Coco Gauff said playing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year is "definitely the goal" following the 15-year-old's Australian Open exit.

Gauff's fairytale run in Melbourne came to an end at the hands of fellow American Sofia Kenin, who rallied past the teenage sensation 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-0 in the fourth round on Sunday.

After dethroning defending champion Naomi Osaka, highly rated Gauff was unable to get past Kenin to reach her maiden grand slam quarter-final.

But the world number 67 was in good spirits post-match as she looks to qualify for Tokyo 2020.

"That's definitely the goal," Gauff told reporters when asked about the Olympics, which gets underway in July. "Hopefully I can get my ranking up and qualify. I'm sure the cutoff is French Open. 

"I'm pretty sure I only have like three tournaments before French Open, so… it will be difficult. But I'm going to try as hard as possible. I definitely do want to play the Olympics. I mean, it would be pretty cool."

Gauff dazzled in her first Australian Open main draw appearance, upstaging Venus Williams, Sorana Cirstea and Osaka en route to the last 16.

"My short-term goal is to improve," Gauff added. "That's the main thing. I'm doing well right now at 15. I still have so much I feel like I can get better on. Even my parents, my team, they all believe I can get better.

"I don't even think this is close to a peak for me, even though I'm doing well right now. The goal is just really to get better, you know, have these good runs at tournaments, building up my experience and playing more tournaments just so I can be ready for matches like this today."

Word coming out of the MVP Track Club is that Double Olympic sprint champion, Elaine Thompson Herah, will be on the track ready to defend her title in Tokyo, Japan.

Thompson Herah looked a certain possibility for a gold medal at last year’s IAAF World Championships of Athletics in Doha Qatar but inexplicably finished out of contention with countrywoman Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce going on to win an unprecedented fourth 100-metre world title.

It was later explained, that an Achilles injury that had stymied too seasons for Thompson Herah, was back and the athlete was not able to generate the kinds of speeds that saw her win the National Championships in Kingston, Jamaica in a world-leading 10.72 seconds, or the Pan American Games gold medal in Lima, Peru.

At the time, Thompson Herah’s coach, Stephen Francis, had said while the Achilles problem was a recurrent one, on this occasion, it was caused by calf tightness and that she would get over it without surgery.

Thompson Herah still managed a fourth-place finish in Doha but had to pull out of the 200 metres, for which she had already made the semi-final. She would take no further part in the tournament.

According to MVP Track Club President, Bruce James, who spoke to local newspaper, The Gleaner, Thompson Herah is looking better than just injury-free.

“Elaine has returned to training and is looking set to be in fully fit form long before the Olympics in Tokyo,” said James.

How many races it will take Thompson Herah to get back to her best is yet to be ascertained but James is still of the belief that all will be well.

That’s not a decision that is made in January but we are just pleased to know that she’s in training and looking so good,” he said.

A motor vehicle accident in Florida last week has not slowed World Championship sprint relay gold medallist Jonielle Smith too much as the Jamaican is already back in training ahead of her bid to make the team to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

According to reports, the vehicle Smith was driving, was rear ended, causing a spin that led to a second collision.

Though the car was badly damaged, it was reported that neither Smith, nor the two family members she was travelling with, were badly injured.

Smith, a standout at high school for Wolmer’s Girls in Jamaica’s biggest track and field championships, ran the third leg on Jamaica’s gold medal 4x100-metre team at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics in Doha, Qatar last year and finished sixth in the 100-metre final there.

Smith also recently graduated from Auburn University where she also had a more-than-creditable time on the track.

Despite earning a historic World Championship silver medal and a World Athletics Diamond League win in 2019, Jamaican triple jumper Shanieka Ricketts will be tweaking her preparations for the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

According to Ricketts coach and husband, Kerry Lee Ricketts, Shanieka will be working on more technical advances to her jumping, which will mean she competes less ahead of the Olympics.

That method is in stark contrast to the way Ricketts approached last year when she had what has been her most successful season to date.

Ricketts competed in 15 meets last year but her coach says she won’t need as many this time around.

“We won’t need many meets. I think she will probably open at either the Jamaica [International] Invitational if it has a triple jump or the Racers Grand Prix,” said coach Ricketts.

Ricketts pointed out that last year, there was a lot of testing to see what worked and what didn’t.

Now that the testing is over, Ricketts says there is no need to jump as much.

“This year, it’s not so much testing, it’s more of preparation, so we’re just basically going to prepare, prepare, prepare,” he said.

Shanieka Ricketts has been hunting for marks over 15 metres, getting closer with her personal best 14.93 metres. To get there, her coach believes she needs to get her final phase right, something that while there has been improvement, accounting for consistently bigger jumps, she still hasn’t nailed down.

“We’ve been putting in a lot of work in the last phase and we haven’t gotten it yet and we still have some work to do,” said the coach.

“It’s a learning process where, you know, you learn A and then you move on to B. You can’t learn A and B at the same time,” he said.

Former Jamaican sprinter and triple-double Olympic gold medallist, Usain Bolt, said he was heartened to see the kind of support that turned out for the inauguration of the National Stadium in Tokyo ahead of the Olympic games to be held there and what it meant for the 2020 showpiece multi-sport event.

Coach of rising sprint sensation Jamaican sprinter, Briana Williams, Ato Boldon expects the young phenom to go even faster in 2020 after her preparations for this season put her in a good place.

Williams, who decided to run as a senior at last year’s IAAF World Championships of Athletics, made the Jamaican team after finishing third at the country’s national champions in a quick 10.94 seconds, behind legends, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Elaine Thompson.

Despite the qualification, Williams was not at the World Championships after a positive drug test, which was eventually commuted with the athlete found to have done nothing wrong, meant there was no time for her to get there.

Last season, Williams also ran a nippy 22.88 seconds.

According to Boldon, Williams could have been faster last season and the season before, but for some reason, was not achieving her full potential.

“In 2019, only five women ran faster at 100m. I’ve considered the possibility that she had been holding back in practice in the last two years, training with a group. That’s clearly not the case this year, and she has set numerous personal bests in her preseason practice runs,” said Boldon.

The difference, this season, is that Williams has ditched her training routine, and is now doing her practice on her own.

“As far as her training, I had some major concerns when we started in October. She had no female training partners for the first time under me and she hadn’t competed since July,” said Boldon, who had split with Williams training partner Khalifa St Fort.

“I thought taking in someone to train with her would be a good idea. Well, it turns out I was wrong. She assured me she didn’t need a training partner. Her workouts have always accurately indicated to me what’s coming, and she will be better in 2020 than she was in 2019,” Boldon said.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts says his organization will be announcing a new head coach for the Reggae Girlz in a matter of days.

According to Ricketts, the JFF’s technical committee, which has the prevue of selecting a coach, will make its decision after discussions with stakeholders on Tuesday.

According to Ricketts, the decision will be made to replace former head coach Hue Menzies, who announced his intention to leave the programme via the media more than a week ago, despite not receiving a formal resignation.

“We haven’t gotten anything official,” said Ricketts.

“But he has gone public [with his resignation], so we just have to take it that he will not be a part of the programme,” he said.

Menzies announced his intention to leave the programme after four years, citing a lack of communication from the JFF regarding a new contract that had expired in August, as well as unpaid salaries and reimbursements.

Menzies had refused to coach the team until all unpaid monies were sent his way.

The former coach’s stance meant he missed the first round of Olympic Qualifiers with the Reggae Girlz.

Those qualifiers still went well under the guidance of assistant coach Lorne Donaldson, with the final round of qualifiers set to take place from January 28 to February 9, 2020.

Donaldson’s performance is reported to have made him frontrunner for the job, however, the assistant has hinted at reservations about taking the new post.

As athletes from all over the world go for gold at Paris 2024, Olympic surfing champions are set to be crowned over 15,000 kilometres away in Tahiti.

Organisers of the Games on French soil have confirmed the best surfers on the planet will be heading to compete in Teahupo'o in French Polynesia, subject to International Olympic Committee approval.

The possibility of using an artificial wave in Paris had been ruled out, but Biarritz was among the locations in France seen as having a strong case to host the events.

Lacanau, Les Landes and La Torche also hoped to be selected to stage the second edition of surfing at the Olympics, but it is instead set to take place in South Pacific waters.

"One of the most beautiful waves in the world for the most spectacular Games! Paris 2024 chooses Teahupo'o in Tahiti to host Olympic surfing," read a tweet posted from the Paris 2024 official account. 

Lionel Teihotu, president of Tahiti's surfing federation, is quoted as saying by BBC Sport: "It's an extremely pleasant surprise and recognition for our history that will restore honour to Polynesia, where surfing began."

Surfing will debut at the Tokyo Olympics next year.

As athletes from all over the world go for gold at Paris 2024, Olympic surfing champions are set to be crowned over 15,000 kilometres away in Tahiti.

Organisers of the Games on French soil have confirmed the best surfers on the planet will be heading to compete in Teahupo'o in French Polynesia, subject to International Olympic Committee approval.

The possibility of using an artificial wave in Paris had been ruled out, but Biarritz was among the locations in France seen as having a strong case to host the events.

Lacanau, Les Landes and La Torche also hoped to be selected to stage the second edition of surfing at the Olympics, but it is instead set to take place in South Pacific waters.

"One of the most beautiful waves in the world for the most spectacular Games! Paris 2024 chooses Teahupo'o in Tahiti to host Olympic surfing," read a tweet posted from the Paris 2024 official account. 

Lionel Teihotu, president of Tahiti's surfing federation, is quoted as saying by BBC Sport: "It's an extremely pleasant surprise and recognition for our history that will restore honour to Polynesia, where surfing began."

Surfing will debut at the Tokyo Olympics next year.

Bianca Andreescu has set her sights on becoming world number one and representing Canada at the Olympic Games in 2020.

Andreescu enjoyed a breakthrough 2019 in which she lost only seven of her 55 matches and completed an incredible run at the US Open, stunning Serena Williams in the final with a performance belying her tender years.

The 19-year-old, who retired from the WTA Finals because of a knee injury, collected the Lou Marsh Trophy this week as she was named Canada's athlete of the year.

Speaking at a media conference after being presented with the award, Andreescu told a media conference: "I don't know how 2020 can get better than 2019.

"If I could choose something it would be to accomplish my ultimate goal, which is to become number one in the world and hopefully win another grand slam and stay healthy as much as possible."

On her hopes of competing for her country in Tokyo, Andreescu told reporters: "I think there's a very good chance for me to be able to participate.

"I've watched the Olympics ever since I could remember, ever since I was a little girl so, if I do get that opportunity, it's going to be the best because I spoke to many athletes that were in the Olympics before and they've told me that it was the best experience of their life so if I get there it's going to be fun."

The next major event on the horizon for Andreescu is the Australian Open, for which she is the second favourite behind Williams.

"Every tournament I go into I want to win it," she said of her approach for the first grand slam of 2020.

"I'm just going to do the best I can to prepare, hopefully my knee's good and hopefully I can bring the trophy home."

Four-time world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has made it clear that the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will be her last but has indicated that she will be attempting to defend her 100m title in Eugene, Oregon in 2021.

Brett Brown has been appointed head coach of Australia for their Olympic Games campaign in Tokyo next year.

The Boomers turned to a familiar face after the departure of Andrej Lemanis, who led Australia to the semi-finals of the 2016 Rio Olympics and 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Philadelphia 76ers boss Brown coached Australia between 2009 and 2012, overseeing a run to the quarter-finals of the 2012 London Games.

Brown, who works with Australia and 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons in the NBA as well as Jonah Bolden, is eyeing gold at the 2020 Olympics.

"When the opportunity to coach the Boomers next summer in Tokyo came up, I was reminded of my deep history with Australia and Australian basketball," Brown said in a statement on Wednesday.

"I felt a duty to try and help in any way that I could. The spirit of the country and the athletes of the country exemplify on a day-to-day basis the passion that is Australian sport. That passion is respected and recognised throughout the world and I'm very excited to be a part of that again.

"This is our mission and my message to our team: We're going into the 2020 Olympics to win a gold medal. I understand the magnitude of this statement. I would feel irresponsible having any other goal but this."

After 11 years as an assistant to Gregg Popovich at the San Antonio Spurs, Brown took the reins of the 76ers in 2013.

Since moving to Philadelphia, Brown has led the 76ers to back-to-back Eastern Conference semi-finals.

"Given their shared history from the London Olympics, Brett is perfectly positioned to continue in Andrej's footsteps," Basketball Australia (BA) CEO Jerril Rechter said. "Brett is a proven, elite international coach who will bring significant experience and understanding of the Boomers environment and we're delighted to welcome him aboard."

BA president and chairman of the board Ned Coten added: "Next year represents another significant opportunity for Australian basketball on the world stage. We've been fortunate to have Andrej establish the Boomers as one of the world’s strongest basketball teams, which is a testament to his dedication to the role.

"Heading into an Olympic year, we're excited to see what this group of players can achieve and wish Brett all the very best in guiding the Boomers forward."

Carlos Marchena believes former Spain team-mate and Real Madrid great Sergio Ramos would relish the opportunity to represent his country at next year's Olympic Games.

Ramos, who became Spain's most capped player last month, has won the World Cup and two European Championships for his country, while the defender also has four Champions League medals with Madrid.

Yet he has never appeared at the Olympics, where under-23 teams are allowed to field three overage players.

Luis de la Fuente coaches Spain's Olympic team, who have qualified for the upcoming Games, and suggested he would be proud to coach Ramos, who has discussed the possibility of appearing.

Marchena, who played alongside Ramos for Spain until 2011, understands why Tokyo 2020 could be a target for the 33-year-old, likely representing his last opportunity to claim gold.

"I have the luck of knowing Sergio for many years," Marchena told Omnisport. "We came from the same place since we were children, we have many friends in common and I know him very well.

"Since he was a kid, you could already see what he is, a competitive animal. He always wants more, never gives up. Obviously he has made history, but he wants more.

"So all the challenges near him, he will want to accomplish them. Among those challenges are the Olympic Games.

"I am not the right person to decide, but I can tell you that he will fight to make history, to be the player with the most games played and [to] win everything, because he has this competitive gene."

Spain won the men's tournament at the 1992 Olympics and have twice collected silver medals.

Meanwhile, Ramos has earned 168 caps heading into the latest international break, with former Egypt winger Ahmed Hassan holding the all-time record on 184.

Spain Under-21 coach Luis de la Fuente is ready to welcome Sergio Ramos into his plans for next year's Olympic Games.

Real Madrid captain Ramos admitted this month he would find it hard to turn down the chance to represent his country in Tokyo, even though Euro 2020 will finish less than two weeks before the Games begins.

The centre-back would be eligible to be selected as one of Spain's over-age stars, with each nation permitted to select a maximum of three players born before January 1, 1997, in their Olympics squad.

De la Fuente, who will coach the team in Japan, says he would find it hard to turn down Ramos, who will be 34 when the tournament gets under way on July 23.

"I'm proud. I'm proud that he, like other players who have a great international and footballing background, is willing to be able to come with us, that we have the possibility of selecting them," De la Fuente told 20 Minutos.

"All football lovers should be emotional and proud that these footballers are ready to come to such an important event as the Olympic Games.

"Do you believe Ramos is one of the best players in the world? Well, I'm not going to say 'no' to the best players in the world."

Ramos, who made his international debut in 2005, became Spain's record appearance-maker this month when he won his 168th senior cap in the 1-1 Euro 2020 draw with Norway.

"I would have happily traded this 168th cap for a victory," Ramos said after breaking the record held by Iker Casillas. "But this record is a great reward after so many years and it's a great source of huge pride.

"I am emotional every time I put on this shirt. That will not change and I hope to continue doing so for many years."

The former Sevilla defender has won the European Under-19 Championship, Euro 2008, Euro 2012 and the 2010 World Cup in an illustrious international career.

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