Torrential rain wreaks havoc with Olympic athletics events

Torrential rain wreaks havoc with Olympic athletics events

Torrential rain caused delays and confusion to the evening athletics programme at the Rio Olympics yesterday.

The men's pole vault final and women's discus qualifying were delayed and, after the first two of five heats, so was the men's 110 metres hurdles as the track at the Olympic Stadium threatened to turn into a stream.

Those who battled the conditions to run in the first two heats of the hurdles appeared to have legitimate cause for complaint, given the conditions had improved by the time the athletes returned to the track after a 20-minute delay.

It was decided that in the interests of fairness the eight athletes who failed to qualify from those first two races would get a second chance to bid for a fastest loser spot in another race to be run at the end of the night.

But when the time came, two athletes did not turn up and the result was Jamaican Deuce Carter, disqualified in his first race, getting into the semi-finals.

His compatriot Omar McLeod, who qualified at the first time of asking despite the conditions, said of the weather: "It's atrocious. You don't have that tunnel vision, the water is beaming down your face."

Balazs Baji, who also ran, added: "I just assumed the hurdles were there. The raindrops were so hard I had to close my eyes."

The pole vault and discus got under way about an hour after both events' scheduled start times.

But the vaulters had to endured another wait as the motors that raise the bar temporarily failed, meaning it was not until nearly midnight that Brazilian home favourite Thiago Braz Da Silva took the gold medal.

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