Castlin takes 3rd in final 100 meter hurdle race before Rio

It took her a lifetime to make it to the race. But it took Kristi Castlin just 12.5 seconds to become an Olympian.

When she was 12, her father was murdered as he worked at a Cobb County hotel. It would be nearly 15 years later before Rodney Castlin's killer was sent to prison. By then, a young girl with remarkable athletic ability had grown into one of the fastest women in the world, recognizing her strength and persevering in her hardest race of all.

“The road to Rio has been a very, very long road,” Kristi’s mother, Kim Castlin, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “For our family, we needed this. We needed it.”

Earlier this month, a second-place finish at the Olympic trials earned Kristi a spot on the United States team heading to Rio. On Friday, she finished third in London’s Anniversary Games with a time of 12.58 seconds, her second fastest ever in Europe. Kristi finished behind Brianna Rollins, a teammate for the Olympics, and Kendra Harrison, who set a new world record with a time of 12.20 seconds, but failed to qualify for Rio.

Now 28, Kristi is 10 hurdles away from her next goal: an Olympic medal.

Read more on Kristi's race to the Olympics at