All eyes on indefatigable Hassan on Day 8 of Olympic Games athletics
Newsfrom JapanSports Tokyo 2020
Tokyo, Japan | AFP
by Luke PHILLIPS
The eighth day of athletics at the Tokyo Olympics takes place on Friday. AFP Sport looks at five stand-out events:
Women’s 1500m - Final
When track and field’s governing body jokingly put out a social media post photo-shopping Sifan Hassan’s body into various other Olympic events such as sailing, equestrian and gymnastics on “her day off”, it was a well-deserved compliment to the Dutch runner.
Hassan has targeted an unprecedented treble of golds in Tokyo, meaning her programme is peppered with heats and finals throughout the nine-day schedule at the Olympic track in Tokyo.
Her campaign got off to a perfect start with victory in the 5000m before she turned her attention to the 1500m.
Awaiting the Ethiopia-born Hassan in the final of the shortest of her chosen three disciplines will be Kenya’s defending champion Faith Kipyegon.
Men’s 5000m - Final
There will be a new Olympic champion after Mo Farah, winner of the last two 5000m races in London and Rio, failed to make the British team.
Joshua Cheptegei headlines a strong trio of Ugandans including Jacob Kiplimo and Oscar Chelimo.
Cheptegei, world record holder over the distance on both track and road, won silver in the 10,000m on the opening day of action at the Olympic Stadium on July 30, with Kiplimo taking bronze.
Canada’s world bronze medallist Mohammed Ahmed, Spain’s fast-improving Mohamed Katir, USA’s 2016 Olympic silver medallist Paul Chelimo and Bahrain’s Ethiopian-born Asian champion Birhanu Balew, a finalist at the past three global championships, are all likely to be in medal contention.
Women’s 400m - Final
The moment of truth for Allyson Felix in her hunt for a record-breaking 10th Olympic medal when she takes to the track for the final of the women’s 400m.
The 35-year-old golden girl of US athletics is bidding to become the most decorated female Olympic track and field athlete in history in her fifth and final Summer Games.
She is currently tied with Jamaican legend Merlene Ottey as the most decorated female track athlete in Olympic history on nine medals.
“It was a fight to get here. When I was younger, I never really thought about making a final,” said Felix.
“This time, you get older and it seems harder. You just have to get smarter and figure it out.”
Men’s 4x100m relay - Final
The American men arrived in Tokyo as favourites after a world championship victory in 2019 that raised hopes of a first Olympic 4x100m relay gold in 21 years.
But their dreams of ending that relay title drought were left in tatters after the US quartet of Trayvon Bromell, Fred Kerley, Ronnie Baker and Cravon Gillespie trailed in sixth in the semi-final.
In their absence, 100m gold medallist Lamont Marcell Jacobs will spearhead an Italian quartet in the final that also features 200m winner and 100m bronze medallist Andre de Grasse on anchor for Canada.
Making up the field are Britain, Jamaica, Germany, Ghana, China and Japan.
Women’s 4x100m relay - Final
Jamaica, boasting double sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah and 100m silver medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, look strong favourites for the women’s relay.
“It was OK,” Jamaican Shericka Jackson said of their semi-final run-out.
“We went out there to qualify and we did. We are grateful to be in another Olympic final... go back, refocus and come again.”
Competition in the final will come from the USA, Britain, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Canada.
© Agence France-Presse