In the final event on a busy track and field calendar Wednesday at Olympic Stadium, Americans Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali and Kristi Castlin swept the women’s 100m hurdles, Rollins winning in 12.48 seconds.
The sweep by the U.S. women marked a significant first in Olympic history.
According to the Olympic historian Bill Mallon, there had been 61 such American track and field 1-2-3’s in prior editions of the modern Games, dating to 1904 (in events such as the 200-meter hurdles, which back then was a thing). The most recent U.S. 1-2-3’s: the 400 and 400 hurdles at the Beijing 2008 Games.
All 61 were in men’s events.
Wednesday night thus made for the first medals sweep for American track and field women.
“What? Oh, my goodness!” Ali said when told of the historical significance.
To be sure, American women have gone 1-2-3 at previous editions of the Games — as far back as 1904 (again), in archery, and in other disciplines.
But, remarkably, never before had the American women gone gold, silver, bronze in track or field.
Making it all the sweeter, as Rollins would say: “We are genuinely friends.”
The victory also made for the first gold medal for the 2016 U.S. team on the track. The prior four came in field events: Michelle Carter, women’s shot put, Jeff Henderson, men’s long jump; Christian Taylor, men’s triple jump; and just before the hurdles, Tianna Bartoletta in the women’s long jump.