by Scott Kindberg
Battle Comes Up Short In Olympic Games Bid
EUGENE, Ore. - Sheldon Battle’s bid for a trip to Bejing next month for thwe Summer Olympic Games came to an end Friday night.
The Jamestown native finished ninth in his flight in the men’s shot put and 19th overall during the preliminary round at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials at Hayward Field. Only the top 12 in the 25-man field advanced to Saturday’s final.
“I’m disappointed that I didn’t do better,” Battle said Saturday via cell phone, “but at the same time I have much more to accomplish. It’s been a good experience and I feel there’s better things to come in my future.
Battle fouled on his first attempt, recorded a throw of 61 feet, 4 ½ inches with his second attempt and fouled on his last effort. Adam Nelson had the best throw in the be on stage with preliminary with a toss of 69 feet.
“I thought he had a shot to get into the finals and throw today,” said Reinhardt, the Chautauqua Striders program director and Battle’s close friend. “It wasn’t his day, but he’s going to have better days ahead.”
Battle indicated that he’ll be taking a couple of weeks off and then he’ll sit down with his coach, Doug Reynolds, to develop a game plan as he looks to 2012.
“It was great to see a kid from Jamestown and in your program be on stage at the Olympic Trials with the best athletes in the world,” Reinhardt said. “Just being here at this event is amazing. Everywhere you look – on T-shirts, on billboards and on buses that go by – it says, ‘toughest team to make’- and that’s the slogan out here.”
Battle will return to Kentucky on Wednesday and then visit Jamestown in mid-July for a couple of days.
“I’d like to thank everybody who supported me,” he said. “They were so important through this whole process, not just monetarily, but by their inspiration. The community support was great, and I appreciate that as well.”