Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson became the first woman since Florence Griffith Joyner to complete the sprint double at an Olympics as she beat Dafne Schippers to 200 metres gold in Rio.
The 24-year-old, beaten by the Dutchwoman at last year’s World Championships in Beijing, exacted revenge by blazing home in 21.78 seconds.
Schippers took silver in 21.88secs, crashing to the track as she crossed the line, while American Tori Bowie won bronze in 22.15s.
Thompson’s compatriot Usain Bolt jogged and joked his way to his fastest time this year to cruise into the 200 metres final at the Rio Olympics – and then branded his performance “lazy”.
The Jamaican, who has already won his third straight 100m gold and is out to do the same in the 200m and 4x100m relay, moved a step closer to an Olympic ‘triple triple’ as he coasted home in 19.78 seconds.
The 29-year-old got out well and was well ahead on the home straight before easing off and even sharing a chuckle with Andre De Grasse as the pair crossed the line.
Mo Farah survived another heart-in-mouth moment to keep his bid for a fourth Olympic title on track as he coasted into the final of the 5,000 metres in Rio.
The 33-year-old narrowly avoided crashing to the ground again, this time on the last lap, as he made sure he did just enough to qualify, coming home in third place.
Elsewhere, American Tianna Bartoletta defeated team-mate and defending champion Brittney Reese to take gold in the women’s long jump with a leap of 7.17m
Great Britain’s Jazmin Sawyers was eighth with 6.69m, while Lorraine Ugen finished in 11th place with 6.58m.
Caster Semenya also began her bid for what is set to be one of the most controversial gold medals of the Rio Olympics by breezing into the 800 metres semi-finals on Wednesday.
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India’s only men’s singles shuttler at the 2016 Rio Olympics – Kidambi Srikanth – put up a mighty fight but it was still not enough to overcome the two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
The World No. 11 went down fighting 6-21, 21-11, 18-21 in 1 hour 4 minutes.
The 23-year-old from Guntur took a long time to settle into the match. Srikanth looked shaky and overawed by the occasion in his first appearance in an Olympic quarter-final.
The Chinese star was quick to capitalize on it and it took him just 16 minutes to grab a completely one-sided opening game. But Srikanth had defeated the former World No. 1 in their most recent showdown at the 2014 China Open final and was not entirely unfamiliar with the tactics needed to tackle Lin.
As the southpaw started making more and more errors in the second game with Srikanth thriving as his fiery smashes found their mark to help the Indian surge to 11-5 at the mid-game interval.
Srikanth did not relent even after the break. Poised and confident, he marched through the second game to level the contest at one game apiece.
In the decider, it was Lin Dan who jumped out to an early lead. However his Srikanth had moved into a slim 11-8 advantage by the break.
Like all champions show their very best under pressure, Lin too produced some exceptional dropshots that slowly took the match away from Srikanth.
With Srikanth’s exit, women’s singles player PV Sindhu now remains the only Indian badminton player still in contention at Rio. She will be seen in action in the semi-finals versus the World No. 6 Nozomi Okuhara of Japan.
India erupted in joy early morning on Thursday as women’s freestyle wrestler Sakshi Malik finally ended the long wait for the country’s first medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics when she clinched the bronze in 58kg category.
The 23-year-old showed nerves of steel to come back from 0-5 down and beat Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan 8-5 in the medal play-off bout. She thus creates history as India’s first woman wrestler to win a medal at the mega-quadrennial Games.
With this feat, she joins weightlifter Karman Malleswari (Sydney, 2000), shuttler Saina Nehwal and boxer MC Mary Kom (both London, 2012) to become the fourth woman ever to deliver the much-coveted Olympic medal to India.
The girl, hailing from the state of Haryana, displayed exceptional resilience and courage under pressure in the bronze medal match. Her Kyrgyzstani opponent was in command for a better part of the match after surging to a 5-0 lead at the end of the first period. The Indian struggled to find any opening in Tynybekova’s seemingly impenetrable defense as time was running out.
But the young grappler did not give up even when hopes looked bleak. She finally managed to throw down Tynybekova that awarded her two points. With a similar takedown, she earned another double to get within sniffing distance of the Kyrgyzstani at 4-5.
She then once more succeeded in pushing her opponent out of the circle that helped level the scores, 5-5. But with 10 seconds to go, Sakshi produced a stunner that completely turned around the match and with it, India’s fortunes too.
She pinned down her opponent and bagged two crucial points to win the match 7-5. Tynybekova requested a challenge that ultimately turned unsuccessful. Following that, another point went to India’s kitty, making it an 8-5 victory.
Earlier in the pre-quarter-finals, the 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medallist had edged past Mariana Cherdivara Esanu of Republic of Moldova, 5-5 where she won the match by dint of bigger points gain.
She, however, succumbed to a 2-9 defeat to Russian Valeriia Koblova Zholobova in the last-eight clash.
With Koblova reaching the summit clash, Sakshi was guaranteed to play in the repechage round where she outclassed Mongolia’s Orkhon Purevdorj, 12-3.