Hastings comes in 4th in 400-meter dash final at Rio Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Natasha Hastings came in fourth overall Monday night in the Olympic final for the women’s 400-meter dash. Hastings ran a time of 50.34 and was in medal contention throughout the race, but was run down in the final 100 meters to keep her from her first individual Olympic medal.

Aiming to build off a season-best time of 49.90 in Sunday night’s semifinal, Hastings got off to another strong start and was firmly in the top three runners through the first 200 meters. Shericka Jackson of Jamaica would pass her in the home stretch to push her out of the top three and take bronze.

Shaunae Miller from the Bahamas won gold in a finish decided by just seven-thousandths of a second between her and Team USA’s Allyson Felix. Miller is coincidentally the first woman since 2004 to win gold in the 400 for the Bahamas, when former Gamecocks standout and current South Carolina Athletics Hall of Famer Tonique Williams-Darling took home the title.

Hastings is far from done at these games. She could play a key role on Team USA’s 4-x-400-meter relay team, which will run in the prelims at 7:40 p.m. Friday.

Kierre Beckles, another former Gamecock, makes her Olympic debut Monday morning for Barbados, running in the 100-meter hurdles prelims. Beckles will run in heat four out of lane seven, with the race streaming on NBCOlympics.com.

“We watched Kierre today at practice, and she is really striking it good,” South Carolina head track and field coach Curtis Frye said Monday. “I expect her to advance as an automatic qualifier. She’s on top of her game, she’s fit and she’s in great spirits. She lives for these moments, and I feel like she has a shot at making the finals.”

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