The 2016 Summer Olympics are rapidly approaching, so let’s take a few minutes to get familiar with U.S. Olympic middle distance runner Brenda Martinez. Brenda is from Rancho Cucamonga, California, and she specializes in 800 and 1,500 meter events. Brenda had lots of success at UC Riverside, as she finished in 2nd place in the 1,500 meter at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and was named an All-American three times.
On the international circuit, Brenda has brought home three medals. At the 2013 World Championships, she won a bronze in the 800 meter. At the 2014 World Relays, she won a gold in the 4 x 800 meter relay and a silver in the 4 x 1,500 meter relay.
After showing a tremendous amount of resiliency, Brenda has earned the opportunity to try to add some Olympic hardware to her trophy case. During the 800 meter final at the U.S. Olympic Trials, Brenda was in outstanding shape to qualify for her first Olympic team when she was tripped with roughly half of a lap to go. Brenda hit the deck and was unable to recover, finishing in a heartbreaking 7th place.
But instead of feeling sorry for herself, the 28-year-old came back with a vengeance. On Sunday, July 10, Brenda came in 3rd place in the 1,500 meter final at the U.S. Olympic Trials to punch her ticket to Rio. Her time of 4:06.16 was just .03 faster than 4th place finisher Amanda Eccleston.
Let’s celebrate Brenda’s bounce back effort and her first Olympic appearance by taking a look at 22 of her hottest photos.