Southeast Queens had its very own representative in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Phyllis Francis, a Laurelton native, participated in the women’s 400-meter final on Monday, Aug. 15, after placing first overall in the first round with a time of 50.58 seconds.
In the semifinal round Francis placed first in her round (50.31 seconds), which was good enough for fifth overall in the semifinals and a ticket to the finals.
Francis failed to medal in the final round, placing fifth with a time of 50.41 seconds, which was less than one second behind the gold medal winner, Shaunae Miller from the Bahamas. Fellow American Allyson Felix finished second and secured the silver medal for the USA.
Francis is a graduate of the University of Oregon — where she became the first woman to win a 400-meter NCAA title for the school during the indoor 2014 campaign, breaking Olympian Francena McCorory’s record from 2010 — and is the daughter of longtime Laurelton residents and community activists Andrew and Kimberly Francis.
“The Francis family and everyone in her hometown are very excited about her participation in the World Olympics representing the United States and southeast Queens,” the Francis family said in a statement before the women’s 400-meter final.
“Southeast Queens is very proud of Phyllis Francis for qualifying for the 400-meter final,” said state Senator Leroy Comrie.
“The best and the brightest are grown in southeast Queens,” added Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman. “Congratulations to Phyllis Francis on qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games.”