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Olympics: Japan advances to men's 4x100 relay final at Tokyo Games

Yuki Koike, center in the front row, of Japan competes in the men's 4x100-meter relay heats at the Tokyo Olympics, on Aug. 5, 2021, at the Japan National Stadium in Tokyo. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan men's 4x100-meter relay team advanced to the final at the Tokyo Games after placing third in its heat at the Tokyo Games on Thursday.

    Shuhei Tada, Ryota Yamagata, Yoshihide Kiryu and Yuki Koike posted a season-best time of 38.16 to finish behind defending champion Jamaica, which topped the heats with the fastest time of 37.82, and Britain, which clocked 38.02.

    The United States failed to advance, finishing sixth in its heat won by China in 37.92. The top three in each heat qualify for the final, plus the two fastest nonautomatic qualifiers.

    "It was the first relay and I wasn't sure how it would go but it's good to get it out of the way," said Yamagata, who along with Kiryu was on Japan's silver-medal winning team at the Rio de Janeiro Games five years ago.

    "We will pull together for the final and try and run our best race," he said.

    Japan finished seventh its heat and failed to advance to the women's 4x100 relay final.

    In medal events in the morning session at National Stadium, Hansle Parchment of Jamaica won the men's 110-meter hurdles gold, catching Grant Holloway of the United States in the last 10 meters and coming home in 13.04 seconds.

    "The greatest feeling, I've worked so hard. It's unbelievable that I caught this guy (Holloway). I'm really grateful," said Parchment, the 2012 London Olympic bronze medalist.

    "You know, a lot of times, after the final hurdle, I'm kind of leaning too early, and my coach reminded me to run through the line -- and that's what I did."

    Holloway took the silver in 13.09 and Jamaica's Ronald Levy the bronze in 13.10.

    World record holder Ryan Crouser led the United States to a 1-2 finish in the men's shotput, defending his gold medal with an Olympic record final throw of 23.30 meters. Joe Kovacs and Tomas Walsh of New Zealand took silver and bronze.

    Pedro Pichardo of Portugal won the gold medal in the men's triple jump with a third jump of 17.98 meters, ahead of China's Zhu Yaming and Hugues Fabrice Zango who won Burkina Faso's first Olympic medal ever.

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