Charlotte’s Anna Cockrell ran for an Olympic medal Tuesday night. Here’s how she did

·3 min read

Charlotte’s Anna Cockrell was part of one of the Olympic’s most anticipated races Tuesday night.

Cockrell appeared to finish the women’s 400-meter hurdles in seventh place but was disqualified for stepping on a line on Wednesday morning in Toyko when Team USA’s Sydney McLaughlin set a new world record.

Athletes are required to stay in their lanes during the race. NBC confirmed the lane violation on air after the race had concluded.

McLaughlin ran a time of 51.46 seconds to break the world mark she set at the U.S. Olympic Trials. That allowed the 21-year-old to beat Team USA teammate Dalilah Muhamamad, 31, the defending Olympic champion. Muhammad finished in 51.58, a personal best.

That duo has broken the world record four times in two years.

It was still a memorable Olympics for Cockrell.

Cockrell was born in California but attended Providence Day School in southeast Charlotte. She became a 12-time N.C. Independent Schools state champion before accepting a scholarship at Southern California.

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In June, at the 2021 NCAA Track & Field Championships, Cockrell won the 100- and 400-meter hurdles, becoming the second person ever to pull off that double in the same meet.

A few weeks later, Cockrell, 23, qualified for the Olympics, running the best race of her life in the U.S. Track & Field Trials. After running a personal best time of 53.70 seconds, she gave an emotional post-race speech.

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“I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m really emotional. I just worked really hard for this. In 2019, I was super depressed. I didn’t want to be here anymore, so to be standing here today as an Olympian is more than I can take.”

In Tokyo, Cockrell continued to run well, qualifying for the final with a memorable semifinal this week, where she finished in a time of 54.17 seconds. Cockrell ran in a downpour, and half a world away, her brother, Ross, watched with some of his world champion teammates from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Ross Cockrell watched his sister rally in the final 50 meters to finish third and get the final automatic qualifying spot for Wednesday’s Olympic final.

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Inspired by his sister, Ross Cockrell had three interceptions in the Bucs’ practice immediately after her race.

“Being able to watch my sister run with this team, this family, it was just amazing,” Ross Cockrell told ESPN. “It was the biggest race of her life and to see her go out there and perform as well as she did, in adverse weather, in adverse situations, and then go out to practice and be able to do my thing, I was just feeling the magic she had.”

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