Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali and Kristi Castlin finished 1-2-3 in the 100-meter hurdles and Tianna Bartoletta and Brittney Reese go 1-2 in long jump. Usain Bolt gets challenged but clocks fastest 200 time in semifinals.

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RIO DE JANEIRO — It’s no easy thing to push Usain Bolt, even in an Olympic warm-up race.

Might be even tougher upstaging him.

But that happened on a wild Wednesday night in track. It began with the Jamaican star smiling, then wagging his finger at a brash up-and-comer in the 200-meter semifinals. It kept going with another Jamaican, Elaine Thompson, completing the first 100-200 women’s double since 1988. And it closed with an American sweep of the hurdles to put the cherry on top of a seven-medal day for the United States on the track.

Rio Olympics

Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali and Kristi Castlin finished 1-2-3 in the 100-meter hurdles to give the United States its first sweep in the event and only its seventh in the history of Olympic track.

After they saw their names come up on the scoreboard, they huddled together, hugged and jumped up and down before grabbing their U.S. flags from the stands.

“I knew that I got the gold but I just wanted to make sure that my other teammates got their medals, as well,” Rollins said.

Also parading the stars and stripes were long-jumpers Tianna Bartoletta and Brittney Reese, who finished 1-2, steeplechaser Evan Jager, who won silver earlier in the day, and Tori Bowie, who added a 200-meter bronze to her 100 silver.

“Who wouldn’t be thankful for another medal?” Bowie said. “Now, I have two.”

So does Thompson.

The 24-year-old Jamaican got off to a strong start and held off reigning world champion Dafne Schippers, who belly flopped at the finish line, but finished .10 seconds behind.

Thompson became the first woman since Marion Jones in 2000 to win both Olympic sprints. Jones’ records have since been stripped, so Thompson goes in the record book in place of Florence Griffith-Joyner, who starred in the Seoul Games in 1988.

The evening’s most entertaining theater came, as usual, from Bolt, who will go for his eighth Olympic gold medal Thursday.

His main goal during the opening rounds is to conserve energy, which is exactly what he was doing when he looked to his right, saw Canada’s Andre de Grasse a few steps behind and put it on cruise control.

Only problem was, de Grasse didn’t back down. He sped up, caught up and, suddenly, the two were nose to nose, smiling at each other down the stretch. Bolt finished in 19.78 to win by a scant .02 seconds. He wagged his finger at the up-and-comer as they crossed the line.

“That was really unnecessary,” Bolt said. “I don’t know what he was trying to do. He’s a young kid, he’s great. He has a lot of talent. I’m looking forward to the competition in the final.”

The competition won’t include Justin Gatlin, who has given Bolt more run for his money than anyone over the past four years. In the evening’s biggest stunner, Gatlin finished third in his heat and did not qualify for the final.

He said he rolled an ankle in the run-up to the Olympics and was happy just to make it here.

“Probably, I should have rested it instead of running on it,” said Gatlin, who finished second to Bolt in the 100.


• Reigning champion and world record holder Ashton Eaton of Bend, Ore., is in the lead halfway through the decathlon. He has 4,621 points after five events, 121 ahead of Kai Kazmirek of Germany. Former Newport High and UW star Jeremy Taiwo is fifth with 4,419.

Said Taiwo: “Day one was a little slow to start in the 100, but I just forgot about it and went to the long jump, had an ok jump there. Then I picked up momentum with a near [personal best] in the shot put, so that was awesome.

• In the men’s 5,000, defending champion Mo Farah was almost tripped up. The British runner was tripped in the 10,000-meter race on Saturday but still recovered to win his second Olympic gold over that distance. His bid for a second-straight long-distance double faced another scare Wednesday.

He had a slight trip after being clipped by another runner on the last lap of the 5,000 heats as well, but was quickly back into stride and ran comfortably with the leading pack to finish third in 13:25.25. Former Washington State standout Bernard Lagat, 41, also advanced in 13:26.02.