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Valarie Allman had stepped into the ring in round 1 and dance-blasted out the fourth-longest throw of her career to take a lead she would never relinquish. The 26-year-old’s 226-4 (68.98) opener — a monster in the wet, viscous air — was the biggest in an Olympic final in 33 years and 7ft (2.12m) longer than her formidable competition could muster on the night. Valarie Allman won Team USA's first gold track and field Olympic gold medal in Tokyo on Monday, in the discus throw finals.The big picture: Allman is the first American woman to medal in the discus throw since 2008. Her 68.98-meter throw beat German silver medalist Kristin Pudenz's throw by more than two meters. Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.The intrigue: Allman hasn't always been a discus-throwing athlete. In fact, she used to be a professional dance. Valarie Allman tells In The Village host Elizabeth Beisel about the amazing depth of talent she sees among the more than 100 U.S. track and field athletes at the Tokyo Games.
American record-holder Valarie Allman unleashed a massive hurl of 68.98m on her first attempt, carrying her through the remaining rounds and a rain delay to win the U.S. its first track and field gold of the Tokyo Games. (Source: www.clickondetroit.com)
The two-time Olympic champion was unable to bring her best to the occasion despite being on home soil in front of a crowd urging her on. Perkovic's best throw of 66.48m was over three metres short of Allman's best effort: 69.93m. Allman came to Tokyo ready to win. The only finalist to throw past the 70 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June, she was a strong contender in the discus throw and she didn’t disappoint. She stormed into the lead by throwing an impressive 68.98 meters in her very first throw, beating the silver medalist by over 2 meters. At the time of the Rio Games Allman was a Stanford junior with a “mere” 201-6 (61.42) PR when Sandra PerkoviÄ‡, the 7-time World No. 1, won her second Olympic gold. Triumphing in Tokyo over PerkoviÄ‡, world titlist Yaimé Pérez and surprise silver medalist Kristin Pudenz was, of course, a dream come true — and the culmination of a coordinated approach developed with Zebulon Sion, her coach since ’17. “It was one of my favorite Olympic moments. She held her up and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, Sugar Butt!’ which is just a nickname that I sometimes call my dog. And I think I just was so happy and high on adrenaline I wasn’t even thinking about the fact this was actually on NBC.
“Yet to be experiencing it and feeling it, when you’re in that Olympic Stadium, there’s so much intensity, there’s so much pressure. There are so many people reaching out to you saying, ‘Go for gold, you can do it,’ right? It is a lot to handle and I kind of started to feel maybe some of that Olympic pressure after the Olympic Trials. Allman has set a world-leading US record of 70.15m in last year, becoming the 25th member of the event’s exclusive 70-meter club. The American record holder in the women’s discus also won the event at the US Olympic Trials last month. The Texas-based athlete has applied her background in dance in the sport which has enabled her to excel in the discus circle. Allman began her USA Track and Field tour at the NCAA Championships in 2014, where she finished 21st. Since then, she won two gold, two silver and three bronze medals in a number of different competitions, from the NCAAs and World University Games all the way up to the Olympic Trials. At the event, she set a record in the process. The ISTAF Berlin meeting may no longer have Diamond League status but the famous one-day showpiece which was celebrating its centenary saw plenty of world-class action in the Olympic stadium on Sunday afternoon (September 12). Valarie Allman won Team USA's first gold track and field Olympic gold medal in Tokyo on Monday, in the discus throw finals.The big picture: Allman is the first American woman to medal in the discus throw since 2008. Her 68.98-meter throw beat German silver medalist Kristin Pudenz's throw by more than two meters. Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.The intrigue: Allman hasn't always been a discus-throwing athlete. In fact, she used to be a professional dance (Source: www.clickondetroit.com)