Track events began on Friday in TOKYO, with world champion D Ståhl of Sweden needing only one attempt to qualify for the men’s discus final, and Mutaz Barshim of Qatar beginning his bid to add a high-jump Olympic gold to his rich haul of medals.
D Ståhl Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
As of his arrival in Tokyo, D Ståhl, 28, had thrown 71.40 metres, the longest distance of the season, and had three of the four longest throws of 2021. He has finished as the world leader in each season since 2016.
His first attempt on Friday went for a distance of 66.12m, which was good enough to qualify him for the championship round on Saturday.
D Ståhl remarked, “It was a relaxed throw; my goal was to make the finals, and I did it.” “I just wanted to get what I needed for the final done, so that’s what I did, and I’m delighted with the results.”
The first day of athletic competition at the Tokyo Olympics began under cloudy skies and a nearly empty Olympic Stadium, where two small buses operated by remote control transported the discus across the field.
Andrius Gudzius of Lithuania, the 2017 world champion, placed second with a score of 65.94, and Kristjan Ceh of Slovenia, who is second on the 2021 leaders list behind D Ståhl, placed third with a score of 65.45.
Given that Barshim has already accomplished so much in the high jump world, the fact that he has not yet won an Olympic gold medal is all the more meaningful.
The 30-year-old initially earned a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, but it was upgraded to silver. Four years later, in 2016, he won silver at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
With only a handful of competitions under his belt since the start of 2019, Barshim cleared 2.28 metres to advance to Sunday’s high-jump final.
I’m trying to keep myself from getting hurt,” he explained. More training, less competition, that’s what I’m going for these days since a couple of years ago I was getting injured and it wasn’t fun for me.
I’ve been anticipating this for the past five years. I’ll stop at nothing to get my hands on it because it’s the one I really want. If that means going to the moon, then so be it.
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