Raven Saunders captured one of the only things missing in her illustrious track career - an Olympic medal.
The Charleston native won a silver medal in the shot put on Sunday at the Tokyo Olympics. It was Saunders’ first medal in her second Olympic appearance. She finished fifth in 2016 at the Rio Olympics.
Saunders advanced to the final eight after a throw of 19.65 in her first attempt. In the final round, the former Burke High School standout had a throw of 19.98 on her second attempt. She fouled in her final throw. Each athlete got three throws in each round.
China’s Gong Liajo won the gold with a throw of 20.58 in her final attempt of the final round. Saunders has become a hit at the Olympics not only for her athletic ability but for various masks she has worn. In the qualifying round, she sported a Joker mask for the character in Batman movies.
In the Olympic trials, Saunders whose nickname is “The Hulk” wore a mask resembling the green character in Marvel comics and movies.
“I get looks. I get lots of looks,” Saunders said Friday. “I don’t know if people were intending it or thinking I was crazy, but I get lots of looks.”
Saunders was a decorated athlete coming out of Burke High School where she broke the South Carolina High School League shot put record by 11 feet and also set the national record.
Saunders finished her college career at Ole Miss where she was a four-time NCAA champion (Indoor: 2015, 2017; Outdoor: 2015, 2016).