Brunswick High School graduate Luke Campbell qualified for the semifinals in the 400-meter hurdles Friday at the Tokyo Olympics.
Competing for his mother’s home country of Germany, Campbell made the final turn of his first-round heat in second place to world-record holder Karsten Warholm of Norway before falling back to fourth place, which was good enough to qualify for Sunday’s semifinals.
Campbell’s time was 49.19 seconds, which was just off his personal-best time of 49.14. Warholm cruised to victory in the heat in 48.65.
Campbell came into the Olympics as the eighth-ranked 400 hurdler in Europe, according to worldathletics.com.
Campbell will run in the second heat of Sunday’s semifinals, which is set to begin at 9:15 p.m. (8:15 a.m. EDT).
He will need to post one of the top eight times in the semifinals to reach Monday’s final at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium.
Campbell, who won a state title at Brunswick High and 11 national titles for Division III Salisbury University in hurdle events, started strong in his first Olympic heat.
He moved to the front of the pack right around the 200-meter mark and positioned himself a few paces behind Warholm heading around the final turn.
But he began to fade down the stretch and was passed by Ireland’s Thomas Barr (49.02) and Italy’s Alessandro Sibilio (49.11), who finished second and third respectively in the heat.
Campbell’s time was the 15th fastest overall in the five first-round heats.