Former British athletics star qualifies for the first Olympic Games


LEXINGTON, Ky. – She’s a legend in the making. Keni Harrison, former University of Kentucky athletics star who turned pro runner for Adidas, seeks redemption at her first Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

“You have to be crazy to be a hurdler,” said Harrison. “You’re running at full speed to a barrier that doesn’t move, you have to be laser-focused.”

What you need to know

  • Keni Harrison holds the world record in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 12.20. Now she’s going to Tokyo
  • Harrison missed the Rio 2016 Olympics but qualified for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics
  • She was recently inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame class in 2021
  • Harrison, a former British track star, is now a pro runner for Adidas

Harrison must be the craziest of them all. She has a long list of awards: running the fastest time in the world over 100-meter hurdles with a time of 12.20 seconds, national athlete of the year as a senior, NCAA champion in the indoor 60-meter hurdles and outdoors 100 outdoor meter hurdles, NCAA silver medalist in the 400 meter hurdles as junior and senior. That’s just a couple of names.

But it wasn’t always a successful tour on the route. In 2016, Harrison stayed too short, finishing 6th.

Harrison will travel to her first Tokyo Olympics after narrowly missing out on the team in 2016. (UK Athletics)

“This time I’ve already made it to the Olympic team and I think the hardest part is just passing exams and going to Tokyo like it’s just another race, just another meeting,” she said for a couple of years was that disappointment and that made me train hard and not give up. “

Now she seeks redemption as she competed against 2016 Olympic champion Brianna McNeal in the Olympic Trials. Harrison won with a first place, which she has been dreaming of since the 2012 Olympics.

“I want to go there with Team USA on my chest and have so many people who support me and want me to do my best. That was the moment when I realized I wanted to go to the Olympics” said Harrison.

The former Kentucky Wildcat won’t be the only one traveling to Tokyo this summer.

“Coach Flo did a great job of recruiting everyone and seeing talent in all of us and for all of us to form the Olympic team. There are so many of us – D-Rob, Sydney, Quin, Jay – it just shows how talented Kentucky was and we can finally put Kentucky on the map, ”said Harrison.

With the latest curve ball in 2021, the Olympic Games in Tokyo will now be played without fans. This announcement didn’t seem to bother Harrison, as it has one thing in mind: to get gold.

“In the midst of the line-up with the best in the world, you don’t worry about who’s in the stands. They just worry about being out there and competing to the best of their ability, ”Harrison said.

Keni Harrison was recently named to the UK Athletics Hall of Fame class in 2021.

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