GWANGJU, South Korea – Shaquille Walker won a gold medal and Shea Martinez earned a bronze medal while representing the United States at the World University Games in South Korea, July 8-12.
“Shaq ran a very smart race under less than ideal conditions, and showed he could ran a great race tactically,” BYU coach Ed Eyestone said. “Shea anchoring the 4x400m relay was fun for her. For them to perform as well as they did was exciting.”
Walker began the final lap of the 800-meter in fourth place but quickly passed a runner down the backstretch to put himself in third. Entering the final 100 meters the top three runners broke away from the pack. Walker moved to lane two and outkicked the two runners in front of him in the final 50 meters to win the gold with a time of 1:49.05.
Walker also anchored the men’s 4x400m relay team in the finals. The team initially finished second place, but was disqualified shortly after the race for a violation that took place before the baton exchanged between the second and third runners.
Martinez earned her bronze medal as the anchor for the women’s 4x400m relay team. Martinez received the baton in third place and ran strong throughout her leg to hold off the other teams and secure the medal. Earlier at the games, Martinez competed in the 800m and advanced to the semifinals before falling short of qualifying for the finals.
The World University Games wrapped up both athletes’ productive outdoor track seasons. Walker earned first-team All-America honors while Shea earned honorable mention All-America honors in only their sophomore seasons.
Complete results from the World University Games can be found at the official website for the 2015 games.