Rio, 16 Aug 2016- Ruth Jebet of Bahrain gave the women’s 3000m steeplechase world record a scare, coming within a second when running 8:59.75 for gold.
As it was, the race played out perfectly to form as Jebet, Hyvin Kiyeng and Emma Coburn finished in exactly the order they stood on the 2016 world list coming in to Rio.
Jebet’s 8:59.75 was less than a second from the 8:58.81 set by Gulnara Galkina at the 2008 Olympics and, as a PB and Asian record for Jebet, is the second-fastest 3000m steeplechase ever for women, improving on her previous best of 8:59.97 set at this year's IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene.
The race got underway only on the second attempt, after the relative oddity of a false start.
Jebet broke away from the pack after the first kilometre and pushed hard for the remainder of the race. Early leaders Kiyeng of Kenya and Coburn of the USA tried to stick to Jebet when she initially moved to the front but didn’t succeed for long.
The potential for Jebet to improve further is clear, as the first kilometre split was a pedestrian 3:05.93 after the first lap was covered at near-walking pace. Jebet’s change of pace led to the second kilometre being a full 10 seconds faster, the fastest of the race at 2:54.13 (6:00.03).
Jebet wasn’t able to sustain quite that pace, although it hardly mattered by then.
Her third kilometre of 2:59.69 included Jebet allowing her own effort to slacken once she had cleared the final barrier, either through fatigue or relief. The clock stood at 7:49.0 at the bell, so Jebet’s closing circuit of 1:10.7 was still quicker than the overall kilometre pace.
In the women hammer throw final, China’s Zhang Wenxiu fired the hammer out to 76.75m to add the silver medal to the bronze she won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In the first round, Zhang took an early lead with a decent 75.06m opener – a little over half a metre down on her season’s best. However, Wlodarczyk responded with a ‘sighter’ at 76.35m to take the lead she was never to relinquish. In round three, Zhang consolidated her hold on silver with a season’s best of 76.19m to put clear daylight between herself and bronze.
In the men's triple jump Dong Bin of China qualified for final with 17.10m and he was followed by his two more teammates Shuo Cao and Xiaolang Xu. All three chinese jumpers are in the final of the men's triple jump.