This week’s featured article
Japan came close to sabotaging Usain Bolt’s bid for Olympic immortality but settled for a first-ever silver medal in the men’s 4×100-meter relay at the Rio Games on Friday.
The Japan team of Ryota Yamagata, Shota Iizuka, Yoshihide Kiryu and Aska Cambridge finished second in a new Asian-record time of 37.60 seconds, just 0.33 behind Bolt and his Jamaica teammates.
“It’s a great feeling, winning a medal was our goal all along,” said Cambridge, who took the baton for the anchor leg neck-and-neck with Bolt and held off Trayvon Bromell of the United States and Canada’s Andre De Grasse to secure silver.
“I believed that my three teammates would put me in a good position, and that’s what happened. We have a great team and I was determined not to lose. I started to lose my balance but luckily I didn’t fall.”
Bolt completed an unprecedented sweep of three sprint titles for a third straight Olympics after anchoring a Jamaican team also featuring Asafa Powell, Yohan Blake and Nickel Ashmeade to the gold medal in a time of 37.27.
“All the weight is gone now,” said Bolt, who says he will retire after next year’s world championships in London. “I would have never thought I could go back-to-back-to-back Olympics. At the first one I was just happy. The second one was a challenge, and then to come into the third one is just unbelievable. I hope I’ve set the bar high enough that no one can do it again.”
Japan got off to a flying start through Yamagata, who chased down China’s Tang Xingqiang on his outside lane and passed the baton to Iizuka in a strong position.
Iizuka and Kiryu then kept Japan in gold-medal contention, handing over to Cambridge for the final leg, but the 23-year-old could not keep up with Bolt as the star attraction of the Rio Games powered Jamaica to the title.
“This time we won the silver medal so next time we are aiming for gold,” said Yamagata. “I think winning the silver has earned us the right to think like that. I want us to be confident and target the gold.”
First published in The Japan Times on Aug. 21.
One-minute chat about the Olympics.
Collect words related to games, e.g., player, score, winner.
1) sabotage: intentionally destroy or damage; e.g., “He sabotaged her plan.”
2) unprecedented: never before known or done; e.g., “The city is attracting an unprecedented number of tourists.”
3) neck-and-neck: even or extremely close; e.g. “With both teams on 12 points, the game was neck-and-neck.”
Guess the headline
Bolt completes triple-triple with Jamaica’s gold in 4×100 r_ _ _ _; Japan makes history by taking s_ _ _ _ _
1) What two unprecedented achievements are mentioned in the article?
2) Will Usain Bolt compete at the next Olympics?
3) What are the names of the members of the Japan men’s relay team, and in what order did they run at the Rio Olympics?
Let’s discuss the article
1) Did you watch the Rio Olympics?
2) What was the highlight of the Rio Olympics for you?
3) What do you expect the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to be like?
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