For T'Erea Brown, the six minutes after she ran the fastest 400-meter hurdles time of her life were torture.
The University of Miami grad out of Hampton High lowered her all-time personal best by 51/100ths of a second to claim third place in her opening section of the one-lap barrier race Monday night at Olympic Stadium,
Then, the toughest part. She had to wait out the results of the last two semifinals to see if she advanced to Wednesday night's eight-runner final.
Focused on the video screen as the next two sections unfolded, Brown eventually got the good news, and the tears of joy — and relief — began flowing.
Yes, she'd raced her way to the final as a first-time Olympian.
Yes, she's have a shot at the medal stand.
Yes, the torture was over.
Her 54.21 seconds stood up as fifth fastest time netted by the eight finalists, a group that now includes Brown's USA teammates Lashinda Demus (54.08) and Georganne Moline (54.74).
"My mind finally connected with my body," said Brown. "I always knew what I had to do. I just couldn't get my body to do it.
"Sunday, I messed up on (hurdle) eight. Today I just focused on me. Now that I'm in the final, anything can happen."
Russia'sNatalya Antyukh (53.33) andCzech Republic'sZuzana Hejnova (53.62) bested Brown in their heat.
Wells in 100 hurdles semis
"Hello, Virginia," Kellie Wells said Monday. "Hope everything's going well back home; it's sure going well right here in London."
The James River Highand Hampton University graduate looked precisely like a medal contender in the women's 100-meter hurdles with a convincing victory in her first-round qualifying race, clocking a 12.69 performance that stood up as third best time after the seven heats were run, sending 24 into Tuesday's semifinals.
"Now the plan is to go back out tomorrow and hit it again," Wells said. "We've got round one out of the way and everything was great. I'm comfortable and healthy and happy."
Should Wells advance, the 100 hurdles final is about two hours after the semifinals Tuesday.
As expected, reigning world champion Sally Pearson of Australia led the way with a 12.57 win, with American Lolo Jones another heat winner at 12.68. American Dawn Harper, the 2008 Olympic champion, advanced in 12.75, giving the U.S. three of the top six fastest times.
Wells has a career-best of 12.50 (achieved winning the 2011 nationals), along with a wind-aided 12.35, plus a 2012 top mark of 12.54.
"Sheer focus, that's exactly what it's going to take from here," Wells said. "You can't worry about anything else. It's just me and my 10 hurdles and that's it. ... The crowd here (more than 80,000) is crazy and wonderful and amazing.
"It sounds like that they're cheering just for me and I love it. ... From here on, it's just going to come down to who executes and does it right."
NSU's Brown 4th in 400
Former Norfolk State sprinter Chris Brown placed fourth in the men's 400-meter final for the second straight Olympics. Brown, representing the Bahamas in his fourth Olympics, had a time of 44.79 seconds.
Brown was beaten out for a medal behindGrenada'sKirani James (43.96), theDominican Republic'sLuguelin Santos (44.46), andTrinidad and Tobago'sLalonde Gordon (44.52).
Brown's next chance for a medal is in the 4x400-meter relay. Brown anchored the Bahamas to a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Games, his first Olympic medal. Qualifying for the 4x400 is Thursday and the final is Friday.Copyright © 2015, CT Now