Spoils shared at track and field on Rio’s Super Saturday

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Spoils shared at track and field on Rio’s Super Saturday

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 14 (IANS) Belgium, Jamaica, Britain, the US and Germany all claimed track and field gold medals in an action-packed Super Saturday at the Rio Olympics.

Nafissatou Thiam secured Belgium’s second gold medal of the Games by winning the women’s heptathlon, upsetting defending champion and favorite Jessica Ennis-Hill, reports Xinhua.

Thiam, 21, finished with 6,810 points, 35 ahead of Britain’s Ennis-Hill, who had to settle for silver. Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Canada took bronze with 6,653 points.

Belgium’s only other gold medal so far was won by Greg van Avermaet in the men’s road cycling race.

Elaine Thompson continued Jamaica’s Olympic sprint monopoly by winning gold in the women’s 100m.

The 24-year-old clocked 10.71 seconds to hold off the USA’s Tori Bowie, who took silver in 10.83.

“When I crossed the line and glanced across to see I was clear, I didn’t know how to celebrate,” Thompson said.

Thompson’s fellow Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, winner of the previous two Olympic gold medals in the event, had to settle for bronze in 10.86.

Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Cote d’Ivoire was fourth and Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands fifth.

Britain’s Mo Farah recovered from a mid-race fall to successfully defend his 10,000m title.

Farah tumbled to the ground after appearing to trip over American Galen Rupp on the 10th lap at the Olympic Stadium.

But he recovered quickly to set the pace before charging to the finish line in a time of 27 minutes and 5.17 seconds.

Kenya’s Paulo Tanui took silver in 27:05.64 and Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola grabbed bronze in 27:06.26.

Farah is the first Briton to claim three gold medals in athletics at the Olympic Games.

The 33-year-old won the 5,000m and 10,000m at the London Games.

Jeff Henderson of the United States won the long jump gold medal, surpassing South Africa’s Luvo Manyonga with his final jump.

Henderson, 27, leapt 8.38m to eclipse Manyonga’s best jump by just one centimeter.

Britain’s Greg Rutherford, who won gold in the event at the London 2012 Games, took bronze with a best effort of 8.29m.

Jarrion Lawson was fourth with 8.25m and China’s Wang Jianan fifth with 8.17m.

Germany’s Christoph Harting won the men’s discus gold medal, clinching victory with a personal best in his final attempt.

Harting overtook silver medallist Piotr Malachowski of Poland with a final round throw of 68.37m.

His fellow German Daniel Jasinski took bronze with a best throw of 67.05m.

It was Harting’s first victory in a major international event. His old brother Robert, a triple world champion, withdrew from the Olympics after injuring his back.

Meanwhile, Usain Bolt qualified fourth fastest for the men’s 100m sprint semifinals as he begun his bid for a third straight Olympic gold medal in the blue riband event.

The 29-year-old clocked 10.07 seconds to easily win his heat in blazing sunshine.

Justin Gatlin of the US, considered Bolt’s main rival for the gold medal, recorded the fastest time of the heats with 10.01 seconds.

Cote d’Ivoire’s Ben Youssef Meite was next with a time of 10.03, followed by Canada’s Ande de Grasse with 10.04.

China’s Xie Zhenye was fifth fastest with a personal best of 10.08.

“It’ s like a soccer crowd in here,” Gatlin said. “Everyone is really excited and we’re excited too.”

Bolt is aiming to repeat his 100m, 200m and 4x100m victories at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games.

He recovered from a hamstring injury last month by winning the 200m at the Anniversary Games in London.

The 100m semi-finals and final will be held on Sunday.

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