The 2016 Summer Olympics have begun in Rio, and two Kent State athletes are hoping to bring home some medals.
William Barnes and Danniel Thomas will be competing in the games this Friday and next Monday. Barnes will be representing Puerto Rico in the men's 110 meter hurdles while Thomas will represent Jamica in the shot put.
They mark the eighth and ninth members in Kent State track and field history to compete in the Olympics, with the most recent participant coming in 2008 when Kim Kreiner represented the United States in the javelin, per Kent State Athletics.
Both athletes are MAC conference champions, with Barnes being a nine-time champion and three-time All-American and Thomas, a six-time MAC champion and six-time All-American. They both have set records in their native countries.
Thomas will be the first of the two athletes to compete, her qualifying round of the women's shot put will take place on Friday, Aug. 12 beginning at 9:05 a.m., with the finals to follow at 7:20 that evening.
Barnes will follow with the first round of the men's 110m hurdles on Monday, Aug. 15, at 7:40 p.m. If he makes it out of the first round, he will run in the semifinals on Tuesday (Aug. 16) at 7:40 p.m. with the finals to follow at 9:45.
Two athletes from Kent State's rival school, University of Akron are also representing at the Rio Olympics.