26/02/2024
Athletics Tokyo 2020

Peter Bol became the first Australian man to make an Olympic 800m final since 1968. (Photo: Athletics Australia - Twitter)

In the athletics, there were five gold medals awarded from four events, a new World Record in women's long jump and the heats continued.

For all your Tokyo 2020 coverage, stay tuned to The Inner Sanctum’s Olympic hub and the Olympics Central.

Gold for Gong completes the set

In the Women’s Shot Put Final today, eventual winner Gong Lijiao went into the event having claimed Bronze at Beijing 2008 and Silver at London 2012 and at Tokyo 2020, she finally completed the set.

The Chinese woman lead from the very first round when she threw 19.95m. She improved to 19.98m on her third throw before improving on that with her fifth throw that travelled 20.53m. Already claiming gold prior to her sixth and final throw, Gong still wanted to perform another throw.

Letting it all out inside the main stadium, Gong bettered her throw from before, earning a personal best with a score of 20.58m.

Raven Saunders of the USA and Valerie Adams best throws went 19.79m and 19.62m respectively, earning them Silver and Bronze.

Heartfelt gesture in the High Jump

For the first time in Olympic Games history, a gold medal has been shared between athletes in the High Jump.

Both Gianmarco Tamberi and Mutaz Essa Barshim finished in the same position at the end after not being able to clear 2.29m through three attempts. Each competitor had gone through the previous seven heights on their first attempts, unscathed.

Usually, each tied competitor would compete in a jump-off however, Italy’s Tamberi and Qatar’s Barshim discussed it at length and were happy to share the reward. Barshim had previously claimed Bronze at London 2012 and Silver at Rio 2016.

Belarusian Maksim Nedasekau came third to claim bronze. Australian Brandon Starc finished fifth overall.

Rojas top of the World with new record

Yulimar Rojas may have left it to last, but it was worth it as her sixth jump earned her a gold medal and new Women’s Triple Jump World Record.

Although leading since the end of the first round when she jumped 15.41m, it wasn’t until her sixth and final jump was better, by a long way.

On her last attempt, already having gold sown up, Rojas jumped 15.67m, a full .17m more than the previous World Record set by Inessa Kravets of Ukraine in 1995, which was 15.50m.

Patricia Momona of Portugal won Silver with a best jump of 15.01m, a National Record while Spain’s Ana Peleteiro won Bronze with a best jump of 14.87, also a National Record.

No Lamonting for Jacobs in 100m win

Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs won gold in the men’s 100m final in a time of 9.80 seconds, an area best, ahead of Fred Kerley of the USA and Andre de Grasse of Canada, each earning personal best times of 9.84 and 9.89 seconds respectively.

Jacobs won his qualifier with a national record of 9.94 seconds in Heat 3 to progress to the semi-finals where he was a non-automatic qualifier after finishing in 9.84 seconds.

Nevertheless, Jacobs won the gold at Tokyo 2020, despite having the second-worst reaction time out of seven racers that began the race.

In semi-final two, Rohan Browning finished fifth with a time of 10.09 in an equal-time with Jamaican Oblique Seville, just a hair behind in the race placings.

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Men’s 400m and 800m Heats

The first three runners in each heat qualified for the 400m Final across six heats overall, including Australian Steve Solomon who finished second in Heat 4 with a time of 44.94 seconds, a personal best.

Many other athletes earned personal best in the 400m Heats too including Australian Alex Beck (45.54 seconds) and Mazen Moutan Al Yassin (45.16 seconds).

Australian Peter Bol, in Heat 2, earned an area record with a time of 1:44.11 to earn 800m qualification, one of eight runners in the final. It was only .20 seconds away from the Olympic, and World Record.

Belgium’s Eliott Crestan earned a personal best (1:44.84), as did France’s Gabriel Tual (1:44.28) in their respective heats.

To complete the Australians in the 800m Semi-Finals, Charlie Hunter raced 1:46.73 to finish seventh in Heat 1 and Jeffrey Riseley finished fifth in Heat 3 with a time of 1:47.17.

Women’s 100m Hurdles and Men’s 400m Hurdles Heats

In the Women’s 100m Hurdles Heats, eight athletes qualified for the final that included two personal bests in Heat 2 to Jamaica’s Britany Anderson (12.40 seconds) and Liz Clay (12.71 seconds).

Though, in Heat 3, we saw a new Olympic Record through Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, beating Australian Sally Pearson’s record from London 2012, now set at 12.26 seconds.

Across three heats for the Men’s 400m Hurdles, eight qualified for the final, including a new area record winner in Heat 2, Brazil’s Alison dos Santos with a time of 47.31 seconds.

Throwing the Hammer down in qualification

The holder of the current World Record, Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk only took one attempt to earn automatic qualification to the Hammer Throw final with a first-attempt throw of 76.99m.

Also to qualify from Group A of the finals qualification was American Brooke Anderson who threw 74.00m and France’s Alexandra Tavernier who threw 73.51m, each on their second throws, to earn automatic qualification.

In Group B, two competitors threw the automatic qualification length of 73.50m – Wang Zheng of China with 74.29m (a season-best) and Camryn Rogers of Canada with 73.97m.

Not too Long to final jump after qualification

It took one attempt for long jumpers Tara Davis (USA) and Khaddi Sagnai (SWE) to earn automatic final qualification jumps of 6.85m and 6.76m in Group A of the High Jump. In the same group, Brittney Reese of the USA took two attempts to reach 6.86m and the third attempt saw Great Britain’s Abigail Irozuru qualify with 6.75m.

Four competitors from Group B earned automatic qualification too, including a season-best from Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic’s 7.00m jump. Germany’s Malaika Mihambo, Virgin Island’s Chantel Malone and Nigeria’s Ese Brume each took three attempts to qualify with jumps of 6.98m, 6.82m and 6.76m respectively.

Australian Brooke Stratton is through to the long jump final after her non-qualification attempt of 6.60 earned her entry into the final.

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