Jamaican Hansle Parchment delivered one of the biggest shocks of the Tokyo Olympics athletics competition by beating world champion Grant Holloway in the men’s 110 metres hurdles final on Thursday.
Holloway had not lost a hurdles race since August last year and was the overwhelming favourite after breaking the world indoor record over 60m hurdles this year and missing the 110m record by one-hundredth of a second at the U.S. Olympic trials.
The 23-year-old burst out of the blocks and looked set for gold until losing momentum over the final two hurdles.
Parchment, 31, surged past him to win in a season-best time of 13.04 and add the gold medal to his London Olympic bronze.
Holloway came home in 13.09 to take silver with Jamaican Ronald Levy third in 13.10.
Parchment was stunned to have toppled Holloway.
“The greatest feeling, the greatest feeling, I’ve worked so hard. It’s unbelievable that I caught this guy,” he added.
“A lot of times, after the final hurdle, I’m kind of leaning too early, and my coach reminded me to run through the line — and that’s what I did.”
The man who was supposed to pose the biggest challenge to Holloway in Tokyo was not in the race. Omar McLeod, the 2016 Olympic champion, hit the first hurdle at the Jamaican trials in late June and failed to make the cut.
(L-R) Silver medallist Grant Holloway of the United States, gold medallist Hansle Parchment of Team Jamaica and bronze medallist Ronald Levy of Jamaica pose after competing in the Olympics men’s 110m Hurdles final. Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
Parchment did not run a 110 hurdles race at all last year due to injury. In his first race in 2021 he clocked 13.49 in June, his time again affected by injury.
Parchment was only third at the trials and finished second in his heat and semi-final in Tokyo but managed to bring his best when it mattered to ensure the gold medal will remain in Jamaica.
The United States has dominated the 110 hurdles at the Olympics, winning 19 of the 28 gold medals on offer before Tokyo.
On a hot and humid morning at the Olympic Stadium, Holloway came into the race under considerable pressure.
The United States have won a gold medal in a men’s individual running event at every Olympics dating back to the inaugural Games in 1896, excluding 1980 when they boycotted.
But they have drawn a blank in Tokyo so far.
Holloway said the Olympic pressure got to him a little.
“Everybody knows I’m going to get out strong. Now it just comes to a point where I’ve got to finish strong,” said Holloway.
“I just think the nerves, the big atmosphere got the best of me a little bit. But I’m young, I’ve got a lot of races under my belt so I’ll take this with a grain of salt and I keep moving forward.
“This was not the outcome that I wanted but it enables me to say I’m an Olympic medallist.”
Crouser wins men’s shot put gold, breaks Olympic record thrice
Ryan Crouser of the United States in action during the men’s Shot Put final. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
Ryan Crouser of the United States retained his title as he won gold in the men’s shot put in Tokyo on Thursday, breaking his own Olympics record three times in the final and finishing with a mark of 23.30 metres.
He set the previous record of 22.52m at the Rio Games five years ago when he won the title.
His compatriot Joe Kovacs took silver and Tomas Walsh of New Zealand claimed bronze with a season’s best mark of 22.47. The final results mirrored the 2016 final.
After the result was clear, Crouser held up a card to a camera that read “Grandpa, we did it, 2020 Olympic champion”.
Crouser, who broke the world record in June with a 23.37 mark, started the final in blistering fashion, breaking his Olympic record with a 22.83 mark on his first attempt and then improving on that with a 22.93m throw.
At that point, it looked like his own world record was in danger of falling. But he calmed down slightly in his later attempts before unleashing a 23.30m throw, breaking his Olympic record again, and coming within a whisker of the world record.
This is only the third time that an athlete has broken the Olympic record three times during the shot put competition.
Parry O’Brien of the United States did it in 1956 at the Melbourne Games and Ulf Timmermann of then East Germany at the Seoul Games in 1988.
Portugal’s Pichardo wins men’s triple jump gold
Portugal’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo competes in the men’s Triple Jump final. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters
Portugal’s Pedro Pichardo won gold in the men’s triple jump at the Tokyo Games on Thursday with a leap of 17.98 metres, giving his country its fifth Olympic gold medal.
China’s Zhu Yaming produced a personal best of 17.57 for silver and Hugues Fabrice Zango of Burkina Faso finished with bronze (17.47).
Pichardo took the lead with his first attempt of 17.61m and no other competitor could match it. He set the national record on his third jump.
American Will Claye, who finished second in London and Rio behind compatriot Christian Taylor, finished fourth. Taylor was unable to defend his title in Tokyo after suffering an Achilles injury in May.