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Women’s 4x100 gets redemption with gold; Morris earns silver


RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL -- The U.S. women’s 4x100m relay turned an unprecedented opportunity into unprecedented success Friday evening, running the second-fastest time in history from lane one to demolish all challengers in 41.01. With the relay win, Allyson Felix became the first woman in Olympic track and field history with five gold medals; Tianna Bartoletta won her second gold of these Games; and Tori Bowie hit for the cycle to complete a gold, silver and bronze medal collection. Team USA’s medal tally thus far in Rio stands at 27.

Team USA qualified for Friday’s relay final through a solo time-trial Thursday night after being obstructed in their first-round race. Running out of lane 1 in the final, as a time qualifier, the Americans left no doubt that their time was no fluke.

Long jump gold medalist Bartoletta (Elyria, Ohio) sizzled around the first bend and when she passed the baton to 400m silver medalist Felix (Los Angeles), Team USA was on the road to victory. Felix gave English Gardner (Voorhees Township, New Jersey) a lead on the second exchange, and Gardner ran a superb curve to make the final exchange with double sprint medalist Bowie (Sandhill, Mississippi) in a commanding lead. The 100m silver medalist and 200m bronze medalist, Bowie polished off the amazing run and capped the defense of the gold the U.S. won four years ago in London. Friday night in Rio, Jamaica was second in 41.36 and Great Britain third in a national record 41.77.

Morris leaps to silver in women’s PV

In a game of centimeters, it came down to the slightest of margins and the final jump of the competition for Sandi Morris (Greenville, South Carolina) in the women’s pole vault. Morris faced one last attempt at 4.90m/16-0.75 to snatch the gold out of the hands of Greece’s Ekaterini Stefanidi. Soaring high over the bar, she was clear until her leg gently tapped the cross bar, dislodging it and putting her on the podium with a silver medal. Morris had the highest vault ever by an American woman at the Games at 4.85m/15-11.

Morris had first-attempt makes at 4.50m/14-9 and 4.60m/15-1, but needed two tries at 4.70m/15-5, 4.80m/15-9 and 4.85m/15-11. Stefanidi won on the basis of fewer misses.

2012 Olympic champion Jenn Suhr (Fredonia, New York) couldn’t overcome the effects of an illness and went out of the competition after clearing 4.50m/14-9 on her second attempt and then missing three times at 4.60m/15-1.

Men’s 4x100m crosses line third but DQ’d in final

The men’s 4x100m relay was part of a thrilling race, crossing the line third in 37.62, just .02 behind Japan’s historic silver and just .02 ahead of Canada. Usain Bolt had anchored Jamaica to a win in 37.27. On the first exchange, the meet officials ruled that Mike Rodgers (St. Louis, Missouri) passed to Justin Gatlin (Pensacola, Florida) out of the exchange zone, passing too early. Gatlin made up ground over the second 100m leg but passed the baton to Tyson Gay (Lexington, Kentucky) just behind the Jamaican team. Gay ran a very strong curve, but the Japanese relay surged past Team USA in the final exchange, and Trayvon Bromell (St. Petersburg, Florida) narrowly held off the hard-charging Canadian team, anchored by two-time Olympic medalist Andre De Grasse. The finish was wiped from the results, however, with the U.S. being charged with a violation of IAAF Rule 170.7, a violation of the exchange zone. The result is currently under review.

Houlihan finishes 11th in women’s 5,000m

All eyes were on Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana after she destroyed the 10,000m world record to take gold earlier this week. While her battle at the front of the pack with Kenyans Vivian Cheruiyot and Hellen Obiri dominated the proceedings, Shelby Houlihan (Sioux City, Iowa) put on a show of her own to run the fastest time ever in the Olympics by an American woman, finishing 11th in 15:08.89 to cut almost nine seconds off the 15:17.50 by Lynn Jennings in 1996. Cheruiyot won the gold in an Olympic record 14:26.17, with Obiri second and Ayana third.

U.S. leads women’s 4x400m relay qualifying

Team USA has appeared on the medal stand in every Olympic women’s 4x400m relay, except when the U.S. boycotted in 1980. The 2016 edition took the first step to continuing that tradition of excellence in convincing fashion, winning the first heat in 3:21.42. Courtney Okolo (Carrollton, Texas) used the speed that helped her set a collegiate record earlier this year to open up an immediate lead with a 50.7 leg and hand off to Taylor Ellis-Watson (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) up by several meters.

Ellis-Watson increased the lead on the second carry with a 50.4 and passed to 2012 relay gold medalist Francena McCorory (Hampton, Virginia). McCorory was well clear for her lap, splitting 49.68 and giving the baton to anchorwoman Phyllis Francis (Queens, New York) with enough of a lead that Francis only needed to run safely and ensure a spot in the final. Francis crossed the line in 3:21.42 after a 50.53 carry, giving the U.S. the fastest time overall.

Men’s 4x400m relay advances to final

American men have won 16 Olympic golds in the 4x400m relay. Getting the quest for 17 underway in the first heat, Arman Hall (Pembroke Pines, Florida) had a good opening carry of 45.3 and passed off to Tony McQuay (Riviera Beach, Florida). McQuay stayed at the front and staved off challenges from Botswana and Jamaica with a blazing 43.4 on the way to making the exchange with Kyle Clemons (Jonesboro, Arkansas). Clemons ran 44.98 and handed off to David Verburg (Lynchburg, Virginia) even with Jamaica. Verburg took a small lead over the first 300m and then was caught just before the line by the Jamaican as the U.S. finished second in 2:58.38. Verburg’s split was 44.59.

Race walks open Team USA action Friday

Two-time Olympian Maria Michta-Coffey (Nesconset, New York) bettered her London finish in the women’s 20 km race walk Friday afternoon, finishing 22nd overall in 1:33:36. Michta-Coffey tucked into the middle of the pack for much of the race, keeping a steady pace throughout and ticking off competitors, going from 48th through 2 km all the way to battling for a top-20 finish in the race’s closing minutes. Teammate Miranda Melville (Rochester, New York) finished 34th overall in 1:35.48 in her first Olympic Games appearance.

On the men’s side, three-time Olympian John Nunn (Bonsall, California) battled through cramps to finish 43rd in the men’s 50 km race walk Friday morning, a race that saw nearly half the field not finish. Nunn was on personal-record pace through 30 km when cramps set in that he couldn’t shake. Nunn struggled to maintain form and focus over the latter stages of the race, but stayed in it until the end, crossing in 4:16:12.

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:

SATURDAY, AUGUST 20 (all times ET)

8:00 p.m. - Midnight



Gold (10)

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)

Kerron Clement, Men’s 400m hurdles, 47.73 (8/18)

Ryan Crouser, Men’s SP, 22.52m/73-10.75 OR (8/18)

Ashton Eaton, Men’s Decathlon, 8,893 pts. =OR (8/18)

Dalilah Muhammad, Women’s 400m hurdles, 53.13 (8/18)

Women’s 4x100m relay (Bartoletta, Felix, Gardner, Bowie), 41.01 (8/19)

Silver (9)

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)

Joe Kovacs, Men’s SP, 21.78m/71-5.5 (8/18)

Sandi Morris, Women’s PV, 4.85m/15-11 (8/19)

Bronze (8)

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)

Ashley Spencer, Women’s 400m hurdles, 53.72 (8/18)

Amanda Brooks
Marketing and Communications Manager
USA Track & Field

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