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Rio 2016: Can David Rudisha protect his crown?

The athletics continues today with several big finals, here is the lowdown on the days events.

Men’s triple jump – Qualifications @ 13:30

All three London 2012 medallists – Christian Taylor, Will Claye and Fabrizio Donato – will be competing again and the first two seem to be set to battle it out between themselves for the gold medal. They combine for 8 of the 10 longest jumps this year. Bin Dong of China and Renjith Maheswary figure to be their biggest threats.

Women’s 200m – Round 1 @ 13:35

With only one returning London 2012 medallists – gold medallist Allyson Felix – this competition is wide open, especially as a number of runners have posted good times this year. Holland’s Dafne Chippers, the USA’s Tori Bowie, the Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller and Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson are all primed to make a push at the medals.

Men’s 3000m steeplechase – Round 1 @ 14:25

Both the gold medallists, Ezekiel Kemboi, and silver medallist, Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad, from London 2012 will be retuning this Olympics but they are not locks to repeat their success. Conseslus Kipruto has run several time this year faster than the gold medal winning time at London. John Kibet Koech of Bahrain and Soufiane Elbakkali both pose a significant threat to the two guys looking to repeat.  

Women’s hammer throw – Final @ 14:40

Both the silver and bronze medallists from London 2012, Anita Wlodarczyk and Betty Heidler, will be at it once again this year, but Wlodarczyk seems poised to take gold this time around. Not only is the gold medallists not present, but Wlodarczyk has been dominant this year, posting a throw that would’ve won gold and having the 11 best throws this year.

Women’s 3000m steeplechase – Final @ 15:15

With Ruth Jebet, Beatrice Chepkoech, Emma Coburn, Habiba Ghribi and Sofia Assefa all making the final, this race could be very close. Jebet may have beaten them all by at least 5 seconds, all five of these runners will have more left in the tank for the final.

Men’s 400m hurdles – Round 1 @ 15:30

With London 2012’s gold medallist not competing, Rio’s gold medal is open. Both the silver and bronze medallists are returning – Michael Tinsley and Javier Culson – and some of this year’s best performers are too – Kerron Clement, Yasmani Copello, Annsert Whyte and Keisuke Nozawa.

Women’s discus throw – Qualifications @ 00:30

The gold medallist of London 2012, Sandra Perkovic of Croatia, is not only returning but is seemingly set to retain her medal. This year she has been the best female discus thrower, she has 5 of the 6 best throws this year. Yaime Pérez and Julia Fischer pose the biggest threat and are worth keeping an eye on.

Men’s pole vault – Final @ 00:35

As expected, Renaud Lavillenie will be appearing in the final, as will Sam Kendricks. Aside from those two, Shawnacy Barber of Canada and Thiago Braz da Silva are worth keeping an eye on for the upset.

Men’s 110m hurdles – Round 1 @ 00:40

With none of the London 2012 medallists returning this year’s competition will be wide open. Jamaica’s Omar McLeod has been the best this year, posting the two fastest times of the year, both of which would’ve won a silver medal in London. The USA’s Devon Allen (who also plays football for the Oregon Ducks) and Spain’s Orlando Ortega have also posted times that would’ve put them in the medals in London. This should be a tightly fought event throughout.

Women’s 400m hurdles – Round 1 @ 01:30

With only London 2012’s bronze medallist, Zuzana Hejnova, returning, and multiple other competitors who have outperformed her this year. The USA’s Dalilah Muhammad and Ashley Spencer, Jamaica’s Janieve Russell, GB’s Eilidh Doyle and Denmark’s Sara Slott Petersen are all among this year’s top performers who’ll be competing at Rio.

Men’s 800m – Final @ 02:25

The semi-final of this event was a very tight affair among the top 3 performers. Pierre-Ambrose Bosse of France, Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria and Daivid Rudisha of Kenya finished within 3 hundredths of a second of each other. If they can all repeat that performance, this race could be great.

Women’s 400m – Final @ 02:45

Like the men’s 800m, this could be a close affair, too. Allyson Felix of the USA, Shericka Jackson of Jamaica, Natasha Hastings of the USA and Shaunae Miller all had times under 50 seconds. With 4 runners all relatively close together, this race could be thrilling.

Remy Cabache

Lifetime sports fan. I have written with RealSport since the NFL section started and I have also written for my own blog, EbonyBird.com and I have had several articles published in local newspapers covering my local (American) football team.

Rio 2016: Can David Rudisha protect his crown?

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