Hurdle History: Team USA sweeps 100m hurdles on six-medal night

Hurdle History: Team USA sweeps 100m hurdles on six-medal night

Provided by USATF

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL -- It was ladies’ night at Olympic Stadium Wednesday night as six Americans medaled in women’s track & field events, including a sweep of the 100m hurdles and a 1-2 finish in the long jump. Including a silver by Evan Jager Wednesday morning, it was a seven-medal day in all for Team USA.

Hurdlers make history, record first women’s sweep in Olympic history

Brianna Rollins (Miami, Florida) ran away with gold to lead an historic Olympic sweep of the medals by Team USA in the women’s 100m hurdles, winning in 12.48, with Nia Ali (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) taking the silver in 12.59 and Kristi Castlin (Atlanta, Georgia) the bronze in 12.61. It was the first sweep by any country in the event, and the first sweep in history for U.S. women in Olympic track & field. The U.S. has medaled in five straight Olympic Games in the event.

The fastest qualifier from the semis, Rollins had no trouble over the 10 barriers and steadily moved away from the field from the gun, winning a gold medal one hour before officially turning 25, at midnight local time. Ali had second well in hand, and Castlin emerged from near the back of the field over the final hurdle, outleaning Cindy Ofili of Britain for third by .02.

Earlier in the evening, after a hesitant start it was all systems go for Rollins in the first semifinal, zipping to a 12.47 that left the field in her wake. Ali nailed her start in the second semi and pushed through to win in 12.65, and Castlin, who had ground to make up in the final semi, took a clear lead by hurdle eight on her way to winning in 12.63.

Americans go 1-2 in women’s long jump

Never before had Team USA taken the top two spots on the podium in the women’s long jump -- that is, until Tianna Bartoletta (Elyria, Ohio) unleashed a lifetime best 7.17m/23-6.25 in the fifth round that gave her Olympic gold to go with the World Championship titles she won in 2005 and 2015. 2012 Olympic champion and three-time world champion Brittney Reese (Gulfport, Mississippi) mounted a spirited challenge, hitting her best on her final attempt, 7.15m/23-5.5, to add silver to her Olympic medal collection.

Both American women fouled in the first round, and Bartoletta remedied that on her next jump, a 6.94m/22-9.25 effort that moved her into second behind Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic. Reese recorded a safe 6.79m/22-3.5 in that round to ensure she would get all six jumps. In round three Bartoletta tied Spanovic’s best with a 6.95m/22-9.75, taking the lead on the basis of a better second jump.

After two more Reese fouls, the fireworks started. Reese, jumping early in the order, she nailed a 7.09m/23-3.25 to surpass Bartoletta, and then Spanovic set a Serbian record with a 7.08m/23-2.75. That set the stage for Bartoletta’s big jump on the world’s biggest stage. Hitting the board at top speed, she launched herself into the pit and bounded out in joy, knowing she had done something special.

Aware that she would need to conjure up a huge jump on her final attempt, Reese barreled down the runway and exploded off the board, landing less than an inch behind her teammate’s mark. It was the seventh-best jump of her career, but not quite enough to defend her crown. Fighting back a big smile, Bartoletta capped off her career day with a 7.13m/23-4.75.

Bowie bronze in women’s 200m final

One hundred meter silver medalist Tori Bowie (Sandhill, Mississippi) couldn’t overcome the blazing starts of 100m champion Elaine Thompson of Jamaica and Holland’s Dafne Schippers in the women’s 200m final, picking up some of the deficit on the homestretch and capturing bronze in 22.15 for her second medal of these Games. Deajah Stevens (Bayside, New York) was seventh in 22.65.

Merritt the one in men’s 200m semi

Running his fifth race of the Games, 400m bronze medalist LaShawn Merritt (Portsmouth, Virginia) ran comfortably in second during his semifinal of the men’s 200m and then opened up and jetted to a 19.94 to win easily and claim a spot in the final.

Justin Gatlin (Pensacola, Florida) never got to full speed in the third semi, citing an aggravation during his warm-up of the right ankle he had injured last November. Running with pain that extended up his achilles and into his calf during the final 20 meters, Gatlin pushed, but with less than his usual lift, finished third in 20.13 and did not advance. Ameer Webb (Harbor City, California) ran a hard curve in lane two of the second semi but fell back on the straightaway and finished sixth in 20.43.

Eaton leads decathlon by 121 after first day

Defending champion Ashton Eaton (Bend, Oregon) was solid in the high jump, clearing a season-best 2.01m/6-7, and dominated the field in the 400m with a 46.07 that gave him 4,621 points at the end of the first day of the decathlon. Eaton’s evening put him 121 points ahead of Germany’s Kai Kazmirek, and 132 up on Damian Warner of Canada.

Sitting in fifth with 4,419 points after five events, Jeremy Taiwo (Renton, Washington) cleared the top height of the day in the high jump, going over 2.19m/7-2.25 to move to third in the overall point standings before his 48.78 in the 400m. Zach Ziemek (Itasca, Illinois) tied his personal best in the high jump at 2.10m/6-10.75, but was a bit off his best in the 400m in 49.83 to sit 10th at the end of the day with 4,270 points.

Decathlon Day 1 - Standings

U.S. athletes after 100m: 2. Eaton (985); 3. Ziemek (926); 20. Taiwo (858)

U.S. athletes after LJ: 1. Eaton (2,030); 5. Ziemek (1,858); 15. Taiwo (1,780)

U.S. athletes after SP: 1. Eaton (2,803); 9. Taiwo (2,565); 10. Ziemek (2,552)

U.S. athletes after HJ: 1. Eaton (3,616); 3. Taiwo (3,547); 7. Ziemek (3,448)

U.S. athletes after 400m: 1. Eaton (4,621); 5. Taiwo (4,419); 10. Ziemek (4,270)

No joy for Team USA in men’s javelin qualifying

Facing a daunting task with the automatic qualifying distance in the men’s javelin set at 83.00m/272-4, Cyrus Hostetler (Chula Vista, California) was the best of the U.S. trio. His 79.76m/261-8 placed him 20th overall. Sam Crouser (Gresham, Oregon) was 34th with a best of 73.78m/242-1, and Sean Furey (Fargo, North Dakota) was 35th at 72.61m/238-2.

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:

THURSDAY, AUGUST 18 (all times ET)

8:00 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.


10:00 a.m. - Noon


8:00 p.m. - Midnight



Gold (5)

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)

Tianna Bartoletta, Women’s LJ, 7.17m/23-6.25 (8/17)

Brianna Rollins, Women’s 100m hurdles, 12.48 (8/17)

Silver (7)

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)

Evan Jager, Men’s 3000m Steeple, 8:04.28 (8/17)

Brittney Reese, Women’s LJ, 7.15m/23-5.5 (8/17)

Nia Ali, Women’s 100m hurdles, 12.59 (8/17)

Bronze (7)

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)

Tori Bowie, Women’s 200m, 22.15 (8/17)

Kristi Castlin, Women’s 100m hurdles, 12.61 (8/17)

Amanda Brooks