Fleet-footed Hawk on international track & field stage
PRINCESS ANNE, MD - (Aug. 12, 2013) - Lenorá Guion-Firmin, UMES' All-American track star, is in Russia this week preparing to compete in the 14th International Association of Athletic Federation (IAAF) World Championships.
Guion-Firmin, a dean's list student scheduled to graduate this December, is coming off of gold, silver and bronze showings at the European Athletics Under 23 Championships held last month in Tampere, Finland.
The sprinter took a gold medal in the women’s 400-meter race, fell just short in the 200-meters to take silver, and her relay team took bronze in the 4 x 400 meter relay.
Her performance in Finland generated buzz among international sports journalists who closely follow the summer track and field season in Europe.
She is scheduled to run in the 200 meter and 4 x 400 meter relay in Moscow, one of just 20 French women participating in the event.
Guion-Firmin, who is from Martinque, a French overseas territory in the Caribbean, was an alternate on the French Olympic team in London last year. She is the second woman from UMES to participate in an Olympics. The other is Dawnette Douglas (1992).
The IAAF Championship runs from Aug. 10 through Aug. 18. The French women’s 4x400 team is set to compete in heats beginning on Aug. 17 while Guion-Firmin will run the 200 meters on day six, Aug.15. The finals of that event will be the following day.
The IAAF World Championships is a biennial event held in the opposite years of the Olympics. It has a history of attracting world renowned track and field stars, including Michael Johnson, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt, currently "the world's fastest man."
Guion-Firmin is the most decorated woman track and field athlete in UMES history, holding school records in the 200 and 400 meter outdoor events. She is a three-time All-America selection.
"She is the best (female) athlete to ever run at this school," head coach Ernest Barrett said. "I am proud of her and knew she was capable of great things; I think she is just starting to taste the success she will have internationally."
-- Stan Bradley, UMES sports information director