Aug 6, 2021
ESPN News Services
The U.S. women’s 4×100-meter team’s push for a third consecutive Olympic gold was thwarted by Jamaica, Italy was a surprise winner in the men’s 4×100, and Sifan Hassan’s chase for three gold medals withered in her fifth of six races at the Tokyo Games.
Jamaica won in a national-record 41.02 seconds, adding the relay title to its Tokyo Olympic collection after sweeping the podium in the 100-meter final. It was the second-fastest time in history.
The American team of Javianne Oliver, Teahna Daniels, Jenna Prandini and Gabrielle Thomas won silver in 41.45. Britain took bronze in 41.88.
Elaine Thompson-Herah won the 100 meters Saturday in an Olympic record. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was second, and Shericka Jackson was third in that race. Those three joined Briana Williams as the Jamaicans added the Olympic relay title to their world championship gold in 2019.
“We got the national record, Elaine got her third gold medal, we’re all going home with a gold medal, so we’re just very grateful for the effort,” Fraser-Pryce said.
Italy won the men’s 4×100-meter race in 37.50 seconds, narrowly eclipsing Britain (37.51) for silver. Canada (37.70), featuring 200-meter champion Andre De Grasse, took bronze. The win gives 100-meter champion Marcell Jacobs two golds at these Games and was Italy’s first Olympic medal in the relay since a bronze at the 1948 London Olympics.
Running the anchor leg, Filippo Tortu went toe-to-toe with Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake of Britain down the home straight and came out on top.
“We are four Ferraris,” Tortu said.
The U.S. men missed the 4×100 relay after a bad exchange doomed them to a sixth-place finish in their qualifying heat.
Hassan clung on for bronze in 3:55.86 in the 1,500 after she started fading on the back straight. Faith Kipyegon of Kenya retained her Olympic title in a Games-record time of 3:53.11. Laura Muir of Britain took the silver in 3:54.50.
Hassan already has a gold in the 5,000 meters and could still complete a rare set if she wins a third medal in the 10,000-meter final Saturday. She made it clear her aim for the 10,000 is no longer gold; it’s just a medal.
“I think the body is very tired,” Hassan said, adding, “I [just] need this,” holding up her bronze meda, “not gold.”
Hassan took everyone by surprise by running at the front almost from the start in the 1,500 when her previous tactics in Tokyo had been to stay at or near the back of the field for most of the race and burst home on the last lap. She had won all four of her races in Tokyo before the 1,500 using those tactics.
Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda won the gold medal in the men’s 5,000 meters a week after earning silver in the 10,000.
Cheptegei, who holds the world record in the event, was in the lead pack for most of the race and won in 12:58.15. Mohammed Ahmed of Canada surged into second place to get the silver medal in 12:58.61, and Paul Chelimo of the United States picked up bronze in 12:59.05.
Chelimo was a silver medalist in the 5,000 at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. He dove across the line to edge Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli of Kenya.
Liu Shiying of China won the gold medal in the women’s javelin, leading all the way after throwing 66.34 meters in the first round.
Liu passed on her sixth and final attempt after being assured of the gold. She instead raced to the stands behind the competition area and grabbed a Chinese flag to begin the celebrations.
Maria Andrejczyk of Poland won silver with a throw of 64.61 meters. That was five centimeters better than world champion Kelsey-Lee Barber of Australia.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.