Haiti’s Marlena Wesh Advances to Semi-Finals in Olympic 400m Competition

LONDON, England (defend.ht) – Marlena Wesh advanced to the second round of the women’s 400 meters competition at the 2012 Olympic Games coming in 3rd place in Friday morning’s heat.

Wesh had finished fourth with a time of 51.98 seconds but advances to third place with the disqualification of Colombian sprinter Jennifer Padilla, who was third.

With or without the qualification of Padilla, the Haitian-American sprinter from Virginia Beach would have qualified by setting the 14th fastest time.

Marlena Wesh is also competing in the Women’s 200m. Round 1 is Monday, August 6, 2:20 PM EST.

The Diaspora Factor

Miss Wesh wasn’t born in Haiti and has never been to the country, which mustered some criticism in the press because including Marlena Wesh, four of the five athletes competing for Haiti weren’t born in Haiti. But Wesh’s parents were.

With the May 2011 amendment to the Constitution of Haiti, because Wesh’s parents were born in Haiti, she is a Haitian citizen and is eligible to compete for Haiti.

The Clemson University psychology major is proud to compete for her country. She was quoted in the Associated Press saying “I still feel Haitian even if I wasn’t born there.”

Wesh’s brother Darrell could also have run for Haiti in the 2012 Olympics but chose to try to make the American team. He is a student at Virginia Tech.

Other Remaining Athletes

The first competitor, Linouse Desravine, did not make it past the first round of Women’s 52kg Judo on Sunday.

On Monday August 6, Moise Joseph will compete at 5:50AM EST in the first round of the Men’s 800m competition.

On Tuesday August 7, Samyr Laine will compete in the Men’s Triple Jump at 5:45AM EST and Jeffrey Julmis in the Men’s 110m Hurdles at 10:10AM EST.


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2 thoughts on “Haiti’s Marlena Wesh Advances to Semi-Finals in Olympic 400m Competition

  1. I wish her the best of luck. The citizenship issue really isn’t a factor, its become common for athletes born and raised in other countries to compete for other nations through parents lineage or getting citizenship to those countries by other means just to compete. It takes away from the lister of the olympics but is not rare. Problem is that usually when an athlete does that it means they were not good enough to make their nation of origin olympic team.

  2. I wish her the best of luck, but I disagrees with the only reason she chose to represent Haiti is because she did not make it to the US. Team. The athlete made the choice based on her knowledge of her parents background and choose to honor her heritage, her people and her ancestors for Haiti has a proud history.

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