COC Assistant Track and Field Coach, Lashinda Demus will lead Team USA in the Women’s 400 meter hurdles on Sunday, August 5th at 11am PST, at the 2012 Olympics in London. Demus was the top qualifier in the US Olympic trials last month, marking her return to the Games after failing to qualify for the 2008 Games in Beijing by just .14 seconds.
Demus ran in the 400 meter hurdles in the 2004 Games in Athens, reaching the semi-finals before being eliminated. “I feel like this is my second chance,” Demus told NBC Sports while getting in one of her final practices before heading to London. “I know what to expect. I’m more prepared, I’m a better athlete, I’m more mature and I have a family to share that experience with. All around it’s just a whole better deal for me.”
Demus graduated from Long Beach Wilson High School where she ran the 300 meter hurdles. She still holds the national high school record as the only female to break the 40 second mark and was named the Girl’s “High School Athlete of the Year” by Track and Field News in 1999 and 2001. She then attended the University of South Carolina where she won the Junior World Championships for the 400 hurdles in 2002 and the NCAA Indoor Championships in 2004. In 2011 she won the Gold in the 400 meter hurdles at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea with a time of 52.47, an US record and the third fastest time ever recorded in the event.
Demus will be cheered on by her twin 5 year old sons, Dontay and Duaine.
“I have more patience as a person,” Demus told NBC. “I definitely have different priorities when it comes to my career and with what I want in life since having kids and being a wife. I want to leave a legacy for my family. I want my grandkids and great grandkids to see what I’ve done.”
UPDATE 8/5 8:30pm– Demus won her first heat of the Olympic Qualifier in London on Sunday. Demus ran in the inside lane and defeated her opponents easily finishing 7 meters ahead of the nearest runner with a time of 54.60 seconds. “I needed to execute what my mom was talking to me about and I definitely did that” Demus told reporters after the race. Demus will run in the 400m Hurdles semifinal tomorrow.
UPDATE 8/6 12:15pm- Demus won herself a spot in the medal race in the Women’s 400 meter hurdles. She won her heat in the semifinals with a time of 54.08 seconds. She will join Natalia Antyukh of Russia, Zuzana Hejnova and Denisa Rosolova of the Czech Republic, Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica, Muizat Ajoke Odumosu of Nigeria and fellow americans, Georganne Moline and Ti’erra Brown in the final race Wednesday at 12:45pm PST.