Rice graduate tries making U.S. Olympic long jump team

Funmi Jimoh is no stranger to international track & field competition.

"My PR [personal record] in the long jump is 6.96m/22-11 and I did that in Qatar at Doha in 2009," said Jimoh, who attended Dulles High School in Sugar Land, Texas.

"She represented the United States in 2008 in Beijing; in 2009 in Berlin and in 2011 in Daegu [at the IAAF World Championships in South Korea]," Jim Bevan, the Rice University head track & field women's coach, said. "She's experienced. She's a veteran.

The decorated veteran is a 2007 Rice graduate, who's focusing on the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., in hopes of earning a trip to London.

"It would be outstanding [to make the Olympic team]. I mean, not a lot of people get multiple opportunities to represent the United States in Olympics," said Jimoh. "Our team literally is the hardest team to make in the world."

Jimoh, who runs for Nike, is very fast and uses that track speed to her advantage.

"I really feel like long jump is one of simple things that gets over thought," said Jimoh. "It's mostly about speed and power so about three days a week we do strength [workouts] in the weight room, and then the other three days we do speed, you know, speed endurance."

In order to win the Olympic Trials in long jump at Hayward Field, Jimoh talked about the importance of eating right but admits it can be challenging.

"I have such a sweet tooth, and it is literally so hard for me to like stay away," said Jimoh smiling. "But I try [to keep eating healthy]. I indulge every so often in some candy. Mostly lean meats, good grains, and fruits and vegetables."

Nutrition aside, Jimoh has a message about USA Track & Field:

"USA Track & Field needs a lot more support; a lot more attention so, you know, find your favorite athlete."

Jimoh is definitely one of the favorites, who might just capture gold this summer.