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Athletics: Gong takes shot gold on scorching day

Last updated on: August 01, 2021 20:44 IST

Valerie Adams chalks up another medal for the mums

China's Lijiao Gong competes in the women's Shot Put final on day nine of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, on Sunday. 

IMAGE: China's Lijiao Gong competes in the women's Shot Put final on day nine of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, on Sunday. Photograph: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

China's Gong Lijiao won the women's shot put gold with a personal best effort on a blisteringly hot Tokyo morning on Sunday as the athletics world braced for the men's 100 metres, one of the pinnacles of the Games, later in the day.

As trackside temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) Gong, after 14 years of international competition, produced a throw of 20.58 metres.

 

Double world champion Gong had previously finished fourth, third and second in the Olympics -- on the back of some promotions following the doping disqualification of rivals. All five of her legal throws on Sunday were better than the rest of the field and she delivered a lifetime best with her final effort.

Raven Saunders, who entertained viewers with her powerful puts and extravagant celebrations, picked up silver for the United States and New Zealand's Valerie Adams became the latest medalling mother as she added a bronze to her Olympic collection of two golds and a silver.

New Zealand's Valerie Adams holds a photo of her daughter Kimoana, 3, and son Kepaleli, 2, after winning the women's Shot Put bronze medal

IMAGE: New Zealand's Valerie Adams holds a photo of her daughter Kimoana, 3, and son Kepaleli, 2, after winning the women's Shot Put bronze medal. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

The evergreen 36-year-old, Adams returned to action this year after having her second child and follows Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who is also combining motherhood with elite performance having won silver in Saturday's 100 metres final.

"These Games have been a very tough one for a lot of athletes and since the last Games I've had these two humans come out of me," Adams said.

"I just hope to continue to inspire female athletes all around the world. If you want to have a kid and you want to come back and be at the top of the world, you can. You can absolutely do that."

Kenya's Hyvin Kiyeng and Hungary's Lili Anna Toth compete in round one of the Women's 3000m Steeplechase heats of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, on Sunday 

IMAGE: Kenya's Hyvin Kiyeng and Hungary's Lili Anna Toth compete in round one of the Women's 3000m Steeplechase heats of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, on Sunday. Photograph: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

African steeplechasers are well used to training in the heat but even they were looking somewhat distressed, despite being first on the track at just before 10am local time.

Heavyweight Kenyan duo Hyvin Kiyeng and world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech advanced. Bahrain's former Kenyan Winfred Mutile Yavi was the fastest qualifier and also in contention will be Americans Courtney Frerichs and 2017 world champion Emma Coburn. 

Defending champion and world-record holder Wayde van Niekerk progressed in the 400m heats but after a long run of injuries looks unlikely to be able to retain the title.

World champion Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas also went through smoothly but American 2021 leader Randolph Ross missed out.

There are also medals available in the men's high jump and women's triple jump.

Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan confirmed that she will attempt an unprecedented Olympic treble, adding the 1,500 metres event to the 5,000m and 10,000m.

"For me it is crucial to follow my heart," she said in a statement."

Venezuela's Rojas smashes women's triple jump world record to take gold

Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela reacts after winning the Women's Triple Jump gold medal and breaking the world record at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday

IMAGE: Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela reacts after winning the Women's Triple Jump gold medal and breaking the world record at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela jumped 15.67 metres on Sunday to smash the world record in the women's triple jump with her final attempt, having already secured the gold medal.

The previous record of 15.50m was set by Ukraine's Inessa Kravets in 1995 in Sweden.

"I was looking for it, I knew we had that distance in my legs to get it today. I was failing a bit in the technical aspect but the last jump was one to give everything, and it was like that," she said.

"I focused on giving my best, enjoying, and it came out."

The win made Rojas Venezuela's first woman Olympic champion.

Patricia Mamona of Portugal won silver with 15.01m, a national record. The bronze went to Spain's Ana Peleteiro, who also broke the national record with 14.87.

Qatar's Barshim, Italian Tamberi share men's high jump gold

Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim added a coveted Olympic gold to his list of accolades in the men's high jump in Tokyo on Sunday, but he had to share the medal with Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy after both men ended on 2.37 metres.

Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus also cleared the 2.37 mark but he had more failed attempts, resulting in the bronze medal.

At the 2012 London Games Barshim won a bronze, which was later upgraded to silver. He picked up another silver in Rio de Janeiro four years later and then won two successive world titles in 2017 and 2019.

Both Barshim, 30, and the 29-year-old Tamberi did not have a failed attempt till they attempted to clear the 2.39 mark.

Camacho-Quinn wins 100m hurdles semi in Olympic record, Harrison also advances

Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn won her 100 metre hurdles semi-final in an Olympic record 12.26 seconds at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium on Sunday.

The 24-year-old improved her own 2021 leading time at the fan-free venue.

Jamaican Britany Anderson won her semi-final ahead of American world record holder Kendra Harrison in 12.51. Nigeria's Tobi Amusan, who finished fourth at the 2019 world championships, won her semi-final in 12.62.

The US swept the podium in Rio five years ago.

Source: REUTERS
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