Javier Culson is revving his engines for the 2016 Olympic Games…
The 31-year-old Puerto Rican athlete and Olympic bronze medalist came in first in the 400-meter hurdles at the IAAF Diamond League event on Thursday in Stockholm, Sweden.
Culson, who ran for the fifth lane, finished ahead of Kerron Clement of the U.S. with a time of 49.43.
With the victory, Culson earns 16 points in the Diamond League standings and ascends to second place.
Culson previously recorded a 48.99 second time at the Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway, one of the stops of the Diamond League, held on June 9. The time represents his best performance so far this year.
Culson competed at the 2012 Olympics in London winning the bronze medal in the 400-meter hurdles race, giving Puerto Rico its first-ever non-boxing Olympic medal.
The Puerto Rico Olympic Committee has it’s the first female president… Her name: Sara Rosario Velez.
Rosario Velez will replace former fencing star David Bernier, who stepped down three weeks ago after being appointed secretary of state in the administration of Governor-elect Alejandro Garcia Padilla.
“I’m pleased and very happy to be chosen as the first woman president of the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee. All my life I’ve worked for the Olympics,” said Rosario Velez in a statement. “Being president of the Olympic Committee was never a goal of mine, but the chance came along and I took it.”
Rosario Velez said the 42 sports federations under Copur and their directors will have to work with her “as a team” and not as “separate federations” with a view to the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico.
She also said that while wrestler Jaime Espinal and 400-meter hurdler Javier Culson won silver and bronze medals, respectively, at the 2012 London Games, the goal of Copur will be to bring home the first gold medal for the U.S. commonwealth.
“The bronze and silver medals are great, and we’re looking for more athletes like Javier Culson and Jaime Espinal. We’re going to Rio (de Janeiro) 2016 to get that gold medal everyone dreams of,” she said.
Rosario Velez will officially assume her new post on December 13 at Casa Olimpica in Old San Juan.
Despite a disappointing performance, Javier Culson should still receive a hero’s welcome when he returns home after the 2012 Olympic Games.
The 28-year-old Puerto Rican track star, the pre-Olympics favorite to take home the gold in the 400m hurdles at the London Games, had to settle for bronze following Félix Sánchez’s surprising victory in the final to claim his second Olympic gold in that event.
“I’m not pleased with it at all,” said Culson, the world No. 1 all year who hadn’t lost outdoors this summer before these Olympics. “I lost my rhythm towards the end of the race and I couldn’t get it back. I send my apologies to the people back home, but at least I made it to the final.”
But Culson can take solace in knowing he claimed Puerto Rico’s first Olympic medal in 16 years. And his bronze is the first Olympic medal Puerto Rico has ever won outside of the boxing ring.