Bowling Green - Western Kentucky University graduate Raigo Toompuu has been selected to represent his native Estonia at the 2012 London Olympic Games in the shot put.
Toompuu becomes the third athlete with WKU connections that will compete in this summer's games. Swimming Claire Donahue qualified for the United State in the 100-meter butterfly, while former track standout Gavin Smellie will run for Canada as part of the 4x100-meter relay team.
This marks the fifth time WKU has been represented by at least three athletes in the Summer Olympics. A record four Hilltoppers compted in the 1992 games in Barcelona. Three WKU athletes also competed in the games in 1980 (Moscow), 1984 (Los Angeles) and 1996 (Atlanta).
With both Toompuu and Smellie qualifying this year, nine of WKU's 14 all-time Olympians have competed in track and field. However, Toompuu will be the first to compete in a field event.
On June 18, Toompuu recorded a toss of 65-9 in the shot put to surpass the Olympic "B" Standard. The Haapsulu, Estonia native is slated to represent his home country in London on Friday, August 3.
Toompuu is a 2006 graduate of WKU and is one of the most decorated athletes in Hilltopper athletic history. He came to the Hill in the fall of 2001 and took control of the throws in the Sun Belt Conference in his freshman year. Over his four-year career, Toompuu was named Sun Belt Conference Most Outstanding Field Performer in 2003, 2004 and 2005, and was the Top Point Scorer at the league outdoor championships each of his four years.
A member of the All-Time SBC Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Teams, Toompuu earned all-league laurels in each of the six throwing disciplines in his career. He went undefeated in his career in the outdoor shot put and discus, winning the events in each year from 2002-05, and also won three indoor league shot put titles and one indoor weight throw title. In all, Toompuu earned 20 all-Sun Belt Conference distinctions in his career and helped lead WKU to the league outdoor titles in 2003 and 2004.
Toompuu is the Hilltopper record holder in the discus with a mark of 192-10, while also ranking third all-time in the indoor shot (61-4.50) and fourth all-time in the outdoor shot (60-10.75). A four-time NCAA Qualifier, Toompuu reached the national championship during the 2004 outdoor season in the discus, 2005 indoor season in the shot put, and 2005 outdoor season in both the shot and discus.
"I am extremely proud of Gavin and Raigo," said WKU head track and field coach Erik Jenkins. "Both gentleman are proud graduates and great ambassadors for WKU. Their contributions to the track and field program will not be soon forgotten and I wish them all the best. They have succeeded in the Sun Belt Conference Championships, NCAA Championships and I expect positive results at the Olympic Games. They have prepared themselves for this elite competition through sheer hard work, determination and taking advantage of positive opportunities."