Felix becomes most decorated female Olympian in USATF history on three-medal night for Team USA
Provided by USATF
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL -- A silver medal in the women’s 400m Monday made Allyson Felix (Los Angeles) the most decorated female Olympian in USATF history, highlighting a three-medal night that saw Olympic newcomers Clayton Murphy (New Paris, Ohio) and Sam Kendricks (Oxford, Mississippi) earn bronze.
Felix takes silver in thrilling 400
A highly anticipated contest between the gold and silver medalists from last year’s World Championships lived up to its billing. The 2015 world champion Felix was in lane four, with 2015 world silver medalist Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas to her outside in lane 7. Quick starter Natasha Hastings (Brooklyn, New York) was in lane six, with Phyllis Francis (Queens, New York) in three.
Hastings went out quickly and was on Miller’s shoulder by 200m. Felix was controlled and moving well on the backstretch to stay in contact. Coming around the curve, Miller was well in the lead and Hastings second, with Felix third with a notable gap to close on Miller. Eating into Miller’s lead every step down the last straight, Felix was shoulder to shoulder with the Bahamian until a wild dive two meters from the line gave Miller the gold in a lifetime-best 49.44, .07 ahead of Felix’s season-best 49.51. Felix now has seven Olympic medals to her credit, with a chance for more with the start of the women’s relays this week.
Hastings finished fourth in 50.34, and Francis was fifth in 50.41. It was the first time in Olympic history that three U.S. women finished in the top five.
Murphy wins first U.S. 800m medal since ‘92
Olympic Trials winner Clayton Murphy capped off a thrilling year in the 800, adding an Olympic bronze to his young resume and becoming the first American to win an Olympic medal since American record holder Johnny Gray took bronze in 1992.
Early on, Murphy and World Indoor champion Boris Berian (Colorado Springs, Colorado) were in the midst of a pack that was led by Kenyan Alfred Kipketer’s brisk pace. At 600m, Murphy passed Berian and was trying to make up a five-meter deficit to France’s Pierre-Ambroise Bosse coming off the last turn. Murphy calmly cranked up his effort and moved past the Frenchman and ran on to take the bronze in a huge lifetime best of 1:42.93, the third-fastest time ever by an American. World record holder David Rudisha of Kenya overtook Kipketer to win in 1:42.15, with Taofik Makhloufi of Algeria second in 1:42.61. Berian finished eighth in 1:46.15.
Kendricks sails to pole vault bronze
After a 20-minute rain delay to the competition, a first-attempt clearance at 5.85m/19-2.25 put Sam Kendricks (Oxford, Mississippi) on the podium with a bronze medal in the men’s pole vault. Kendricks, the World Indoor silver medalist in March, opened with an easy make at 5.50m/18-0.5. He had a second-attempt clearance at 5.65m/18-6.5 and had one miss at 5.75m/18-10.25 before passing to 5.85, where his gamble paid off. Kendricks had three good but unsuccessful attempts at 5.93m/19-5.5 as he became the first U.S. medalist since Tim Mack’s gold in 2004.
U.S. trio ease through in men’s hurdles
All three Americans moved on to men’s 110m hurdles semifinals. Olympic Trials champion Devon Allen (Phoenix, Arizona) got out cautiously and was clean over the hurdles in heat four before hitting the fifth with the underbelly of his lead thigh. Allen’s strength carried him through, though, as he finished second in 13.41 to advance. Konstadinos Douvalidis of Greece won the heat, also in 13.41.
A good start put Ronnie Ash (Passaic, New Jersey) in the lead of heat 5 right away. Ash hit the seventh and ninth barriers but had enough momentum to avoid being hampered and won in 13.31.
Jeff Porter (Somerset, New Jersey) took the rain in stride in heat one and pushed out well over the first five hurdles before clipping barriers in the second half of the race. Porter was not slowed much and ran on to take second in 13.50 to automatically advance to the semifinal.
Team USA united in advancement to women’s 400m hurdles semis
The top two finishers at the Olympic Trials were victorious in the heats in the women’s 400m hurdles. Ashley Spencer (Indianapolis, Indiana) went out conservatively in heat three and was in third entering the second turn. Working hard on the curve, Spencer used some of her superior flat 400m speed to move up significantly and she was smooth over the final three hurdles to win in 55.12.
Olympic Trials champion and 2013 World Championships silver medalist Dalilah Muhammad (Jamaica, New York) never trailed in heat five as she sped through the first three flights and had a significant lead heading into the final bend. Muhammad had to reach at hurdle eight, but continued to lead and won easily in 55.33.
World Junior record holder Sydney McLaughlin (Dunellen, New Jersey) ran tentatively through the first five hurdles but stayed in contention for one of the three auto qualifying spots until the last two barriers, where she lost some speed and ended up fifth in 56.32. She advanced as one of the time qualifiers.
Soggy conditions make for tough discus qualifying for Team USA
The rain delay and inclement weather spelled a shutout for U.S. women in discus qualifying. NCAA champion Kelsey Card (Carlinville, Illinois) was the best of the trio, throwing 56.41m/185-1 to finish 25th overall in qualifying. Shelbi Vaughan (Azle, Texas), also in Group B, fouled her first attempt before notching her top effort of the three in round two at 53.33m/174-11 for 29th. Whitney Ashley (Riverside, California) endured the heaviest of the rains at the beginning of Group A and had three fouls.
Finals to be contested Tuesday at Olympic stadium include men’s triple jump, high jump and 110m hurdles, as well as the women’s 1,500m.
Follow along with all of the action from the Rio Olympic Games by following USATF on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #Rio2016. Fans can follow every second of the Rio Olympic Games on the NBC family of networks. All track & field action can be streamed live via the NBC Sports app and the broadcast schedule for tomorrow is as follows:
TUESDAY, AUGUST 16 (all times ET)
8:00 a.m. – Noon
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
8:00 p.m. – Midnight
TEAM USA MEDAL TABLE
Michelle Carter, Women’s SP, 20.63m/67-8.25 AR (8/12)
Jeffrey Henderson, Men’s LJ, 8.38m/27-6 (8/13)
Tori Bowie, Women’s 100m, 10.83 (8/13)
Justin Gatlin, Men’s 100m, 9.89 (8/14)
Allyson Felix, Women’s 400m, 49.51 (8/15)
LaShawn Merritt, Men’s 400m, 43.85 (8/14)
Emma Coburn, Women’s 3000m Steeple, 9:07.63 AR (8/15)
Clayton Murphy, Men’s 800m, 1:42.93 (8/15)
Sam Kendricks, Men’s PV, 5.85m/19-2.5 (8/15)