The American sprinter Lolo Jones may have been speaking for a number of female Olympic athletes on the “Today” show Wednesday morning when she tearfully deplored criticism she had received in American media related to her physical appearance.Ms. Jones, who finished a close fourth in the 100-meter hurdle final on Tuesday, has been the subject of enormous media focus during her career.On “Today” she took particular exception to a column in The New York Times that criticized her for marketing her sex appeal and quoted an academic Olympics expert who compared her to the former tennis player and frequent magazine model Anna Kournikova. But Ms. Jones noted that the column, which appeared on Sunday, did not cite her genuine athletic achievements: being the American record holder in her event and a two-time world champion, which far surpass anything on Ms. Kournikova’s résumé.

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