Elaine Thompson-Herah completed a stunning sprint hat-trick at the Tokyo Olympics as Italy enjoyed further success on the track on Friday.
Having won both the 100m and 200m individual finals, Thompson-Herah was part of the impressive Jamaica team, alongside Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson and Briana Williams, that won the women’s 4x100m relay, finishing ahead of the United States.
No female athlete had been victorious in all three sprint events at a Games since American Florence Griffith Joyner back in 1988.
Thompson-Herah now has five Olympic golds in total, one behind Allyson Felix, who added to her collection with a bronze medal in a 400m race won convincingly by Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas.
After success in the 100m, Marcell Jacobs doubled his tally of golds from the Games as part of Italy’s 4x100m relay squad that pipped Great Britain on the line.
However, it was Filippo Tortu who ran an outstanding final leg for the Italians, seeing him edge out Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake on the line.
Take a bow, @TeamJA876 & @ItaliaTeam_it
4x100m champions! pic.twitter.com/7oGLgCovjd
— Olympics (@Olympics) August 6, 2021
ITALIAN JOB SECURES MORE GOLD
Italy’s relay triumph takes them up to five golds in athletics – they had never previously won more than three at a single Olympics. It is the first time they have made the podium in the 4x100m relay since a bronze in 1948.
“This is the year of Italy, this is our year,” said a delighted Jacobs. “We won the Eurovision, we won the football European championships, we won five gold medals (in athletics).”
Also in Friday’s action on the track, Joshua Cheptegei triumphed in the men’s 5000m final while Faith Kipyegon claimed gold in the women’s 1500m, with Sifan Hassan – who had won the 5000m – finishing third. She has a chance to claim another medal when running in the 10,000m on Saturday.
“I am very happy with my race. I tried my best, but I couldn’t do more than this,” Hassan said after her bid to complete an Olympic treble came to an end.
“I think, for me, the third place is good. There was a lot of wind at the stadium today and that is what made it difficult for me. I can’t do anything about that, I just didn’t have any more strength.
“For now, it is all about taking enough rest in order to be able to race again tomorrow.”
KENNY KEEPS ADDING TO COLLECTION
Laura Kenny now has five Olympic gold medals after teaming up with Katie Archibald to win the madison for Great Britain.
The pair were dominant in the inaugural women’s event, finishing up with 78 points. Denmark were a distant second on 35, with the Russian Olympic Committee taking bronze.
Kenny had already managed a silver in Tokyo in the women’s pursuit, with this latest Olympic medal taking her to six. Only dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin can match that tally for a British woman.
“When I fell pregnant, there was a moment two months into the pregnancy where I woke up and said to Jason (Kenny, husband and fellow Olympian), ‘I can’t do this, I’m not going to be able to carry on (with cycling), there’s just no way’. And here we are,” said Kenny.
There was a one-two result for the Netherlands in the men’s sprint, Harrie Lavreysen seeing off compatriot Jeffrey Hoogland in a tense final. Britain’s Jack Carlin claimed the final spot on the podium.
Tokyo 2020 @LauraKenny31, the most successful British woman in Olympic history.#TeamGB pic.twitter.com/WqMyHAC64M
— Team GB (@TeamGB) August 6, 2021
GROSSO HITS THE SPOT
Canada held their nerve in a penalty shoot-out to become Olympic champions for the first time in women’s football, overcoming Sweden in a dramatic final.
Julia Grosso slotted in the winning kick to secure a 3-2 triumph after Canada goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe had twice made crucial saves. Sweden had the chance to win it with their fifth attempt, only for captain Caroline Seger to fire over the crossbar.
In the men’s tournament, Mexico defeated Japan 3-1 in the bronze medal game.
“We wanted to win a medal at these Olympic Games, so I feel very thankful,” said Mexico coach Jaime Lozano. “In football, this is the most important day in my life. What we have experienced today will be with us for the rest of our lives.”
ANNAN ACHIEVES A FIRST
In the women’s hockey final, the Netherlands claimed a record fourth title as they defeated Argentina 3-1.
The result sees Alyson Annan become the first woman to get a gold as both a player and a head coach.
“It’s nice but it’s not why I do this,” Annan said of that achievement. “My goal as a coach is to hopefully be a part of someone’s career and have them look back and say ‘That was a great time and I learned a lot and I became a better player and a better person’.
“For me it’s not about the gold medal. That’s for them.”
Great Britain took bronze with a 4-3 win over India.