Team USA veterans mentor rising stars in Rio
RIO DE JANEIRO – One of the most rewarding aspects of these Olympics for me has been the juxtaposition of the performances of first-time Olympians with the consistency of, and often, the mentoring by, veterans like Ashton Eaton and Michelle Carter.
To see this balance of experienced athletes and new blood reminds me that the kids are all right, and our future is in good hands. As years pass, there is inevitably a changing of the guard, and this team has shown how impressive both sides of that transition can be. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a very experienced coaching staff whose relationships with all the personal coaches has proven to make a big difference.
We saw the first of many Team USA medalists of the day in Kerron Clement, who won gold in the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 47.73 seconds.
Ryan Crouser won the gold in the men’s shot put in an Olympic record of 73 feet, 10 3/4 inches (22.52m). Joe Kovacs earned the silver with a throw of 71-5 1/2 (21.78m).
Dalilah Muhammad won gold and Ashley Spencer won bronze in the women’s 400m hurdles.
Nothing could match the gutsy performance of Eaton, however, who tied the Olympic record to become just the third man in history to win back-to-back Olympic decathlon titles with 8,893 points. Zach Ziemek and Jeremy Taiwo placed seventh and 11th, respectively.
All three U.S. women – Chaunte Lowe, Inika McPherson and Vashti Cunningham – advanced to the final of the women’s high jump. Both the men’s and women’s 4 x 100m relay teams advanced to the finals.
In the men’s 1500m semifinals, Matt Centrowitz and Ben Blankenship qualified through to the finals. In the women’s 800m, Kate Grace advanced to the final with PB time of 1:58.79. In the last event of the night, the 200m final, LaShawn Merritt added a sixth place finish to his 400m bronze.
2016 Olympic Head Coach – Men’s Track and Field