Team Lithuania at Rio Olympics: Track and Field
The Lithuanian team will include 68 athletes who will fight for a medal in the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After meeting the marathon runners and race walkers, we'd like to introduce you to Lithuania's athletes who will compete in the Olympic track and field events.
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Lithuania has a great history in this event with two-time Olympic champion, one-time Olympic bronze medal winner, two-time world champion and two-time world championship silver medalist Virgilijus Alekna. In the upcoming Olympics, however, a new generation will represent team Lithuania.
In the men's event, Lithuania will be represented by Andrius Gudžius. The 25-year-old Lithuanian's best result is 65.51 during a tournament in the Lithuanian city of Šiauliai. During the world championships in 2015 in Beijing, China, Gudžius finished 14th after throwing the discus 62.22 meters.
The 31-year-old Zinaida Sendriūtė will represent Lithuania in the women’s event. During the world championships in 2015, Sendriūtė finished in 13th place with 60.33 meters, while her personal best result was during a tournament in Kaunas in 2013, where she threw the discus 65.97 meters. Sendriūtė’s best result during the 2016 season was also during a tournament in Kaunas, where she threw the discus 58.58 meters.
Lithuania has only one athlete in this track event. The 27-year-old Eglė Balčiūnaitė claimed her personal best in 2010 during a tournament in Monaco, France. There, Balčiūnaitė stopped the clock at 1:59:29 minutes and took seventh place. This year, her season-best result was much slower. At a tournament in Genève, Switzerland, she finished seventh with a 2:07:71 minute result.
Another Lithuanian taking to the race track in the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro is 27-year-old Eglė Staišiūnaitė. The Lithuanian athlete, ranked 52nd in the world in the 400-meter hurdle event, claimed her personal best during the world championships in Beijing. There, Staišiūnaitė took fourth place in the qualification round after crossing the finish line with a time of 56.17. During the semifinals, Staišiūnaitė failed to repeat her performance and failed to qualify for the finals with a time of 56.48 seconds that gave her the eighth place in the heat. She has not yet competed in the 2016 season.
Lithuania will send only one athlete to this event. Airinė Palšytė will try to repeat her performance from the summer 2015 Universiade, where the 23-year-old Lithuanian won the gold after she managed to pass the 1.84-meter mark. Her personal best result was at a tournament in Kaunas during the 2014 season where she jumped to 1.98 meters. Palšytė, who ranked ninth in the world, jumped to a height of 1.90 meters during the Mersin ECCC tournament in Turkey in 2016. During the world championships in 2015 in Beijing, China, Palšytė took 14th place after passing the 1.89 meter mark.