Olympic sprint queen Elaine banned for posting footage of her own win

By: AFP      Published: 09:42 AM, 5 Aug, 2021
Olympic sprint queen Elaine banned for posting footage of her own win
Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah wins the women's 200m final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium.–AFP

Jamaican sprint queen Elaine Thompson-Herah prompted a rare climbdown from social media giant Facebook after being banned for posting footage of her own victory at the Tokyo Olympics.

Thompson-Herah put up video on the Facebook-owned platform Instagram showing her win in the 200m on Tuesday, when she completed an unprecedented women's "double-double" in the 100m and 200m at the Rio and Tokyo Games.

Justifiably proud of her achievements, Thompson-Herah later revealed she had been temporarily suspended because of rights issues.

"I was blocked on Instagram for posting the races of the Olympics because I did not own the right to do so. So see y'all in 2 days," she tweeted.

The action prompted disbelief among the runner's followers on social media, with many questioning the logic of preventing an athlete sharing her own moment of glory.

However, the footage reappeared on Instagram a few hours later.

The International Olympic Committee jealously guards its broadcasting rights, which generate billions of dollars for the organisation from global TV networks, particularly NBC in the United States.

The IOC's social media guidelines say athletes "are encouraged to share their experiences with their friends, family and supporters via social and digital media".

But it says they cannot put up "Olympic Games content containing audio/video of the field of play".

'Grandpa, we did it'

World record-holder Ryan Crouser bettered his own Olympic mark as he retained the men's shot put title on Thursday.

The American managed a best of 23.30 metres on his sixth and final effort, a new Olympic record after his five previous attempts had also all gone beyond the 22.52m that saw him win gold at the 2016 Rio Games.

The 28-year-old Crouser led a repeat of the Rio podium, with teammate and world champion Joe Kovacs taking silver with 22.65m, and New Zealand's Tomas Walsh claiming bronze (22.47).

Crouser put in a consistent shift in baking conditions at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium, going into the lead with his first attempt and never ceding.

Expectations on Crouser, who was pushed into silver by Kovacs at the 2019 world championships in Doha, had obviously been high.

After his victory was confirmed, he quickly ran to his kit bag, donned a cowboy hat and showed to the television cameras a sheet of paper on which was written: "Grandpa, we did it, 2020 Olympic champion."

Crouser was brought up in a family deeply embedded in athletics: his father Mitch was an alternate on the discus team at the 1984 Los Angeles Games while his uncle Brian was a two-time Olympian in the javelin and cousin Sam represented the United States in the javelin in Rio.

His grandfather Larry, he has revealed, was instrumental in encouraging him in the pursuit of Olympic glory with training sessions from an early age in his backyard.

Crouser's victory follows an exceptional US trials in June during which he set a world record of 23.37m.

Portugal's Pichardo wins triple jump gold

Portugal's Pedro Pichardo was crowned men's triple jump Olympic champion on Thursday, winning with a national record of 17.98 metres.

China's Zhu Yaming took silver with a personal best of 17.57m and Hugues Zango won the bronze (17.47m) -- Burkina Faso's first ever Olympic medal.

Pichardo succeeds two-time Olympic champion Christian Taylor, who was unable to defend his title after rupturing his Achilles earlier this year.

Olympic BMX rider Fields to leave hospital

Former Olympic BMX racing champion Connor Fields will be released from hospital on Thursday as he continues his recovery from a serious head injury sustained while competing in Tokyo, US team officials said.

Fields, the gold medallist at the Rio 2016 Games, suffered a brain haemorrhage when he fell heavily during the semi-final on July 30 and was rushed to hospital, where he spent time in intensive care.

The US Olympic team's chief medical officer Jonathan Finnoff said the 28-year-old was ready to make the journey back to the United States.

"He will now return home to be with his friends and family in Henderson, Nevada, and start his rehabilitation," Finnoff said.

Field, who said before heading to Tokyo that he was considering retirement after the Games, sounded an optimistic note on social media.

"I'm back. Ish. Still can only stand for 5-10 min at a time but we're working!" he tweeted.

Parchment outguns Holloway

Jamaica's Hansle Parchment trumped fading world champion Grant Holloway to win the men's Olympic 110m hurdles gold on Thursday.

Parchment, a bronze medallist at the 2012 London Games, clocked 13.04 seconds, with Holloway taking silver in 13.09sec. Another Jamaican, Ronald Levy, claimed bronze (13.10).

Holloway burst out of his blocks in blazing sunshine at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium and built up a lead directly from the first hurdle.

The American looked completely in control through 60 metres, but then tied up, allowing a fast-charging Parchment a way back into the race.

The 31-year-old Jamaican made no mistake from lane seven, impressing over the final three hurdles and pushing for the line for the first global medal of his career.

"The greatest feeling," Parchment said when asked what being referred to as the Olympic champion sounded like.

"I've worked so hard. It's unbelievable that I caught that guy (Holloway). My coach reminded me to run through the line -- and that's what I did."

Parchment added: "I don't think a lot of people expected me to win.

"I might have to sit for a bit and just absorb the moment, watch other races because there's always room for improvement."

Holloway defended his race tactics, saying he had only just missed out on Aries Merritt's world record of 12.80sec by one-hundredth of a second in June using the same methods.

"Everybody knows I'm going to get out strong," the 23-year-old said.

"Now it just comes to a point where I've got to finish strong. I did it once when I was two shaves off the world record so I know I can do it."

Holloway instead put down his last-gasp fade to "nerves".

"The big atmosphere got the best of me a little bit," he said, despite there being no fans in the 68,000-seater Olympic Stadium because of Covid-19 restrictions in the Japanese capital.

"But I'm young, I've got a lot of races under my belt so I'll take this with a grain of salt and I keep moving forward.

"This was not the outcome that I wanted but it enables me to say I'm an Olympic medallist."

Focus, Holloway said, would now turn to next year's world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

"I love the hurdles and I can't wait until next year for the world championships in my home town," he said. "I think that's going to be really good for me."