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Newman’s 4th Place Finish in 200m Final is Just One More Progression

In the sport of Track & Field, inches matter, seconds matter, and sometimes, when the competitors are particularly exceptional, hundredths of seconds matter. In the Men’s 200m final, Calesio Newman was painfully reminded of that fact.

Earning a fourth place finish, Newman ran the 200m in 20.17 seconds, while the athlete who took third place and will join Team USA at the London Games, ran 20.16 seconds—one hundredth of a second faster than Newman. When asked if the difference of one hundredth of a second made his fourth place finish worse, Newman said, “That much worse. That much worse.”

A lifelong sprinter, Newman’s performance in the 200m has steadily improved. In 2008, Newman’s best time was 20.79; in 2010 it was 20.77; in 2011 it was 20.53; and at Hayward Field on the last day of competition, his time was 20.28. Newman was asked how he got better and he said: “I train hard. And all those times when I’m sitting in the stands without making the finals, I just go back and train harder. I’m definitely in shape, I feel ready to go. The sky’s the limit.”

Not only is Newman’s progression worthy of praise, but the fact that he missed qualifying for the USA Olympic Team by one hundredth of a second is even more impressive because he competed in these Games as an unattached athlete with no sponsorships. “Yeah, I have a day job. I work as an assistant coach at North Carolina- A&T, so that helps out big time.” Newman also had to do “A lot of fundraising and praying. And a lot of saving.”

His road to the Trials hasn’t been easy, and he’s faced some challenges along the way. “I was told that I would never amount to anything in track and field, but look where I am right now.”

Newman plans to travel to Europe for further competition this year.

Contributed by Amber James

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