Wednesday September 22, 2021

Hassan clinches 1st Olympic gold, Rico wins 1st athletics gold

Published : 03 Aug 2021, 02:02

  DF News Desk

Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands reacts after the Women's 5000m Final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 2, 2021. Photo: Xinhua by Wang Lili.

Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands started her Tokyo 2020 journey with an exciting victory in women's 5,000 meters race, while Puerto Rican Jasmine Camacho-Quinn delivered the first Olympic athletics gold for her country by winning the women's 100m hurdles final here on Monday, reported Xinhua.

In the morning, Hassan was tripped and fell on the ground in women's 1,500m round 1, but she got up quickly and finished the race in four minutes and 5.17 seconds, qualifying for the semifinals as the first of the heat.

Almost 12 hours later, the Dutch stood on the starting line of women's 5,000m final. The 28-year-old took the strategy of following the leading group. She remained in the mix with the lead pack with two laps to go, and began to sprint when the bell rang and took the lead in the last 200m, pulling clear to the finishing line to win with 14:36.79.

This was Hassan's first Olympic gold medal. She is going to compete in 1,500m and 10,000m at Tokyo 2020.

Kenya's Hellen Obiri settled for a silver with 14:38.36, and Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia finished the race in 14:38.87 to bag a bronze.

"I can't believe it. I used all my energy this morning and I was kind of tired. I couldn't believe what happened. It was terrible when I tripped, I felt terrible afterwards and I never thought I was going to be an Olympic champion," said Hassan.

Camacho-Quinn continued her top form and delivered the first Olympic athletics gold for her country by winning the women's 100m hurdles final. She finished the race in 12.37 seconds after breaking the Olympic record in the semifinals on Sunday with 12.26s.

World record-holder Kendra Harrison of the United States came second in 12.52s, followed by Jamaican Megan Tapper with 12.55s.

Camacho-Quinn had failed to make the finals at Rio 2016 after hitting a hurdle during her semifinal.

"I need to let it go," said Camacho-Quinn. "Yesterday before the semifinal I had a breakdown, but I don't want the same thing to happen again."

In men's long jump final, Greece's Miltiadis Tentoglou's last jump won him the gold medal.

Tentoglou leaped 8.41m on his final attempt to tie Juan Miguel Echevarria of Cuba, winning the gold medal with a second-best jump of 8.15m, ahead of Echevarria's 8.09m.

"Last attempt, I told myself to calm down and do a normal jump. I didn't expect it could be so big," said Tentoglou. "I considered myself lucky. I was not lucky to jump 8.41m on the last attempt but I was lucky to win."

Echevarria also wanted to make the last attempt but was unable to finish due to injury. His teammate Maykel Masso took bronze with 8.21m. Chinese long jumper Huang Changzhou ranked 10th with 7.72m.

The women's discus throw final was interrupted by heavy rain, before American Valarie Allman clinched victory with 68.98m in her first attempt.

Kristin Pudenz of German refreshed her personal best with 66.86m to win a silver, while Yaime Perez of Cuba took bronze with 65.72m. Chen Yang of China finished 10th with 61.57m.

"I was so honored that this has been a first gold medal in Tokyo for the U.S. in athletics. I couldn't be any happier or more proud. I'm still waiting for my feet to touch the ground," said Allman.

Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco won the men's 3000m steeplechase title, clocking 8:08.90. Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia claimed silver with 8:10.38, and was followed by Benjamin Kigen of Kenya at 8:11.45.

El Bakkali broke Kenya's run of nine successive gold medals in this event.

"I used to see Kenyans win. It was a big accomplishment for me. I have been aiming for this for years and this was my opportunity to show that Morocco is capable of winning in front of the Kenyans," said the 25-year-old.