Brittney Reese of competes in the women's long jump final during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 2, 2021 in Tokyo.
TOKYO – As day five of track and field kicked off at the Olympic Games, conditions were less than ideal inside Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium.
With rain falling on and off all morning, humidity was at an all-time high. As the sun started to break through the clouds, the temperature on the track started to rise.
And even in already sweltering conditions, Team USA brought the heat.
Back on the track today was Allyson Felix in the women’s 400-meter qualification heats. Despite the heat, Felix managed to finish first in her heat with a time of 50.84. First-time Olympians Quanera Hayes (51.07) and Wadeline Jonathas (50.93) finished second in their respective heats to move on to the semi-finals.
Making his Olympic debut today in Tokyo was 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton. Knighton won his men’s 200-meter qualification heat with a time of 20.55 to earn himself a spot in tonight’s semi-finals. A sprinting sensation, Knighton is the youngest track athlete for the United States in Tokyo.
Knighton is most often referred to as the teenager faster than Usain Bolt. Yes, you read that right – faster than Usain Bolt.
In May 2020, he broke Usain Bolt’s under-18 record in the 200 meters, and a month later he surpassed Bolt’s under-20 record and beat reigning world champion Noah Lyles in two races at the Olympic Trials. Also moving on to tonight’s semi-finals are Lyles and Kenneth Bednarek, who both won their respective heats.
Among today’s outstanding performances was the long jump duo of Brittney Reese and Tara Davis.
After impressive qualifying scores, Reese and Davis were strong favorites for medal potential ahead of today’s final. Reese had the top qualifying jump at 6.86m, with Davis just behind at 6.85m.
And in the last competition of her career, Reese, 34, will go home the silver medalist.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Reese of winning the silver medal. “I had a great career. I had a great journey. I’m just blessed. I’ve been in this sport for 13 years, and to finish my career with a silver I can’t complain.”
Reese fell just short in the last jump, ending with 6.97m, to Germany’s Malaika Mihambo. It looked like she was going to go home with the gold, but Mihambo took the lead in her final jump of competition – winning gold with a final jump of 7.0m.
“I’m used to beating people on the sixth jump, and I got beat on the sixth jump so it’s just kind of funny how I end my career that way,” said Reese. “Mihambo is a great athlete. She’s a world champion and now an Olympic champion.”