Panamanian Gianna Woodruff qualifies for the final of the 400 meters hurdles in Tokyo 2020
Panamanian athlete Gianna Woodruff qualified this August 2, 2021 for the final of the 400 meters hurdles at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games .
And it is that in the semifinals on Monday, Woodruff finished second in her elimination heat of 400 meters hurdles, with a time of 54.22 seconds. With this record, Woodruff sets a new national record and a new South American record for the distance.
In these semifinals –which took place under heavy rain– the Panamanian representative competed in series 2, lane 4. Woodruff maintained the race pace in the first 200 meters and, in the final sections, closed strong to overcome the Ukrainian Anna Ryzhykova (54.23).
For Woodruff, 27 years old and born in Santa Monica, United States, but of a Colón mother, these are her first Olympic Games.
American Sydney McLaughlin won the series in which Woodruff competed, with a record of 53.03.
Three heats were developed, in which the first two places and the two best times of the rest of the competitors classified. The first semifinal was won by Dalilah Muhammad (United States) with a time of 53.30. Athlete Femke Bol (Netherlands) took the other series with a record of 53.91.
According to the calendar, the women's final of the 400 meters hurdles will take place at 9:30 pm on Tuesday, August 3 (Panama time). Woodruff will be the only Latin American representative in the final, after the eliminations in the semifinals of the Colombian Melissa González (57.47) and the Cuban Zurian Hechavarría (55.22).
The Panamanian representative was born on November 18, 1993 in Santa Monica, California, United States. She is the daughter of John Woodruff and Donna Washington, originally from the province of Colón.
"Since I was a girl I had been thinking of representing Panama, but I just did it after I finished my university studies," said the athlete in the past, who studied at the University of Washington, where she graduated as a sociologist.
Woodruff achieved her qualification for the Olympic event on April 24, when she triumphed in the test carried out at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, United States, with a time of 55.02.