Hugues Fabrice Zango won Burkina Faso’s first-ever Olympic medal as he claimed bronze in the men’s triple jump on day 13 of the Tokyo Olympics.
Kenya’s Abel Kipsang set a new Olympic record as he reached Saturday’s 1500m final alongside his compatriot Timothy Cheruiyot.
Ghana men’s 4x100m relay team finished ahead of the USA to clinch a place in Friday’s final.
Egypt lost 27-23 to France in the semi-finals of the men’s handball and will now play in the bronze-medal match on Saturday.
Athletics afternoon session
Botswana’s Commonwealth champion Isaac Makwala looked to be in contention on the home straight in the final of the men’s 400m but the 35-year-old faded and finished seventh.
World champion Steven Gardiner of The Bahamas winning the gold to succeed South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk, who claimed the title in Rio in 2016.
Kenya’s Abel Kipsang set a new Olympic record as he won the second semi-final to qualify for Saturday’s final of the men’s 1500m.
The 24-year-old’s time of 3 minutes 31.56 seconds surpassed the mark set by his compatriot Noah Ngeny, when he won gold at the Sydney Games in 2000.
In the same race Abelatif Sadiki of Morocco set a new personal best as he finished eighth and Ethiopia’s Samuel Abate 11th but neither was quick enough to progress to the final.
In the earlier semi-final Kenya’s world champion Timothy Cheruiyot eased up to finish third and qualify automatically for the final.
He had led for most of the semi-final and was overtaken on the last lap by Great Britain’s Jake Wightman, who held on to win the race as the USA’s Cole Hocker pipped Cheruiyot on the line.
Cheruiyot’s compatriot Charles Cheboi Simotwo was sixth and Ethiopia’s Teddese Lemi seventh as both men failed to advance while Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman withdrew on the final lap with an injury.
Benin’s Odile Ahouanwanou dropped down to fifteenth place at the end of the women’s heptathlon having been fifth after the four events on the first day of the competition.
The heptathlon sees compete in the 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m, the long jump, javelin, and finally the 800m over two days.
Athletics morning session
Hugues Fabrice Zango admitted he had mixed feelings as he won Burkina Faso’s first-ever Olympic medal as he claimed bronze in the men’s triple jump.
The 28-year-old’s leap of 17.47 metres was 35cm short of his African outdoor record, which he set earlier this year, but was enough to claim third place just ahead of two-time Olympic silver-medallist Will Claye of the USA.
“It is a pleasure for me to be the first medallist for my country in the Olympics. It is a good thing for us,” Zango, the indoor world record holder, said after the final.
“I am a bit sad because I wasn’t able to produce my best performance and this is what makes the medal not as good as I wanted.
“I think that this pave the way so in the next Olympics we will get more medals.
“I am doing a PhD in electrical engineering and I will finish next year. I didn’t win the gold medal but I will try to push to continue training hard for the Paris Olympics to make history for my country.”
Portugal’s Cuban-born Pedro Pichardo won the gold with a new national record of 17.98m and China’s Yaming Zhu took silver with a personal best of 17.57m
Algeria’s Mohamed Yasser Triki set a new national record of 17.43m for his fifth place in the final.
In the men’s shot put final Kyle Blignaut of South Africa was the continent’s best finisher with a throw of 21.00m, which was enough for sixth place.
Egypt’s Mostafa Amr Hassan was eighth and Nigeria’s Chukwuebuka Enekwechi was unfortunately last in the final.
In the heats for the men’s 4x100m relay, Ghana finished ahead of the USA and set a new national record of 38.08s to qualify for Friday’s final as one of the fastest losers.
The Ghanaian quarter was made up of Sean Safo-Antwi, Benjamin Azamati-Kwaku, Emmanuel Kwaku, and Joseph Paul Amoah.
However, there was disappointment for South Africa (Clarence Munyai, Shaun Maswanganyi, Chedrick van Wyk and Akani Simbine) as they failed to pass the baton on the very first exchange.
South Africa’s Wayne Snyman was 20th of the 52 finishers in the men’s 20km walk as he ended up 3 minutes 28 seconds behind Italian winner Massimo Stano.
Snyman was the only African in the event after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld a four-year doping ban for his compatriot and former African champion Lebogang Shange just before the start of the Tokyo Games.
The 29-year-old recorded a positive test for the anabolic steroid trenbolone in 2019 and was banned from competing for four years.
Egypt’s men will have to settle for a bronze-medal play-off match on Saturday after they lost their semi-final 27-23 to the Rio silver medallits France.
The French are the successful handball nations of all time having won the world championships six times and are also two-time Olympic champions.
The Egyptians, who are the first African team to reach an Olympic semi-final, will face the losers of the other semi-final between Spain and Denmark in the play-off.
Guinea’s Fatoumata Yarie Camara missed out on a fight for bronze medal in the women’s 57kg freestyle as she lost heavily to Mongolia’s Khongorzul Boldsaikhan, who opened up a 10-0 lead in the first period and ensuring the bout was stopped early.
Tunisia’s 2012 Olympic gold medallist Oussama Mellouli finished in 20th of the 24 finishers in the 10km open water event, as he finished almost eight minutes behind winner Florian Wellbrock of Germany.
Mellouli’s participation in Tokyo had been in doubt just before the start of the Games when he announced he would not be competing because of a row with the Tunisian swimming federation.
However the 37-year-old, who also won gold in the pool over 1500m at the 2008 Games in Beijing, was then persuaded to change his mind and compete at his fourth Games by the president of the Tunisian Olympic Committee, Mehrez Boussain.
South Africa’s Michael McGlynn finished in eighth and Namibia’s Phillip Seidler 16th.
It was not a good second round for Africa’s only representative in the women’s event is Morocco’s Maha Haddioui, who is the first Arab professional on the Ladies’ European Tour, she dropped 13 places down to tied for 49th.
She is now four over par and 19 shots behind leader the USA’s Nelly Korda, daughter of former Australian Open tennis champion Petr Korda of the Czech Republic.