Tokyo: Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico powered ahead of American Keni Harrison in the women’s 100-metre hurdles Monday, springing an upset and keeping the United States out of the win column at the Olympic track meet for yet another session.
Camacho-Quinn finished in 12.37 seconds for a .15 second win — a blowout in such a short race — over the world-record holder, Harrison. Jamaica’s Megan Tapper finished third.
Puerto Rico, a US territory that competes under its own flag at the Olympics, has one more track gold medal than the deepest team at the Games as the meet approaches its halfway point. Camacho-Quinn’s best time coming into the Olympics was 12.38. She ran a 12.26 in the semifinals that ranks fourth on the all-time list. Harrison is first on that all-time list. Her world record is 12.2.
The buildup to that mark in 2016 played out awkwardly. She finished fourth at Olympic trials and was denied the trip to Rio de Janeiro. A few weeks later, she traveled to London and set the world record, then returned home to watch the Americans sweep the Olympic medals.
None of those Americans, Brianna Rollins-McNeal, Nia Ali or Kristi Castlin, were in Tokyo, but this felt like an event for the U.S. to finally break its string of no gold medals.
Kamalpreet finishes creditable 6th
Indian discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur finished a creditable sixth in her first Olympics with a best throw of 63.70m in a rain-interrupted final. The 25-year-old Kaur, who has qualified for the final as second best on Saturday, was never in the running for a medal in the eight rounds of competition which was interrupted by rain for more than an hour. She had a third round throw of 63.70m to end at sixth and equal 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Krishna Poonia’s performance in the 2012 London Olympics.
Valarie Allman won the first track and field gold medal for the United States at the Tokyo Games. Allman’s winning throw went 68.98 meters (226 feet, 3 inches) to hold off Kristin Pudenz of Germany in a competition that was delayed by rain. Yaime Perez of Cuba captured the bronze. The 26-year-old Allman’s winning throw was on her first attempt. She went to high school in Colorado, college at Stanford and trains in Texas.
Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands started her bid to win three medals at the Tokyo Games by earning gold in the 5,000 meters. Hassan pulled away with about 250 meters to go and cruised to the win in a time of 14 minutes, 36.79 seconds. She beat Hellen Obiri of Kenya by nearly two seconds. Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia was third.
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