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Previews01 Aug 2021

Five things to follow on day four in Tokyo


Sifan Hassan on her way to a 5000m heat win at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (© Getty Images)

Monday has never looked so good! Five finals highlight day four (2) of the athletics at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with titles in the women’s 5000m, discus and 100m hurdles, plus the men’s long jump and 3000m steeplechase, up for grabs.

It’s set to be a busy day for Sifan Hassan, who has announced that she’s targeting a 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m treble in Tokyo.

Here are five things to follow on day four…

First of three for Hassan?

Women’s 5000m final
9:40pm Tokyo time | 2:40pm CEST

After winning world 1500m and 10,000m titles in Doha in 2019, it seemed that Sifan Hassan’s focus had turned to a 5000m and 10,000m double for Tokyo. But a 3:53.63 1500m win in Florence last month convinced her to keep her options open and she is now set to contest all three events.

The 5000m final is the first in that treble and will come after Hassan races in the 1500m heats earlier on in the day. The Dutch star went quickest in the 5000m heats, clocking 14:47.89, with all the other main contenders joining her in the final.

In Gudaf Tsegay, Ejgayehu Taye, Senbere Teferi, Hellen Obiri and Agnes Tirop, the final features five of the world’s 10 fastest ever 5000m women. Add Hassan – 12th on that all-time list – to the mix, and you have the recipe for a mouth-watering Olympic battle.

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Title there for the taking

Men’s long jump final
10:20am Tokyo time | 3:20am CEST

Based on 2021 form, the men's long jump looks to be one of the most wide open competitions on the Tokyo athletics programme. Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece is the world leader thanks to his 8.60m leap at a domestic competition in late May, but Cuban star Juan Miguel Echevarria sits just 10cm behind him on the 2021 world list now as he soared out to 8.50m in Tokyo during the qualification round.

US jumping sensation JuVaughn Harrison has made a habit of successfully doubling in the high jump and long jump this year. He’s contesting both events in Tokyo and will look to build on his seventh place finish in the high jump final when he returns to the stadium on Monday. In the long jump his best is 8.47m which he achieved to win at the US Olympic Trials, where he also claimed the high jump title.

Jamaica’s world long jump champion Tajay Gayle also managed to make the final, despite injuring his left knee on the run up to his first jump in the qualifying round. Heavily strapped, he recorded 8.14m from his third leap to progress.

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Gold for Girma?

Men’s 3000m steeplechase final
9:15pm Tokyo time | 2:15pm CEST

Athletes from Kenya have won the men’s 3000m steeplechase at all but two Olympic Games since 1968 - and those were the two the nation boycotted. But for the first time in recent memory its squad does not include a reigning world or Olympic champion.

It was Ethiopia’s world leader Lamecha Girma who led the qualifiers, winning his heat in 8:09.83. Teenager Ryuji Miura broke his own Japanese national record with 8:09.92 to also advance.

Kenya’s Abraham Kibiwott is second-fastest so far this year with 8:07.81 behind Girma’s 8:07.75 in Monaco and he won the second heat in Tokyo in 8:12.25. The third heat winner was Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali (8:19.00) who sits third behind Girma and Kibiwott on times this year with 8:08.54 from Florence. They will be joined in the final by athletes including Kenya’s Benjamin Kigen and Ethiopia’s Getnet Wale.

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Perkovic targets three-peat 

Women’s discus final
8:00pm Tokyo time | 1:00pm CEST

Croatian discus star Sandra Perkovic is vying for a third consecutive Olympic gold medal, having become only the second woman to ever win back-to-back discus golds at the Olympics with her victories in London in 2012 and Rio in 2016.

She faces a loaded field in Tokyo, including world champion Yaime Perez of Cuba and US champion Valarie Allman, who led the qualifiers in Tokyo with a first throw of 66.42m.

Allman is one of two athletes to have thrown beyond 70 metres this year, having produced a throw of 70.01m at the US Trials, but world-leader Jorinde Van Klinken of the Netherlands won’t be joining them in the final as she could only manage 61.15m in qualification which was not enough to see her advance.

India’s Kamalpreet Kaur achieved 64.00m for the second-best mark in the qualifying round.

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Redemption for Camacho-Quinn

Women’s 100m hurdles final
11:50am Tokyo time | 4:50am CEST 

Five years on from the heartbreak of hitting a hurdle and missing out on the final when making her Olympic debut in Rio, world-leader Jasmine Camacho-Quinn is racing for redemption in Tokyo.

A Puerto Rican woman has not yet won an Olympic medal in athletics and Camacho-Quinn showed her intent to make history for her nation by breaking the Olympic record in the semifinals, running 12.26. She now has seven of the 10 fastest wind-legal times recorded in the world so far this year.

Another athlete left disappointed in 2016 was the USA’s world record-holder Kendra Harrison (12.20) as she missed out on the Olympic team for Rio. She joins Camacho-Quinn in the final in Tokyo, along with her teammate Gabbi Cunningham, Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan and Jamaica’s Britany Anderson, who sits second on this season’s top list behind Camacho-Quinn with a 12.40 PB to win her semifinal.

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