. As athletics takes center stage
Athletics is no doubt the number one sport when it comes to the Olympics Games. Little wonder for many, the Rio 2016 Games proper started only yesterday (Friday) when the athletics events got underway at the Olympic Stadium in Rio.
One man that would be the cynosure of all eyes in Rio as the athletes burn the tracks is Jamaican sprinter and world fastest man, Usain Bolt. Bolt in the last eight years had ruled the athletics world, winning everything winnable in the sprints.
Here in Rio, Bolt would specifically be gunning for what has been dubbed “the triple triple.”
The 29- year old, it was recalled won the “sprint triple” comprising of the 100m, 200m and 4x100m in both the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games. Would he do it again here in Rio in what obviously would be his last Olympic Games before quitting the stage? This is the million naira question on the lips of everybody.
Should he sweep the stakes again, he would no doubt go down in history as the world’s most successful track and field athlete ever.
Bolt would have one man to contend with as he goes for “the triple triple.” And that man is United States Justin Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic champion who interestingly had ran faster than Bolt this year.
However, whether he dominates in Rio or not, Bolt had already made sprint history as the first man to win back to back the Olympics 100m, 200m and sprint relay gold at the Olympics.
The big showdown would be tomorrow (Sunday) when the men’s 100 m final comes up at 10: 25 pm. The 200m final is billed for Thursday 10:30 pm, while the 4x100m final comes up 10:35 pm on Friday.
The Rio 2016 athletics event would in any case not be about Bolt alone, as there are other stars waiting in the wings to burn the tracks and make their respective countries proud.
Britain’s Mohammed Farah, Jamaican sprint queen, Shelly-Ann Fraser, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana are in this exclusive club of super stars set to shine in Rio.
Farah would be attempting to make a rare piece of Olympics history as he steps out to defend his 5000m and 10,000 m titles.
The Somalian born runner as reported by AT Sports is already the first man to win both races at three consecutive global championships, courtesy of his victories at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships and the London 2012 Olympics.
29- year – old Shelly -Ann Frazer who had been nursing injuries this term would be slugging it out with other young stars as she tries to remain queen of the tracks.
Ethiopia’s Ayana would be gunning for the 5000m and 10,000 m gold. If she gets them, then she and Farah would have established themselves as the Queen and King of long distance races.
Nigeria’s biggest prospect for athletics medal remains Blessing Okagbare who stormed the Rio 2016 Games Village early this week. Will this Blessing, bless Nigeria with a medal?
We keep our fingers crossed as athletics actions light up Rio 2016.