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Tokyo 2020: Games Diary; History made at every turn in track and field

Elaine Thompson Herah

Bengaluru, August 6: It just did not matter as to where you were looking on the penultimate night of athletics competitions at Tokyo 2020 as history was being made.

Jamaican sprint queen Elaine Thompson-Herah won her fifth Olympic gold medal, leading Jamaica to victory in the 4x100M relay, Italy won the men's 4x100M relay in a photo finish, and Allyson Felix became the most decorated female track and field athlete at the Olympics by winning her 10th medal in the 400M.

Faith Kipyegon and Shaunae Miller-Uibo became dual Olympic champions, and world record-holder Joshua Cheptegei broke through to win his first Olympic title in the 5000m as did Liu Shiying in the javelin.

Cheptegei shines

Cheptegei shines

Cheptegei came to Tokyo with hopes of claiming the 5000-10,000M double but was thwarted in the 10,000M final, when 21-year-old Ethiopian Selemon Barega outsprinted him to claim the gold medal.

However, the 24-year-old Ugandan got it right in the 5,000M final to claim his first Olympic gold medal in 12:58.15, just shy of Kenenisa Bekele's Olympic record.

Multi-talented Miller-Uibo

Multi-talented Miller-Uibo

The Bahamas, with a population of fewer than 400,000 people, has now produced both the men's and women's 400M champions at Tokyo 2020 as Miller-Uibo reproduced the heroics of her compatriot Steven Gardiner to win her second consecutive Olympic title over the quarter-mile.

The multi-talented Miller-Uibo had initially decided to target the 200M in Tokyo, but the 400M field opened up leading into the Games and she switched her focus back to her original specialty and it proved to be the right decision as she dominated the 400M final to win in an area record of 48.36sec, the second fastest time ever run in the Olympic arena.

Palmisano walks through

Palmisano walks through

Inspired and assisted by individual 100M winner Marcell Jacobs, the Italians again stepped up to win a record fifth gold medal in athletics at Tokyo 2020.

The men's 4x100m triumph was Italy's second gold medal of the day, as Antonella Palmisano had claimed the women's 20km race walk title as she surged in the closing kilometres to shake off the challenge from Colombia's Sandra Arenas and world record-holder Yang Jiayu.

Kipyegon retains title

Kipyegon retains title

Three years after giving birth to her daughter, Kipyegon ran the fastest women's 1,500M ever seen in the Olympic arena to retain the title she first won in Rio five years ago.

They were an eventful five years as Kipyegon followed that Olympic title with a world title in 2017 before stepping away from the sport to have her first child and returned to training just eight months before the Doha 2019 World Championships.

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Story first published: Saturday, August 7, 2021, 9:58 [IST]
Other articles published on Aug 7, 2021