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Enekwechi Advances to Olympic Final


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue track & field alumnus and current volunteer assistant coach Chukwuebuka Enekwechi has advanced to the final in the shot put at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday.

Enekwechi earned a throw of 21.16 meters to finish seventh overall and fourth in Group B. He earned one of 12 qualifying marks in the 31-competitor field, thanks to his mark on his second attempt.

Competing for Nigeria and making his Olympics debut, Enekwechi entered the Games with the No. 11 overall ranking. He was a Boilermaker from 2013-16 and is a volunteer assistant coach with Purdue’s throwers.

The men’s shot put final is slated for Wednesday, August 4, at 10:05 p.m. ET.

In his Purdue career, Enekwechi was a 12-time All-American and five-time NCAA medalist. He is the school record-holder in the shot put (20.37m) and hammer throw (72.77m) outdoors and shot put (19.95m) and weight throw (24.39m) indoors. Enekwechi’s NCAA medals include two silvers in 2016, in the shot put outdoors and in the weight throw indoors. He won 12 Big Ten medals, including four golds, and was a three-time Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year.

Additionally, Purdue track & field alumna Devynne Charlton placed sixth in the women’s 100-meter hurdles final on August 2. As she made her Olympic debut for The Bahamas, Charlton is the first current or former member of the Purdue women’s track & field program to run in an Olympic final.

Charlton finished in 12.74 and came in sixth overall. She was 0.27 seconds ahead of the seventh-place finisher, while just 0.01 seconds separated fifth and sixth place. Charlton was 0.19 seconds shy of a top-three medal finish.

Charlton is the first Boilermaker, male or female, to run in a final in 49 years, as her sixth-place finish is the best on the track since Larry Burton was fourth in the men’s 200m at the Munich Olympics in 1972. The track & field program’s most recent medalist was Chris Huffins, who claimed bronze in the decathlon in 2000.

From Nassau, The Bahamas, Charlton came to the Olympics ranked No. 16 overall in the women’s 100m hurdles. She was seeded eighth of nine going into the final before she earned her sixth-place finish.

Charlton advanced to the final with a time of 12.66 in the semifinals on August 1. The mark was second-fastest in the first semi and seventh overall. In the heats on July 30, she reached the semifinals with a time of 12.84 seconds in the heats on July 31, her first-ever Olympics race. She placed fourth in her heat and 12th overall.

A two-time school record-holder, in the 100m hurdles (12.70) and 100m (11.22), Charlton earned nine All-America honors as a Boilermaker from 2014-18. She was the NCAA runner-up in the 100m hurdles in 2018 and in the 60m hurdles in 2017. Charlton won 11 Big Ten championships and was named the Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year three times.

With The Bahamas, Charlton is a two-time World Championships qualifier and competed twice at the Pan American Games.

Charlton and Enekwechi are two of five Purdue track & field athletes, and one of a department-record 10 total current, past or future Boilermakers, to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

Recently named a team captain for the United States Track & Field team, Kara (Patterson) Winger was eighth in Group A and 17th overall in the javelin with a throw of 59.71m on August 3. A 2009 Purdue graduate, Winger is the first female athlete in Purdue history and second overall to participate in four Olympic Games.

Making her Olympics debut, Camille Buscomb placed 14th in her heat and 29th overall in the 5,000m on July 30 for New Zealand. A Boilermaker from 2009-11, she also will run in the 10,000m final on Saturday, August 7, at 6:45 a.m. ET.

2021 Purdue graduate Samson Colebrooke ran in the 100m and earned a time of 10.33 in the heats on July 31. Competing for The Bahamas, Colebrooke was seventh in his heat and 44th overall in his first career Olympics appearance.