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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Gators past and present set to represent their respective countries in Tokyo

Five Florida track and field competitors are making Olympic appearances for their home countries

Florida's Joseph Fahnbulleh competes during the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark. / UAA Communications photo by Alex de la Osa
Florida's Joseph Fahnbulleh competes during the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark. / UAA Communications photo by Alex de la Osa

One current Gator and a handful of Gator greats punched their tickets to the Summer Olympics in their respective countries. Redshirt freshman Joseph Fahnbulleh and former Gators Eddie Lovett, Lloydricia Cameron and Yanis David are set to compete in Tokyo. 

Fahnbulleh makes his Olympic debut for Liberia, the country his parents emigrated from, in the 200-meter dash. He had an impeccable season for the Gators this year, reigning in a second-place finish at SEC Outdoors and SEC Indoors while finishing third at NCAA Indoors in the 200. Towards the end of the season, Fahnbulleh earned his first national outdoor title in the 200 with a 19.91 time. 

Lovett will make his second Olympic appearance this summer, representing the U.S. Virgin Islands in the 110-meter hurdles. In the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Lovett placed 30th in the preliminary with a 13.77 time. 

Lovett had a stellar freshman season at UF in 2011. He was the SEC Indoor champion in the 60-meter hurdles after a 7.73-second sprint. His regional performance awarded him the SEC Men’s Indoor Freshman Track and Field Runner of the Year honor. He continued the year with two more podium finishes at SEC Outdoors: gold in the 4x100 relay and silver in the 110-meter hurdles. 

In total, Lovett is a four-time SEC indoor champion in the 60-meter hurdles, four-time SEC Outdoor title holder in the 110-meter hurdles, two-time national indoor title holder and placed second at NCAA Division I National Championships in 2013. He also holds the second-best and third-best time in school history in the 60-meter and 110-meter hurdles, respectively. 

Cameron will compete for Jamaica in the shot put. The former Gator won the shot put title at SEC Indoors and the Jamaican Senior Championships in 2018 and finished runner-up at SEC Outdoors in the discus throw that same year. 

Cameron’s name is littered over UF record books. She holds the third-best discus throw and the fourth-best mark in the indoor and outdoor shot put on UF’s Women’s All-Time Top 10 lists. 

David joins Team France in the long and triple jumps. Her collegiate career was one for the ages and featured two NCAA championships and four SEC championships. Internationally, she is a two-time gold medalist at the 2016 CARIFTA Games U20 Division, and her gold rush continued in the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships, 2017 European U23 Championships and 2018 Mediterranean Championships. 

David racked up the hardware in her final season at UF in 2019. She was a Bowerman finalist, the Honda Sport Award winner for track and field and was named the regional and national Indoor and Outdoor Women’s Field Athlete of the Year. She holds the school record in the indoor and outdoor triple jump as well as the outdoor long jump, and the fourth-best mark in the indoor long jump. 

Gregson, who competed at UF under the last name LaCaze, represents Australia in the 3,000-meter steeplechase for her third Olympics. She finished ninth in her second Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. 

As a freshman in 2009, Gregson won the steeplechase at SEC Outdoors in just her second time competing in the event. She also held the top steeplechase mark in the SEC during her freshman season. 

Fast forward to her senior year, Gregson was the 2012 NCAA runner-up and broke the school record four separate times in the 3,000 steeplechase that year alone. She was named SEC Co-Runner of the Year. Gregson holds the top time in school history in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, which she earned in the 2012 Olympic Games, her first Olympic competition. 

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The Summer Olympics are scheduled to open July 23. 

Contact Kaitlyn Wadulack at Follow her on Twitter @kwadulack.

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