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Local Olympic Spotlight: Brooklyn’s Natasha Hastings Looks to Add to Medal Count

Natasha Hastings, third from left. (Getty Images)

Natasha Hastings, third from left. (Getty Images)


Looking to add to her medal collection already, Brooklyn native Natasha Hastings is hoping to make the most out of her trip to the Rio Olympics.

Hastings secured her first trip to the Olympics since making it to Beijing in 2008 when she finished in third place in the 400m at the U.S. Olympic Trials. The finish will qualify her for both the individual race, as well as the 4X4, the same race in which she won the gold medal back in Beijing.

Hastings disappointingly failed to make the team in 2012 in the same event, but is looking for a second chance to add to her medal collection here, as well having her first ever shot in the individual event. Her times this year haven’t been all that dominant, but she has remained near the top of her sport, similar to what she has done throughout her career. The biggest thing that has blocked her ability to break out on the international stage has been her fellow Americans, who have dominated in the 400m races.

While the American women haven’t had the enormous success that their male counterparts have experienced in the race, there are some strong women coming on lately, headlined by Allyson Felix, Courtney Okolo and Quanera Hayes. Behind those teammates, Hastings only has the seventh best time posted this year, but that time is nearly a half second behind her career best, which she posted in 2007. She actually finished in front of Okolo and Hayes in the Trials, meaning some of her top competitors are out of the Olympics.

That means that in Rio, Hastings has a very good chance to get a medal in the individual running of the 400m, and not just the assumed gold that the U.S. should win in the relay. While she set her personal best in 2007, if she comes close to it again in the Olympics, she may have a chance to medal. At the very least she should compete in the finals, and finish very close to teammates Felix and Phyllis Francis.

Hastings is of Trinidadian and Jamaican descent and is currently being sponsored by Under Armour. She hasn’t set her sights on 2020 yet, and doesn’t expect to have a chance to medal in that Olympics, as she has just turned 30 years old. She has a degree in exercise science from the University of South Carolina which she graduated from in 2008. She wanted to be a chiropractor before becoming a professional runner, but now wants to open up her own business when her career is finished.



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Dan is a Staff Writer here at with a focus on Team USA and the Rio Olympics
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