UCF Sprinter Makes Olympics Debut in 400M

Aug. 3, 2012

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By Jenna Marina

LONDON (UCFAthletics.com) - As UCF track and field's first Olympian, rising junior Afia Charles wrapped up her time at the Summer Games when she represented Antigua and Barbuda in the 400-meter preliminaries early Friday morning.

Charles finished fourth in her heat with a time of 54.25, marking her best performance since the Conference USA Championships final in May. Botswana's Amantle Montsho, who boasted the sixth-best wind-legal time in the world recorded by a female this year heading into the race, ran away with not only the heat, but also the fastest qualifying time of the day at 50.40.

Following the race, Charles tweeted: "Just want to thank all of you for the support and love this last week. It was very appreciated. It feels good to have the support."

Charles' mentor, U.S. Olympian DeeDee Trotter, who trains at the UCF Track and Field Complex with Knights head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert, finished first in the third heat with an automatic qualifying time of 50.87. She will run in the third heat of Saturday's semifinals at 3:21 p.m. EDT.

The top two of each of the semifinals' three heats along with the next two fastest times overall will advance to Sunday's final scheduled for 4:10 p.m. EDT.