EMU - Alejandro Advances to Semifinals in Rio Olympics

EMU - Alejandro Advances to Semifinals in Rio Olympics

Provided by EMU

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (EMUEagles.com) - For the second time in his career, Eastern Michigan University men's track and field alumnus Eric Alejandro ('08) qualified into the 400m hurdles semifinals at the Olympic Games.

This time around, Alejandro managed to earn his spot in the semifinals after finishing second in his heat and clocking in at 49.54 seconds. Ultimately, in the field of 47 hurdlers, Alejandro took 22nd for Puerto Rico. His teammate, Javier Culson, also nabbed a semifinals spot after finishing in 48.53 seconds, which was the third-best overall time.

"Our staff watched his race livestream in our office," exclaimed head coach John Goodridge. "It was so much fun seeing how confident he was from the moment the gun was fired, and then his very recognizable head down drive over the final meters."

Alejandro is no stranger to success on the international stage, as he also qualified into the semifinals at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In his first go at the Olympics, he finished the first round with a mark of 49.39 seconds, taking 20th.

The EMU men's and women's track and field programs have combined to have a representative at each Olympic Games since 1960, totaling an impressive 14 straight Olympics. With Alejandro having competed this week, that figure increases to 15 consecutive Olympic Games. On the men's side, a total of six medals have been won, four of them being gold.

Alejandro will continue competition in the semifinals tomorrow, August 16, with the first of three semifinals taking place at 8:35 pm ET..