Lolo Jones has been one of the 2012 Olympics' most talked-about stories. But she's also a competitor, and kicked off her quest for Olympic redemption on Monday by running the fastest time by an American in qualifying for the women's 100 meters semifinals.
Jones won her first round heat in 12.68 seconds, outpacing Canada's Phylicia George by .15 seconds and easily moving on to Tuesday's semifinal. Americans Kellie Wells (12.68 seconds) and Dawn Harper (12.75) were also among the semifinal qualifiers, but Jones' time was her best in 2012 and second-best among all qualifiers, a good sign for her chances of medaling in an event she led until the last hurdle in Beijing in 2008.
Jones' time was easily bested by Australia's Sally Pearson, however. Pearson blazed a 12.57 in her heat, winning it by almost half a second, and that's not even her finest time of 2012.
She and Jones will meet in the second of three semifinal heats on Tuesday beginning at 2:15 Eastern. The two top finishers in each heat will advance to the 100m hurdles final later on Tuesday automatically, and the two fastest non-automatic qualifiers will join them.
And for more on Lolo, check out the latest episode of Bomani & Jones.