Former Razorbacks Jarrion Lawson and Payton Chadwick were like many other athletes in numerous sports just waiting for word on whether or not the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games would take place as scheduled. On Monday news broke the games would be postponed. On Tuesday the official word came down they would take place in 2021, with a date to be announced at a later time.
Both spoke with the Pig Trail Nation on Tuesday discussing the postponement and what was next for them as they continue to work out dealing with restrictions from COVID-19 which has put a damper on their training the last few weeks.
“I think it was the right thing to do considering a bunch of athletes were scattered and not just track. You know swimming, other sports were scattered and universities were closed,” said Lawson. “So a bunch of athletes weren’t able to train and have their normal routines. I think it was the best thing to do just for the sports overall.”
“Athletes were sent a survey on what they think should be done and they presented that to the IOC. I chose for it to be 2021 just because last year athletes were training all the way until October,” added Chadwick. “It was a long time. This year I don’t think everybody wanted to do that especially with no access to facilities or anything. So initially I kind of knew that was going to happen.”
For Lawson he was looking forward to trying to qualify for his second Olympic games after finishing fourth in the long jump in 2016.
“For me I think it is just the same thing here. Just train and make sure I go through my summer progressions like I always do and pick it back up in the September, October area and get ready for 2021.”
Chadwick was hoping to earn a spot on Team USA for her first trip to the games.
“I felt ready because I did well at the USA Championships indoor,” Chadwick said. “I got silver and almost matched my personal best. So I was ready to compete and do the 100 meter hurdles and see where I was at compared to last year.”
Lawson recently came off a 4 year ban for doping. The Court of Arbitration for Sport, which was overturned his suspension after 19 months. Lawson’s last competition was back on July 22, 2018. He finished third in the long jump during a Diamond League event.
Jarrion says he ate what it is believed to be tainted beef in Fayetteville at a Japanese restaurant. He was then drug tested the next day on June 2, 2018. On August 3rd he was notified of a positive test for a banned anabolic steroid.
“I felt like I was going to be released. Of course I knew I was innocent. I felt me and my team did a great job in the appeal. When it actually came through it was just a big sigh of relief. It was just a big weight off my back.”
For Lawson earning a spot into the Olympics in Tokyo would give him a chance to earn a spot on the medal stand after finishing fourth in 2016. Lawson’s finger grazed the sand moving his gold medal jump into a fourth place finish.
“I had a great run at it. Obviously everybody knows about my finger touching the sand. So I am excited to get back to the Olympics and go for that gold medal that I should have gotten in ’16.”