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Rio 2016 Olympics Athletics: Women’s heptathlon too close to call after first day

Wrapping up the first evening of athletics in Rio - featuring a surprise in the shot put and two more Heptathlon events

Men’s 20km walk – Final

So close but so far to another Great Britain medal. Tom  Bosworth lead for much of the first hour and really pushed the lead group only to watch the  Chinese pair of Wang Zhen and Cai Zelin to race away in the closing stages.

For Wang, who took bronze in London 2012, it was a terrific moment as he took gold in 1:19:14 with his compatriot Zelin taking silver. Australia’s Dane Bird-Smith rounded out the medal positions in third place as Bosworth smashed the British record but was only crossed the line in sixth place.

Women’s 1500m – Round 1

Women’s middle distance got underway with a surprisingly slow first heat won by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba in 4:10.61, the fastest non-automatic qualifier Hilary Stellingwerff (4:12.00) was left well adrift of the time needed.

The second heat saw the Dutch athlete Sifan Hassan go fom last to first in the final 300m with a time of 4:06.64, beating Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon. Great Britain’s Laura Weightman finished seventh but with a time of 4:08.37 qualified anyway.

The third and final heat was the fastest of all, win by Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum in 4:05.33 and because of that rapid time it featured four “fastest losers” who will go through including Kenya’s Violah Lagat.

Women’s heptathlon – Shot put

A disappointing event for the reigning champion Jessica Ennis-Hill who only managed a throw of 13.86m, good for 11th and 785 points. While it was markedly better than her compatriot and rival Katarina Johnson-Thompson (11.68m) it was once again the Belgian Nafissatou Thiam who dominated the field with a best of 14.91m for 855 points, lifting her to the top of the table ahead of Ennis-Hill and Barbados’ Akela Jones.

Women’s hammer throw – Qualifications

The women’s hammer group A was immediately dominated by Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk who posted a session best 76.93m with her first throw. She was one of just three to automatically qualify for the final and distanced the field by over 3m. Joining her, but needing three throws to do so was Venezuela’s Rosa Rodriguez with a season’s best 72.41m. In group B it took three throws for China’s Wenxiu Zhang to hit the automatic qualifying mark with a throw of 73.58m. She was the only one to do so in group B and lead the group by over 2 metres.

Also making the final:

Poland – Joanna Fiodorow 71.77m

Moldova – Zalina Marghieva 71.72m

Germany – Betty Heidler 71.17m

Belarus – Hanna Malyshik 71.12m

USA – Amber Campbell 71.09m

USA – DeAnna Price 70.79m

China – Zheng Wang 70.60m

Great Britain – Sophie Hitchon 70.37m

France – Alexandra Tavernier 70.30m


Men’s 400m – Round 1

A strong first heat was won by Trinidad & Tobago’s Machel Cedenio in 44.98, ahead of American Gil Roberts. Heat two was taken by Granada’s Bralon Taplin in 45.15. South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk in 45.26. Surprisingly America’s LaShawn Merritt had the lowest heat victory with 45.28 but he is still expected to be a major player in the final and feature in the medals.

Men’s long jump – Qualifications

Defending champion Greg Rutherford from Great Britain was made to sweat for is spot in the final. He had two red flags on his first two jumps before landing a 7.90m jump on his final attempt, putting him through 7th of 8 finalists.

It was American Jeff Henderson who threw down the gauntlet for Rutherford’s title, jumping a season best 8.20m on his first attempt and was the only one who reached the automatic qualifying mark.


USA – Jeff Henderson 8.20m

Uruguay – Emiliano Lasa 8.14m

South Africa – Luvo Manyonga 8.12m

South Africa – Rushwal Samaai 8.03m

Australia – Henry Frayne 8.01m

China – Changzhou Huang 7.95m

Great Britain – Greg Rutherford 7.90m

France – Kafetien Gomis 7.89m

Women’s shot put – Final

In the biggest surprise of the afternoon defending champion from 2008 & 2012 Valerie Adams had to make do with a silver medal. The Kiwi threw a season best 20.42m with her second attempt and appeared to be in cruise control as no one else got within half a metre of her mark. And then, with her very last shot America’s Michelle Carter somehow found an extra 80cm and set a new national record with an incredible 20.63m throw.

Gold – USA – Michelle Carter 20.63m

Silver – New Zealand – Valerie Adams 20.42m

Bronze – Hungary – Anita Marton 19.87m


Women’s heptathlon – 200m

The final Heptathlon event of the day was dominated by the British pair. Katarina Johnson-Thompson took a best of 23.26 closely followed by Jessica Ennis-Hill on 23.49. Their closest rival through the first three events, Belgium’s Nafissatou Thiam was nowhere to be seen as she finished with a 24th best time 25.10. Akela Jones did ok with a 13th place finish but has left herself with work to do going into day 2 of the event. Latvia’s Ikauniece-Admidina helped her chances with a 3rd place and 1004 points to her name, but after day 1 it was Jessica Ennis-Hill who topped the table with 4057 points from Thiam (3985), Jones (3964) and Johnson-Thompson (3957).

Women’s 100m – Round 1

The women’s sprint rounded out the day’s action and saw Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce be the only one to dip below the 11 second mark as she posted a strong 10.96. Keeping with in touching distance of Fraser-Pryce was Trinidad & Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye (11.00), Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou (11.01) who ran with Fraser-Pryce in heat four and pushed her hard.

Great Britain’s Desiree Henry won heat one with the 4th fastest overall time of 11.08 giving her good hope of taking a medal but the American pair of English Gardner and Tori Bowie are lurking just behind.

Brazilian Rosangela Santos gave the home crowd something to cheer about as she came second in heat seven to qualify for the semi-finals but her 14th best time will need improving on if she wants to make the final.

Toby Durant

A passionate and opinionated writer, I am currently the NFL editor for RealSport. However, I also contribute to F1, WWE, Football, and other sections of the site, and I have covered the NFL International Series for RealSport and previously contributed to SB Nation.


I also have 10 years playing and coaching experience in American football, starting at the University of Nottingham and including a stint as defensive coordinator at Oxford Brookes University. I may be a Patriots fan but all aspects of the sport interest me, from guard play to special teams.

Rio 2016 Olympics Athletics: Women’s heptathlon too close to call after first day

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