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Courtesy: PVAM Sports Information

SWAC draws ties to 2016 Olympic Games in Rio

Courtesy: Houston Chronicle
Release: 07/31/2016
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The upcoming 2016 Olympic Games in Rio come ties surrounding the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Team USA track and field athletes are practicing at Prairie View A&M this week before leaving for Rio.

Dennis Mitchell gathered his sprint relay team around him for a few words before the first Houston-area practice of the USA Track and Field Olympic team.

Mitchell, the 1992 400-meter relay gold medalist now coaching the U.S. sprinters, went over the workout planned for the day. He spoke about the baton passes that have been an issue in the years since he was a blur. He might have even let his sprinters in on his plans for his relay lineup, admitting later that he likes to share his plans for his athletes unusually early.

With that, he called out the words they were waiting to hear. "This is where it starts!" Mitchell shouted from just off the Prairie View A&M track. "This is where it starts! Let's go to work."

With that, his charges were soon flying around the track, working on the passes of the baton. For all the work that it took to get this far, the feeling was different when Mitchell began the workout on a sweltering morning.

A pair of Jackson State standouts In Michael Tinsley and Anaso  Jobodwana are preparing for Brazil as well.  Tinsley qualified after a third-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles during the 2016 U.S. Olumpic Trials early this month.  This marks the second-straight Olympic berth for the former Tiger, as he won the silver medal in the 400-meter hurdles during the 2012 Olympic Games in London with a personal-best time of 47.91 seconds.  

Fellow Tiger alum, Jobodwana will compete in his second-straight Olympiad and will represent his home country of South Africa. In 2012 during the London Olympics, the then-sophomore posted an eighth-place result in the 200m finals, along with a time of 20.27 seconds.

Meanwhile in Houston, the 2016 USA Basketball Showcase presented by Verizon will feature the USA Basketball Men’s National Team playing the 2015 FIBA Africa zone champion Nigeria on Monday, August 1st at Toyota Center, which has been the home of the Toyota SWAC Basketball Tournament for the past three seasons.  The league office announced a three-year extension the home arena to the Houston Rockets this past spring.