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REFILE 1ST LEAD Wlodarczyk hammers her way to gold and WR; Jebet misses WR with jog By John Bagratuni, dpa

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Poland‘s Anita Wlodarczyk claimed hammer throw gold with the third world record at the Rio Olympics athletics events on Monday, and a fourth would have come just minutes later had not Bahrain‘s Ruth Jebet eased up in the steeplechase final.

Wlodarczyk unleashed the record throw of 82.29 metres in her third attempt as she got gold after silver in 2012 ahead of China‘s Zhang Wenxiu (76.75m) and Briton Sophie Hitchon (74.54m).

Wlodarczyk was in a world of her own, not only with the world record throw which improved her own mark of 81.08m from last year. The two-time world champion had three further throws beyond a distance anyone else has ever recorded in the discipline, including 81.74m, as she now owns the best 11 throws of all-time.

Jebet meanwhile clocked 8 minutes 59.57 seconds after a lonely race up front in the steeplechase for Bahrain‘s first-ever Olympic gold. Kenya‘s Hyvin Jepkemoi took silver in 9:07.12 and American Emma Coburn bronze in 9:07.63.

Jebet was less than a second outside the world record 8:58.81 minutes from Russia‘s Gulnara Galkina-Samitov and would have bettered it had she not eased up after the last hurdle and jogged across the finish line.

"This is the second time that I missed the world record. I admit that it was too easy for me, but nobody told me about the record. I wanted the gold medal," said Jebet who had a race of 8:59.97 earlier in the year.

But even without another best mark the three-and-a-half days of Olympic athletics have already seen three world records.

Apart from Wlodarczyk, Ethiopia‘s Almaz Ayana smashed the women‘s 10,000-m world record by 14 seconds on Friday, and on Sunday Wayde van Niekerk bettered Michael Johnson‘s 400m record.

The records of Wlodarczyk and Jebet came in unfamiliar morning finals, and there could be another one Tuesday morning as American triple jumper Christian Taylor aims to better Jonathan Edwards‘ 21-year-old mark of 18.29m in his quest for gold.

Taylor won the world title last year with 18.21m while on Monday morning he required only one hop, step and jump of 17.24m to qualify for the final.

"My goal is the world record. If you come out with that then you get the gold medal," he said. "Hopefully I can wake up. We never compete in the morning but you have to work with it."

Traditionally only the race walks and marathons are decided in the morning at world championships or Olympics. But this time around eight further events have been added at rather unfamiliar hours.

"Having finals in the morning will also ensure that we receive maximum visibility for athletics at the Olympic Games across all time zones," competition director Paul Hardy from the ruling body IAAF said when the timetable was presented.

Dutch world champion Dafne Schippers meanwhile won her 200m heat in 22.51 and advanced into the semis, and Kenya‘s Ezekiel Kemboi, a two-time Olympic and four-time world champion, cruised into the men‘s steeplechase final.

But two-time Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica crashed out in the 200m, and so did world champion Nicolas Bett of Kenya in the 400m hurdles heats.

Monday night‘s finals are the women‘s 400m, and the men‘s 800m and pole vault.

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