Former Lady Bulldog Hyleas Fountain won a Silver medal in 2008 and is gunning for anotehr medal this year.
Aug. 3, 2012
LONDON --- Former Bulldog thrower Reese Hoffa tallied a Bronze medal in his third trip to the Olympics during the shot put competition in London on Friday.
The Augusta native watched his third throw in the finals travel 69 feet, 8 inches. His mark edged fellow U.S. throw Christian Cantwell, who won a Silver medal in 2008, by four centimeters. This marks Hoffa’s first medal after competing in both the 2004 Athens Olympics and 2008 Beijing Olympics, where he took seventh in the finals.
Poland’s Tomasz Majewski (71-10) won back-to-back Gold medals in the men’s shot put for the first time in the event since 1956.
This is the 12th Olympic medal for Georgia’s track and field program and the first for a thrower. The Bulldogs have now had at least one medal winner in 10 consecutive Olympic Games since 1976.
Hoffa was a five-time All-American for the Bulldogs from 1998-2001 at Georgia. While he still trains on Georgia’s campus with throws coach Don Babbitt, he captured the 2001 Southeastern Conference title and has been the world’s most consistent shot put thrower since his collegiate career concluded.
Former Lady Bulldog Hyleas Fountain finished day one of the heptathlon in fifth place after scoring 3,900 points. Fountain, a four-time NCAA champion in just two seasons with Georgia, rounded out her first four events by taking fifth in the 200-meter dash with a season-best time of 23.64.
The 2008 Silver medalist shot out to a strong start in the competition after clocking a career-best time of 12.70 in the 100 hurdles. Fountain only finished behind Great Britain’s Jessica Ennis, who had a world-leading mark of 12.54, and Canada’s Jessica Zelinka, who crossed the finish line with a personal-best time of 12.65.
In the high jump, Fountain cruised over the bar at 6-1.25 to finish fourth in the event. This shot her into second place overall with a total of 2,224 points behind Ennis.
Fountain finished 36th in the heptathlon’s third event, the shot put. Fountain opened with her best throw of the day (39-4) to add 660 points to her total. This outcome dropped Fountain into the eighth position overall with 2,884 points.
Kibwe Johnson, who represented Georgia during the 2000 season, was one of 12 qualifiers in the hammer throw. The U.S. thrower recorded a season-best mark of 253-2 to take fifth overall in the competition. Johnson won the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and is battling in his first Olympics.
Johnson will compete in the hammer throw finals on Sunday at 3:20 p.m.
Croatia’s Andras Haklits completed competition in his fourth summer Olympics. Wrapping up his Bulldog career in 2002, Haklits finished 30th in the qualifying round of the hammer throw after launching his top effort 231-8. Haklits, who has battled a series of injuries this season, also competed in the bobsled for his native country during the 2010 winter Games.
Lady Bulldog signee Shaunae Miller competed in the Round 1 of the 400 for the Bahamas. Miller, who has won a world championship in the event, was unable to finish because of a leg injury.
Fountain is the only athlete with ties to Georgia who will be competing on Saturday.