Aug. 5, 2012
• Results | 400 Hurdles Replay
MADISON, Wis. -- After watching her competition fall to the track, Egle Staisiunaite saw her own chances for another run at the Olympic Games fall agonizingly short, as well.
The University of Wisconsin alumna ran to a fifth-place finish Sunday in the opening heat of the 400-meter hurdles in London, a section that saw two competitors stumble and fall.
Staisiunaite clocked in at 57.79 seconds for her lap of the Olympic Stadium oval, but that time left her just shy of a top-four finish that would have assured her a spot in the semifinal round.
Instead, she was left to watch the remaining four qualifying sections -- and the clock -- to see if she would be among the four athletes that would qualify for the semifinals on time.
Staisiunaite’s time was soon overtaken by runners in the subsequent heats, ending her first Olympics experience.
“I was very nervous," she told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I was not feeling very great. Maybe it was nerves, not having the experience."
The unforgettable experience of competing at the Olympics has Staisiunaite eager to continue working on the track, however.
"I want to keep training, so we'll see what happens," she said.
Her post-collegiate training peaked in late June, when she ran a personal-best time of 56.58 at the 2012 European Championships in Helsinki. That performance gave Staisiunaite the Olympic qualifying standard needed to compete for her native Lithuania in London.
It was a fantastic improvement for Staisiunaite, who concluded her Badgers career in 2011 with what was then a personal-best run of 58.37 at the NCAA outdoor championships.
That performance ranks No. 2 all-time for UW, while Staisiunaite holds the Badgers’ school record in the 100 hurdles at 13.45.