Simpson wins first Olympic women’s 1500m medal in U.S. history

Simpson wins first Olympic women’s 1500m medal in U.S. history

Provided by USATF

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL -- Jenny Simpson (Oviedo, Florida) made a mad dash into the annals of U.S. Olympic history, winning the first medal by an American woman in the 1500m. Along with Simpson’s historic run, seven other athletes qualified for finals Tuesday as track & field action continued at Olympic Stadium.

After a tactical first 800m which saw Simpson and Shannon Rowbury (San Francisco) shift to the back of the pack, world record holder Genzebe Dibaba and World Championships silver medalist Faith Kipyegon led the pack through the first 800m in 2:27.11. Simpson and Rowbury settled into sixth and eighth with the final 400m looking to be a dead sprint. Dibaba, Kipyegon and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands looked to have the race in hand, but Hassan slowed on the backstretch, leaving room for Simpson and Rowbury to make their move to third and fourth with 200m remaining.

The final 50m was nothing short of masterful for Simpson, holding on to her position and holding off Rowbury to take the bronze and nearly snatch the silver from Dibaba (4:10.27), finishing in 4:10.53. Rowbury held on for fourth in 4:11.05. In a surprise finish, Kipyegon surged to pass Dibaba with 200m remaining to win in 4:08.92, nearly matching her silver-medal finish (4:08.96) from Beijing a year ago.

Allen fifth in 110m hurdles

For the first three hurdles, Devon Allen (Phoenix, Arizona) and Ronnie Ash (Passaic, New Jersey) were even with the field. As they approached the middle of the race, Ash was moving up slightly and was into a medal spot before he ran into the final barrier and lost his balance. Allen gutted it out off the last hurdle to finish fifth in 13.31, and Ash rolled across the line in 13.45 for eighth, but was later disqualified due to IAAF rule 168.7b, deliberately knocking over a hurdle.

Earlier in the evening in the first semifinal, Ash was out well in lane 5 and eased through in second to automatically qualify for the final in 13.36. After a clean start over the first three hurdles in semifinal two, Allen clattered the next seven barriers and finished third in 13.36.

Jeff Porter (Somerset, New Jersey) was in contention early but faded over the final three hurdles and finished third in the third semi in 13.45 and did not qualify for the final.

Kynard sixth in men’s HJ

Erik Kynard (Toledo, Ohio) struggled a bit Tuesday evening, going over 2.33m/7-7.75 on his third attempt to finish sixth in the men’s high jump. The 2012 silver medalist had an early miss at 2.25m/7-4.5 before clearing on attempt number two, and then popped over 2.29m/7-6 on his first try. After taking three tries to get over 2.33m, he missed three times at 2.36m/7-8.75.

Muhammad, Spencer thrill with strong runs in women’s 400H semis

Aggressive from the start of the third semifinal, 2016 world leader Dalilah Muhammad (Jamaica, New York) set herself up well over the first half of the race, remaining a stride ahead of the closest challenger. As she cleared the eighth barrier, Muhammad was way clear of the field and she had no problem with the remaining two hurdles, winning in 53.89.

After almost coming to grief at the ninth hurdle in semi two, Ashley Spencer (Indianapolis, Indiana) made a miraculous comeback over the last barrier and on the run-in to come away with the win in 54.87. Spencer had to adjust after a small error at the first hurdle and she made up ground when she hit the final bend. She was in strong position at the front when she hit number nine, and only her superb athleticism allowed her to recover and qualify for the final.

The youngest U.S. woman to compete in track and field at the Olympics since 1972, Sydney McLaughlin (Dunellen, New Jersey) ran more confidently in semifinal one than in her qualifying heat. McLaughlin was in sixth heading into the seventh hurdle and moved to fifth over the final 150m, clocking 56.22 but missing out on the final.

Clement back to old form, leads all qualifiers to men’s 400H final

Reminiscent of the races that won him two World Outdoor golds, Kerron Clement (La Porte, Texas) didn’t see any of his competitors until after the finish in the first semifinal. Clement, in lane eight, stuck to his race plan and had no issues, finishing in a season-best 48.26 to win by more than half a second. His time was the fastest of all three semis.

Byron Robinson (Chesapeake, Virginia) did everything he could to make his Olympic debut memorable, setting a lifetime best of 48.65 in the third semi to finish third. Robinson went out very hard before settling into his rhythm over hurdles two through five. He upped the pace over the next few barriers and was in contention for one of the two automatic qualifying spots until the final hurdle, where he lost a bit of ground and missed out on a place in the final by a hundredth of a second.

Bowie, Stevens book berths in women’s 200m final

100m silver medalist Tori Bowie (Sandhill, Mississippi) didn’t get the best of starts in the last semi, but oh how she made up for it over the next 180m. Bowie blasted off the curve and outran Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad down the stretch to win in 22.13. Deajah Stevens (Bayside, New York) was a bit adrift of the leaders for 150m and then came from behind over the final 50m in the first semifinal to grab third in 22.38, punching her ticket to the final as one of two time qualifiers.

Running a strong curve in the second semi, Jenna Prandini (Clovis, California) came into the straight in third and held that place almost to the line. She was outleaned and finished fourth in 22.50, and did not advance to the final.

Reese, Bartoletta easily into women’s LJ final

Making it look as easy as it should be for a woman who is the reigning Olympic champion and the winner of three World Outdoor and three World Indoor titles, Brittney Reese (Gulfport, Mississippi) took one jump, spanned 6.78m/22-3, and put her warm-ups back on in possession of an automatic qualifying spot in the final. Tianna Bartoletta (Tampa, Florida), twice a World Outdoor champion, also qualified for the final on the strength of a 6.70m/21-11.75 effort in round two.

Janay DeLoach (Fort Collins, Colorado) did not advance with a best of 6.50m/21-4.

Winger just misses on finals berth in women’s JT

American record holder Kara Winger (Vancouver, Washington) had a best of 61.02m/200-2 on her opening throw of Group B, but missed out on the women’s javelin final as the 13th-best overall.

In Group A, Maggie Malone (Geneva, Nebraska) threw 56.47m/185-3 and Brittany Borman (Festus, Missouri) 56.04m/183-10, and neither athlete advanced to the final.

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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 17 (all times ET)

8:00 a.m. – Noon


10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.


8:00 p.m. – Midnight



Gold (3)

Michelle Carter, Women’s SP, 20.63m/67-8.25 AR (8/12)

Jeffrey Henderson, Men’s LJ, 8.38m/27-6 (8/13)

Christian Taylor, Men’s TJ, 17.86m/58-7.25 (8/16)

Silver (4)

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)

Will Claye, Men’s TJ, 17.76m/58-3.25 (8/16)

Bronze (5)

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)

Jenny Simpson, Women’s 1500m, 4:10.53 (8/16)

Amanda Brooks