Athletics: Jamaica, Kenya and U.S. strike gold

Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:00pm EDT
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By Scott Malone

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Jamaica, Kenya and the United States added to their athletics medal tallies in the 110metres hurdles, women's 1,500m and men's triple jump on Tuesday, while Russia's sole track and field competitor survived to compete another day at Rio.

Athletes from Kenya, Croatia and Canada also claimed Olympic gold in a largely empty stadium, where announcers urged rowdy Brazilian fans to restrain themselves after provoking a French pole vaulter with a chorus of boos the night before.

Jamaica's Omar McLeod earned the country its first gold in the men's sprint hurdles, Kenya's Faith Kipyegon devastated the field in the 1,500m and American Christian Taylor successfully defended his triple-jump gold.

However, the loudest cheers of the night came for native pole vaulter Thiago da Silva as he received the gold medal he won on Monday night. The crowd once again booed silver medalist French Renaud Lavillenie, ignoring Da Silva's gestures asking for quiet.

Lavillenie, who the night before had complained about the booing during his final attempt, apologized on Tuesday for having compared his experience to the hostility of Nazi Germany towards Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Games.

The announcer at the Rio Olympic Stadium at least four times during Tuesday's evening competition asked the crowd to be respectful to the competitors, a reaction the Carioca fans' flashes of belligerence.

Russian athletes in particular have faced hostile crowds in Rio as the result of a doping scandal that has shaded the Games.

Long jumper Darya Klishina, the sole athlete from her country competing in track and field after the rest of the team was banned, escaped their wrath, but that was probably more a result of her slipping in unannounced and unnoticed rather than an overnight change of attitude.   Continued...

Omar McLeod of Jamaica in the men's 110m hurdles. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson