Originally posted on Fox Olympics  |  Last updated 8/8/12

BEIJING - AUGUST 20: Lolo Jones of the United States poses in the NBC Today Show Studio after losing the Women's 100m Hurdles event from hitting a hurdle at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 20, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images)
Already stinging from her fourth-place finish in Tuesday's 100-meter hurdles, Lolo Jones battled tears on Wednesday and lashed out at critics who "ripped me to shreds" days before she competed in the Olympics final. The subject of her ire: A piece in The New York Times last weekend that questioned whether Jones was more marketing sensation than gifted athlete. The article pointedly compared her to Anna Kournikova, the former tennis professional who capitalized on her stunning looks while competing for more than a decade, peaking at No. 8 in the world in 2000 but never winning a WTA title. "I think it was crazy just because it was two days before I competed, and then the fact that it was from a U.S. media,'' Jones told Savannah Guthrie during a Wednesday appearance on The Today Show, fighting tears before letting her emotions flow. "They should be supporting our U.S. Olympic athletes and instead they just ripped me to shreds. I just thought that that was crazy because I worked six days a week, every day, for four years for a 12-second race and the fact that they just tore me apart, which is heartbreaking. "They didn't even do their research, calling me the Anna Kournikova of track. I have the American record. I am the American record holder indoors, I have two world indoor titles. Just because I don't boast about these things, I don't think I should be ripped apart by media. I laid it out there, fought hard for my country and it's just a shame that I have to deal with so much backlash when I'm already so brokenhearted as it is." Tuesday night, Jones tweeted that she had a "broken heart'' after failing to win a medal in her second Olympics, missing the medals stand by one-tenth of a second. The performance in London was intended to erase the disappointment of her 2008 Olympics' stumble in Beijing, when she was leading in the final - only to clip the ninth hurdle. Jones finished eighth. Tuesday's 100-meter hurdles final was the fastest in Olympic history. Australia's Sally Pearson won the gold with an Olympic-record 12.35 seconds, barely edging American Dawn Harper by two-hundredths of a second at the finish. But Jones took little solace in that. "Definitely, I was crushed afterwards,'' Jones said Wednesday. "I know I had the best race of my season. Not the best race of my life, but I had the best race of my year, so I just try to look at that. It doesn't take away from the pain that I was close to once again having a medal and not getting it." Jones has been a lightning rod for attention and criticism because of her sex appeal and openness regarding with her person life. She has candidly discussed her virginity and difficulty finding a boyfriend who appreciates her chastity at age 30. Noting that, The Times article questioned her sincerity by discussing Jones' provocative pose for the ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue as well as her cover for Outside magazine, where the self-proclaimed Christian was photographed "seeming to wear a bathing suit made of nothing but strategically placed ribbon." Jones also has battled serious injuries and setbacks the past year, so merely reaching the final has helped her appreciate that accomplishment as she moves forward. "I think it's disappointing in one extreme as in I didn't get the medal, but in another extreme, a year ago I was having spinal cord surgery,'' Jones said. "I mean if I look at that, spinal cord surgery, two hamstring injuries and you fought through all of that, so I take time to focus on that and not the negativity I've received." Ultimately, Jones says she hopes her struggles and accomplishments will inspire others. "Putting your heart out there, obviously it opens you up to a lot of negativity, but at the same time if I could just reach somebody out there,'' she said. "Maybe there's a little girl who thinks she can be an Olympic athlete and she sees all the things I struggled through to get here. Yeah, I didn't walk away with a medal or run away with a medal, but I think there's lessons to be learned when you win and lessons to be learned when you lose.''
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

New format leads to competitive NBA All-Star Game

Big crash takes Danica Patrick out of Daytona 500

NFL teams wondering if Marcus Peters will be traded

Adam Silver floats seeding playoff teams regardless of conference

Paul George wants his next team to be his last team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mayweather Sr. indicates Floyd Jr. is training for UFC

10 takeaways from the first week of the Winter Olympics

Detroit GM 'at top of list' to run potential Seattle franchise

Evan Longoria feels ‘sorry’ for Rays fans after latest moves

‘No indication’ Royals are trying to re-sign Mike Moustakas

Mets GM on Tebow: 'I think he will play in the major leagues'

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA united against racial divide

10 NFL offseason moves that need to happen

Champions League Round of 16 preview, predictions

The 'Emerald City on ice' quiz

NHL Weekender: Blackhawks, Rangers continue to free fall

Big surprises, disappointments heading into NBA All-Star break

Signing A.J. McCarron would be a typical Browns move

Dario Saric thriving in shadows of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons

MLB's top 10 starting pitchers for 2018

MLB's top 10 catchers for 2018

Flyers reverse course behind a balanced attack

The greatest barrier-breaking African-American moments in MLB history

Track and Field News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA united against racial divide

The 'Emerald City on ice' quiz

NHL Weekender: Blackhawks, Rangers continue to free fall

The 'Hope springs eternal' quiz

Dario Saric thriving in shadows of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons

MLB's top 10 starting pitchers for 2018

MLB's top 10 catchers for 2018

The 'My Bronny valentine' quiz

Flyers reverse course behind a balanced attack

The '100-point game that you never heard about' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker