Bolt, Felix & All Three American Steeplechasers Advance

Usain Bolt Electrifies the Crowd in Olympic 100m Round One

Photo: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports
Article By: Taylor Dutch 

Electrifying the crowd in his first race of the 2016 Olympic Games, Usain Bolt eased his way into the 100m semifinal with a winning time of 10.07. 

Despite having the second-slowest start in the field, the six-time Olympic gold medalist casually glanced at the competition on his left as he cruised over the finish line Saturday morning in Rio de Janeiro. 

The world record-holder has said that Rio will be his last Olympic Games and it's projected to be a memorable one. In 2016, Bolt has notched a season's best of 9.88 at the Jamaican Olympic Trials and a 200m season's best of 19.89 at the London Diamond League meeting.

His American rival Justin Gatlin took care of business in heat two of the 100m with an effortless winning performance in 10.01 over Daniel Bailey who closed in 10.20. His victory stood as the fastest mark of the morning session.

The 2004 Olympic champion is returning from setting a world lead of 9.80 on his way to winning the Olympic Trials in July. He also claimed the 200m victory in a season's best of 19.75 and will be competing in the longer sprint which begins on Tuesday. 

Gatlin expressed his enthusiasm for competing against longtime rival Usain Bolt in what could be the last Olympic Games match-up for the two sprinters. 

World indoor champion Trayvon Bromell made his way through to the semifinal after finishing second in heat five in 10.13. Ben Youssef Meite claimed the victory just ahead of him in 10.03. 

Despite suffering from injury early on in the spring of 2016, Bromell credited his strong spiritual foundation which carried him back to fitness and his first Olympic team. 

2015 world bronze medalist Andre De Grasse of Canada claimed his respective heat victory with a winning time of 10.04, and Olympic silver medalist Yohan Blake unleashed his own victory in 10.11.

Marvin Bracy managed to sneak into the semifinal round after finishing third in heat one. Bracy finished third behind Kemarley Brown and Chijundu Ujah in a finishing time of 10.16. However, his performance was fast enough to qualify on time.

The semifinal round of the 100m will take place on Sunday at 6:55 p.m. CT.

Allyson Felix Leads Americans to Olympic 400m Semifinal

Allyson Felix Leads Americans to Olympic 400m Semifinal
Photo: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports
Allyson Felix is well on her way to repeat gold after gliding her way into the Olympic 400m semifinal. The national champion won her heat of the 400m with ease in an effortless 51.24 seconds to earn a spot into the 400m semifinal Saturday in Rio de Janeiro. 

Felix is returning from winning gold in the 200m at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. However, an injury sidelined her for much of the 2016 season and forced her to hold off on racing competitively until the Olympic Trials. She showed her dominance in the 400m by clocking 49.68, a world lead and season's best. Unfortunately, she was unable to qualify in her signature event, the 200m, as the race came down to a close 3-4 finish between her and Jenna Prandini. 

Felix has since returned to health and expressed confidence in her fitness at the team training camp two weeks ago. 

Her American teammate Phyllis Francis also managed to advance with ease after finishing first in her respective heat with a time of 50.58 ahead of Oluwakemi Adekoya of Bahrain.

Natasha Hastings rounded out the American sweep with a victory in heat four. Hastings claimed the victory in 51.31 over Great Britain's Christine Ohuruogu.

The semifinal of the women's 400m will take place on Sunday at 6:35 p.m. CT.

Coburn, Frerichs, Quigley Advance to Olympic Steeplechase Final

Coburn, Frerichs, Quigley Advance to Olympic Steeplechase Final
Photo: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports
Article By: Taylor Dutch

All three Americans have earned spots to compete for a podium finish in the steeplechase at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Olympic Trials champion Emma Coburn, Courtney Frerichs and Colleen Quigley have earned spots on the starting line after top finishes in their respective semifinal heats on Saturday. 

It's the first time in history that all three Americans have qualified to compete in the women's steeplechase final. 

Emma Coburn safely made it into the steeplechase final after finishing second to Kenya's Beatrice Chepkoech who surged ahead to claim heat two in 9:17. Coburn followed in 9:18 for an automatic qualifying spot into the final. 

After world leader Ruth Chebet threw down a 9:12.63 winning time over the field, American Colleen Quigley finished fourth in 9:21.82, just off her personal best mark. With the first three in each heat automatically advancing, Quigley earned the second fastest non-automatic time to qualify. 

Finally, Courtney Frerichs left nothing to chance when she surged to the front and claimed the third and final automatic qualifying spot out of heat three. The Bowerman Track Club athlete finished third behind Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi and Genevieve LaCaze in 9:27. 

Auto Qualifiers: 
Ruth Jebet (9:12.63) BRN
Sofia Assefa (9:18.75) ETH
Gesa Felicitas Krause (9:19.70) GER
Beatrice Chepkoech (9:17.55) KEN
Emma Coburn (9:18.12) USA
Habiba Ghribi (9:18.71) TUN
Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi (9:24.61) KEN
Genevieve LaCaze (9:26.25) AUS
Courtney Frerichs (9:27.02) USA

Time Qualifiers:
Lalita Shivaji Babar (IND) 9:19.76
Colleen Quigley (9:21.82) USA
Madeline Heiner Hills (9:24.16) AUS
Lydia Chebet Rotich (9:30.21) KEN
Genevieve LaLonde (9:30.24) CAN
Fabienne Schlumpf (9:30.54) SUI