RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 18, (Agencies): Elaine Thompson captured a magnificent Olympic sprint double for Jamaica on Wednesday as Brianna Rollins led a first ever clean sweep of medals for the United States in the 100m hurdles. Thompson, who sprinted to gold in the 100m on Saturday, stunned Dutch world champion Dafne Schippers to win the 200m in 21.78sec. Schippers, who stumbled dramatically as she crossed the line, took silver in 21.88 while Tori Bowie of the United States won bronze. The victory was the latest golden night for Jamaica, who 24 hours earlier had been celebrating Omar McLeod’s 110m hurdles victory. Thompson, 24, dedicated her victory to the trailblazing Jamaican stars who had won Olympic gold over the past years.
It was a first Olympic women’s sprint double since American world record holder Florence Griffith Joyner’s at the Seoul Games in 1988. Thompson’s gold also avenged her loss to Schippers in the World Championships in Beijing last year. In the final event of the night, 2013 world champion Rollins led a majestic performance by America’s formidable trio of 100m hurdlers. Rollins produced a flawless display to zip over in 12.48sec ahead of compatriot Nia Ali, who took silver in 12.59. The third US hurdler, Kristi Castlin, faced an agonising wait before her bronze medal was confirmed in 12.61sec.
Elsewhere on Wednesday, Tianna Bartoletta of the United States upset defending champion and team-mate Brittney Reese to take the long jump gold. Bartoletta, a 2005 world champion who gave up the sport as she struggled to regain her fitness, secured victory with her penultimate leap of 7.17m to knock Reese out of the gold medal standings. Reese, who could only manage 7.15 on her final jump, had to settle for silver. Evan Jager of the United States won silver, while Mahiedine Mekhissi of France was awarded bronze after Kenya’s Ezekiel Kemboi, who had crossed the line in third place. Meanwhile, Kaori Icho grabbed a slice of Olympic history as Japan swept all three women’s wrestling gold medals on offer at Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.
Icho became the first woman in any sport to win four gold medals in individual events across four Games with her victory over Russian Valeriia Koblova Zholobova in the women’s freestyle 58kg final. Icho joined five men to have won gold medals in individual events at four straight Olympics. Swimmer Michael Phelps and athletes Carl Lewis and Al Oerter all claimed the same individual event at four Games in a row. Sailors Ben Ainslie and Paul Elvstrom also won four individual golds on the trot but in different classes.
Icho, 32, won her previous three golds in 2004, 2008 and 2012 in the 63kg category. The 10-time world champion scored late to overcome the 23-year-old Russian. There was drama, too, in wins for Sara Dosho and Eri Tosaka. Treble world champion Tosaka got the ball rolling for Japan at the Carioca Arena, coming from behind to beat 2012 silver medallist Mariya Stadnyk of Azerbaijan with a two-point throwdown with seconds remaining. Dosho won gold in her Olympic debut, stunning Olympic and world champion Natalia Vorobeva of Russia in the 69kg final. Dosho produced a two-point takedown in the final minute of the match to level the score at 2-2, and won the match on criteria.
The bronze medal matches produced exciting action on the mat. China’s Sun Yunan won the first 48kg bronze medal match, over Zhuldyz Eshimova of Kazakhstan, in just 54 seconds, and the second bronze went to Elitsa Yankova for Bulgaria’s first medal in Rio. Sakshi Malik claimed India’s first medal of these Games with a victory for bronze over Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan in the 58kg class, with the second bronze going to Tunisia’s Marwa Amri. Amri is the first woman to win a medal for Tunisia in any of the current combat sports on the Olympic programme — wrestling, boxing, judo or taekwondo. Alistair Brownlee became the first triathlete to defend his Olympic title on Thursday with his brother Jonny taking the silver medal on Rio’s Copacabana. The British siblings finished comfortably clear of South Africa’s bronze medallist Henri Schoeman. While Alistair, 28, was repeating his success in London’s Hyde Park, his twoyear younger brother was improving on his bronze he collected at the 2012 Games. Meanwhile, Kerron Clement of the United States stormed to victory in the men’s 400m hurdles on Thursday, holding off a furious late challenge from Kenya’s Boniface Tumuti to take gold. Clement powered over in a world leading time of 47.73sec, just ahead of Tumuti in 47.78.
Turkey’s Cuban-born Yasmani Copello claimed bronze in 47.92sec. Ireland’s Thomas Barr narrowly missed out on a podium finish, just behind Copello in 47.97sec. American Ashton Eaton held onto his lead in the decathlon on Thursday, trailing nearest rival Canadian Damian Warner in the 110 metre hurdles but edging him in the discus as he looked set to repeat London’s gold medal performance.
Eaton, who typically counts on his blazing running speed to offset mid-pack throws, finished the day’s first event, the hurdles, in 13.8 seconds, a stride behind Warner, who lived up to his record as the world’s fastest decathlon hurdler. But Eaton, 28, came back to beat 26-year-old Warner in the discus, with his best throw of the season, 45.59m, topping his rival’s 44.93m. The two-time world champion so far has won two of the ten events — Wednesday’s long jump and 400m — and finished second to Warner, who finished fifth at the 2012 London Games, in the shorter 100m and 110m hurdles.
France’s Kevin Mayer finished third in the hurdles with a time of 14.02, but placed better than either of the two leaders in the discus with a throw of 46.78m that allowed him to climb into third place, displacing Germany’s Kai Kazmirek. Max Rendschmidt and Marcus Gross of Germany won the men’s double kayak 1,000m final in Rio on Thursday to add Olympic gold to the world title they won in 2015. Rendschmidt and Gross powered across the line at Lagoa Stadium in 3min 10.781sec with Serbia’s Marko Tomicevic and Milenko Zoric taking silver and Australians Ken Wallace and Lachlane Tame earning bronze. Spain’s Saul Craviotto and Cristian Toro won the men’s double kayak 200m Olympic gold medal at Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.
The two crossed the line at Lagoa Stadium ahead of silver medallists Liam Heath and Jon Schofield of Great Britain with Lithuania’s Aurimas Lankas and Edvinas Ramanauskas capturing bronze. Meanwhile, a Brazilian police official is telling The Associated Press that American swimmer Ryan Lochte fabricated a story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro. The official, who has direct knowledge of the investigation, spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about an ongoing probe.
British sailors Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark polished off a gold medalwinning performance in the women’s 470 two-person dinghy on Thursday in a medal race postponed for lack of wind from Wednesday. Skipper Mills and crew Clark had only to finish the double-points finale after building a 20-point lead after 10 prior races. New Zealand’s Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie earned silver and France’s Helene Defrance and Camille Lecointre grabbed bronze after the United States made a late mistake to tumble from podium position to seventh overall.