Botswana News

Track and field in review: Felix wins medal No. 11, 400m hurdles records obliterated

Men’s 10,000m: Twenty-one-year-old Selemon Barega, the 2019 world silver medalist, held off world record-holder Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda to return Ethiopia atop the podium for the first time since the back-to-back eras of Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele, who together took home four straight Olympic golds for the East African nation from 1996 to 2012.

Mixed 4x400m Relay: Poland won the first Olympic mixed 4x400m relay gold. The Dominican Republic held off the U.S. by 0.01 to take silver. The U.S. team, which earned bronze, was initially disqualified in the prelims but later reinstated on appealAllyson Felix was not entered and didn’t compete.

Women’s 100m: Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah successfully defended her Olympic gold by breaking Florence Griffith Joyner‘s Games record in 10.61, moving to No. 2 all-time with the joint-second fastest women’s time ever run at the distance. Compatriots Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson finished second and third for silver and bronze and a Jamaican podium sweep. Entering the Games there had been just five sub-10.80 women’s 100m times ever recorded at the Olympics. After the Tokyo Olympics, there have now been 13.

Men’s 100m: Marcell Jacobs shocked the world by claiming the first Olympic men’s 100m gold of the post-Usain Bolt era for Italy. Clocking a personal-best 9.80 seconds, the unsuspecting victor upset a field notably absent of U.S. champion Trayvon Bromell, who missed the final. Jacobs powered home to the finish ahead of American Fred Kerley and Canadian Andre De Grasse, winners of silver and bronze. Kerley, the 400m bronze medalist at the 2019 World Championships, made a decision over the past year or so to shift focus to the short sprints, unconventionally dropping down in distance. He backed up the choice by proving himself at U.S. Olympic Trials, taking third in 9.86, and now again at the Olympics.

Women’s 100m Hurdles: Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn redeemed an early exit in Rio, defeating world record-holder Keni Harrison of the U.S. to win her nation’s first women’s track and field gold medal. The winning time of 12.37, while still incredibly respectable, wasn’t as fast as her semifinal in which she broke the Olympic record in 12.26. Harrison’s silver capped a five-year quest since missing the U.S. Olympic team in 2016, after which she took down the all-time record weeks later and watched as the U.S. swept the podium.

Men’s Steeplechase: Two-time world medalist Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco, who just missed the Rio podium in fourth, found an extra gear near the final water jump to claim gold, becoming the first non-Kenyan to win the event since the boycotted 1980 Moscow Games.

Women’s 5000m: Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, having memorably overcome a fall earlier in the day in the 1500m qualifying round, checked one of three boxes in her unprecedented middle-long distance triple attempt, capturing gold in the 5000m on a rain-soaked Olympic Stadium track for her first-ever Games medal.

Men’s 400m Hurdles: One of the greatest races of all time – if not the greatest. Karsten Warholm of Norway nearly shaved a full second off his world record from early July, clocking an extraordinary 45.94 for gold. American Rai Benjamin won silver, also beating the past all-time mark in 46.17, breaking Kevin Young‘s 46.78 American record, the previous world record Warholm took down. Brazilian Alison Dos Santos earned bronze in 46.72, which weeks prior would’ve taken down Young’s record, set 29 years ago at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Women’s 800m: Nineteen-year-old phenom Athing Mu captured gold, breaking the U.S. record and triumphantly expiring what had been the longest active American title drought in Olympic women’s track events. Mu led most of the race to close in 1:55.21, breaking teammate Ajee Wilson‘s all-time U.S. best from 2017. Fellow American Raevyn Rogers, the 2019 world silver medalist, came from behind to take bronze in a personal-best 1:56.81, while Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson also broke her nation’s record, clocking 1:55.88.

Women’s 200m: Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah successfully defended her gold, adding to her 100m title from three days prior to achieve the elusive sprint double-double – the first woman to accomplish the feat in Olympic history. In the final, Thompson-Herah ran a mind-boggling 21.53, the second-fastest time in history behind only Florence Griffith Joyner‘s 21.34 world record set at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, at which Flo-Jo herself doubled. She was equally impressive in the 100m final, breaking Griffith Joyner’s Olympic record in 10.61.

Women’s 400m Hurdles: Sydney McLaughlin roared back after the final set of hurdles to capture gold, shaving nearly a half-second off her own world record from U.S. Trials in 51.46 and dethroning defending title-winner and teammate Dalilah Muhammad as Olympic champion. Muhammad, also the reigning world gold medalist, hung on for silver in a personal-best 51.58, also below McLaughlin’s previous all-time best of 51.90. Rising star Femke Bol of the Netherlands captured bronze in 52.03 to pass Russian Yulia Pechonkina for No. 3 all-time.

Women’s Steeplechase: Peruth Chemutai overtook U.S. record-holder Courtney Frerichs in the last 250m to become the first Ugandan woman to win an Olympic medal in any sport. The 22-year-old clocked a national-record 9:01.45, passing Frerichs after the American led most of the latter half of the race. Two-time world and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Emma Coburn presumably stepped off the track, technically disqualified for a lane infringement.

Men’s 800m: Emmanuel Korir and Ferguson Rotich took gold and silver in the men’s 800m, extending Kenya’s 800m title streak to four straight Olympics in the post-David Rudisha era. American Clayton Murphy, the reigning U.S. champion, finished last.

Men’s 200m: After finishing runner-up to Usain Bolt in the Jamaican legend’s final individual race at the 2016 Rio Games, Canadian Andre de Grasse replaced him atop that event podium as the newest men’s Olympic 200m champion. The 26-year-old, who won three medals in Rio, closed incredibly well off the turn to break his own national record in 19.62 and earn his second medal of the Games after capturing bronze in the 100m final in a personal-best 9.89. American Kenny Bednarek was second and reigning world champion Noah Lyles third.

Men’s 110m Hurdles: Perhaps the biggest upset of the Games, Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment beat reigning world champion Grant Holloway of the U.S. to win gold. The 2012 bronze medalist, who was third at Jamaica Trials and runner-up in both of the initial rounds in Tokyo, surged after the final hurdle to finish in 13.04 Compatriot Ronald Levy took bronze in 13.10.

Men’s 400m: Reigning world champion Steven Gardiner captured 400m gold, winning the Bahamas its first individual men’s Olympic medal on the track. Gardiner was patient and surged through the homestretch to finish remarkably comfortable in 43.85. His runner-up in Doha, Colombian Anthony Zambrano, took silver in 44.08 to repeat their top-two world championships result at the Tokyo Games.

Men’s 5000m: World record holder Joshua Cheptegei finally got his Olympic gold, winning the men’s 5000m in 12:58.15. The victory came after the Ugandan runner was upset in the men’s 10,000m. Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed finished in 12:58.61 to win silver, and Paul Chelimo found his way into the top three for a second consecutive Olympics.

Women’s 400m: In the final individual Olympic race of her remarkable, storied career, five-time Olympian Allyson Felix came from behind in a triumphant display of power and grit to claim 400m bronze in 49.46. Defending Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo, whose memorable dive at the line in Rio beat Felix for gold, repeated her title in a personal-best 48.36 to give the Bahamas a sweep of both the women’s and men’s 400m after compatriot Steven Gardiner‘s victory. Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic took bronze in 49.20.

Women’s 1500m: Faith Kipyegon of Kenya blew by reigning world champion Sifan Hassan with about a half-lap remaining to defend her Olympic 1500m crown in a Games-record 3:53.11. Great Britain’s Laura Muir trailed Kipyegon’s kick to also edge Hassan, breaking her own national record by nearly a second in 3:54.50. Hassan finished with bronze. 

Women’s 4x100m Relay: Along with teammates Briana WilliamsShericka Jackson and now eight-time Olympic medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce,  Elaine Thompson-Herah and Jamaica finished the single lap race in 41.02, the second-fastest time in history.

Men’s 4x100m Relay: Italy’s Lorenzo PattaEseosa DesaluMarcell Jacobs and Filippo Tortu finished in 37.50, edging out Great Britain’s foursome by one one-hundredth of a second. Tortu’s spirited anchor leg caught and passed Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake in the closing strides for Italy’s unprecedented fifth track and field gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics.

Women’s 10,000m: Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan secured a second title and third medal at the Tokyo Olympics, showing her blistering pace down the home straight to win the women’s 10,000m. The 28-year-old Ethiopian-born Hassan, world champion over 1,500m and 10,000m, won the 5,000m title and picked up bronze in the 1,500m in her bid for an unprecedented triple in Tokyo.

Men’s 1500m: Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway won gold in the Olympic men’s 1500m final on Saturday, breaking the Games record to upset world champion Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya who took silver. The 20-year Norwegian sped past Cheruiyot on the last lap, however, to clock a blistering 3:28.32 and became the first European winner of the event since Spain’s Fermin Cacho in Barcelona in 1992.

Women’s 4x400m Relay: Allyson Felix, running leg two of a dream-team 4x400m relay squad with Sydney McLaughlinDalilah Muhammad and Athing Mu, captures her 11th medal – seventh gold – to surpass Carl Lewis‘ U.S. track and field medal record.

Men’s 4x400m Relay: The defending Olympic champion United States men’s 4×400 relay team are gold medalists once again following a thrilling final, and it would be no exaggeration to state that they made it look easy. Anchor Rai Benjamin had a dominant and comfortable final leg, finishing at 2:55.70. The Netherlands earned silver at 2:57.18 and Botswana broke an African record and scored the bronze with a time of 2:57.27.

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