UC San Diego graduate Christine Merrill competed in the 400m hurdles at the Olympics games yesterday placing 30th out of 43 athletes. Merrill, who is representing Sri Lanka, ran in the fifth heat with a time of 57.15. She will not advance to prelimaries, which are scheduled for Monday evening, London time.
Merrill posted this message on her Facebook wall shortly after her race:
Went into the Race ranked 40 out of 43... Came out as #30!!! rawr
Ran the fastest first 3 hurdles of my life - and didn't know what to do from there... tried to go back to my normal rhythm but it slowed me down. Lots of room for improvement.
Today was moment I will never ever forget. The roar of a crowd so loud it made my heart echo. The bounce of the rock hard track. The feeling of the Olympic Spirit.
Thank you Sri Lanka! and Thank you to you all for sharing it with me!
Merrill, an American whose mother is from Sri Lanka, also represented Sri Lanka at the Asian Athletics Championships and the IAAF World Championships last summer. She claimed a bronze medal with a time of 57.30 at the Asian Championships and set a new Sri Lankan national record after clocking in at 56.83 in prelims, according to UCSD.
Locally, Merrill set school records in both the 400 hurdles (58.04) and 400-meter dash (54.76) as a senior. As a junior, she won the NCAA Division II title in the 400 hurdles after posting a first place time of 58.59 in San Angelo, Texas.