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Bolt eyes history as Rose rises to occasion

Monday, 15 August 2016

Jamaica's Usain Bolt (R) competes in the Men's 100m semi-final during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt (R) competes in the Men’s 100m semi-final during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Usain Bolt chased a place in Olympic history as the battle to be crowned the world’s fastest man took centre stage after Justin Rose became the Games’ first golf champion in 112 years.

As Bolt strode into the 100m final, an emotional Andy Murray won his second straight men’s tennis gold and America’s Simone Biles claimed a brilliant third Rio gymnastics title.

And fears over Rio de Janeiro’s fragile security rose after Ryan Lochte and three fellow US swimmers were robbed at gunpoint by criminals posing as police.

Twenty-four hours after Michael Phelps brought the curtain down on his extraordinary career with a record 23rd gold medal, Bolt will attempt to complete the first leg of an unprecedented ‘triple-triple’ in the 100m.

Bolt eased over the line in 9.86sec to win his semi-final and lead the timings into the 100m final at 10:25 pm (0125 GMT), where he will aim to clinch a third consecutive 100m crown after wins in 2008 and 2012.

His biggest challenger is expected to be Justin Gatlin of the United States, the 2004 Olympic champion who has served two suspensions for doping offences. Gatlin won his semi-final in 9.94sec.

The 100m final is one of four track and field gold medals on offer on Sunday, with the men’s 400m and women’s triple jump also up for grabs.

Kenya’s Jemima Sumgong won the first athletics gold of the day, making light of searing heat to triumph in the women’s marathon, which finished at Rio’s Sambodromo, the home of the city’s annual carnival parade.

“It was very hot but everybody had to get through the heat. I had to control my body and listen to my body very carefully,” said Sumgong.

– Gun to Lochte’s head –

The marathon was hit by a security alert just before the finish when a group of protesters scaled barriers and ran onto the course before being intercepted by police on motorbikes. Runners were not affected by the protests.

In a separate incident, police carried out a controlled explosion on a “suspect package” found near the marathon course.

Security throughout the Rio Games has proved a major headache for organisers, with several competing teams complaining of thefts and street crime in the recession-hit metropolis.

The latest to fall victim was US swimmer Lochte and three team-mates, who were robbed at gunpoint by criminals who pulled over their taxi posing as police.

“The guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, ‘Get down,’ and I put my hands up, I was like, ‘Whatever’,” Lochte told NBC News.

“He took our money, he took my wallet -— he left my cell phone, he left my credentials.”

Murray beat Juan Martin del Potro in an epic match which finished 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 and left both players overcome with emotion.

“Today was a very up and down match, very stressful. Both of us had a lot of chances and it was a long and tiring match. I’m just glad I managed to get through it,” said Murray.

In gymnastics, 19-year-old Biles won the women’s vault, adding to her all-around and team titles as she chases an unprecedented five gold medals.

Max Whitlock won the floor exercise to become Britain’s first Olympic gymnastics champion — and soon won a second in the pommel horse.

Elsewhere Britain’s Rose became the first Olympic golf champion since 1904 when he edged a thrilling duel with Henrik Stenson on the final hole.

“Oh my God. That felt better than anything I’ve ever won. It was the best tournament I’ve ever done,” Rose said.

Source by: AFP

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