For a brief moment, Bruno Hortelano-Roig ’14 was faster than the fastest man in the world.
Hortelano-Roig won his heat in the 200-meter dash at the 2016 Rio Olympics with a personal best time of 20.12 seconds. This time was fast enough for him to place second overall in the 10 total heats, and .16 faster than seven-time gold medalist Usain Bolt, the two-time defending Olympic gold medalist in the event.
Though he qualified for both the 100-meter and 200-meter races, Hortelano-Roig opted to focus on just the 200-meter race in Rio.
Every runner in the heat finished within one second of each other, but Hortelano-Roig was able to utilize a late burst of speed to overcome the field.
He beat out the 2012 Olympic silver medalist, Jamaica’s Yohan Blake, by one one-hundredth of a second, although both automatically qualify for the semifinals tomorrow night.
Taking third in Hortelano-Roig’s heat was Team USA’s Ameer Webb, who won the 200-meter dash for Texas A&M at both the indoor and outdoor 2013 NCAA Division I Championships.
Hortelano-Roig will compete in the third semifinal Wednesday night, which includes Blake once again, along with a five-time Olympic medalist in Team USA’s Justin Gatlin.
Fellow Cornell track and field alumnus Muhammad Halim ’08 did not find the same success in his respective event. On Monday, Halim faulted three times in the triple jump and failed to qualify for the next round.