By Nilesh Patel
- Mo Farah becomes first British track and field athlete to win 3 golds
- Jessica Ennis-Hill wins silver, while Katarina Johnson-Thompson finishes sixth in heptathlon
- Greg Rutherford scrapes bronze in long jump
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Team GB recreate London 2012’s ‘Super Saturday’ by winning eight medals, three of which were on the second day of track and field.
The morning began with the heptathletes preparing for their fifth event of the contest – the long jump. Jessica Ennis–Hill jumped a decent 6.34m and appeared to maintain her gold position through to the afternoon session. However, the Belgian young star – Nafissatou Thiam – had other ideas as she jumped a personal best of 6.58m to slip ahead of the Brit and into first. Katarina Johnson-Thompson already had ground to make up before the jump and thanks to her 6.54m she moved into third place.
The evening session began with the javelin where Ennis-Hill achieved a respectable 46.06m. Whereas Johnson-Thompson was left distraught with her attempts as she could only muster a throw of 36.36m which was the third lowest throw of the event. However, their main competitor –Thiam – was the exact opposite as she threw the third highest distance of 53.13m – which maintained her first position.
The final and decisive event was the 800m where the Briton’s personal bests were higher than their Belgian counterpart. Ennis-Hill won the race a clear distance away from her rival, but that was not enough to secure the gold. Johnson-Thompson finished the race in fourth in a time that took her overall position to sixth.
Mo Farah made his first appearance of the Olympics to compete in the men’s 10,000m, where he entered as Olympic, World and European champion. Despite being firm favourite for the gold, Farah’s chances of victory looked in jeopardy when he was tripped early on by USA’s Galen Rupp. With a graze on his shoulder, he picked himself up immediately to join the top of the race. After a thrilling battle with Kenya’s Paul Tanui, Farah managed to speed past the Kenyan in the last 100m to claim gold.
The last of Super Saturday’s track and field athletes to compete was Greg Rutherford in the long jump final, which he scraped into on Friday. Rutherford was always going to be marked as favourite due to his ‘Grand Slam’ title for winning Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth gold. The Brit had to work hard to make the podium, with American Jarrion Lawson almost pushing him off third if not for a disqualification. A jump of 8.29m was just about enough for Rutherford to make the podium in what was an exhilarating contest.
Day two was also a good day for Britons in the qualifiers. James Dasaolo squeezed into the men’s 100m semi-finals as one of the fastest losers after running in the same heat as the world’s fastest man – Usain Bolt. James Ellington, unfortunately, didn’t have the same luck as he finished fifth in his heat. The 30-year-old’s time of 10.29s was only good enough to finish 40th overall.
In the women’s 400m, Christine Ohuruogu was second in her heat with a solid performance. The 2008 Olympic champion and 2012 runner-up will be joined by Emily Diamond who ranked 18th overall to progress into the next round.
For Matthew Hudson-Smith, this was his second race in as many days to try and reach the 400m final. The 21-year-old was elated with his second place finished in the semi, which he earnt in a photo finish.
The final qualifier of the night was for the men’s 800m, where Michael Rimmer finished last in his heat. After falling ill overnight the 30-year-old clearly wasn’t in form to reach the final.
The women’s 100m was also concluded last night as Jamaican sprinter: Elaine Thompson won. However, there wasn’t a British presence in the final as Asha Philip and Desiree Henry fell short in the semi-finals.
Day 3 of the athletics programme at Rio 2016 continues 1:30pm BST
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