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Aug. 3, 2012

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By Miquel Jacobs
Assistant Media Relations Director

LONDON – Three South Carolina track and field alumnae will begin their quests for Olympic gold at the start of the week as the athletics portion of the London Games begins. Lashinda Demus and Jason Richardson will compete as individuals for the United States in search of their first Olympic medals, and Natasha Hastings will serve as a member of the United States 4×400-meter relay pool looking to successfully defend its gold medal from the 2008 Olympic Games.

Demus will compete in the women’s 400-meter hurdles as a medal favorite after winning gold at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. Competing in her second Olympics (2004 Sydney), Demus is the current American record holder at 52.47, which is the third-fastest time run in history. She has a top time this year of 53.98 in her U.S. Olympic Trials win and will begin the preliminary round Sunday, Aug. 5 at 2 p.m. (ET).

Richardson is also a reigning 2011 World Championship gold medalist after earning his first world title in the 110-meter hurdles in Daegu last year. This marks the first Olympic Games for Richardson who ranks third in the world this year coming into the competition with a top time of 12.98. Richardson will begin the preliminary round Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 5:10 a.m. (ET).

Hastings will act as a member of the Team USA 4×400-meter relay pool that hits the track Friday, Aug. 10 at 2:10 p.m. (ET) for qualifying and Saturday, Aug. 11 at 3:25 p.m. (ET) for finals. Hastings is the most recent Gamecock to earn Olympic gold as a member of the relay team that took top honors in 2008.

Lashinda Demus – Women’s 400m Hurdles
Round 1 – Sunday Aug 5th @ 2:00 p.m. (ET)
Semifinals – Monday Aug 6th @ 3:15 p.m. (ET)
Final – Wednesday Aug 8th @ 3:45 p.m. (ET)

Jason Richardson – Men’s 110m Hurdles
Round 1 – Tuesday, Aug 7th @ 5:10 a.m. (ET)
Semifinals – Wednesday, Aug 8th @ 2:15 p.m. (ET)
Final – Wednesday, Aug 8th @ 4:15 p.m. (ET)