Lolo Jones Advances in 100M Hurdles at Olympics, Says 'It's Hard to Stay Positive'

Team USA Hurdler Comes in 2nd; Responds to NY Times Report Questioning Popularity?

U.S. Olympian Lolo Jones received the second best score in the women's 100-meter round one hurdles Monday morning with a time of 12.68, allowing her to advance to the women's semifinal round of the competition.

After winning the race, the Des Moines, Iowa native told a reporter, "It's hard to be positive all the time with people doubting your abilities."

This comment could have been in reference to a New York Times piece published Sunday, Aug. 5, which argued that Jones' popularity "was based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign."

Jones, 30, has gained widespread popularity for being an outspoken Christian, as well as an underdog in the 2012 Olympics after she suffered a devastating loss in the 2008 Beijing Games.

The outspoken Christian, before beginning the race, mouthed the words, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," according to a confirmation Twitter post on the athlete's page shortly after winning the race.

"Read LoloJones' lips pre-race: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. #faith," retweeted Jones shortly after the race. The quote is from Philippians 4:13 of the Bible.

After winning Monday's heat, Jones offered her support to one of her fellow racers, Brigitte Foster-Hylton of Jamaica, who tripped over one hurdle, causing her time to plummet to 13.98 and resulting in her elimination from the semifinal competition.

After crossing the finish line, Foster-Hylton then collapsed to the ground, slapping the track and letting out a scream.

Jones, who experienced similar defeat at the 2008 Beijing Olympics 100-meter hurdle competition when she came in seventh place, understood Foster-Hylton's angst and tried to console her.

Foster-Hylton brushed off Jones's consolation, but Jones told reporters shortly after the race that she understood Foster-Hylton's frustration.

"The emotions were just outpouring from her," Jones told ESPN news. "Even if she would have punched me, I totally would have understood."

Defending Olympic champion, American Dawn Harper, also advanced to the semifinals, along with Australian competitor Sally Pearson, who earned the fastest time Monday at 12.57 seconds. The semifinals for the women's 100-meter hurdles takes place Tuesday, Aug. 7.