TOKYO (WFXR) — They may not have medaled in Tokyo, but they brought some Virginia Tech flavor to the international stage.
A trio of former and future Hokies wrapped up their Olympic experiences this week at Japan National Stadium, setting an example for other VT athletes to aspire to.
Slovakia’s Marcel Lomnicky became Virginia Tech’s first-ever three-time Olympian, competing in the hammer throw. The 2015 graduate recorded a throw of 72.52 meters in his third and final attempt, finishing 12th in his qualifying group and 24th overall. His result was not enough for him to advance to the final.
Lomnicky, who finished fifth at the Rio Games in 2016, expressed disappointment and gratitude in an Instagram post shortly after the competition ended.
“This is professional sport though. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it hurts a lot!” Lomnicky said. “Thanks to all amazing people in my corner who stand behind my successes and failures. I appreciate you and love you.”
Lomnicky’s post also signaled that he may continue his pursuit for an Olympic medal in the future.
“My story does not end here,” Lomnicky wrote.
Czech Republic’s Irena Gillarova made her Olympic debut in the javelin throw. The 2017 graduate and two-time NCAA champion threw a mark of 59.16 meters to finish 11th in her qualifying group and 19th overall. The throw was a season’s best but not enough to advance to the final.
Gillavora said in an Instagram story: “It was a good fight, but should have done better. Thank you all.”
Fellow Czech athlete and incoming freshman Barbora Malikova ran in the first round heats of the women’s 400m dash. The 19-year-old ran a time of 52.83, finishing sixth in her heat and 34th overall, unable to qualify for the next round.
“I ran my best as I could, unfortunately the semifinal was far away for me,” Malikova said afterwards in an Instagram post. “But right now I can officially say I am an Olympian.”
Malikova wraps up a summer that included titles at the Czech national championships and a second-place finish at the European U23 championships.
The trio brought the total number of Hokie track and field athletes to compete at the Olympics to eight, the most of any program in school history.
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