Ohio State Olympians reflect on record-breaking 26 Buckeyes headed to Tokyo


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Three Ohio State Olympians fielded questions Friday and were most notably asked about being part of a record-breaking 26 Buckeyes who qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Ohio State sprinters Anavia Battle and Eric Harrison Jr., along with OSU pistol shooter Henry Leverett, will be a part of that field with 12 countries represented overall by Buckeyes past, present and future.

Battle, who will represent the USA in the 200-meter hurdles, said Ohio State’s presence at the Olympics shows how much the university is invested in all of its athletic programs.

“OSU athletically is doing their thing,” Battle said with a laugh. “People don’t really look into our track [and field] program and seeing that we have . . . five athletes going I think that’s pretty amazing. You know it shines some light over here.”

This past year and a half has been a tremendous challenge for Olympic athletes who continued to train despite not knowing whether the Tokyo games would ever happen.

Harrison, who will represent Trinidad and Tobago in the Olympic Games, said he came through the pandemic more prepared than ever to compete on the world’s biggest stage.

“I think it gave everybody a chance to rest and let the world breathe really,” Harrison said. “It helped me realize who I am outside of being an athlete, take some time with my personal life and just relax.”

Battle and Harrison both held a training session in front of the media with the opening ceremony of the Olympics exactly two weeks away. The Tokyo Games will be televised on NBC.

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