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Trammell, Crawford punch tickets to Beijing

EUGENE, Ore. — Two-time Olympic silver medalist and former South Carolina NCAA champion Terrence Trammell maintained his penchant for running well when it counts.

Trammell, finished second in the 110 hurdles final at Sunday’s U.S. Olympic Trials to earn a berth on his third Olympic team.

Trammell, who led most of the race before momentarily losing his footing after clearing the last hurdle, finished in a time of 13.00. David Oliver, who ran a wind-aided time of 12.89 in the semifinal, won the final with a 12.95.

“The great ones try to put it down the best when it’s on the line, and that’s what I try to do when it counts the most,” Trammell said.

The 29-year-old Trammell also has made four world championship teams, making all four finals while winning two silver medals and one bronze.

“I’m glad to make my third Olympic team,” a jubilant Trammell said after the race. “I’m used to being on major championship teams, so I’m glad I didn’t miss out.”

When he was asked who’s going to win the hurdles in Beijing, Trammell said: “I think Terrence Trammell will win and after that it’s pretty much a coin toss.”

This will be Trammell’s first Olympics without his former training partner, Allen Johnson, who dropped out of Saturday’s preliminary heat with an injury.

Trammell said it was “awkward” to be going to the Olympics without Johnson.

“He’s given me so much valuable experience, just to be able to train with him the six years that I did,” Trammell said. “I think I had somewhat of a cheat sheet, if you will, on how to compete at major competitions.”

In the 200 final, former Clemson sprinter and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Shawn Crawford was second in a time of 19.86 to earn a trip to Beijing.

Crawford, who has been slowed the past three years because of bunions on his feet, showed he was ready to run when he easily won Saturday’s semifinal in 20.21. He came back Sunday in a photo finish, just five-thousandths of a second behind the winner, Walter Dix of Florida State.

“I never gave up on myself,” said Crawford, who had surgery last August to remove the bunions. “Just me being here is proof that I never gave up, and I always believed in myself that I can get back to that.”

Also in the 200 final, former Gamecock Rodney Martin was fourth in a time of 19.99. Coupled with his fifth-place finish in the 100 last week, Martin likely will land a spot in the 400-meter relay pool that will go to Beijing.

Martin, 29, who was fourth in the 200 at last year’s World Championships, could run in a preliminary round at the Games.

In the women’s 200, Gamecocks 2006 NCAA champion Shalonda Solomon finished seventh in Sunday’s final with a time of 22.36.