Brazil’s Thiago Braz da Silva helped turn a bleak, wintry night into an unforgettable one at the Olympic Stadium here, claiming an improbable gold medal in the men’s pole vault.
On a cool winter evening that was interrupted by a 25-minute rain delay, Da Silva lit up the home fans’ spirits by shocking France’s defending champion Renaud Lavillenie on Monday, reports Xinhua.
Earlier, Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas also won gold in the women’s 400m while Kenya’s David Rudisha took the men’s 800m title.
But it was Da Silva’s victory that will be best remembered.
The 22-year-old set a new Olympic record of 6.03m to beat his previous personal best by 10cm and send the crowd into a frenzy.
Lavillenie took silver with a best jump of 5.98m while Sam Kendricks of the USA took bronze with 5.85m.
Earlier on Monday, Bahrain teenager Ruth Jebet took gold in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase, narrowly missing the world record.
The 19-year-old clocked eight minutes 59.75 seconds to fall just 0.94 seconds short of the record set by Russian Gulnara Galkina in 2008.
Kenya’s Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi took silver in 9:07.12 and the USA’s Emma Coburn claimed bronze in 9:07.63.
“This is the second time that I missed the world record,” Jebet said. “I admit that it was too easy for me, but nobody told me about the record. I wanted the gold medal.”
Also on Monday morning, Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk smashed her own world record to win gold in the women’s hammer throw.