The new Olympic Channel brings you news, highlights, exclusive behind the scenes, live events and original programming, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.
Claye also sealed his podium place early on with a 17.76m first jump while Dong’s personal-best first attempt of 17.58m was his only legal jump, securing China’s first Olympic triple jump medal. For 26-year-old Taylor, who won world championship titles in 2011 and 2015, the world record remains an ongoing obsession. Having leapt 18.21m in the final of the World Championships in Beijing in August 2015 – the second longest jump ever – the American is not far away.
Having cleared the 2.38m mark at the first time of asking, 26-year-old Drouin sealed a confident victory that saw him add a gold to the bronze medals he won in London in 2012 and in the 2013 World Championships. While the competition did not reach the kind of heights that many expected, Drouin jumped with a clean slate throughout the competition before falling short at the 2.40m mark when he had already clinched the gold. Barshim, who was battling to win a first ever gold for his country, matched Drouin stride for stride until three failed attempts at the 2.38m mark.
Leaping a personal best 7.17m, Tianna Bartoletta of the USA took long jump gold on 17 August. She narrowly edged out compatriot and defending champion Brittney Reese, who took silver with a distance of 7.15m, while Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic took bronze with a national record jump of 7.08m. Bartoletta was not the favourite heading into the final. While she qualified with a jump of 6.70m, it was Reese who came into the event with some real momentum, outjumping Bartoletta in the US Olympic trials on 2 July 2016 with a massive season-best 7.31m.
Yet inside the Olympic Stadium, Reese struggled to find her rhythm. After red-flagging three of her first four jumps, she just managed to sneak into the top eight and gain an additional two attempts with a jump of 6.79m. Bartoletta, meanwhile, also started with an illegal effort before following it up with jumps of 6.94m, 6.95m and 6.74m to take the lead. In the fifth round of jumps, Reese leapt out in front with 7.09m only for Bartoletta to respond brilliantly with an enormous 7.17m, the second-longest jump of 2016 and a personal best. With just one attempt remaining, Reese could only manage 7.15m.
The teenager then failed to clear the 4.85m mark while both Stefanidi and Morris succeeded on their second attempt. After neither athlete was able to clear 4.90m, the pair had to be separated by their number of failed attempts, with the American having had one more effort at the 4.70m mark. Stefanidi said she always knew that she would one day reach the pinnacle of the sport: “I was pole vaulting at 10 and 11 and started breaking world records in my age-group,” she explained. “When I was 12 I used to cross the road thinking to myself: ‘Be extra careful, how will you break the world record if you have an accident?’ I think this year’s pole vault competition has been the most difficult ever. I wouldn’t have even had a medal at 4.80m. I think we’re going to keep getting higher and higher.”