Day 8 round-up: Ayana smashes world record

Despite track and field events attracting huge global interest, the Olympic Stadium was sparsely populated for the opening session and organisers will hope to see that change in the coming days.

Almaz Ayana - cropped

Almaz Ayana bettered the 10,000m world record by an incredulous 14 seconds.

- Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia got the athletics off to a stunning start in the first final, breaking a 23-year-old world record to win the women's 10,000 metres.

- Despite track and field events attracting huge global interest, the Olympic Stadium was sparsely populated for the opening session and organisers will hope to see that change in the coming days.

- One of the shocks of the day came in the men's discus, where reigning champion  Robert Harting of Germany failed to qualify for the final.

- David Rudisha, the Kenyan 800m world record holder, looked assured in winning his heat as he launched his bid for another Olympic gold.           

- There were medals aplenty at Lagoa, where British pair  Helen Glover and Heather Stanning defended their title, and the O'Donovan brothers, Gary and Paul, claimed Ireland's first rowing medal.

- Tennis player Monica Puig moved a step closer to Puerto Rico's maiden Olympic gold by beating Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova to reach the final.

QUOTES OF THE DAY

"Getting to this point is a dream come true. I never thought that this would happen and I'm so in awe." - Ayana could scarcely believe her own performance, which will surely stand as one of the best at Rio in any event.

"There's a lot of pressure, of course, coming here as a defending champion, as a world record holder, as a world champion." - Even the great Rudisha feels the pressure of an Olympic Games.

"We are so happy. A little tired, but more happy than tired. Can't use words. It's beautiful." - France's Pierre Houin is almost lost for words after glory in the men's double sculls.

"I had to be really positive and be as aggressive as I could, and I think that worked. I just can't believe where I am right now." - Puig revels in her victory over Kerber. 

MEDAL WATCH

Ayana's heroics sealed Ethiopia's first gold at the Games, while Great Britain's two golds in the rowing moved them up to fourth.

It remains a familiar tale at the summit, where the United States have a healthy lead over China

COMING UP:  Athletics continues and Phelps goes for gold number 23

An intriguing heptathlon competition will resume with the shot put at the Olympic Stadium, with Belgium's Nafissatou Thiam seperating reigning champion Jessica Ennis-Hill from British compatriot and leader Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

Michael Phelps will go for a 23rd Olympic gold medal in the pool as he competes in the 100m butterfly final, with fellow American Katie Ledecky eyeing glory in the 800m freestyle.

And the velodrome will also see some medal action in the cycling, too.

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