Allyson Felix’s 2020 Olympics Begin, Germany’s Malaika Mihambo Edges Brittney Reese For Gold in Dramatic Long Jump Final

August 3, 2021

TOKYO – It was an amazing morning of track and field here today in Tokyo as the men’s 400 hurdles world record fell in one of the greatest races in track and field history. That article gets its own recap here as did the men’s 1500 prelims.

We recap the other action for you below.

Women’s 400 prelims: Miller-Uibo’s double is on and Felix cruises

There were no major developments in the women’s 400 prelims in terms of actual races as all of the top entrants advanced. Rather the biggest item of news was that reigning champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo actually ran, confirming that the 200-400 double is on. Miller-Uibo had said for months that she would not run both events in Tokyo and that her focus was on the 200, but the rest of the world has been pretty mediocre in the 400 this year and her gold medal shots in the longer event are clearly better than in the stacked 200. Thus, after running two rounds of the 200 yesterday, Miller-Uibo was back on the track for the first round of the 400 today and advanced with ease.

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The schedule will be tough for Miller-Uibo as she has the 200 final later today in Tokyo (8:50 a.m. on Tuesday in the US) and the 400 semis on Wednesday, though she does get a day off after that before the 400 final on Friday.

Miller-Uibo ran 50.50 to win her heat and looked good doing it, but the fastest time of the day belonged to the Dominican Republic’s Marileidy Paulino, who ran a leg on the DR’s silver-medal-winning mixed 4×400 relay earlier in the meet and has quietly been running very well in 2021. Paulino, 24, has not lost all year and ran 49.99 back on June 3. Her 50.06 today suggests she is capable of even faster in the final.

Americans Quanera Hayes, Allyson Felix, and Wadeline Jonathas all advanced automatically, Felix clocking the fastest time of the trio by running 50.84 to win heat 3.

Women’s long jump final: Germany’s Malaika Mihambo defends Worlds title with clutch final jump, Brittney Reese gets Olympic silver again

Malaika Mihambo entered her final jump of the Tokyo Olympic long jump competition in the bronze medal position, just two centimeters out of the gold medal spot.

Just like Miltiadis Tentoglou in the men’s final the previous day, Mihambo delivered when it mattered most.

The tall German jumped 7.00 meters (+0.1 m/s) on her sixth attempt despite being well behind the board on her takeoff, edging herself three centimeters ahead of Brittney Reese of the USA and Ese Brume of Nigeria, who had each jumped 6.97 meters earlier in the competition. Mihambo had produced her best jump of the season on her final jump of the Games in her bid to defend her World title from Doha in 2019.

Mihambo then had to wait an agonizing few minutes to see if Brume or Reese could improve their mark and move past her.

They could not, as Brume jumped 6.90 meters (-0.5 m/s) and Reese went 6.84 (-0.2 m/s) in the sixth round, cementing Reese as the silver medallist for the second consecutive Olympics and giving Brume her second straight global bronze.

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Reese had a very consistent series, as she jumped 6.97 in the third round and five of her six jumps were over 6.80 meters with no fouls. She defeated Brume via countback, as Brume went 6.97 on her first jump of the day but her next best jump was 6.90 compared to Reese’s 6.95.

Reese, at 34 years old, added to an already incredible medal collection — the eight-time world champion (three time indoors, four outdoors, one Olympics) added to her Rio silver but could not quite repeat her London gold.

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