Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora
The Panamanian hurdler, Gianna Woodruff qualified for the final of the 400 hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics with a time of 54.22 seconds, becoming a new national record, and South American.
Woodruff placed second in her qualifying series behind the American, and owner of the world record of that test, Sydney McLaughlin.
"I am very happy and grateful, being a finalist in my first Olympics leaves me speechless, I give thanks to God, to my work team, to my family and to all of Panama ", Woodruff said after qualifying for the Olympic final.
The test took place at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, where despite the inconveniences of the climate Woodruff managed to climb positions in the last 200 meters to rank as the second best in the series, beating the Ukrainian by a hundredth, Anna Ryzhykova in a photography finale.
“This is the third time I have done my personal best this season., to be able to achieve it in the Olympic Games is very special ", affirmed the athlete.
The end of the 400 meters hurdles will be held on Tuesday 3 August at 9:30 p.m. Panama local time.
Woodruff which will be located on the lane 9, will compete with Ukrainians Anna Ryzhykova and Viktorya Tkachuk, Americans Dalilah Muhammad and Sydney McLaughlin, the Dutch Femke Bol and the Jamaican Janieve Russell.
The Panamanian recognized that sharing with the North American Muhammad was important because of the friendship that unites her, but he clarified that "when we enter the track we have to do our job".
Dalilah Muhammad was Olympic champion in Rio 2016, and won the Doha World Cup in 2019.
After achieving the classification, Gianna Woodruff secured an Olympic diploma, the first for a Panamanian woman in athletics and the second won by the delegation of the Central American country that traveled to the Games of 2021, the other is for boxer Atheyna Bylon.
Sports sources explained that it is the first time in history, that Panama achieves two Olympic diplomas for different athletes in the same edition of the Olympic Games.
In london, 1948 Lloyd LaBeach achieved it after winning two medals in the 100 Y 200 meter dash.
This will be the second time that a Panamanian will compete in the Olympic final of the 400 m vallas, the first time was in Athens 2004, when Bayano Kamani occupied the fifth position.