LENORA GUION-FIRMIN SETS PERSONAL BEST AT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Aug 19, 2013
MOSCOW, Russia - University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) track star Lenora Guion-Firmin (La Trinite, Martinique, France) notched her place as one of the fastest women in the world in the 200 meter dash last week at the 14th International Association of Athletic Federation (IAAF) World Championships, held in Moscow.
Guion-Firmin, coming off of gold, silver and bronze showings at the European Athletics U23 (Under 23) Championships held last month in Tampere, Finland, ran her way out of the heats and into the semi-final rounds of the 200m, falling short of the finals.
She started in the fifth heat and posted a new personal best with a 22.91 to take third in the heat and earn one of 24 berths into the semi-final round. Just two hours later Guion-Firmin was back on the track in the third heat running with world renowned and Olympic medaling stars like Allyson Felix and Kimberly Duncan from the United States and Blessing Okagbare from Nigeria.
While she was not one of the final eight, Guion-Firmin can hold her head high as she took sixth in her heat and posted the 16th best time in the round while running among the world's fastest women.
Earlier this summer in Finland, the speedster took a gold medal in the women's 400-meters, fell just short in the 200-meters to take silver, and her relay team took bronze in the 4 x 400 meter relay.
In Moscow however, it was a different story, as she bested Jodie Williams of Great Britain in the 200 meters, the same woman who topped her in Finland for gold. Williams would post the 19th fastest time. While Guion-Firmin did not run the 400 meters in Moscow, she would run the relay.
The French coaches held Guion-Firmin back in the heats of the 4 x 400 relay and the team set a season best of 3:27.75 to qualify for the finals. They did not however hold her out of the final round. Stepping into the second leg of the relay, the French team posted another season's best of 3:24.21 to take fourth place and miss another medal by less than two seconds to Great Britain. Russia took gold and the United States the silver.
The IAAF Championship started August 10th and ran through the 18th. The IAAF World Championship is a biennial event, held in the opposite years of the Olympics. Several world renowned track and field stars have competed in past events, including Michael Johnson, Usain Bolt and Carl Lewis.
Guion-Firmin is the most decorated woman track and field athlete in school history, holding school records in the 200 and 400 meter outdoor events. She is a three-time All-America selection. Guion-Firmin served as an alternate in London last year and is just the second woman ever from UMES to participate in the Olympics.
"We are all so proud of her," said UMES head coach Ernest Barrett. "She set a personal best, and just keeps getting better. Running against the best in the world will continue to make her faster."