Running, Walking and Jumping

Rio 2016 Review of Day 14

Usain Bolt Rio 100m final 2016

Jamaica won the men’s 4 x 100m relay to give Usain Bolt his ninth Olympic gold medal, a tally he shares with Paavo Nurmi and Carl Lewis. Japan finished an impressive second.

Jamaica’s women’s team was defeated by the United States and so Elaine Thompson did not match the three gold medals of Bolt in Rio. But two golds and a silver is a great total.

Thompson must surely now be given the title of woman of the meet after her main rival, Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, suffered a shock defeat in the 5000m. Running from the front in her customary style, Ayana blew up and was overtaken by Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya.

Another two countries won their first gold medals in history, Tajikistan through Dilshod Nazarov in the hammer, and the Ivory Coast through Cheikh Sallah Cisse in taekwondo.

Team World

There was a thrilling race in the 50km walk in which defending champion, Jared Tallent of Australia, hoped to win gold without having to wait four years for a disqualification. The contest was greatly helped by the absence of Viktor Chegin’s walkers from Russia.

The world record holder, Yohann Diniz of France, made an early break and led by nearly two minutes at one stage but, like Ayana, he could not sustain the pace and was caught by the pack. Evan Dunfee of Canada briefly took over the lead, as did Tallent, until Matej Toth of Slovakia went ahead to win gold. Tallent added a silver to his gold from London.

Brazil’s men’s volleyball team hit form at exactly the right time to beat Russia in straight sets, and qualify for the final on Sunday. It will be one of last gold medals to be decided.

Connor Fields - Rio 2016

Connor Fields of the United States (above) won gold in the BMX cycling. Mariana Pajon of Colombia retained her title in the women’s event. She is still the only Olympic cycling gold medallist from the bike-loving country, which is yet to win on the road or the track.

Russia won the synchronised swimming team competition, its tenth gold in five Games.

In showjumping, Nick Skelton of Great Britain, won his first individual medal, a gold, in his seventh appearance at the Olympics, at the age of 58. He now says that he will retire.

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