Usain Bolt com­pletes his third straight Sum­mer Games with three golds

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - SPORTS -

Ja­maica’s Usain Bolt an­chors the gold -medal-win­ning 400-me­ter team for his third gold in Rio de Janeiro.

RIO DE JANEIRO >> In per­haps the fi­nal Olympic race of his re­mark­able ca­reer, Ja­maican sprinter Usain Bolt went a per­fect 3-for-3 in his third straight Sum­mer Games, an un­prece­dented feat and one that might stand un­touched for years to come. Bolt, who added the Rio 100- and 200-me­ter dash ti­tles to the crowns he won in Bei­jing and Lon­don, an­chored Ja­maica’s 400-me­ter re­lay team to vic­tory Fri­day at Olympic Sta­dium in 37.27 sec­onds.

Japan was a sur­pris­ing sec­ond in 37.60 sec­onds. The U.S. team of Mike Rodgers, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Trayvon Bromell took third in 37.62 sec­onds, but was later dis­qual­i­fied for what’s be­lieved to be a lane vi­o­la­tion on their first ba­ton ex­change. Fourth­place Canada (37.64 sec­onds) was el­e­vated to the bronze.

USA Track & Field of­fi­cially filed an ap­peal to the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

Bolt ran away from the field in the last 30 me­ters or so, then promptly ran to the crowd to greet his ador­ing fans be­fore re­join­ing his team­mates for cel­e­bra­tions that in­cluded danc­ing, wrap­ping them­selves in flags and gen­er­ally sa­vor­ing a his­toric mo­ment.

Bolt, who will be 30 on Sun­day, has said he will re­tire af­ter these Rio Games, which would be a great loss to a sport that ur­gently needs not only his ex­cel­lence but his ge­nial, fan-friendly per­son­al­ity. He didn’t set any world records in Rio, but he cre­ated great ex­cite­ment and brought thou­sands of spec­ta­tors to a sta­dium that was largely empty through­out the com­pe­ti­tion.

Just be­fore the men’s race, the U.S. women’s 400-me­ter re­lay team of Tianna Bar­to­letta, Allyson Felix, English Gard­ner and Tori Bowie won gold with a time of 41.01 sec­onds. That was the eighth medal of Felix’s stel­lar ca­reer, a to­tal com­prised of five gold — the most for any fe­male track ath­lete-and three sil­ver.

The Ja­maican team of chris­tiana Wil­liams, sprint dou­ble cham­pion Elaine Thomp­son, Veron­ica Camp­bell-Brown Fraser-Pryce was sec­onds in 41.36 sec­onds. Bri­tain was third in 41.77 sec­onds.

The U.S. women had to run out of Lane 1 on Fri­day, mak­ing their task dif­fi­cult. They were placed there be­cause of their first-round mishap on Thurs­day, when Felix was el­bowed by a Ja­maican run­ner and couldn’t hand the ba­ton cleanly to Gard­ner. That put them out of an au­to­matic qual­i­fi­ca­tion but the re­sults was sucess­fully ap­pealed and the re­lay-with Moro lake Aki­nosun as the

an­chor — was al­lowed to run alone to try to get a top-eight time. They recorded the fastest time but were con­sid­ered to have qual­i­fied on time and were rel­e­gated to the in­side in­stead of a prime mid­dle lane.

Ear­lier Fri­day, the U.S. women’s 1,600-me­ter re­lay team ran the fastest first-round time- — 3:21.42 — and moved on to to­day’s fi­nal. The lineup of Court­ney Okolo, Tay­lor El­lis-Wat­son, Fran­cena McCorory and Phyl­lis Fran­cis got the ba­ton around cleanly, avoid­ing any mishaps of the va­ri­ety that the 400-me­ter re­lay ex­pe­ri­enced in its first-round heat on Thurs­day. The 1,600-me­ter lineup will change for the fi­nal, with the ex­act lineup be­ing an­nounced to­day.

Ja­maica (3:22.38) had the sec­ond-best time, fol­lowed by Ukraine, Bri­tain, Canada, Italy, Poland and Aus­tralia.

The U.S. men’s 1,600-me­ter re­lay team fin­ished sec­ond in its heat to Ja­maica, which got a scorch­ing an­chor leg from Javon Fran­cis. Ar­man Hall, Tony McQuay, Kyle Cle­mons and David Ver­burg of the U.S. were timed in 2:58.38, just be­hind Ja­maica’s 2:58.29. Trinidad and Tobago was dis­qual­i­fied from that heat. Bri­tain won the sec­ond heat but was dis­qual­i­fied, al­low­ing Brazil to make to­day’s fi­nal.

In the women’s 5,000, Vi­vian Jep­ke­moi Cheruiyot of Kenya set an Olympic record with a time of 14:27.17 to win gold, ahead of Hellen Obiri of Kenya (14:29.77) and 10,000-me­ter cham­pion Al­maz Ayana of Ethiopia (14:33.59). Shelby Houli­han, who be­came the lone Amer­i­can en­trant when Abbey D’Agostino had to with­draw be­cause of a se­ri­ous knee in­jury she suf­fered dur­ing a fall in the pre­vi­ous round, fin­ished 11th in 15:08.89.

U.S. gets gold, sil­ver in BMX

The United States ended its gold medal drought in BMX cy­cling when Con­nor Fields took the men’s fi­nal.

Fields won with a time of 34.622 sec­onds, beat­ing the Nether­lands’ Jelle van Gorkom by .684 sec­onds. It’s the first time that Team USA has won BMX since the Amer­i­can-born ac­tion sport be­came an Olympic medal event in 2008. The United States also re­turned to the podium af­ter get­ting shut out in 2012 in Lon­don.

On the women’s side, Colom­bia’s Mar­i­ana Pa­jon suc­cess­fully de­fended her gold medal. The fan fa­vorite in Rio raced to the front early and com­pleted the nearly quar­ter­mile-long course filled with bumps and twists in 34.093 sec­onds, .342 sec­onds faster than sil­ver medal­ist Alise Post of the United States.

Ste­fany Her­nan­dez of Venezuela won the bronze.

Park leads into fi­nal round

In­bee Park of South Korea has a two-shot lead go­ing into the fi­nal round at the Olympic Golf Course.

But it wasn’t easy in gusts that reached 30 mph. And she now faces the No. 1 player in women’s golf — Ly­dia Ko — for the gold medal.

Park made three bo­geys on the back nine and shot a 1-un­der 70.

Ko raced into con­tention with her first hole-in-one, and the Kiwi made all pars in the wind on the back nine for a 65. She was two shots be­hind along with Ge­rina Piller, the Amer­i­can who has yet to win on the LPGA Tour. Piller shot a 68.

Even though Piller hasn’t won, her most fa­mous mo­ment was last year in Ger­many when she made the win­ning point at the Sol­heim Cup. She says play­ing for the flag brings out the best in her.

Park was at 11-un­der 202.

Sick­ness af­fects USA’s Suhr

The United States’ Jenn Suhr broke down in tears af­ter fail­ing to de­fend her gold medal in the pole vault and said she’s scared about her health.

She says she’s been sick for 10 days, was cough­ing up blood Fri­day and is con­cerned her ill­ness is worse than a res­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tion.

Suhr said she vom­ited twice dur­ing Fri­day night’s pole vault and be­gan cry­ing as she dis­cussed how she trained for four years for a re­peat gold but is feel­ing sicker than she’s ever felt in her life.

Suhr was elim­i­nated with a mark of 4.60 and tied for sev­enth.

Eka­terini Ste­fanidi of Greece won the gold medal in the women’s pole vault with a mark of 4.85 me­ters.

Ja­maica’s Usain Bolt cel­e­brated win­ning gold in the men’s 4x100-me­ter re­lay fi­nal at the Olympic sta­dium on Fri­day.

He said he will re­tire af­ter com­pet­ing in Rio de Janeiro.


Above, Con­nor Fields of the United States, top cen­ter, raced against rid­ers from Aus­tralia, the Nether­lands and New Zealand in the men’s BMX semi­fi­nal on Fri­day. Mem­bers of the U.S. women’s wa­ter polo team, left, cel­e­brated af­ter de­feat­ing Italy for the gold medal on Fri­day.

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