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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Norfolk State, MEAC issue statements on Olympic disqualification

Norfolk State, MEAC issue statements on Olympic disqualification

Norfolk State University sprinter Kai Cole of saw his dreams of running in the US Olympic Trials to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics dashed after his automatic qualifying time was rejected by the United States Track and Field (USATF) organization because the event he ran the qualifying time in, the 2024 MEAC championships, was not sanctioned by the USATF.

Cole released a statement on his social media expressing his disappointment in the decision. He shared that he had filed an appeal that was denied and also said that his school, Norfolk State University didn’t “fully support” his effort to get the decision overturned.

With the road to the 2024 Paris Olympics begginning at the US Olympic Trials, which take place June 21-30, Kai Cole will not get an opportunity to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Today, the MEAC and Norfolk State University have released a statements on the matter. Below are the statements from the University and the conference.

The following is a statement from the Norfolk State University Athletics Department:

It is with great disappointment that Norfolk State Athletics confirms the disqualification of Kai Cole’s 100-meter time, rendering him ineligible to compete at the 2024 US Olympic Trials. This news comes as a profound blow to our athletics department, as Kai is one of our most outstanding student-athletes.

Kai had earned the well-deserved opportunity to represent his country on the international stage, showcasing his exceptional talent and unwavering dedication. It is truly disheartening that he will not be able to pursue his dream of competing on one of the world’s biggest platforms this year.

We want to emphasize that Kai’s journey leading up to this moment has been marked by tireless effort and an indomitable spirit. His accomplishments While this setback is undoubtedly challenging, we have full confidence that Kai will demonstrate the same resilience and determination that has defined his career thus far. 

Kai has become one of the most decorated athletes in our program’s history during his time at Norfolk State, leading our teams to six total MEAC championships. He’s racked up nine individual conference titles, set multiple school records, and most importantly, earns consistent accolades on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.

As a department, Norfolk State Athletics stands firmly behind Kai during this difficult time. We will continue to provide unwavering support as he navigates these challenges and works towards his goals. Together, we will overcome this setback and emerge stronger than ever.

We extend our gratitude to Kai for his unwavering commitment and the pride he has brought to our institution. We also want to express our appreciation to the entire Norfolk State community for their ongoing support of our student-athletes. Your encouragement means the world to us and plays a significant role in shaping their journeys.

Norfolk State University and Norfolk State Athletics stands firmly behind Kai and we will continue to provide our unwavering support as he navigates these challenges.

Kai Cole MEAC Norfolk State University Kai Cole  US Olympic Trials 2024 Paris OlympicsKai Cole MEAC Norfolk State University Kai Cole  US Olympic Trials 2024 Paris Olympics

MEAC Issues Statement on 2024 Outdoor Track and Field Championships:

The MEAC was recently informed that our multiple appeals submitted last week to have Kai Cole approved to compete at this year’s USATF Olympic Trials were denied by USATF, despite his posting an automatic qualifying time at the MEAC Outdoor Track & Field Championship.

Although the MEAC Outdoor Track and Field Championship remains an official NCAA Division-I championship event, USATF policy changes implemented this year resulted in the event not being officially sanctioned by USATF, making all competition results ineligible for Olympic Trial qualification.

We understand Kai’s frustration and took all available steps to rectify the situation so he could compete in the Olympic Trials – an opportunity he clearly deserves. The MEAC fully supports our member institutions and student-athletes as they pursue their dreams and strive for excellence.

We are disappointed by the decision from USATF and are working to ensure our track and field championships are sanctioned USATF events moving forward.

No further comments will be made regarding this matter.

Norfolk State, MEAC issue statements on Olympic disqualification

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