Jamaica claims silver, Great Britain takes bronze in the women's relay
Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece wins pole vualt
It would have been hard for the women of Team USA to eclipse the drama of Thursday’s 4x100-meter heats.
But after the baton was dropped, an appeal over Brazilian interference lodged and a bizarre solo re-run against the clock undertaken, Friday’s final saw the Americans surge home to claim gold ahead of Jamaica and Great Britain in far more orthodox style.
The win for long jump gold medal winner Tianna Bartoletta, Allyson Felix, English Gardner and Tori Bowie in a time of 41.01 seconds was the US’s second consecutive success in the event – a feat all the more impressive given it was occupying the unfavored lane 1 on Friday.
“I’m extremely happy,” said Bartoletta after the race. “The journey to this point has been tumultuous. It’s special.”
For Felix, it was a particularly potent golden moment as she notched her fifth career gold medal to become the most decorated woman in Olympic track and field history.
“It’s really neat sharing with these special ladies. We had fun out there,” Felix said.
Jamaica’s second place meant 100-meter and 200-meter winner Elaine Thompson added to her Rio medal collection, although not with the gold she desired.
Meanwhile, Great Britain’s time of 41.77 seconds was good enough to claim bronze and a new national record.
Earlier Friday, Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece won gold in the women’s pole vault after recording a height of 4.85m.
It looked as though Sandi Morris of the United States had beaten Stefanidi’s score as she cleared 4.90m but an unfortunate connection with the bar on the way down meant she had to settle for silver.
In the women’s 5,000-meter final, Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot broke the Olympic record with a time of 14 minutes 26.17 seconds to claim gold.
Cheruiyot broke away with two laps to go, ending any hopes the 10,000-meter gold medal winner, Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, had of winning both distance track events.
However, Ayana did go on to claim bronze behind Hellen Onsando Obiri of Kenya, who took silver
The only other track and field medal up for grabs Friday was the men’s hammer throw with Tajikistan’s Dilshod Nazarov edging out Ivan Tsikhan of Belarus and Poland’s Wojciech Nowicki with a throw of 78.68m.
Nazarov’s success marks Tajikistan’s first-ever Olympic gold medal and its first of any color at the 2016 Games.