Tokyo Olympics Recap: 'Nerves got better' of Holloway in hurdles, USA into basketball gold medal match

By Sports Desk August 05, 2021

Favourite Grant Holloway said nerves got the better of him after finishing second to Jamaica's Hansle Parchment in the men's 110 metres hurdles Olympic final.

The American led at the halfway mark but faded over the final 20 metres as he was beaten by his 31-year-old rival.

Parchment triumphed with a season-best time of 13.04 seconds, ahead of Holloway in 13.09, lucky to scrape ahead of Jamaican Ronald Levy who took bronze with 13.10.

Holloway and Parchment had run in the same heat and semi-final prior to the final, with the American winning both, before falling short in the all-important race.

"I think the anxiousness and the nerves got the better of me towards the end and I got sloppy with my form," Holloway said. "He got me this time but I'll make sure I get him in the next."

He added: "Hats off to Hansle for an amazing race. I was watching him when I was in high school. He's a hell of a competitor. He has an amazing race plan, he executed to the best of his ability."

Parchment admitted he learned from losing to Holloway in the previous two runs.

"I made some changes to my start, because I knew if I was going to catch up, I had to be closer in the first half," Parchment said. "I think I ran through pretty well. I maintained composure. It was a great race."

Portugal's Pedro Pichardo earned gold medal glory with a national record 17.98m in the men's triple jump.

Pichardo's triumphant effort came with his third attempt, while China's Zhu Yaming claimed silver with a personal best of 17.57m. Burkina Faso's Hugues Fabrice Zango took the bronze with 17.47m.

USA's defending champion Ryan Crouser threw an Olympic record 23.30m to win the men's shot put gold.

Crouser bettered the Olympic mark he set five years ago in Rio de Janeiro to win from countryman Joe Kovacs (22.65m), while New Zealand's Tomas Walsh (22.47m) claimed bronze.

EARLY SCARE AS USA REACH FINAL

The United States trailed by 15 points in the second quarter against Australia but rallied to qualify for the men's basketball gold medal match.

USA won 97-78 over Australia, who have never won an Olympic medal in men's basketball having finished fourth four times.

The Boomers had raced to a commanding position early on as Team USA struggled from beyond the arc.

Yet the reigning Olympic champions reduced the margin to three points by half-time and went up several gears with a 32-10 third quarter.

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant top-scored again with 23 points and nine rebounds, while Devin Booker had 20 points.

USA will face either France or Slovenia in the final as they chase a fourth straight gold medal.

CARRINGTON MAKES NEW ZEALAND HISTORY

New Zealand's Lisa Carrington added a third Tokyo 2020 gold medal to her haul, landing the title in the women's kayak single 500m final.

Carrington claimed her fifth-ever Olympic gold with a strong victory in 1:51.216, from Hungary's Tamara Csipes and Denmark's Emma Jorgensen.

She becomes the first athlete from New Zealand to win five Olympic gold medals, surpassing the four of Ian Ferguson, also in canoe sprint between 1984 and 1988.

Carrington is the fourth woman at Tokyo 2020 to win three gold medals, after Australian swimmers Emma McKeon (four) and Kaylee McKeown (three) and South Korean archer An San (three).

GERMAN ADDS GOLD IN OPEN WATER

After winning bronze in the 1,500m in the pool, Germany's Florian Wellbrock won the men's marathon swimming in open water.

Wellbrock won in one hour, 48 minutes and 33.7 seconds across 10 kilometres, finishing 25.3 seconds ahead of Hungary's Kristof Rasovszky for silver, with Italy's Gregorio Paltrinieri earning bronze.

The size of the German's victory was the biggest margin in Olympic marathon swimming history.

“It’s a little bit unreal," Wellbrock said. "The first seven (kilometres) of this race felt really easy."

AUSSIE SKATEBOARDING WINNER

Keegan Palmer won Australia's first-ever skateboarding gold medal with two amazing runs in the men's park final.

The 18-year-old's first run scored 94.04 before a throwaway second round. Palmer backed it up on his final run with a staggering top score of 95.83.

Brazilian Pedro Barros was next best with 86.14 for silver, while Cory Juneau claimed bronze with 84.13.

The event was the final skateboarding medal opportunity from the sport in its debut Olympics.

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    December 2, 2018. In the 56th minute of Unai Emery's first north London derby in charge of Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang curled a sensational first-time finish beyond Hugo Lloris to level the scores at 2-2.

    Aubameyang's strike – his second goal of the game after a first-half penalty to open the scoring – sent the home faithful into raptures at Emirates Stadium, and the Gabon forward went on to tee up Lucas Torreira to score Arsenal's final goal in a 4-2 victory.

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    It was a tally he matched the following season, trailing the competition's top scorer Jamie Vardy by one, but after prolonged contract negotiations finally resulted in Aubameyang signing a new three-year contract last September, his form has hit a wall.

    His league total dropped to just 10 goals last season, as Aubameyang netted just three times prior to the turn of the year.

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    Shoot on sight not always the right call

    Aubameyang's second goal in that derby in December 2018 was a moment of magic, as he caught Lloris out with a sensational first-time strike from outside the box.

    However, the shoot-on-sight policy is not seeming to be an effective fix for Aubameyang's fading form.

    Aubameyang has at least scored this season and has mustered nine attempts in the league, but those efforts have had an average worth of 0.14 xG (expected goals) – the lowest mark of his Arsenal career.

    Given the one successful strike – against Norwich – was a goal-line finish worth 0.96 xG on its own, the second-best chance of the entire Premier League season by that metric, it is easy to paint a picture of otherwise ambitious shooting habits from Aubameyang. His remaining eight shots have had a combined xG of 0.39 – or 0.05 per shot – signifying they came from chances where a player is highly unlikely to score.

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    The Laca factor

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    The latter has made only one league appearance so far this term, replacing Aubameyang in the second half of Arsenal's 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City last month, and there has at times been an issue with fitting both strikers into the team.

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    Since Aubameyang arrived at the club, he and Lacazette have played in 92 of the same games, with the Gunners recording 40 wins, 20 draws and 32 defeats.

    That win rate of 43.5 per cent is significantly less than the 55 per cent success record from matches where one of the strikers did not play (22 wins from 40 such games).

    It would suggest the way forward for Arsenal now is to stick with one or the other. Lacazette outscored Aubameyang in the league last season, though as the Gunners skipper the latter is seemingly ahead in the pecking order.

    Arteta not helping?

    Both Emery and successor Mikel Arteta wanted to develop a style that focused on playing out from the back, though given pace is Aubameyang's main asset, it would seem a direct approach may well be the optimal way to get the best out of the attacker.

    Arguably Arteta's best games as Arsenal boss came in the 2019-20 FA Cup semi-final and final, with Aubameyang scoring a double in both matches to help the Gunners claim the trophy.

    Aubameyang's pace was crucial, with his second goal in the 2-0 semi-final win over City coming at the culmination of a run from the left, the forward latching onto Kieran Tierney's ball before finishing under Ederson.

    A similar trend followed in the final – Aubameyang winning a penalty by isolating Cesar Azpilicueta in that left channel, and he converted from 12 yards to restore parity before finishing deftly for a second-half winner.

    It seemed Arteta was utilising this tactic more in his first half-season in charge. In a campaign shared between Emery and Arteta, Aubameyang had seven shots from fast breaks in the Premier League, though he only scored one. He had five such attempts the previous season, though only managed three across 2020-21.

    Aubameyang also saw his touches in the opposition box drop off significantly last term, from 152 in 2019-20 to 125, while he had 149 in Emery's only full season in charge.

    The amount of shots Aubameyang is taking has also dropped from season to season, from 94 under Emery, to 93 the following campaign, to just 57 last term.

    While he outperformed his expected goals value (14.75) by some way in 2019-20, suggesting he finished some difficult chances, an xG of 10.22 last season seemingly reflects where Aubameyang is at.

    However, a 7.81 xG on target (xGOT) score, which rates the level of his shooting rather than the quality of the chances, hints the former Saint-Etienne man's finishes were not the best, and may suggest some poor goalkeeping contributed to his league total. Compare this to 2019-20, when Aubameyang's xGOT outperformed his xG value, and it points to a striker on the wane, who is perhaps not being helped by slower build-up play.

    Sunday's match could be crucial for Arteta, whose team have finally picked up victories after heading into the international break at the bottom of the table. For Aubameyang, it is a chance to prove he still belongs among the league's elite strikers.

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    SHANE DUFFY (Crystal Palace v Brighton and Hove Albion)

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    No Premier League defender has had more shots (10) or scored more goals (one) than Duffy so far this season, while only Man City have faced fewer shots on target than Brighton in 2021-22.

    REECE JAMES (Chelsea v Manchester City)

    Reece James is of course an expensive option for fantasy players, though it is an investment worth making, given his ability going forward and the fact he plays for one of the competition's strongest teams.

    Despite only playing 158 minutes so far in the league, James has been directly involved in three goals, more than any other defender.

    He has scored once and provided two assists, averaging a goal involvement every 53 minutes.

    BRUNO FERNANDES (Manchester United v Aston Villa)

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    DEMARAI GRAY (Everton v Norwich City)

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    RAUL JIMENEZ (Southampton v Wolves)

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    JAMIE VARDY (Leicester City v Burnley)

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    Vardy has been directly involved in six goals in his past six Premier League games (five goals, one assist), with these involvements accounting for 86 per cent of Leicester's total goals in that run (six of seven).

  • Dodgers close gap on Giants, White Sox clinch division title Dodgers close gap on Giants, White Sox clinch division title

    The Los Angeles Dodgers have had a terrible time in extra-inning games all season, but they picked up a critical win Thursday when Max Muncy's 10th-inning home run gave them a 7-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies. 

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    But San Francisco fell in extras, 7-6 to the San Diego Padres on a walk-off single in the 10th by Victor Caratini, narrowing the Giants' division lead to one game. 

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    White Sox clinch division title

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    St Louis Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright gave up a grand slam to Tyrone Taylor in the first inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder added a solo shot in the fourth. That was all Milwaukee had, though, as the Cardinals got their offence going late and rolled to an 8-5 victory punctuated by a pair of Paul Goldschmidt homers. It was the 12th win in a row for the Cardinals, who hold a commanding lead on the second NL wild-card spot. 

    The Seattle Mariners remained in the American League wild card hunt with a comeback victory of their own, 6-5 over the Oakland Athletics. Home runs by Cal Raleigh, Mitch Haniger and Luis Torrens brought Seattle back from a 4-1 deficit to leave the Mariners two games back of the idle New York Yankees for the second wild card berth. 

    The Philadelphia Phillies fell behind the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-0 before roaring back for a 12-6 victory that left them just two games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. A three-run homer by Ronald Torreyes in the sixth inning put Philadelphia over the top, and J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius also homered for the Phillies. It was the third time this month the Phillies have come back from a deficit of at least six runs to win, the first time any MLB team in the modern era has done that. 

     

    Double setback for Blue Jays

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    Soto still unstoppable

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    Thursday's results

    Chicago White Sox 7-2 Cleveland Indians
    Cleveland Indians 5-3 Chicago White Sox
    Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 Atlanta Braves
    Seattle Mariners 6-5 Oakland Athletics
    San Diego Padres 7-6 San Francisco Giants
    Minnesota Twins 7-2 Toronto Blue Jays
    Washington Nationals 3-2 Cincinnati Reds
    Philadelphia Phillies 12-6 Pittsburgh Pirates
    Baltimore Orioles 3-0 Texas Rangers
    St Louis Cardinals 8-5 Milwaukee Brewers
    Los Angeles Dodgers 7-5 Colorado Rockies
    Los Angeles Angels 3-2 Houston Astros

     

    Yankees at Red Sox

    The top two teams in the AL wild-card race open a weekend series as Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees (86-67) visit Nathan Eovaldi and the Boston Red Sox (88-65) at Fenway Park. 

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