The UTEP track and field program will have a strong presence at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, with current Miner Tobi Amusan (Nigeria-100m hurdles) and former Miner greats Churandy Martina (Netherlands-100m and 200m) and Blessing Okagbare (Nigeria-100m, 200m and long jump) set to represent their countries on the world’s biggest stage from Aug. 12-21.
Prior to Rio the rising sophomore Amusan is set to compete at the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland on Friday.
Amusan, the under-20 world leader in 100m hurdles in 2016 looks to be in good standings heading into the prelims. She crossed the line in a wind-aided 12.79 seconds to take second place at the 2016 NCAA Championships onJune 13.
Martina, fresh off becoming the first Dutchman since 1938 to take gold in the 100m at the European Athletic Championships, will be appearing in his fourth Olympic Games.
Netherland’s flag bearer for the opening ceremonies in both 2004 and 2008, Martina will run in the 100m and 200m. Netherlands has also qualified in the 4x100m relay, and he is a good candidate to be a part of that unit.
Martina, who signed a pro contract in July 2006, made his lone year at UTEP memorable. He helped the 400-meter relay squad to a third-place result at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor championships.
As an individual, he took fourth in the 200m dash and sixth in the 100m.
Okagbare, who earned a bronze medal in the long jump at the 2008 Summer Games, is making her third appearance at the Olympics. She is entered to race in the 100m, 200m while also participating in the long jump. Nigeria’s 4x100m relay unit has also punched its ticket to the Olympics, and Okagbare will be in consideration to race with it.
Okagbare enjoyed a decorated career with the Orange and Blue, winning four individual national titles and 14 individual Conference USA crowns. She was also an 11-time American.