Story highlights

Four Americans win athletics gold medals

Iranian and Jordanian win historic medals

CNN  — 

It was a terrific day at the track for the United States, and one that also featured one of the Olympics’ most odd moments in athletics history.

Americans won the decathlon, men’s shot put, both 400-meter hurdles races and put their women’s 4x100-meter relay team into the final.

The latter almost didn’t happen as during qualifying the US relay team dropped the baton on the second exchange. But the Americans appealed, saying a runner had been interfered with, and won.

But what to do? Officials couldn’t just add them to the eight-team field for Friday’s gold medal showdown. So instead the US was given a chance to run by itself to see if it could qualify on time.

An Olympic race with only one competitor. The US came through, running the best time and pushing China out of the final.

“It was different, it was really weird. But we walked out and people were cheering for us,” Allyson Felix said. “I think it uplifted us a little bit and encouraged us.”

Also Thursday Ashton Eaton wrapped up his second consecutive Olympic decathlon title, a feat accomplished only by Bob Mathias of the USA and Great Britain’s Daley Thompson.

Other US winners Thursday were 400-meter hurdles champs Dalilah Muhammad and Kerron Clement, and shot-putter Ryan Crouser.

By the way, that Usain Bolt guy won again. He now has eight gold medals all-time, one short of the track record. His last 2016 Olympic race comes Friday night in the 4x100-meter relay.

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More US swimmers head home as officials apologize

Ryan Lochte has insisted he and three teammates were robbed in Rio on Sunday but four days later it appears no one is supporting his story anymore.

Police say the group lied, and the US Olympic Committee has apologized to the hosts of the Games and to all Brazilians for the behavior of the pool quartet.

And teammate James Feigen spoke to police Thursday and gave a revised statement, according to the USOC.

But while the USOC apologized and said one of its athletes had committed an act of vandalism, it also said the forced payment for damages came after armed security guards demanded restitution.

The other two swimmers, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz, got their passports back Thursday and got the heck out of Brazil.

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Teen wins platform gold

Chinese diver Ren Qian was born in this century. And at just 15 years and 180 days old, she’s an Olympic champion.

Winning big meets isn’t new to her; she won the platform event at worlds in February.

“I’m young, but I got the medal,” Ren said. “I think from now on I’ll train harder, I’ll work harder so I can focus on my future.”

In case you were wondering, the youngest Olympic champion was also a diver – Marjorie Gestring, who was 13 years, 268 days at the 1936 Olympics. That’s slightly younger than China’s Fu Mingxia, who won gold at Barcelona in 1992 when she was 13 years, 346 days.

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