Sunday, August 14, 2016

Rio 2016 Day 8 Summary: Mo Farah defends 10,000m crown, Monica Puig makes history for Puerto Rico

* Mo Farah became Britain's first athlete to win three Olympic golds on the track. He tripped and fell during the 10,000m race. Got up, made his way back to the front, attacked in the last 100m and took the gold with a time of 27:05.17. He is just the fourth man to defend his 10,000m title at the Olympics.

* Bahraini 21-year-old Ali Khamis stole the last spot in the 400m final with a 44.49 run in the semi-finals, that were topped by Kirani James (44.02).

"My rivals were stronger than me, I tried but the last 100m were tough, I wasn't as fast as I needed to be. But thankfully I set a new Bahraini national record," said Khamis, who seemed to slow down towards the end to miss out on a top-two spot in his semi, but he advanced anyway as one of the fastest third-place finishers.

"I still not to be more experienced to keep it up in the last 100m. Hopefully I can improve my time in the final. Making a final at the Olympics, as a Bahraini, and an Arab is a huge honour"

* Michael Phelps closed the curtain on his one-of-a-kind career, helping USA win gold in the 4x100m medley relay, which saw Ryan Murphy set a world record in the opening leg backstroke. Phelps retires from swimming with 28 Olympic medals - 23 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze.

The 31-year-old, who flirted with the idea of retirement after London 2012, won five golds and one silver in Rio.

"This is how I wanted to finish my career. I've lived a dream come true. Being able to cap it off with these Games is just the perfect way to finish," said Phelps, who was watched on by his fiancee Nicole and his son Boomer on an emotional night at the Aquatics Stadium.

* Usain Bolt started his campaign, strolling into the 100m semi-finals, so did two-time doping offender Justin Gatlin, who was fastest of the bunch with a 10.01.

Gatlin hit back at teenage swimmer Lilly King, who said she didn't believe people who have tested positive for banned substances and have served doping suspensions should be competing in Rio, when she was asked if she thought her fellow American, Gatlin should be there.

"I don't even know who Lilly King is - she does swimming, not track and field. I'm not worried about that," Gatlin fired back on Saturday.

* In discus, Germany's Christoph Harting took his brother's crown after winning gold, four years on from when his older sibling Robert Harting took gold at the same event in London 2012. Now that's one overachieving family.

* Jamaican 24-year-old Elaine Thompson clinched 100m gold in stunning fashion, outclassing the field with a 10.71. American Tori Bowie took silver with a 10.83 while two-time defending gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce completed the podium, grabbing bronze with a 10.86. 

* In handball, Egypt squandered a three-goal advantage to succumb to a 27-27 draw. Egypt face Germany in their last group-stage match, with very little chance of advancing. Here's what Pool B looks like at the moment with just one round of matches left. The top four nations advance to the quarter-finals.
* In the last night of swimming, Gregorio Paltrinieri grabbed Italy's first swimming gold medal of the Rio Olympics with a convincing victory in the men's 1,500m freestyle. Paltrinieri threatened Sun Yang's world record before he finally touched in 14:34.57, with America's Connor Jaeger second (14:39.48) and another Italian, Gabriele Detti, third (14:40.86).

* American Jeff Henderson claimed gold in a drama-filled men's long-jump in which a trailing left hand on the very last jump cost compatriot Jarrion Lawson the title.

Henderson managed a best of 8.38m, finishing 1cm ahead of South African Luvo Manyonga, with defending champion Greg Rutherford of Britain taking bronze (8.29). Lawson finished fourth but his final jump went beyond that of Henderson's, only for his left hand's contact in the sandpit to ruin the real reading.

* In tennis, world No34 Monica Puig became Puerto Rico's first-ever Olympic gold medalist, and Puerto Rico's first female Olympic medalist, by defeating Angelique Kerber 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in the final.

With wins over French Open champion and world No4 Garbine Muguruza, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, and world No2 and reigning Australian Open champion Kerber en route to gold, this was a sensational run from Puig.

The 22-year-old Puig was sobbing through the national anthem on the podium and admitted she didn't know all the words. Puig was born in San Juan but has been living in Florida for a long time. She struggled with the words to "La Borinquena".

"My dad emailed me the lyrics but I didn't really have time to memorise them. I heard people singing and I was choking up. I heard the words. I would have started singing if I wasn't choking," she said.

* In men's singles, Juan Martin del Potro's fairytale run, that started with him taking out world No1 Novak Djokovic in the first round, continued as he overcame Rafael Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 to reach the gold medal match. He faces defending champion Andy Murray while Nadal will fight Kei Nishikori for the bronze.

* Another Kuwaiti won a shooting medal this week, following Fehaid Al Deehani's double trap gold, as Abdullah Al Rashidi took bronze in skeet. Unfortunately both shooters were competing under the Olympic flag with Kuwait suspended by the IOC.

* Pernille Blume, who quit swimming after being told she was too short, gave Denmark its first gold in the Olympic pool in 68 years with a surprise win in the 50m freestyle. Despite going into the final as the fastest qualifier, the 22-year-old was not considered the favourite because she had primarily been a relay swimmer.

"I enjoy swimming the 50m free, it's so much fun but I'd always been told I'm too small to be a 50m free swimmer and I should probably be a 200m swimmer," said the 1.71m Blume. "So I had to take a break from all this and just figure out how I wanted things to go. If I was going to spend so much time doing this, I was going to enjoy it so that's why I came back."

* Poor Nadezhda Bazhina! The Russian diver landed flat on her back during the women's 3m springboard competition, achieving the dubious distinction of scoring a rare "0.0" score. The sad thing is that Bazhina was on course to qualify for Sunday's final before committing the howler. But as she came down for her final spring off the board Bazhina's left foot almost missed it completely, throwing her out of whack.

**Sources include AFP**


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