Former Lady Vols Trotter, Madison advance at Olympics

LONDON (school release) -- The first day of Olympic track & field action got under way Friday, and two former Tennessee Lady Vols took care of business in first-round action in women’s sprint events at Olympic Stadium.

In the early session, three-time Olympian DeeDee Trotter was one of three American women to win their heats in the first round of the 400-meter dash, doing so in damp conditions. Trotter, who competed at Tennessee from 2002-04, finished first in heat three despite drawing the unfavorable assignment of running in lane eight. Her readout of 50.87 seconds was fourth-fastest of the 12 who advanced to Saturday’s semifinal round at 3:05 p.m. Eastern time.

“That race couldn’t have been better,” Trotter said. “We prepared for this (weather) in Eugene. Our Olympic Trials prepared us for any kind of weather. Bring it on! Rain, wind, throw a tornado in there, USA is ready to run.

“I’m really excited about my race today. I’m ready to get out here and do it again tomorrow. I had a great day, I’m ready to shine.”

Later in the day, Tianna Madison made her first-ever Olympic appearance, competing in the first round of the 100-meter dash. Running in lane seven in the fourth heat, the former UT standout (2004-05) moved along to the semifinal round by finishing second in 10.97 seconds with a tailwind of only 0.7 meters per second. Her mark is No. 5 among the 18 advancers.

Madison is slated to run in the semis at 2:35 p.m. ET on Saturday and would have a final later in the day at 4:55 p.m. ET, should she qualify.

In addition to Madison and Trotter running on Saturday, former Vol NCAA champion and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Justin Gatlin will swing into gear in the men’s 100-meter dash. He faces a first round race at 7:30 a.m. ET.

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