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What to know about Olympic track and field star Christina Clemons

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The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is around the corner, and various athletes are clinching their spot for multiple competitions later this summer. One Maryland track and field athlete that has booked their flight is Christina Clemons. The Waldorf, MD native is heading to her first-ever Olympics as part of Team USA following a third-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 12.53 seconds at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Now that Clemons is heading to Tokyo, many will want to know more about the 31-year-old, who recently went viral during these trial runs for a particular set of earrings.  Here are five things to know about Maryland's latest Olympian: 

The Doritos Earrings Origin Story

Doritos could be Clemons' next sponsor as she gained national attention for the Cool Ranch bag earrings she wore during the trial race to qualify for the Olympics. However, this accessory didn't come with the track and field star to Eugene, OR. 

Clemons told Yahoo! Sports she was at the mall on the eve of her race, where she went into a Hot Topic and grabbed a race day accessory, which was the Dorito earrings. 

Setting Track and Field Records at Ohio State

Clemons went to Ohio State, where she was a track and field star. She established school records in the 60-meter dash (7.23), 60-meter hurdles (7.91), 100-meter hurdles (12.68), and 4x100-meter relay (43.70). 

 

The former Ohio State track and field runner didn't only set records during her collegiate career; she added some hardware too. During her time at the university, Clemons became a two-time NCAA champion, 10-time Big Ten champion, and 11-time All-American.

Chasing the Olympic Dream

For the last eight years, Clemons has been pursuing a spot on Team USA's track and field team but has dealt with various obstacles in her professional career. In her first year, she ruptured her Achilles, requiring a long recovery process. After recovering, Clemons had unsuccessful tries to make the Olympic team, so she was emotional when speaking to NBC. 

An Olympian Marriage

Clemons isn't the only Olympian in her household, as her husband, Kyle Clemons, won a gold medal in the 4x400 meter relay during the 2016 Olympics.

Unique Training Style

Qualifying for the Olympics wasn't easy, as Clemons doesn't have a team to help her train. Also, her coach, Garfield Ellenwood, the head coach at Alabama State, lives hundreds of miles away, and so the training has become a long-distance relationship

For the moment, Clemons has only qualified for the 100-meter hurdles competition, scheduled to begin on July 31 with the qualifying round, followed by the semifinals on Aug. 1 and the final on Aug. 2.