The USA hammer team for Betfair London 2012 has been finalised following the culmination of the recent Olympic trials, which were held in the shadow of the Tiger Woods building at Nike headquarters.
The team will include Kibwe Johnson, who last year became the first American in 12 years to throw over 800 metres, and who qualified for London 2012 by throwing the hammer just one inch short of 246 feet.
He then showed how much Olympic inclusion meant to him by lying down on an image of the Olympic rings in the centre of the hammer field.
An added incentive to throw well was the fact that Johnson’s grandparents are regular visitors to the Olympic Games, having attended each one since Montreal 1976, and the thought of them seeing their grandson in action also spurred him on.
Unfortunately, Chris Cralle will not make it onto the plane for London despite finishing second in qualifying with a throw of over 243 feet, as he does not have the Olympic ‘A’ total of 255 feet, 11 inches on his card, so the second spot goes to A.G Kruger who was third in qualifying and who will contest his third Olympics, having turned out at both Athens and Beijing. His best place so far is 27th.
As for the women’s hammer team, Amber Campbell, Amanda Bingson and Jessica Cosby all earned a trip to London. Campbell threw a record 235 feet six inches to qualify in first place, Bingson was just short of that, while Cosby threw just over 232 feet to finish third.
Campbell also competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, as did Cosby, and both know they will need to improve again to defy the betfair betting odds and be among the medals, in a sport dominated in the main by eastern Europe.