It’s one down, two to go for first-time Olympian
McCorory ran 400 meters in a controlled — but quick — 50.78 seconds in her Friday morning heat at Olympic Stadium. She will run in the 400-meter semifinals Saturday afternoon.
The Bethel High and
McCorory's time also assures a favorable lane for Saturday's semifinals. Should she advance, she'll run in the final Sunday with an Olympic medal on the line.
The semifinals start at 3:05 p.m. EDT. The final is Sunday at 4:10 EDT.
“I felt great. My main goal was to work on my race pattern and that part of it worked out really, really good,” said McCorory, a two-time
"From now on, I've got to work on my start, make sure I come out (of the starting blocks) crisp and clean, then work on coming home strong."
Leading all women's 400 qualifiers was 2001 world outdoor champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana at 50.40 seconds, with Russia's Antonina Krivoshapka next in line at 50.75 in another heat.
Right behind McCorory's 50.78 was 2008 Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain at 50.80.
"There are a lot of great girls here and it's going to take a lot of effort to medal," McCorory said. "I'll probably have to run a (personal best), but I think I'm ready to do something like that."
Her all-time best in the 400 is 50.06 seconds.
"It will definitely take something in the 49s, maybe even the 48s, to be up there," she said, "but I think I'm capable of running a very good time. ... We had a good (pre-Olympic) training camp (in Birmingham, England) and I came in here really ready."
Krivoshapka ran the fastest 400 meters this year in 49.16 seconds, with Richards-Ross, a bronze medalist in the event in Beijing, close behind in 49.28 seconds.
"This track is definitely fast," Richards-Ross said. "You can feel it."
Some in London have said Team USA's uniforms are so aerodynamically designed that they could make a difference an athlete's time.
"Yes, that could be right, " McCorory said. "They feel good, they're great. Any little thing like could definitely make a difference."
McCorory was the first of three athletes with Peninsula ties to run at the London Games.
High School alumna T'Erea Brown, the 2011 NCAA outdoor champion for the University of Miami and a three-time NCAA silver medalist, will participate in round one of the women's 400 hurdles Sunday.