Athletics: Adams' history bid falls short, Ayana smashes record

Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:17am EDT
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By Mitch Phillips

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Michelle Carter produced the throw of her life with her last attempt to deprive New Zealander Valerie Adams a piece of Olympic history on Friday as the American won the women's shot put to close out a memorable first day of athletics in Rio.

Carter heaved an American record 20.63 meters to snatch gold from Adams, who had been seeking to become the first woman to win three straight Olympic titles in an individual athletics event. She took silver with 20.42m.

Earlier in the day, Tirunesh Dibaba failed in her attempt at that elusive hat-trick when she finished third in an extraordinary 10,000 meters won by Ethiopian Almaz Ayana in a stunning world record time.

That leaves the door open for Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pryce to have a crack at the 'three-peat' in the women's 100 final on Saturday after the Jamaican qualified fastest for the semis as the only woman under 11 seconds.

Organizers will hope her presence, and the first appearance on the blue track of Usain Bolt in the 100m heats, will tempt more fans to the stadium after the opening day of athletics was watched by paltry crowds.

There were probably fewer than 10,000 fans scattered around the 60,000-capacity stadium, despite organizers claiming to have sold 68 percent of the tickets.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe had said earlier this week that there had been some "scheduling issues" and an evening session with only one final, the women's shot, would have been a hard sell even in a country with a strong athletics tradition.

It was one to remember, however, thanks to Carter, whose father Mike won silver in the shot put at the 1984 Olympics and who became only the second American woman after Earlene Brown in 1960 to medal in the event since it was introduced in 1948.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Final - Women's Shot Put Final - Olympic Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 12/08/2016. Valerie Adams (NZL) of New Zealand reacts. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach