Matt Hemingway Wins Olympic Silver Medal
BY ANDRES FOCIL
ATHENS, Greece – Former Razorback Matt Hemingway fulfilled a life-long dream on Sunday night at the 2004 Olympic Games when he captured the silver medal in the high jump for the United States. It was Hemingway’s first Olympics and he became only the fourth Arkansas athlete in the history of the program to win gold, silver or bronze at an Olympic Game.
He joins an elite group of UA athletes that include Mike Conley (triple jump, gold and silver), Calvin Davis (400-meter hurdles, bronze) and Clyde Scott (110-meter hurdles, silver). Hemingway is the first American to medal in the high jump since Charles Allen Austin took home the gold in 1996 at Atlanta.
Hemingway was near perfect in the competition as he set two new season best marks. It wasn’t until the fifth height that he missed the bar. He easily cleared the first and second heights of 7-2.50 and 7-4.25. He decided to pass at 7-6.00 and save his energy for 7-7.25. Hemingway was the first athlete to clear the height and in the process set a new season-best mark. Riding a wave of confidence he conquered 7-8.00 on his first attempt to maintain his first-place standing. The bar was then raised to 7-8.75, but he suffered his first miss after being a flawless five for five for the evening.
The world’ top jumper, Stefan Holm of Sweden, was next on the rotation and he was successful in clearing 7-8.75 on his first attempt, moving him into gold medal contention. On Hemingway’s next two attempts he was unable to make the height and was awarded the silver medal based on his misses.
No former Razorbacks are competing on Monday, but Hemingway will be given his medal in a ceremony at the Olympic Stadium at 7:11 p.m. (Athens time). On Aug. 24 Daniel Lincoln will look for a medal of his own as he represents the U.S. in the finals of the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 9:40 p.m.
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