Temple student Ajee’ Wilson failed to qualify for the women’s 800-meter Olympic finals after finishing third in her semifinal heat on Thursday night in Rio de Janeiro.
In order to advance to Saturday’s finals, the 22-year-old runner needed to finish among the top two runners in her heat or have one of the two fastest times among the non-automatic qualifiers.
Kenya’s Margaret Nyairera Wambui (1:59.21) and Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba (1:59.59) finished ahead of Wilson (1:59.75) in Thursday’s first heat to take the top two qualifying spots.
Wilson’s time was her slowest in almost a year. She qualified for the Olympics by running a 1:59.51 in a second place finish at the United States trials.
The senior kinesiology major came into the Olympics with a personal record time of 1:57.67 in the outdoor 800. She was the silver medalist at the World Indoor championships in March.
Wilson advanced to the semifinals after finishing second in her heat with a 1:59.44 in Wednesday’s preliminary round.
Kate Grace, the only other American running in the 800, qualified for the finals with a time of 1:58.79 in the third semifinal heat.
Wilson’s heat was the slowest of the three semifinals, which kept her from claiming one of the last two qualifying spots.
Poland’s Joanna Jozwik won the second heat with a time of 1:58.83. The third heat had the three fastest times. South Africa’s Caster Semenya finished the two-lap race in 1:58.15, followed by Great Britain’s Lynsey Sharp (1:58.45) and Grace.