Gamecock athlete advances to track-and-field semifinals in Summer Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Day 2 of track-and-field competition at the Summer Olympics in Rio saw the start of two South Carolina athletes’ quest for glory. Former Gamecock Natasha Hastings and current student-athlete Aliyah Abrams were in action in the first round of the women’s 400-meter dash.

Hastings was up first, running as an individual quarter-miler for the first time in her career. She previously represented Team USA at the 2008 and 2012 games as a relay member, but the former national champion reveled in her first chance as an individual. She won her heat easily, pulling up at the line and crossing in 51.31 to clinch the automatic bid to the semifinal. She finished ninth overall out of the 57 competitors in the field, and will be one of three women from Team USA in the semis.

Abrams ran in the eighth and final heat, representing her parents’ home country of Guyana. The rising sophomore finished 38th overall as a first-time Olympian with just one season of collegiate track experience. Her final time was 52.79, and she ends her season as a two-time All-American and a bronze medalist as part of the women’s 4-x-400-meter relay at the NCAA Outdoor Championships this past June.

Hastings will run Sunday night in the semifinal round of the 400-meter. She will run out of lane five in the second of three semifinal heats. Her race will air during the NBC primetime Olympic coverage show, with the heat planned for 7:42 p.m. A live stream of events is also available at

Categories: Sports