Valerie Allman gave us the first gold medal for the USA in track & field in Tokyo 2020/2021. Her performance was amazing as she did it in her first throw. Valerie also battled Mother Nature, as the rains came tumbling down, suspending the competition soon after her second throw, where she slipped on the wet ring.
Pierre Weil wrote for RunBlogRun at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials. He was part of a group developed by Professer Lori Shontz to provide opps for young sports journalists.
We thank Pierre for his work during the Olympics.
Valarie Allman grabs USA’s First Track and Field Gold Medal at Tokyo 2020
By Pierre Weil
TOKYO, Japan — Valarie Allman of the United States became the first American Track and Field athlete to stand atop the podium in Tokyo after winning the women’s discus with a throw of 68.98 meters.
“I am so honored that this has been a first gold medal in Tokyo (for the US in Track and Field),” Allman said. “It is an honor, I couldn’t be any happier or more proud.
Allman came into the competition as one of the favorites after winning the US Trials, and everything went as planned when she set the tone early with an absolutely gorgeous first throw.
“My coach and I, we always talk about being able to set the tone right at the start of the competition,” Allman said. “To come out with a solid mark like that felt really good.”
Allman’s first throw ended up being the best of the night (68.98m), and it was good enough to hold off the field on a rainy Monday night in Tokyo.
The competition was suspended for nearly an hour after multiple athletes started slipping on their throws due to the weather. The delay certainly threw a wrench in the plans of those looking to catch the American, and ultimately no one came close.
Kristin Pudenz of Germany threw a personal best 66.86 meters on her fifth throw to secure the silver medal, while the defending World Champion Yaime Pérez of Cuba came in third with a throw of 65.72 meters.
Pudenz surprised everyone, including herself, with her personal best throw.
“I was hoping for top eight, maybe a personal best, and then see what happens,” said Pudenz. “But a silver medal, I never expected that.”
Pérez came into the Olympics as the favorite, but after failing all three of her throws in the 2016 Olympics, she was happy to just medal this time around.
“It is a lot of years worth of work and the only medal that was missing was this one,” she said. “Like every other athlete I wanted gold, but I’m happy with what I’ve got.”
The 2-time defending Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic of Croatia came in fourth.
26-year-old Valarie Allman will head back home an Olympic champion, a dream come true.