Haiti’s Marlena Wesh Advances to Semi-Finals in Olympic 400m Competition
LONDON, England (defend.ht) – Marlena Wesh advanced to the second round of the women’s 400 meters competition at the 2012 Olympic Games coming in 3rd place in Friday morning’s heat.
Wesh had finished fourth with a time of 51.98 seconds but advances to third place with the disqualification of Colombian sprinter Jennifer Padilla, who was third.
With or without the qualification of Padilla, the Haitian-American sprinter from Virginia Beach would have qualified by setting the 14th fastest time.
The Women’s 400m Semifinals is on August 4th, Saturday at 3:05 PM EST.
Marlena Wesh is also competing in the Women’s 200m. Round 1 is Monday, August 6, 2:20 PM EST.
The Diaspora Factor
Miss Wesh wasn’t born in Haiti and has never been to the country, which mustered some criticism in the press because including Marlena Wesh, four of the five athletes competing for Haiti weren’t born in Haiti. But Wesh’s parents were.
With the May 2011 amendment to the Constitution of Haiti, because Wesh’s parents were born in Haiti, she is a Haitian citizen and is eligible to compete for Haiti.
The Clemson University psychology major is proud to compete for her country. She was quoted in the Associated Press saying “I still feel Haitian even if I wasn’t born there.”
Wesh’s brother Darrell could also have run for Haiti in the 2012 Olympics but chose to try to make the American team. He is a student at Virginia Tech.
Other Remaining Athletes
The first competitor, Linouse Desravine, did not make it past the first round of Women’s 52kg Judo on Sunday.
On Monday August 6, Moise Joseph will compete at 5:50AM EST in the first round of the Men’s 800m competition.
On Tuesday August 7, Samyr Laine will compete in the Men’s Triple Jump at 5:45AM EST and Jeffrey Julmis in the Men’s 110m Hurdles at 10:10AM EST.