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Matt Hughes finishes sixth in steeplechase final

In other action, Sifan Hassan has won the first of three hoped-for gold medals, in the 5,000m

Canadian medals IAAF World Championships Photo by: Claus Andersen/Athletics Canada

Canadian record holder Matt Hughes had an excellent race in the final of the 3,000m steeplechase, finishing sixth, with a time of 8:16.03 – one spot ahead of Ryuji Miura, who briefly led, and who ran a Japanese national record in qualification, and the best position a Canadian has ever finished in this event. Kenya has dominated this event since 1980, but today it was the tall steepler, Soufiane El Bakkali, who won the gold medal in 8:08.90, the first time a Moroccan has ever won this event. Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia took silver in 8:10.38 (as he did in Doha two years ago), and Benjamin Kigen of Kenya won the bronze in 8:11.45.

The rain had, thankfully, stopped by the time the men took to the track. John Gay, who ran a PB to qualify for the final, was the final finisher.

It’s especially gratifying for Hughes, considering he had a tricky season going into the Games, parting ways with his sponsor, Nike, in April and seeing middling results at races. Hughes finished 10th at the 2016 Games in Rio.

RELATED: Stafford sisters qualify for semis in the 1,500m

Hassan wins her first Olympic medal – gold in women’s 5,000m final

In other events, Sifan Hassan won her first Olympic medal (and it was gold) in a dominant victory over Kenyan Hellen Obiri (silver) and Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia (bronze) in a very humid women’s 5,000m final. Hassan, who crossed the line in 14:36.79, hung out near the back of the lead pack for much of the race, and was in sixth place with two laps to go, while the Kenyan and Ethiopian women led the pack for most of the race. At the bell, Hassan moved into third, and only overtook Obiri in the final 200m. Obiri finished in 14:38.36, and this was also her first Olympic gold medal. Tsegay, who won bronze in the 1,500m in Doha and holds the world record (indoors) over that distance, finished in 14:38.87.

This is the first of three gold medals Hassan is attempting to win in Tokyo; she will appear in the 1,500m semi-final on Wednesday evening in Tokyo, the final (assuming she advances) on Friday, Aug. 6 and the 10,000m final on Saturday, Aug. 7.

Andrea Seccafien finished 15th, in 15:12.09.

Women’s 400m hurdles semi-final 

The rain started pelting down just before the women took to the track for the 400m hurdles semi-final, which began with a false start by the Norwegian, Amalie Iuel, who opted to run anyway, despite being disqualified (which athletes are allowed to do). Defending champion Dalilah Muhammad, world record holder Sydney McLaughlin and Dutch superstar Femke Bol all won their heats handily, avoiding any rain-related accidents, and advance to the final, which takes place Wednesday morning, Aug. 4 (Tuesday evening in Canada). Canadian record holder Sage Watson, who made the final in Doha, finished fifth in her heat and did not advance. The final goes Wednesday morning in Tokyo (Tuesday evening in Canada).

Women’s 200m semi-final

In the women’s 200m semi-final, Crystal Emmanuel finished sixth in her heat and will not advance to the final, which will feature 100m gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah, silver medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, fourth-place finisher in the 100m Marie-Josée Ta Lou and the two Namibians (Beatrice Masilingi and Christine Mboma), plus Mujinga Kambundji of Switzerland, American Gabby Thomas and Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas. That final goes Tuesday evening in Tokyo (Tuesday morning in Canada).

Crystal Emmanuel after the women's 4x100m relay.
Crystal Emmanuel after the 4x400m relay at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto

Men’s 400m semi-final

Kirani James of Grenada had the fastest time in the men’s 400m semi-final. World record holder Wayde Van Niekerk finished fourth in his heat and did not advance to the final. 

For the full schedule of events, click here, and for full results, click here



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