USM’s Bowie starts run at Olympic Gold Friday morning; Reese’s historic road begins next week

Former Southern Miss track standout Tori Bowie begins her quest for an Olympic gold medal at 9:55 a.m. Friday morning in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Bowie will participate in qualifying for the women’s 100-meter run. The heat will later take place at 8:40 p.m. Friday night. The semifinals will be held between 7 p.m. and 7:14 p.m. Saturday, with the finals at 8:35 p.m.

Several track observers predict the women’s 100-meter run will be an exciting, down-to-the-wire finish.

“I think this Olympics will be one of the greatest, we will make history,” Bowie told Reuters.

Once the 100-meter race is completed, Bowie won’t have much time to rest.

The Sand Hill native is also competing in the women’s 200-meter race.

Heats for the 200-meter finals start at 7:35 a.m. Monday. The 200 meter semifinals will be held between 8 p.m. and 8:16 p.m. Tuesday. The finals will be held at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The AP predicts Bowie will win a silver medal in the 200-meter run.

Bowie will also compete in the women’s 4 x 100 meter relays, which the U.S. is strongly favored. The Women’s 4x100m relay will begin heats at 9:20 a.m. Aug. 18, with the finals at 8:15 p.m. on Aug. 19.

Meanwhile, Gulfport’s Brittney Reese will defend her gold medal in the long jump next week.

Women’s long jump qualifying will take place at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, with the finals at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday.

The former Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College standout is going for Olympic history. If successful, Reese would become the first woman to win consecutive long jump gold medals.

Heike Drechsler of Germany is the only woman to capture two gold medals in long jump, winning in 1992 and 2000.

The AP predicts Reese will make history and win a second straight Gold medal.

Reese, who won her first gold medal at the London Games in 2012, doesn’t feel any pressure to repeat.

“I know what I am capable of,” Reese said Wednesday at the press conference. “I know if go out there and do what I am supposed to do, everything else will just fall into place.”

James Jones: 228-896-2320, @_jkjones

South Mississippi in the Summer Olympics

Tori Bowie

100 meter dash: Qualifying, 9:55 a.m., Friday; Heat, Friday, 8:40 p.m., semifinals will be held between 7 p.m. and 7:14 p.m. Saturday, Finals at 8:35 p.m.

200 meter dash: Heat, Monday: 7:35 a.m. Semifinals, Tuesday: between 8 p.m. and 8:16 p.m. Finals, Wednesday: 8:30 p.m.

4x100 meter relays: Heat, Aug. 18: 9:20 a.m. Finals: Aug. 19: 8:15 p.m.

Brittney Reese

Long Jump: Qualifying, Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. Finals, Wednesday, 7:15 p.m.

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