Valarie Allman claims Team USA’s first athletics gold at the Tokyo Olympics in the women’s discus with a best effort of 68.98 metres in a rain-affected final
Valarie Allman claimed the United States’ first athletics gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics by winning the women’s discus on Monday.
‘It is an honour, I couldn’t be any happier or more proud,’ said Allman, who was all smiles before the discus had even landed on her opening throw. ‘I’m still waiting for my feet to touch the ground.’
Valarie Allman clinched gold for the United States in the women’s discus event on Monday
The American took the victory thanks to her first throw with an effort of 68.98 metres
The American finished seventh at the 2019 World Championships and credited her family for her breakthrough success.
‘They have been my rock along with my coach,’ Allman told reporters. ‘Figuring out my place on the world stage would have been so hard without their love and support.’
She threw 70.01 metres at the U.S. team trials in June, the second-best performance of 2021.
A torrential downpour during the second round injected chaos into the competition, as a handful of athletes struggled to complete their throws – including Portugal’s Liliana Ca, who slipped and fell on the slick throwing circle – before organisers suspended the event for about an hour.
Three women were allowed to retake their throws when the competition resumed, as volunteers sopped up the water with towels.
‘(The stoppage) affected me a lot. It affected my concentration and I got a bit cold,’ said 2019 world champion Perez after picking up her first Olympic medal in her third Games.
The final briefly came to a halt after athletes found it hard due to heavy rain in Tokyo
‘It is a lot of years worth of work and the only medal that was missing (from my collection) was this one. Like every other athlete I wanted gold, but I’m happy with what I’ve got.’
Pudenz, whose best through four attempts was 65.34 metres, was on course for bronze until she launched the throw of her life in the fifth round, beating Perez’s best mark of the night by more than a metre.
Croatia’s Sandra Perkovic fell short in her bid for a third consecutive Olympic gold, finishing fourth with 65.01 metres.
Allman took the win from Germany’s Kristin Pudenz and Cuba’s Yaime Perez who took bronze