Miltiadis Tentoglou claims Olympic long jump gold for Greece as Jasmine Camacho-Quinn wins 100m hurdles

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Miltiadis Tentoglou won long jump gold for Greece in dramatic fashion on Day Ten (AFP via Getty Images)
Miltiadis Tentoglou won long jump gold for Greece in dramatic fashion on Day Ten (AFP via Getty Images)

For the second time in less than 24 hours, there was nothing to choose between two athletes in a field event at these Olympics.

Except actually, this time, there was.

Sunday night’s high jump final had ended in a heartwarming scene as Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi, having gone through the rounds with identical cards, were given - or rather, appeared to give themselves - the option of eschewing a jump-off and going home with a gold medal each.

And you could see the logic to it. A bit of a strange outcome and an uneasy precedent maybe, but these are, after all, competitions all about going faster, higher, stronger. If the aim of the high jump is to see who can jump highest, then perhaps there is more merit in a shared gold than carrying on into the night and deciding it on who can jump a little bit less high, most often.

But when the men’s long jump final ended with Cuba’s Juan Miguel Echevarria and, after a thrilling, last-round leap from out of the medal positions, Miltiadis Tentoglou tied on 8.41metres, it was the Greek who walked away with gold by virtue of having a longer next-best jump - an 8.15m to the Cuban’s 8.09m.

Echevarria still had a chance to go further with the last jump of the competition, but pulled up in his run-up and, as he fell just short of the takeoff board, signalled that his day was done by dramatically, gladiatorially, laying his fists across the foul line.

It meant gold for Greece, while Cuba had to settle for both silver and bronze, with Maykel Masso finishing behind his team-mate with a jump of 8.21m.

The high jump comparison is not a direct one - count-back would have been used in that instance too, had one of Tamberi or Barshim failed at an earlier height - but you had to feel for Echevarria, who was in tears as he congratulated Tentoglou, having surely thought the prize was his with a third-round effort that no one had come within 20cm of until the Greek’s late effort.

Jasmine Camacho-Quinn is Puerto Rico’s first athletics gold medallist (Getty Images)
Jasmine Camacho-Quinn is Puerto Rico’s first athletics gold medallist (Getty Images)

But as one Central American nation despaired, another could soon celebrate its first-ever Olympic gold medal in athletics as Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, who had broken the Olympic record in the semi-final, claimed victory in the women’s 100m hurdles final in a time of 12.37seconds.

America’s Keni Harrison, who had famously set the world record and failed to qualify for the US Olympic team in the same month ahead of Rio 2016, completed something of a redemption story with silver, while Jamaica’s Megan Tapper took bronze.

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