Bolt storms to third 200m gold

Bolt storms to third 200m gold

August 20, 2016
(From L) America’s Lashawn Merritt, Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev, Canada’s Andre De Grasse, Panama’s Alonso Edward and Britain’s Adam Gemili chase Jamaica’s Usain Bolt who is racing to victory in the 200m final at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Thursday. — AFP
(From L) America’s Lashawn Merritt, Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev, Canada’s Andre De Grasse, Panama’s Alonso Edward and Britain’s Adam Gemili chase Jamaica’s Usain Bolt who is racing to victory in the 200m final at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Thursday. — AFP

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RIO DE JANEIRO — Usain Bolt wrote another chapter of improbable Olympic history with a third consecutive 200m crown Thursday as Ashton Eaton led an American gold rush by clinching back-to-back decathlon titles.

Bolt, who just days earlier had become the first man in history to win three 100m titles in a row, surged to victory in the 200m in 19.78sec at the Olympic Stadium. Canada’s Andre De Grasse took silver in 20.02sec, just ahead of France’s Christophe Lemaitre, who took bronze in 20.12.

Bolt’s triumph was greeted with rapturous applause by Brazilian fans who roared their appreciation as the sprint superstar set off on a lap of honor, with Bob Marley booming from stadium speakers.

The win left the 29-year-old Bolt just one win away from his targeted “triple triple” — a repeat of his sweep of 100m, 200m and 4x100m golds at the 2008 and 2012 Games.

“There’s nothing else I can do,” said Bolt.“I’ve proven to the world that I’m the greatest. That’s what I came here for. This is why I said it’s my last Olympics. I can’t prove anything else.”

The only blemish on another night of triumph for Bolt — his eighth Olympic gold medal — was a failure to seriously challenge his world record of 19.19sec.

“I wanted to run a faster time,” he said. “I knew it was going to be hard to break the world record because I could tell by my legs. When I came off the corner my legs decided, ‘Listen, we’re not going to go any faster.’”
Bolt will attempt to put the seal on what he says is his final Olympics in Friday’s 4x100 relay.

Bolt’s win came on a day when US athletes snapped up four more golds with wins in decathlon, men’s and women’s 400m hurdles and shot put.

Eaton, the defending decathlon champion and world record holder, overcame a fierce challenge from France’s Kevin Mayer to win the punishing 10-event discipline with a total of 8,893 points.

Mayer won silver with a total of 8,834pts, with Canada’s Damian Warner taking bronze.

Eaton’s back-to-back titles matched Britain’s Daley Thompson, who won gold in the event in the 1980 and 1984 Olympics.

“To win two Olympic golds in a row like Daley Thompson is very special,” Eaton said.

Arguably the performance of the day by a US athlete came in the women’s 400m hurdles, where Dalilah Muhammad became the first American to win the event since it was introduced at the 1984 Olympics.

“Being the first American to win this title adds a bit of extra sparkle,” added Muhammad, who finished in 53.13sec.

Sara Slott Petersen of Denmark took silver in 53.55sec while Muhammad’s teammate Ashley Spencer claimed bronze in 53.72.

Kerron Clement had earlier launched the US gold blitz in the men’s 400m hurdles, coming home in 47.73 to claim gold from Kenya’s Boniface Tumuti.

Clement, who won silver in the event in the 2008 Olympics, said he had been determined to win gold this year after injuries derailed his 2012 Games.

The other American gold came in the shot put, where Ryan Crouser won with a best of 22.52 meters, a new Olympic record.

Crouser’s teammate and reigning world champion Joe Kovacs claimed silver with 21.78m. New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh took bronze (21.36).

Croatian Sara Kolak won the Olympic women’s javelin final, dashing Czech Barbora Spotakova’s dreams of becoming the first woman to win three consecutive gold medals in the same individual event.

The 21-year-old Croat set a personal best and a national record with her fourth attempt of 66.18 meters.

Kolak, who also broke the national record in the qualifying rounds, secured victory ahead of South Africa’s Sunette Viljoen with a gold-winning throw of 1.26m.

Chinese teenager Ren Qian claimed the gold medal in the women’s individual 10m platform event.

Fifteen-year-old Ren, the first Chinese Olympic champion to be born after 2000, achieved the highest-scored dive of the evening at 94.05 points, which gave her a total of 439.25 points.

Her teammate, 17-year-old Si Yajie, took second place with a score of 419.40 while Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito won the bronze with 389.20 points.

Just over two years ago Cuban light-heavyweight Julio Cesar La Cruz was shot in a botched robbery and his boxing career thrown into jeopardy.

On Thursday he added Rio Olympic gold to his three amateur world titles and paid tribute to the people of Cuba and his family for nursing him back to full health. The Cuban bamboozled Kazakhstan’s Adilbek Niyazymbetov to earn a deserved unanimous points decision in 81 kg division in their gold-medal showdown.

Britain’s Joshua Buatsi and Mathieu Bauderlique of France take home bronze.
American Helen Maroulis denied Saori Yoshida a fourth straight Olympic wrestling gold with a stunning upset of the Japanese great in the 53kg final .

Maroulis, a reigning world champion competing in her first Olympics, made the United States’ first-ever women’s wrestling gold one to remember with her victory over the 13-time world champion, calling it “an honor” just to meet Yoshida on the mat.

Bronze went to Azerbaijan’s Natalya Sinishin and Sovia Magdalena Mattson of Sweden.

It was a historic day in the Olympic taekwondo competition as Ahmad Abughaush won Jordan’s first ever Games medal and Kimia Alizadeh claimed a first women’s medal for Iran.

Abughaush beat Alexey Denisenko of Russia 10-6 to win the men’s under-68kg division while Alizadeh landed bronze in the women’s under-57kg category by beating Nikita Glasnovic of Sweden 5-1.

August 20, 2016