Ebony Morrison, Liberia’s lone female representative at the Tokyo Games missed out on a spot in the women’s 100-metre hurdles final on Sunday as she finished sixth in the third semi-final.
Ebony meanwhile smashed herself a personal best, a national record and a World Championship qualification time by clocking 12.74 seconds, 0.24 seconds faster than her previous time.
Her finish time could not earn her one of the two non-automatic qualification spots for fastest losers as she finished with the sixth best time. The top two in each of the three semi-finals automatically qualify for the final.
Netherlands’ Nadine Visser (12.63) and United States’ Gabbi Cunningham (12.67) grabbed the two non-automatic qualification spots.
Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto-Rico set a new Olympic record after winning the third semi-final in 12.26 seconds.
Despite missing out on the final, Ebony is proud of her first run at the Olympics and believes that this is her first step to bigger tasks ahead.
“Wow... what can I say? 12.74 at the Olympic Games. This is one of my proudest moments,” she said.
“This is just the first chapter to my book. Thank you Liberia, thank you friends and family, thank you Grandma and thank you Coach, you told me I could do it.
“Momma, I know you’re proud of me! We’re just getting started!”
Earlier on Saturday, when Liberians home and abroad had the chance to watch two of their representatives hit the track at the Olympic Stadium, Ebony was the first to hit the big stage in the women’s 100m hurdles heat, competing against tough athletes, including world record holder Kendra Harrison of the United States.
Ebony was unable to meet the top four automatic qualification spots after finishing sixth in Heat 2. She clocked a time of 13.00 seconds, ahead of Ireland’s Sara Lavin who finished seventh in 13.16 seconds.
However, Ebony advanced to the semifinals as one of the next four fastest along with Japan’s Asuka Terada (12.95), Poland’s Klaudia Siciarz (12.98), and Haiti’s Mulern Jean who finished fifth in Heat two in 12.99 secs.
Ebony will again have the opportunity to represent Liberia at another global event, the 18th edition of the World Athletics Championships slated for July 14-24, 2022 in Eugene, Oregon, United States.
The championship was originally scheduled for August 6–15, 2021, but was postponed due to the 2020 Summer Olympics that was pushed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.