Williams makes London despite fourth place finish
EUGENE (Oregon): High jump world champion Jesse Williams made it to the London Games with a whimper rather than a bang when he finished a disappointing fourth at the US Olympic trials on Monday.
Williams missed three times at 2.31m after clearing 2.28m on his third attempt on a wet and cold day in Eugene but clinched his spot on the American team because the third place finisher did not have the “A” qualifying standard.
“The whole goal was to make London and now I am there I want to get on that podium,” said Williams.
“These conditions, they were tough. It was really difficult for me to get in a groove and jump to my capabilities,” said Williams, whose personal best is 2.37m.
“What I did today is really not a reflection of me.”
The Eugene resident added: “I definitely need to start jumping in the rain here a little more often.”
The seemingly ageless Jamie Nieto won the competition at 2.28 in a reflection of the weather. The 35-year-old did not have a miss before failing three times at 2.31.
“I am so happy,” said the former U.S. champion. “In 2008, I missed the Olympic team. I got second and didn’t have the ‘A’ standard.”
Collegians Erik Kynard and Nick Ross finished second and third, both at 2.28.
Nieto and Kynard will join Williams in London, but Ross will stay at home because he does not have the required standard.
Only the top three finishers in events at the trials book trips to the Games provided they have the qualifying standard.
“It’s bittersweet I didn’t make the team,” Ross said. “I’ll definitely be on that podium again.” — Reuters