RIO DE JANEIRO — Kenyan sprinter Carvin Nkanata's biggest race this week was the 12-hour dash from Florida to the Olympic Stadium in Rio to make the starting blocks for the 200-meter heats.
He did okay in that first race. In the one on the track? Not so great. He came last.
He said it was still worth it.
Initially ruled ineligible to compete for Kenya, Nkanata put in an appeal then, without knowing the result of that appeal, took a chance.
Nkanata, 25, who trains in Bradenton, booked his own flights Monday afternoon, made the overnight journey from Tampa to Miami to Rio, and arrived at the Olympic Stadium straight from the airport the next morning. He got to Brazil just three hours before lining up for his race.
That run lasted 21.43 seconds. He missed qualifying for today's semifinals by a bit more than a second.
"It's a dream. This opportunity don't come around every year," Nkanata said soon after racing. "…I put in a lot of man hours, sweat, injuries to get here. So, I was like, I got to get here. I can't give up."
Nkanata was born in the United States but is of Kenyan nationality and heritage.
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