Bershawn "Batman" Jackson to Return for 2012 Kansas Relays
April 14, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the eighth time in the last nine years, Olympian Bershawn `Batman’ Jackson will return to the 2012 Kansas Relays KU officials announced Wednesday. A Relays regular, Jackson is a six-time winner in the 400-meter hurdles and currently holds the meet record in the event.
“I’ve always loved coming to the Kansas Relays,” explained Jackson. “I always run well here and the fans really make me feel like this is home. This is the meet that I kicked off my career so it’s fun for me to start my seasons in Lawrence. Every year I look forward to Relays weekend.”
Jackson has already had a stellar start to his 2012 season. Last week he won the 400-meter hurdles at the Florida Relays in a time of 48.49. The time is the fastest in the world this year and the fastest-ever for Jackson at a season opening meet.
The 2008 Olympian is coming off of a banner year, in which he was the U.S. runner-up by just thousands of a second. His championship time of 47.32 was the third-fastest time recorded in 2011 and he finished the year ranked in the world’s top three for the seventh time in the last eight years.
In 2005, Jackson became the first American in 10 years to win a 400-meter hurdles title at the World Championships when he captured gold in Helsinki with a then-personal best time of 47.30. Three years later Jackson made his first Olympic Games after winning the 2008 Olympic Trials and went on to win a bronze medal in Beijing. Jackson has been an extremely consistent performer throughout his career, having earned a top-10 ranking every year since 2003.
The Miami native won his first Kansas Relays title in 2003, and went on to win four-straight starting in 2005, capping off that streak with a record-setting time of 48.32 in 2008. The performance earned him the Most Outstanding Male Performer award. After a two-year hiatus, Jackson returned to the winners circle last year with his winning time of 48.98.
A 2006 graduate of St. Augustine College, Jackson currently resides in Raleigh, N.C., where he trains with 2004 U.S. Olympic team head coach George Williams and competes for Nike.
Jackson and the rest of the 400-meter hurdles field will square off at 3:10 p.m., Saturday April 21st at Memorial Stadium.
The Relays will take place from April 18-21st and will bring in some of the country’s top professional, collegiate and high school track and field athletes. Tickets for the 85th Kansas Relays can be purchased at Memorial Stadium or online at kansasrelays.com.