Tokyo Olympics: China extend medal table lead as new weightlifting record set

By Sports Desk July 31, 2021

Lyu Xiaojun became the oldest Olympic champion in weightlifting at the age of 37 to help tighten China's grip on top spot in the Tokyo 2020 medal table at the end of Saturday's action.

That victory for Lu in the 81 kilograms category led to China's fifth weightlifting gold of this year's Games and broke the record previously held by Rudolf Plyukfelder, who was 36 when winning gold at Tokyo 1964. 

China also came out on top in the women's windsurfer – RS:X event after a tense three-way battle which saw Yunxiu Lu edge out Charline Picon and Emma Wilson of France and Great Britain respectively.

Japan remain second in the overall medal standings, despite failing to add to their 17 golds, which allowed the USA to close the gap after a successful day in the pool.

Caeleb Dressel won the 100m butterfly to become only the second man to win that and the 100m freestyle at the same Olympic Games after compatriot Mark Spitz in Munich in 1972.

And Katie Ledecky won the women's 800m freestyle to become the first woman to win six individual Olympic gold medals in swimming.

The Russian Olympic Committee won their solitary gold for the day in fencing, triumphing in the women's sabre team final with a narrow victory over France to remain fourth, while Australia stay fifth thanks to Kaylee McKeown, who won the women's 200m backstroke to add to her 100m backstroke triumph.

Further down the list, Jamaica earned a clean sweep of medals in the women's 100m as Elaine Thompson-Herah pipped compatriots Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson to retain her crown as the world's fastest female.

Other notable gold medals were awarded to Team GB in the triathlon mixed relay and Poland in the 4 x 400m mixed relay, with both of those events being added to the Olympic schedule for the first time in Tokyo.

It was also a day to remember for Sweden as Daniel Stahl took gold in the men's discus, finishing just ahead of training partner Simon Pettersson to complete their nation's first one-two finish in an event at the summer Games since the men's 10,000m race walk at London 1948.

 

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    Senior Director of Sports Marketing at Adidas, Spencer Nel, says the German sportswear giants would more than welcome the opportunity to work with the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association.

    The statement is in response to a report on Wednesday of an investment proposal sent by Adidas to the JAAA.

    "Adidas has a long and successful history of working together with leading Jamaican athletes - we sponsor numerous high schools and invest heavily into sports development at both the grassroots and elite level, with programs like the Racers Track Club,” he said.

    “The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) is one of the best track and field federations in the world with an incredible history. We are always looking to collaborate with leading federations across sport and would welcome an opportunity to work together in the future,” he added.

    Nationwide News broke the story on Wednesday detailing the investment proposal which includes a staggering JMD$5.7 billion investment over the next eight years to bolster athletics at both elite and grassroots levels in Jamaica.

    Adidas's proposal, as outlined in documents obtained by Sportsmax.TV, involves substantial financial support, equipment provision, infrastructure development, and athlete incentives aimed at enhancing Jamaica's athletic programs.

    Adidas unveiled the ambitious plan that could potentially transform Jamaica's track and field landscape with a groundbreaking USD$38.8 million or JMD $5.7 billion investment proposal over the next eight years.

    This proposal, aimed at revolutionizing both elite and grassroots athletics, has stirred significant interest and discussions within the Jamaica's track and field fraternity and raised questions over whether the JAAA is seriously considering accepting or is keen on negotiating with Adidas.

    Details of the proposal, first reported by Nationwide News on Wednesday, outline a comprehensive investment strategy that includes substantial financial support, equipment provision, infrastructure development, and athlete incentives.

    According to the documents obtained by Sportsmax.TV, the proposal earmarks nearly USD$3 million annually to the JAAA, covering operational costs and athletic program enhancements. Additionally, Adidas plans to allocate USD$2,180,000 worth of equipment each year, ensuring Jamaican athletes have access to world-class gear to uphold the nation's track and field legacy.

    A notable aspect of the proposal is the inclusion of a 10 per cent royalty bonus from the sales of Adidas apparel associated with Jamaican athletics, offering a potential revenue stream to further bolster the sport's development in Jamaica.

    Adidas further proposes an annual retainer of USD$2.5 million for the JAAA, along with a dedicated budget of USD$250,000 for infrastructure repairs and upgrades across Jamaica.

    The sponsorship extends beyond financial support, with provisions for executive travel budgets to ensure representation at international meetings and events. Athletes achieving global success can expect significant rewards, with podium finishers at the Olympics and other major championships receiving substantial bonuses.

    According to the proposal, athletes would be rewarded with a bonus of USD$25,000 for winning Olympic gold, USD$15,000 for silver, USD$10,000 for bronze.

    For World Championships gold medallists would earn USD$15,000 for gold, USD$10,000 for silver and USD$8000 for bronze. Jamaican athletes winning gold at the World Indoor Championships would earn a bonus of USD10,000, silver medallists would collect USD$8000 while bronze medallists be rewarded with USD$7,000.

    Jamaica’s junior athletes will not be left out as gold medal winners at the World U20 Championships would receive a hefty bonus of USD$7500 while silver and bronze medallists would take home USD$5000 and USD$2000, respectively.

    USD$7500 would be reserved for relay gold medals with silver and bronze medals earning USD$5000 and USD$2000, respectively.

     

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    She shared the devastating news to her more than one million followers on Instagram on Friday.

    "To my Venezuela, to the family of the Olympic and Sports Movement, especially to my followers; I want to inform you that I will not be able to participate in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. With great pain and sadness I want to tell you that while training, by falling downhill from a jump, I was in intense pain that was diagnosed with an injury to my left Achilles tendon. My heart is broken and I want to say sorry that I will not be able to take part in Paris 2024," the 28-year-old said in a statement on her Instagram account.

    “Today, I feel very emotionally affected by not being able to represent the team. The desire to defend my Olympic title excited me enormously but today I have to stop, understand this, recover and come back with a lot of strength to continue flying together,” she added.

    Easily the most dominant female triple jumper in history, Rojas, is the current indoor and outdoor triple jump world record holder. She won gold at the Tokyo Olympics Games and is a four-time world champion, the last coming in dramatic fashion in Budapest last year. Her absence opens the door up to a number of contenders who will be gunning for their first Olympic title. Chief among them will be Jamaica's Shanieka Ricketts, Thea LaFond from Dominica as well as well as Cuba's Leyanis Perez Hernandez and the Ukraine's Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk.

    Rojas expressed her anguish at not being able to defend her Olympic title.

    "Today I feel emotionally affected by not being able to represent them, the desire to defend my Olympic title excited me enormously but today I have to stop, understand this, recover and come back with a lot of strength to continue flying together."

    She wished the athletes representing Venezuela the best of fortunes in Paris this summer.

     

     

     

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    Minister Grange expressed full support for the Invitational, highlighting its importance in providing athletes with a platform to assess their status and make necessary adjustments ahead of upcoming competitions, including the Olympics.

    "This Invitational Silver Continental Category Meet, as per World Athletics Standard, will allow athletes and coaches to accurately assess their status and make the necessary adjustments to achieve the preferred results in good time for the upcoming Olympics," Minister Grange stated.

    She emphasized the significance of hosting international athletes from the Caribbean, United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe, fostering healthy competition and camaraderie among participants.

    Minister Grange extended a warm welcome to all athletes and emphasized the dual focus on performance and positive social interactions during the meet.

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    “Let the games begin!” the Jamaican sports minister declared.

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