‘That was terrifying.’ Lolo Jones competes at US Olympic trials aged 41

Lolo Jones has achieved much during a storied sporting career. The American is one of the few athletes to have competed at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, transitioning from an elite track and field hurdler to the bobsled with aplomb.

On Friday she added to her list of remarkable feats by competing in the 100-meters hurdles at the US Olympic track and field trials for the first time in 12 years, aged 41.

According to Reuters, she is the oldest athlete to qualify for the US trials. In a post on her Instagram page, she said qualifying for the trials was “the achievement that I (am) most proud of. It shows I never gave up.”

Though she came last in her heat at Eugene’s Hayward Field, clocking 14.86 seconds, she qualified for Saturday’s semifinals as everyone competing in the heats did.

“It’s not the time I wanted,” she told reporters. “I know what it’s like not to make the Olympic team … You sometimes feel your world is over in your 20s if you don’t make a team. I hope to show them you can still be in your 40s and be good enough to qualify for the Olympic trials.

“I hope these kids can see me and be like, you know what? My world’s not ending if I don’t make this Olympic team. There’s longevity.”

Lolo Jones said she had not been able to prepare properly for the trials because of injury. - Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Lolo Jones said she had not been able to prepare properly for the trials because of injury. - Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Jones finished seventh at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 in the 100m hurdles after clipping the penultimate hurdle when in the lead and fourth at London 2012 before two years later qualifying in the bobsled for the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The two-time indoor world champion had not competed since April because of injury and said afterwards she had “no clue if was going to blow my hamstring out.”

“That was terrifying, what I just did. That’s the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done in my career,” she said, per Reuters.

Speaking to reporters, she said it meant “the world to me” to have people cheering her on.

“I was crying this morning because I thought I would have to pull out of the race,” she added, explaining a hamstring tear had prevented her from training in the nine days leading up to the trials.

She said she would compete in Saturday’s semifinals if she felt her injury would recover in enough time.

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