Sprinters seek post-Bolt gold on Day 3 Of Olympic athletics

Sports Tokyo 2020

World record holder Karsten Warholm needs to book his place in the Olympic 400 metre hurdles final. AFP
World record holder Karsten Warholm needs to book his place in the Olympic 400 metre hurdles final. AFP

TokyoJapan | AFP

The third day of athletics at the Tokyo Olympics takes place on Sunday. AFP Sport looks at five stand-out events:

Men’s 100m - Final

The Tokyo Olympics are the first since Athens in 2004 to take place without Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, winner of eight golds.

Bolt retired after the 2017 world championships in London, after taking three consecutive Olympic 100m titles in Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro, as well as three straight 200m crowns.

The semi-finals and final on Sunday were blown open after American Trayvon Bromell, who owns the fastest time this year of 9.77sec, the seventh-quickest in history, scraped through as a fastest loser after finishing fourth in his heat.

US teammates Ronnie Baker and Fred Kerley have been left holding the baton while Canada’s Andre de Grasse and South African Akani Simbine are sure to offer some decent competition.

Women’s shot put - Final

New Zealand veteran Valerie Adams is the first shot putter in history to reach five Olympic finals, and will bid to become the first woman to win a single individual Olympic field event three times.

The 36-year-old has battled back from a number of injuries and managed her season’s best of 19.75m in July.

Competition comes in the form of China’s Gong Lijiao, who has topped the world lists in three of the last four seasons and is the best so far this year, throwing 20.39m in June.

Women’s triple jump - Final

All eyes will be on Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas, who has brought joy to her troubled nation with back-to-back world triple jump titles.

The 25-year-old is the only woman in the world to have jumped beyond 15 metres and has done so 17 times, including at all six of her competitions this year.

Having won silver in Rio, it looks like there is little to stop her going one better.

“I’m always giving my best,” she said. “And, above all, I’m a warrior.”

Men’s high jump - Final

Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim will seek to shine in what promises to be a highly competitive event.

Barshim, 30, won Olympic bronze in 2012 (later upgraded to silver after Russia’s Ivan Ukhov was stripped of the gold for doping) and silver in 2016 before winning his two world titles.

He has cleared 2.40m 11 times since 2013.

But rivals for gold include authorised neutral athletes Ilya Ivanyuk and Mikhail Akimenko, plus Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi.

An outsider could be American JuVaughn Harrison, who is attempting a rare double of high jump and long jump.

Men’s 400m hurdles - Semi-finals

The one-lap hurdles has been touted as one of the headline events of the Tokyo track meet, pitching Norwegian Karsten Warholm against American rival Rai Benjamin.

Both safely negotiated their heats, with the final to be held Tuesday.

Benjamin ran 46.83sec when winning the US trials, but not to be outdone, Warholm, at his home meet in Oslo and in his favoured lane seven, then ran 46.70sec to break Kevin Young’s world record set at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Warholm held off Benjamin in a thrilling duel at the 2019 world championships in Doha, and the rivalry between the pair should guarantee a spectacle.

Athletes chasing a podium finish include Brazil’s Alison Dos Santos and Qatar’s sub-47sec performer Abderrahman Samba.

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Tokyo 2020 AFP Athletics