RIO Olympics Day 3



Four more Olympic champions and a second world record; the numbers that mattered on day three of athletics action at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

WOMEN’S MARATHON

1
gold medal for Jemima Sumgong in 2:24.04 – Kenya’s first Olympic title in the women’s event.

5
Olympic marathon finishes for Chile’s Erika Oliveira. The 40-year-old becomes the first person to complete the feat.

Jemima Sumgong, Eunice Kirwa and Mare Dibaba pass the Museum of Tomorrow in the marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Getty Images)


9

-second winning margin for Sumgong ahead of Eunice Kirwa.

2
sets of identical twins. Korea’s Hye-Song and Hye-Gyong Kim ran 2:28.36 for 10th and 11th. Germany’s Anna and Lisa Hahner finished in 81st and 82nd, holding hands while crossing the line.

3
Luik sisters lined up, two of them finished. Estonia’s marathon triplets Lily, Leila and Liina are the first triplets to contest an Olympic final.

Jemima Sumgong wins the marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Getty Images)

One year on from narrowly missing a medal at the World Championships, Jemima Sumgong made history for Kenya to win the marathon title at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

She waited until the final three kilometres to make her decisive move, shaking off the challenge of two of the women who finished ahead of her in Beijing last year before going on to win in 2:24:04.

The pace was consistent from the outset as the field passed through 5km in 17:23 with most of the main protagonists visible at the front.

Portugal’s Sara Moreira, who had been carrying a slight injury going into the race, was one of the first casualties as she pulled up at 6.8km.

USA’s Desiree Linden moved to the front of the lead pack of 30 women just before 8km. By the next kilometre split, the pack had dwindled to just 13 women.

Kenyans Visiline Jepkesho, Helah Kiprop and Jemima Sumgong were in the lead pack along with the Ethiopian trio of Mare Dibaba, Tigist Tufa and Tirfe Tsegaye. The 10km checkpoint was reached in 34:22, exactly 2:25 pace.

Korean twins Kim Hye-Gyong and Kim Hye-Song were the next to drop off the pack, while Japan’s Kayoko Fukushi moved up through the field to join the leaders. After a quick segment between 5km and 10km, the pace settled again for the next 5km section and the lead pack grew to 16.

The first big development of the race happened just before 18km as Ethiopia’s Tufa, the 2015 London Marathon winner, suddenly stopped with what appeared to be cramp, leaving 13 women at the front.

Volha Mazuronak of Belarus was the next to show her hand and she moved to the front after about 18km. The lead pack at that point also included the two remaining Ethiopians, the full Kenyan contingent, the Bahraini duo of Eunice Kirwa and Rose Cheliimo, USA’s Shalane Flanagan, Linden and Amy Cragg, plus Fukushi and Peru’s Gladys Tejeda.

They reached 20km in 1:09:07 and half way in 1:12:56, which suggested a finishing time outside 2:25, but given the calibre of athletes at the front of the pack, there was every chance of a quicker second half.

Mazuronak was the first to put in a surge, which broke up the lead pack somewhat with Jepkesho falling behind. By 25km, reached in 1:26:07, the nine women at the front were exactly half a minute ahead of Linden.

With Mazuronak pushing the pace again, Cragg and world silver medallist Kiprop were the next to suffer. The pair drifted back with Linden catching them before the 30km marker, which the leaders passed in 1:43:21, some 13 seconds ahead of Linden.

The same seven women remained at the front through 35km, passed in 2:00:31, but Kirwa put her foot down at 36km in what proved to be the most decisive move of the entire race.

Within a matter of seconds, Kirwa, Dibaba and Sumgong had opened up a gap on Tsegaye and Mazuronak. It soon became clear that the medals would be go to the leading trio; the final 6km of running – which took runners around the Museum of Tomorrow – would decide the order of the medals.

With 2:15:00 on the clock, London Marathon champion Sumgong began her long drive for home. Kirwa was able to go with her, but Dibaba began to struggle and fell behind the leading duo.

As Sumgong turned the corner into the long straight heading towards the Sambodromo, she had a lead of about five seconds over Kirwa, who looked too tired to challenge.

Sumgong extended her lead all the way to the finish, crossing the line in 2:24:04 to become the first Kenyan woman in history to win the Olympic marathon title.

“I’m very grateful to win Kenya’s first gold medal in Rio,” said Sumgong, who had covered the second half in 1:11:08, almost two minutes quicker than the first half.

“It was very hot but everybody had to get through the heat. I had to control my body and listen to my body very carefully.

“I was in Beijing but I was pretty disappointed that I wasn't able to win a medal or make it on the podium, but I knew one time, one day, I would be somewhere,” she added. “I was never worried that I'd lose this. At the 40km I knew the gold was mine.

“I’m so happy, I feel extremely proud. I can't even explain what I'm feeling.”

Kirwa went one better than she did at last year’s World Championships, taking silver in 2:24:13 to earn Bahrain’s second ever Olympic medal in any sport. Dibaba also made her second successive global championships podium, running 2:24:30 to secure the bronze medal.

Tsegaye managed to hold off Mazuronak to take fourth place with the two women clocking 2:24:47 and 2:24:48 respectively.

Flanagan was next across the line in sixth in 2:25:26. US teammates Linden (2:26:08) and Cragg (2:28:25) also finished inside the top 10 as the finishing order from the US Olympic Trials was reversed.

Korean twins Kim Hye-Song and Kim Hye-Gyong were 10th and 11th respectively, both being given the same time of 2:28:36 as they crossed the line holding hands.

Latvia’s Jelena Prokopcuka (2:29:32), Italy’s Valeria Straneo (2:29:44) and Fukushi (2:29:53) also made it into the top 15 finishers.

MEN’S 400M FINAL

43.03
seconds – a world record and Wayde van Niekerk’s winning time.

0.15
seconds by which van Niekerk bettered Michael Johnson’s former world record.

6198
days Michael Johnson’s record from the 1999 IAAF World Championships in Seville stood unchallenged for.

Wayde van Niekerk wins the 400m at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Getty Images)


8

the lane Van Niekerk was running in with past Olympic champions Kirani James and Lashawn Merritt chasing him.

2
national records fell. Trinidad and Tobago’s Machel Cedenio ran 44.01 for fourth and Ali Khamis Khamis of Bahrain clocked 44.36 for sixth.

7
men recorded a time faster than 44.50, an unprecedented feat in a 400m race.


After Wayde van Niekerk’s win at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 in 43.48, there was a prevailing feeling that Michael Johnson’s 20-year-old Olympic record, which was just one hundredth shy of that mark, might be in danger in Rio.

Instead, it was his world record* that fell.

Clocking a stunning 43.03, the South African took 0.15 of Johnson’s mark set at the 1999 IAAF World Championships and yet, for much of the race, it didn’t look like Van Niekerk was even guaranteed to win the gold medal.

Kirani James made his usual quick start over the first 200m but Grenada’s 2012 Olympic champion, in lane six, only acted as the pacemaker for his predecessor LaShawn Merriitt in the lane to his inside.

Merritt got up on James’s shoulder as they entered the second bend level with Van Niekerk, but the crucial part of the race came over the 50 metres between 250m and 300m when Van Niekerk, who in hindsight had clearly distributed his effort far, far better, started to gain ground and entered the home straight fractionally in front of his two rivals.

Post-race video analysis showed Van Niekerk passed 300m in 31.0, in comparison to Johnson's 31.66 in Seville, but James and Merritt were also inside the US legend's time.

With 70 metres to go, Van Niekerk was able to maintain his sprint for home and there was the optical illusion of Merritt and James going backwards despite the fact that they were both operating at sub-44-second speed.



SOUTH AFRICA'S FIRST ATHLETICS GOLD FOR 20 YEARS

Van Niekerk continued to stride out and the gap between himself and the other two principle protagonists continued to grow, before getting South Africa’s first Olympic athletics gold since Josia Thugwane won the marathon in 1996.

"I believed I could get the world record," said Van Niekerk. "I've dreamed of this medal since forever. I am blessed.

"These are guys that inspired me: Usain Bolt, Michael Johnson, I learned from them, and even the guys that ran against me today, LaShawn Merritt and Kirani James, these are guys that inspired me."

Behind him, Merritt looked as though he was on his way to repeating the silver medal he earned behind van Niekerk in Beijing last summer but started to tire about 30 metres from home and James just edged past him to reverse their places on the podium in the Chinese capital.

James finished in 43.76, just 0.02 away from his best, while Merritt came home in 43.85, disappointment etched across the US champion’s face.

Almost making it a record four men under 44 seconds in the same race, 2014 world U20 champion Machel Cedenio of Trinidad and Tobago came through strongly over the final 50 metres to get fourth place in a national record of 44.01.

Further back, the revelation of this event in Rio, Botswana’s Karabo Sibanda improved again to 44.25 to become the third best U20 athlete ever over one lap of the rtrack while Bahrain’s Ali Khamis Khamis set a national record of 44.36 in sixth place.

Granada’s Bralon Taplin finished seventh in 44.45 and Great Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith was eighth in 44.61.

In addition to Van Niekerk’s world record, and becoming the first man to win an Olympic 400m title from lane eight, the best ever times for place from fourth to eighth were recorded.

MEN’S 100M FINAL

5
individual Olympic titles Usain Bolt has to his name. He won gold in 9.81.

2920
days – or six years, 11 months and 29 days – since Usain Bolt began his Olympic winning streak in Beijing 2008.

20
years since Canada last earned a medal in the men’s 100m. Andre De Grasse took bronze in 9.91.

Usain Bolt wins the 100m at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Getty Images)


36

years since the last time a French athlete qualified for a men’s Olympic 100m final. Jimmy Vicaut finished seventh in 10.04.

0.002
seconds by which Britain’s Chijindu Ujah missed out on the 100m final.


Usain Bolt wins the 100m at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Getty Images)

If Usain Bolt established his living legend status at the London 2012 Olympic Games, athletics’ answer to Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy rolled into one carved yet another notch in history when he became the first man in history to land three successive Olympic 100m titles.

The Jamaican global icon recovered from a sluggish start to run down his US rival Justin Gatlin in the final 30 metres to stop the clock in 9.81 and clinch gold by a clear margin of 0.08.

It was the slowest time of his three Olympic successes but nobody in near-capacity Olympic stadium seemed to care, the chants of ‘Bolt, Bolt, Bolt’ echoing around before and after the race.

History had been written once again and the ‘triple triple’ is well and truly on as he chases a record-equalling nine Olympic athletics medals to match the achievements of Finnish distance legend Paavo Nurmi and American sprinter/jumper Carl Lewis.

Sunday night was Bolt’s seventh Olympic gold medal.

Gatlin – who became at the age of 34 the oldest man ever to win an Olympic 100m medal – had to settle for silver to complete the full complement of Olympic 100m medals, having also struck gold in 2004 and bronze in 2012.

Completing the podium was Canada’s rugged but effective Andre de Grasse, who trimmed 0.01 from his lifetime best to run 9.91.

Coincidentally it was the same 1-2-3 as the World Championships Beijing 2015, except on that occasion De Grasse shared his bronze medal with Trayvon Bromell.

AMONG THE IMMORTALS

Bolt, who next goes to his marks on Tuesday morning’s 200m heats, said of his victory: “Somebody said I can become immortal. Two more medals to go and I can sign off. Immortal.  It was brilliant. I didn’t go so fast, but I’m so happy I won.”

Gatlin was satisfied with his efforts saying: “We work 365 days a year to be here for nine seconds. At the age of 34, to race these young guys and still make the podium feels so good.”

Introduced to the crowd in gladiatorial fashion, the eight finalists emerged from the tunnel one-by-one, which made for great theatre.

Ivory Coast’s Ben Youssef Meite chose to beat his chest when jogging into the stadium. Akani Simbine of South Africa looked like the cat that had got the cream.

Gatlin, a man who still polarises opinions because of his controversial history, was roundly booed crowd while Bolt – competing in a special custom-made uniform for the final – milked the applause and stepped out on to the track with arms outstretched in a pose resembling Rio’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue.

Once the gun went, Gatlin, who was running in lane four, two lanes inside Bolt, who made his customary slick start, although Simbine was actually the quickest away.   

By comparison Bolt – who had the second slowest reaction time – somewhat lumbered out the blocks and after 20 metres was last of the eight-man field.

At the halfway point, Gatlin’s advantage had extended with Bolt needing to make up at least two metres.

NO NEED TO PANIC

Yet as the race unfolded the giant Jamaican, with all his experience, refused to panic and almost within the blink of an eye had caught and passed the US sprinter.

He was champion, again, while Gatlin has to settle for silver.

De Grasse himself added another medal to his rising swag after unleashing a strong late finish to take the bronze.

The 2012 Olympic silver medallist Yohan Blake produced an accomplished piece of sprinting to claim fourth in 9.93, his fastest 100m time for four years.

Simbine – the first South African in an Olympic 100m final for 84 years – performed highly creditably.

He was holding a medal position with 20 metres remaining only to be see De Grasse and Blake flash by the final few strides and he had to settle for fifth in 9.94.

Meite, who had set a national record of 9.97 in the semi-final went 0.01 quicker again in the final to place sixth.

Completing the top eight, but performing under-par on this occasion, were European record holder Jimmy Vicaut (10.04) of France and 2016 world indoor 60m champion Trayvon Bromell of the USA (10.07).   

But the final word should go to the first man in history to secured a hat-trick of Olympic 100m titles who simply added: “I told you guys I was going to do it.”

Should we have ever doubted him?


WOMEN’S TRIPLE JUMP

0
Olympic athletics titles Colombia had won before Caterine Ibarguen took gold with 15.17m today.

1
competition Ibarguen lost between finishing second in the 2012 Olympic final in London and tonight.

Caterine Ibarguen in the triple jump at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Getty Images)


14.71

metres and a US record for Keturah Orji, who finished fourth.

9
centimetres separated third, fourth, fifth and sixth with three centimetres between each of them.


Caterine Ibarguen wasn’t going to end her near-undefeated Olympic cycle without winning the one that mattered the most.

The two-time world champion was put under pressure from the outset, though, and initially it came from an unexpected source: USA’s Keturah Orji.

The 20-year-old took an early lead when she bounded out to 14.71m with her opening jump, breaking her own national record.

Her lead lasted just a matter of minutes, though, as defending champion Olga Rypakova jumped 14.73m. Ibarguen, last in the running order, tried to respond but managed just 14.65m with her opening effort. The Colombian wasn’t concerned, though.

With a valid mark on the board, Ibarguen turned things up a notch in the second round, sailing out to 15.03m. Now it was Ibarguen who was applying the pressure. The 32-year-old was in control and it was down to the other finalists to respond.

World indoor champion Yulimar Rojas decided it was time to have a go. The Venezuelan landed a 14.87m jump in the third round to move from seventh to second, bumping Orji out of the medals.

World silver medallist Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko was the next to show her cards. The Israeli reached a season’s best of 14.68m in the fourth round to move into the top five.

Later that round, Rojas increased the pressure on Ibarguen, sailing out to 14.98m (5.44m hop, 3.98m step, 5.56m jump) to come within five centimetres of Ibarguen’s lead.

Ibarguen didn’t mind, though. It was just the motivation she needed.

She was next up to jump and charged down the runway before bounding out to a world-leading 15.17m (5.48m hop, 4.57m step, 5.12m jump) to increase her lead over her competitors.

European champion Patricia Mamona produced a Portuguese record of 14.65m in the fifth round, but it was only good enough for fifth place. Rypakova, meanwhile, improved slightly to 14.74m to consolidate her bronze medal position.

Rojas had one more big jump left, but her last-round leap of 14.95m wasn’t an improvement, which meant that Ibarguen was confirmed the winner. Ibarguen rounded out her series with a solid 14.80m jump before grabbing a Colombian flag and celebrating with the enthusiastic supporters positioned near the triple jump pit.

Ibarguen becomes the first Colombian athlete to win an Olympic gold medal, while Rojas earned Venezuela's first Olympic medal in a women's athletics event. Orji, meanwhile, produced the highest ever finish by a US athlete in the women's triple jump at the Olympic Games.


WOMEN’S 1500M SEMI FINALS

8
nationalities will be represented in Tuesday’s final.

4:03.06
the fastest time in the semi-final set by world champion Genzebe Dibaba.

MEN’S HIGH JUMP QUALIFYING

15
men will be lining up in the men’s high jump final on Tuesday (16 Aug).

2
jumps for Bogdan Bondarenko were enough to secure him a place in the final.




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