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Nery Brenes sets national record, wins first round heat in Olympic 200m dash

August 16, 2016

Costa Rica’s Olympic highlight finally came in Rio, better late than never.

Sprinter Nery Brenes ran a time of 20.20 seconds in the first round of the 200-meter dash Tuesday to win his heat and set the all-time Costa Rican record. Brenes now classifies for the semifinals, where he could find himself up against the sport’s greatest figure, Usain Bolt.

The 29-year-old Olympic veteran Brenes was on a rampant pace coming into these Summer Games, and earlier qualified for the semifinals of his preferred race, the 400-meter dash. However, Brenes came in sixth place in his semifinal heat and failed to qualify for the final.

Brenes’ qualifying time Tuesday in the 200-meter was actually .08 seconds faster than Bolt, who just won gold in the 100-meter dash for the third consecutive time in the Olympics, although the Jamaican star seemed to bring himself to a jog well before the finish line.

Brenes, who’s from Limón, had the eighth fastest time of any runner in the 200-meter in Tuesday’s qualifying heats.

Up against the world’s best sprinters in the semifinals, Brenes will need to shave about .20 seconds from his Tuesday time to have a shot at qualifying for the 200-meter finals.

The first of the three semifinal heats begins Wednesday at 7 p.m. Costa Rica time.

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