Taylor's Olympic reign ends - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Taylor's Olympic reign ends

August 24, 2004

Athens, Greece- Albany native Angelo Taylor, the defending Olympic champion in the men's 400 meter hurdles, was matched up with the man many believe will win the gold in the 2004 Athens games in one of three semifinals on Tuesday.

Gold medal favorite Felix Sanchez remains the man to beat in Thursday's final after he won the first semifinal heat with a time of 47.93. The only runner in any heat to break the 48 second barrier.

Angelo Taylor meanwhile finished fourth in that semifinal heat with Sanchez and his time of 48.72 was not fast enough to earn him one of eight spots in the finals.

After the race, Angelo Taylor spoke with his uncle Umar Abd'al Aquil here in Albany and told Aquil that he was so focused on beating Sanchez that he did not properly jump over a hurdle and lost his balance was never able to recover.

Aquil says everyone in the Taylor family is naturally disappointed that Angelo will not be running in the finals but he still remains an Olympic champion.

Umar Abd'al Aquil said "Anytime you can make the Olympic team and represent your country, it is always the greatest reward but there are no losers in the Olympic competition. Some are rewarded with medals and some are not."

Angelo Taylor's USA teammates James Carter and Bennie Brazell had the fourth and fifth fastest times in Tuesday's semifinals and will both run for the gold on Thursday.

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