Rio Olympics: Torrential rain in Rio has failed to stop Australian discus thrower Dani Samuels from powering her way into Olympic medal contention.
Gold Coast-based Samuels’s automatic qualifying mark of 64.46 metres was the fourth-best mark and came after a fouling her first effort in heavy rain, shortly before competition was suspended.
The former world champion told Channel Seven she would have preferred officials had called off events before her first attempt.
“It was just too heavy. As soon as there’s a bit of moisture [the discus] just slips out. Plus it’s dangerous,” she said.
“Luckily common sense prevailed in the end.”
She goes into the final overnight behind Cuba’s Yaime Perez, who threw 65.38m, China’s Su Xinyue (65.14m) and defending champion Sandra Perkovic of Croatia (64.81m).
Meanwhile, Lauren Wells, who made the 400 metres hurdles semi-final after running 56.26 seconds in her heat, said she was hoping to draw a wide lane in the semi-finals on Wednesday morning (AEST).
“That would be great, I could run and execute my race and if I do that I will be happy whatever performance I put out,” she told Channel Seven.
Wells ran a better time than three automatic qualifiers to secure a semi-final place that are scheduled for Wednesday from 10:10am AEST.
Dramatic end to women’s 400m final
Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas beat America’s Allyson Felix by the narrowest of margins to claim gold with a time of 49.44 in a dramatic finish to the women’s 400m final.
Miller kicked brilliantly on the second bend, falling over the line in exhaustion to beat Felix by 0.07 of a second, raising questions about whether she took an intentional dive over the line.
“To tell you the truth I don’t know what happened. My legs started to get a little heavy,” she said of the controversial end to the race.
Earlier, Kenyan David Rudisha defended this 800m gold from London in a time of 1:42.15, edging out Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi and Clayton Murphy for the US.
Rudisha’s compatriot Alfred Kipketer set a cracking pace early, before being overrun by much of the field.
“At the 200-metre mark … I decided to slow down to get my momentum because I knew I needed a strong finish, otherwise the race my be a little bit different,” Rudisha told Channel Seven.
“I think Alfred misjudged the pace and went a little bit too hard.”
The home-town’s hopes in the athletics on day 10 were riding on pole vaulter Thiago Braz da Silva, who overcame French star Renaud Lavillenie with an Olympic record 6.03-metre jump to take gold.
The Brazilian crowd were in raptures during the final, and booing Lavillenie ahead of his final unsuccessful jump of 6.08m, before the Olympic Stadium erupted when da Silva’s victory was confirmed.
“The gold? Incredible. My first time over 6 metres,” Da Silva told reporters.
“My home town wanted me to win.”
Shown the vault again by a TV interviewer, Da Silva said: “Wow, that was beautiful. Thank God.”
Da Silva’s win hands Brazil its second gold medal of the Rio games and first ever in athletics.