EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) – Former UTEP sprinter Sean Bailey is the latest athlete with Miner ties to punch his ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and Bailey will compete in two events at the Games.
Bailey was initially only selected as a member of Jamaica’s 4×400 meter relay team earlier this week. However, on Thursday night, the Jamaican Athletics Administrative Association updated its team list, and placed Bailey as one of its three participants in the open 400 meters at the Games.
It’s a tremendous and deserved honor for the young Jamaican. Bailey took first place in the 400m at the Jamaican Olympic Trials last weekend with a time of 45.04 seconds. Initially, it appeared there could be heartbreak for Bailey, because although he bested everyone in his home nation in the event at the Trials, his time did not meet the Olympic standard for the 400m (44.90).
However, Bailey’s strong performance at the Jamaican Trials helped him make a huge jump in the final IAAF world rankings before the Olympics – Bailey is now ranked 56th in the world with 1,187 points. That mark was good enough to get him in the door to Tokyo in the open 400 meters based on world rankings.
Bailey will now have the chance to run in two events in Tokyo: the open 400m and the 4×400 relay, a massive coup for the recent UTEP graduate.
According to the IAAF’s world rankings, Jamaica’s 4×400 team is ranked second in the world behind only the United States as they head to Tokyo. Given that ranking, it stands to reason that as a member of the relay team, Bailey could leave the Olympics with a medal.
Bailey comes from a tremendous track and field family. His sister, Veronica Campbell Brown, is an eight-time Olympic medalist, and won three gold medals in her illustrious sprinting career.
Bailey completed an illustrious UTEP career last month, when he was named a 1st-team All-American in the 400m at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. Bailey was slated to run in the finals at Hayward Field, but pulled up with an injury out of the blocks. It didn’t stop him from putting together a personal best time at the Jamaican trials, however.
In addition to being named a 1st-team All-American, Bailey won the Conference USA title in three different events in 2021: the 400m; the 4×400; and the 4×100. He also took home a bronze in the 200 meters with a personal best time of 20.92 seconds.
A native of Spanish Town, Jamaica, who won five junior college national titles at Western Texas College, Bailey is the latest athlete with Borderland ties to punch a ticket to the Olympics.
The Jamaican will join four fellow former UTEP sprinters in Tokyo: Blessing Okagbare (Nigeria, 100m, 200m, 4×100); Tobi Amusan (Nigeria, 100m hurdles); Emmanuel Korir (Kenya, 400m, 800m); and Michael Saruni (Kenya, 800m).
New Mexico State will also be represented at the 2020 Games. Former golfer Alena Sharp will golf for Team Canada, and incoming freshman swimmer Lina Khiyara will compete for Morocco in the 200 meter freestyle.
Aggies volunteer assistant track and field coach Rachel Dincoff has also qualified in the discus and will represent the United States in that event in Tokyo, after a third-place finish at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Boxer Victor Aranda is an alternate for Team USA; Juarez native Santiago Munoz is expected to play for the Mexican National Soccer Team in Tokyo.
Former Coronado High School basketball star Daniel Amigo is currently trying to qualify with Team Mexico, who are playing a hardwood Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Croatia this weekend.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be held July 23-Aug. 8, and can be seen on KTSM.