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Rio 2016 Olympics Athletics: World Record falls in busy first morning of Athletics

Reviewing all the action from a busy first morning of Athletics in Rio including a world best in the heptathlon and a new world record


Men’s discus – Qualifications

The rain fell early and made the circle really slick early on for group A, and we saw 6 no-throws in the first attempts. The early pace was set by Piotr Malachowski with a 64.69m throw, which was still shy of the automatic qualifying mark of 65.50m. However in the group A second throw we saw some marked improvements. Malachowski nudged himself home with a 65.89m and Austrian Lukas Weisshaidinger joined him with a 65.86m second throw. They were the only ones from group A to reach the automatic qualifying mark. With so few athletes gaining an automatic place in the final the likes of Lithuania’s Andrius Gudzius, The Estonian veteran Gerd Kanter and Germany’s Daniel Jasinski stand a chance unless group B pull some throws out…

Which they didn’t. No one in group B got over the needed 65.50m. The best throw came from Germany’s Christoph Harting, the younger brother of reigning champion Robert Harting. He fell just shy with a 65.41m throw, coming second was the mammoth American Mason Finley with 63.68m.

Robert Harting opened up his title defence with two no-throws, putting all the pressure on his third and final throw which fell at 62.21m, and would not be enough to go through.

Finalists:

Poland – Piotr Malachowski 65.89m

Austria – Lukas Weisshaidinger 65.68m

Germany – Christoph Harting 65.41m

Lithuania – Andrius Gudzius 65.18m

Estonia – Gerd Kanter 64.02m

USA – Mason Finley 63.68m

Sweden – Axel Harstedt 63.58m

Cyprus – Apostolos Parellis 63.35m

Hungary – Zoltan Kovago 63.34m

Estonia – Martin Kupper 62.92m

Germany – Daniel Jasinski 62.83m

Belgium – Philip Milanov 62.68m

 

Women’s heptathlon – 100m hurdles

The opening event of the Women’s heptathlon was met with disappointing conditions as persistent drizzle wetted the track and made it a tricky start for some of the particularly nervous athletes. Hungarian Gyorgyi Zsivoczky-Farkas took the first heat home with a new personal best of 13.79, enough for 1008 points. Also coming in with a PB was Colombian Evelis Aguilar in fourth. The second heat saw a pair of false starts from a nervous field but the Latvian Laura Ikauniece-Admidina kept her nerve to put down a 13.33 and take the lead with 1075 points to her name.

In heat 3 Anouk Vetter of Netherlands beat Great Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson by a hair with 13.47 to take 1055 points to Johnson-Thompson’s 13.48 and 1053 points, but the reigning Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill smashed heat 4 with a time of 12.84 to take 1149 points and the early lead.

Second behind Ennis-Hill is the Barbados athlete Akela Jones with 1124 points and Nadine Visser with 1121 who were also in heat 4.

Women’s shot put – Qualifications

It surprised no one that 2012 gold medallist and 2013 world champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand set her marker down with her first put, landing a 19.74m which was comfortably an automatic qualification throw and lead the field by some distance.

Behind her and seemingly only in a race for silver was German Christina Schwanitz with a put of 19.18m, followed by the American pair of Michelle Carter (19.01m) and the 20-year-old Raven Saunders (18.83m). Brazilian Geisa Arcanjo threw 18.29m with her first shot, it wasn’t enough for an automatic place in the final but it was enough to get her into the final and give the locals someone to root for.

Finalists:

New Zealand – Valerie Adams 19.74m

Germany – Christina Schwanitz 19.18m

USA – Michelle Carter 19.01m

USA – Raven Saunders 18.83m

China – Lijiao Gong 18.74m

Hungary – Anita Marton 18.51m

Brazil – Geisa Arcanjo 18.27m

Trinidad & Tobago – Cleopatra Borel 18.20m

Chile – Natalia Duco 18.18m

Cameroon – Auriole Dongmo 17.92m

Belarus – Alena Abramchuk 17.78m

Belarus – Aliona Dubitskaya 17.76m

Men’s 800m – Round 1

Unsurprisingly all eyes were on Olympic champion and world record holder David Rudisha from Kenya in this one. The phenomenal runner was going in heat three and seemed to just float away from the pack as he put in an amazing 1:45.09, leading from the front all the way.

In heat two his compatriot, teenager Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich came second to the Polish Adam Kszczot, but Rotich looked like he was taking things a little easy. Elsewhere Canadian Brandon McBride dominated heat six and another Kenyan Alfred Kipketer took heat four. Surprisingly Nijel Amos failed to qualify, but he looked to be carrying an injury as he ran with his right calf heavily strapped up. Ayanleh Souleiman from Djibouti was the man second to Rudisha after all was said and done however. His time of 1:45.48 was enough to win the first heat and secure a place in the semi-finals

Also qualifying well was Brazil’s Kleberson Davide, Great Britain’s Michael Rimmer and South African Rynardt Van Rensburg.

Women’s heptathlon – High jump

Jessica Ennis-Hill came in at 1.74m and cleared safely on the first time, however the real show was put on by Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium, who entered the competition at 1.83m and cleared with enough space for another person to go between her and the bar. Down in group B most failed at 1.80m but the impressive German Jennifer Oeser maxed out at 1.86m.

Ennis-Hill failed her first time at 1.86m but cleared it on the second attempt, although she failed first time at 1.89m, as did Hungarian Gyorgyi Zsivoczky-Farkas. Thiam had a bit of an unclean run up but cleared it with room to spare.

Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson was like a salmon over 1.89m and was followed by Ennis-Hill, who failed at this height in 2012 but Zsivoczky-Farkas, Cubas Yorgelis Rodriguez, Brianne Thisen Eaton all failed.

With just four left at 1.92m Ennis-Hill took the bar off with her shoulders but Thiam was once again flawless and Johnson-Thompson also had a terrific leap to nail 1.92m at the first attempt. Both Ennis-Hill and Jones failed at 1.92, but for Ennis-Hill it was a good result in her bid for another gold.

Thiam failed poorly at 1.95m her first time but Johnson-Thompson was majestic over the bar on her first attempt once again, with a heptathlon Olympic best jump. Thiam needed a third attempt but also cleared 1.95m to keep the contest going.

Thiam took the first shot at 1.98m and cleared it to set the world best heptathlon high jump, it put the pressure on Johnson-Thompson who couldn’t respond her first time up but absolutely nailed it to keep the competition rolling on.

Both failed at 2.01m on their first try, and neither got close at the second try either. Thiam again took the bar down for a third time, leaving Johnson-Thompson alone to try one last time. After much visualisation and thinking she took off but just came up short. They both came away with 1211 points for their totals while Ennis-Hill and Jones added 1093.

After two events Katarina Johnson-Thompson is in the lead with 2264 with Thiam on 2252 and Ennis-Hill in third with 2242.

Women’s 10,000m – Final

Tirunesh Dibaba was gunning for her third 10,000 metres Olympic title in a row. Kenyan Alice Aprot Nawowuna took off to the front and lead out early as is her style. It was a fast first 1,000m and really stretched the field early on. A group of 8 made up the front by a quarter distance. Incredibly the pace of the front group were coming in below world record pace, a record that was thought to be untouchable.

By half distance the front 8 had fractured to 6 and they were lapping other athletes and the early leading Nawowuna was done as the Ethiopian Almaz Ayana took to the front and knocked 4 seconds off a lap to kick into the lead. Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot in second was off the leader but within touching distance.

At three quarter distance Ayana had smashed Cheruiyot and was going to win, the only question was if she would break a world record that had stood since 1993 – but by the last two laps it was no longer a question, the world record had gone and gone in style. Almaz Ayana took gold with an unbelievable 29:17.45. In second was Vivian Cheruiyot who was only just slower than the newly broken record, the great Dibaba finished third just ahead of the one who sparked it all off Nawowuna.

Women’s 100m – Preliminaries

The Women’s sprint prelims were dominated by Charlotte Wingfield of Malta who lead from the start and never looked back in her heat, running a 11.86 to book a place in the first round later tonight.

Qualifying:

Malta – Charlotte Wingfield 11.86

Congo – Cecilia Bouele 11.98

Surinam – Sunayna Wahi 12.09

Malaysia – Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli 12.12

Sierra Leone – Hafsatu Kamara 12.24

Cook Islands – Patricia Taea 12.30

Oman – Mazoon Al-Alawi 12.30

Fiji – Sisila Seavula 12.34

 

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: World Record falls in busy first morning of Athletics

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