Going for gold: UH athletes competing in Tokyo Olympics
After an extra year of waiting, the Tokyo Olympics have finally arrived and Houston track and field fans will see a few familiar faces running on the world’s biggest stage in Tokyo.
Here’s a look at each UH Olympian competing this year:
Shaun Maswanganyi (South Africa)
The 20-year old freshman quickly made his name known to both UH and national track fans with his breakout season in his first year sporting the red and white.
Maswanganyi dominated the American Athletic Conference outdoor season, blowing by all the competition and setting records on his way to being named the AAC Freshman of the Year. On top of that, Maswanganyi ran some of the NCAA’s fastest times on the year in the 100- and 200-meters and ended up finishing second and third at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the two races, respectively.
Maswanganyi will compete in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and 4×100-meter relay for his home country of South Africa in Toyko.
Mario Burke (Barbados)
Burke was a UH track star from 2016-19, helping the Cougars to the 2017 NCAA outdoor title in the 4×100- meter relay while also winning multiple Barbados national championships in the 100-meter dash.
Burke was one of the many pioneers that helped lay the foundation for the UH men’s track and field team that has now won five consecutive AAC titles.
Burke will represent Barbados in the 100- and 200-meter dashes in Toyko.
Brianne Bethel (Bahamas)
The 23-year old sprinter did everything for the UH women’s track and field team, dominating her way to AAC’s outdoor titles in the 200-meter, 400-meter and 4×100-meter relay.
Throughout the season Bethel not only put her name into the UH record books for some of her times but also ran some of the NCAA’s fastest times of the season.
In Toyko, Bethel will run in the 200-meter and 4×400-meter relay for the Bahamas.
Tristan Evelyn (Barbados)
Rounding out the Cougars competing in the Tokyo Olympics is 23-year old sprinter Tristan Evelyn.
Evelyn put together a strong season, winning the AAC outdoor 100-meter championship by posting the second-fastest time in program history.
Evelyn will join her fellow Cougar and Barbadian Burke by representing her country in the 100-meter in Toyko.