The University of Kentucky is going to have more than a few participants at the upcoming summer Olympics.
Among that growing group of qualifiers is former Kentucky Track and Field superstar, Daniel Roberts, who earned his spot on the United States Team in the 110-meter hurdle on Saturday after finishing third in the final race, setting a season-best time of 13.11 (+0.4) seconds. Roberts, who is also a volunteer coach for Kentucky’s Track and Field program, was the 2019 Southeastern 110H Champion, double NCAA runner-up, and U.S Champion all during his junior season as a Wildcat.
Now, he’s heading to Tokyo.
— UK Track & Field (@KentuckyTrack) June 27, 2021
“It means the world, man,” Roberts told NBC’s Lewis Johnson. “This past season has been crazy for all of us, so I’m just happy to be here with my boys.”
Roberts isn’t the only Track and Field star for the ‘Cats with a spot in the 2020 Olympics (which was originally scheduled for last summer but was ultimately postponed due to COVID-19). Javianne Oliver in the 100m dash and Keni Harrison in the 100m hurdles are also set to make the trip for Team USA while UK alumna Jasmine Camacho-Quinn will represent Puerto Rico in the 100m hurdles and Leah Nugent with Team Jamaica in the 400m hurdles.
It doesn’t stop with just the Track and Field team, either. Kentucky Rifle is sending both Mary Tucker and Will Shaner to the Olympics while former basketball players Devin Booker and Bam Adebayo will suit up on the hardwood for Team USA. Not to mention the handful of Kentuckians who did not attend UK that will be participating in Tokyo.
But none are going to be as highlighted as former Kentucky track legend, Sydney McLaughlin, who is set to run in the 400H final later on Sunday night at 7:18 p.m. EST with her shot at the Olympics on the line. [UPDATE: Due to weather temperatures reaching 106 degrees in Eugene, Oregon, McLaughlin will now race at 12:20 a.m. EST]
Blue is getting in to Tokyo, folks.