Can’t believe the Olympics are over? Relive it by reading through these stand-out performances, as selected by the Athletics Weekly team, and then tell us your top moment
With three world records and a whole host of Olympic records, area records and PB performances, there was no shortage of remarkable results at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
But which really stood out for you?
Here the AW team members share their top moments – have a read and then let us know yours by sending us a Tweet, writing it on Facebook or popping a comment beneath this blog post. You can find all the medal winners listed here, where there are links through to each of our online reports.
Jason Henderson, editor
I enjoyed seeing Matt Centrowitz add his name to a illustrious list of 1500m champions that includes Paavo Nurmi, Jack Lovelock, Herb Elliott, Peter Snell and Seb Coe. He did it gloriously unexpected style, too, as he realised with a lap to go that pole position was the best position and he held everyone off in a style reminiscent of Peter Rono in 1988, although I hope the American enjoys more post-Games success than the Kenyan did.
Paul Halford, deputy editor
I would pick none of the incredible performances but instead some dramatic racing in the men’s 50km walk. So much can happen in the approximately four hours of track and field’s longest and often cruellest discipline and it Rio it certainly did.
It had several different leaders, one of whom, Yohann Diniz, stopped for a couple of minutes, later collapsed and walked on another 10 miles to finish. Then came a “sprint finish” in which athletes had to be careful to avoid disqualification for faulty technique, which was won by Matej Tóth. The gruelling event saw several needing medical attention at the end, such were the awesome feats of endurance in the heat. All of this happened at a pace at which most people couldn’t run.
Jessica Whittington, web editor
There were so many fantastic performances in Rio but for me the stand-out moment was seeing Usain Bolt complete his ‘triple triple’ in person. Covering my first overseas Olympics, I felt privileged to be witnessing such history being made and again experiencing the buzz that follows the Jamaican sprint star wherever he goes. Crowds were fuller and the volume turned up a number of notches whenever the world’s fastest man took to the track in defence of his 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay titles.
Steve Smythe, results editor
Obviously athletically the British highlight was Mo Farah’s double gold and from a non-UK perspective the three world records, while I also loved Sophie Hitchon’s final throw in the hammer and the reaction it got.
However, what I think I enjoyed most was something that an Olympic cycle back would have been unthinkable. Britain’s Callum Hawkins leading the marathon well into the second half of the race, Tom Bosworth ahead out on his own in the 20km walk and Andrew Butchart joining Farah up front in the last mile. All of them dropped back but all made the top 10 and will do even better in four years’ time.
Mike Taylor, production editor
Having seen Michael Johnson do the unthinkable in Seville in 1999 and run 43.18 to break Butch Reynolds’ 400m record set a decade earlier, I was interested to see the build-up the media might give to the chances of a dent being put in the American’s time by his modern-day equivalents, Kirani James, LaShawn Merritt and Wayde van Niekerk. I’m not sure that much of a story was made of it in the build-up, although the South African had told colleagues he would ‘do something special’.
To witness not only Van Niekerk break the time but do it from lane eight put to bed the myths that running in inside lanes and being dragged along by your competitors is vital to a good performance. You should run your own race. It’s easy to forget how much pressure you can put on opponents inside you by a quick start, and so throw their race plans into confusion.