Jayhawks quintet set to represent KU at upcoming Olympics
Five athletes with ties to the Kansas track program are set to compete at this year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo, bringing pride to the KU program and head coach Stanley Redwine.
“I’m really excited for this moment because it’s just, for me, the result of hard work that pays off,” Redwine said at a press conference in late June. “I think it’s really good for KU when we have volunteer athletes and coaches who qualify for the Olympics. The amount of work it takes to get there is really, really hard. “
The Jayhawks who are expected to compete in Tokyo from next week are: Mason Finley (men’s disc), Bryce Hoppel (men’s 800 meters), Gleb Dudarev (men’s hammer throw), Alexandra Emilianov (women’s disc) and Christina Clemons (women 100-meter hurdles).
While the Olympics opening ceremony is scheduled for 6 a.m. on Friday – with prime-time TV broadcasting starting at 6.30 p.m. – the track portion of the program will only take place next week.
Finley, who is on his second trip to the Olympics, will be the first KU athlete to compete. It will kick off with the men’s discus throw qualification at 7:45 p.m. on Thursday, July 29 in Tokyo.
Emilianov, Hoppel and Clemons are scheduled for their first action on Friday July 30. Emilianov, who represents Moldova, will participate in the qualification of the women’s disc at 7:30 p.m. Hoppel and Clemons are scheduled to compete in their first round races at 7am. : 50 and 8:45 p.m., respectively. Dudarev, who qualified for Belarus, will not have his men’s hammer throw qualification until 7 p.m. on Sunday August 1.
Redwine said all of them have high expectations in their respective events.
“Everyone thinks of medals, they don’t think of (being) happy to be at the games,” said Redwine. “It’s kind of how I think our coaches prepare them and I think it’s their state of mind, so it’s really exciting.”
Finley is the only athlete with Olympic Games experience after reaching the Rio Olympics final and eventually finished 11th overall in 2016.
Still, Redwine doesn’t expect lack of experience to be a problem for any of the athletes, as they have all competed in big stages before, including their respective Olympic trials and international competitions in mid-June. .
“I think the only pressure they feel will be the pressure they put on themselves,” Redwine said. “I think as a coaching staff our job is to help them relax and be able to do what they do best.”
Clemons, a former Ohio State track star, is the only athlete who hasn’t donned a Jayhawk jersey at some point in her athletic career. Clemons, Hoppel and Finley are all volunteer coaches for the KU Track Team.
Many athletes and coaches will actually be wearing Kansas-related clothing in Tokyo, which was shared with the public by the KU Track in a tweet on Monday. The Jayhawk logo is evident on all different sports jerseys and polo shirts.
Tokyo Olympics KU track schedule
• Mason Finley (Record)
Thursday July 29 – Men’s Discus Throw Qualification (7:45 p.m.)
Saturday, July 31 – Men’s Discus Throw Final (6:15 a.m.)
• Bryce Hoppel (800 meters)
Friday July 30 – First round of the men’s 800 meters (7:50 p.m.)
Sunday August 1 – Men’s 800-meter semi-finals (6:25 a.m.)
Wednesday August 4 – Men’s 800 meters final (7:05 a.m.)
• Gleb Dudarev (hammer throw)
Sunday August 1 – Men’s Hammer Throw Qualification (7 p.m.)
Wednesday August 4 – Men’s Hammer Throw Final (6:15 a.m.)
• Alexandra Emilianov (Record)
Friday July 30 – Women’s Discus Throw Qualification (7:30 p.m.)
Monday August 2 – Women’s Disc Final (6 a.m.)
• Christina Clemons (100m hurdles)
Friday July 30 – First round of the women’s 100m hurdles (8:45 p.m.)
Sunday August 1 – Women’s 100-meter hurdles semi-finals (5:45 a.m.)
Sunday August 1 – Women’s 100m hurdles final (9.45 p.m.)