Wayde van Niekerk was one of the great stories of Rio 2016, stunning the world with his record time of 43.03 as he won gold in the 400 metres.

The South African was back on the track on Sunday morning in Tokyo, and he has some work to do if he wants to get back to the medal stand five years later.

Van Niekerk finished third in his heat to qualify for the semi-finals, but his time of 45.25 seconds ranked as the 12th-fastest among all competitors.

"I definitely came with a bit of nerves but I think I handled it well," he said. "I took it by my stride, switched off a bit too soon, but still got the job done."

USA's Michael Cherry had the leading time at 44.82, while the top two finishers in Van Niekerk's heat, Colombia's Anthony Zambrano (44.87) and Steven Solomon (44.94) of Australia, were both among the fastest four athletes.

After his heat, Van Niekerk sounded like a man adjusting to his new reality, as he will not sneak up on anyone this time.

"Walking around again, looking at [the] Olympic record and world record and that's my time, it sometimes feels a bit unreal," he said. "But this time around it’s a new championship, new rounds. I have to totally focus on the mission right now."

In the only medal event of the morning at the Olympic Stadium, China's Gong Lijiao took gold in the women's shot put with a throw of 20.58m, with USA's Raven Saunders second at 19.79m.

But Valerie Adams' bronze medal at 19.62m may have been the most impressive achievement, as the 36-year-old medalled in the event for the fourth consecutive Olympics.

After finishing seventh at Athens 2004, Adams won gold in Beijing and London before taking silver in Rio. She is now the only woman in history to medal in the same field event four times. 

WORTHINGTON TAKES BMX FREESTYLE GOLD

Charlotte Worthington won the BMX freestyle park event Sunday, making Great Britain the first nation to take gold in all five Olympic cycling disciplines.

The 25-year-old from Manchester fell on her first run in the final but landed the first-ever 360 backflip in competition on her second to score a 97.50.

Hannah Roberts of the USA took silver with a 96.10 on her first run before falling on her second and Nikita Ducarroz of Switzerland claimed bronze with an 89.20.

“I'm over the moon," Worthington said. "I’m still sitting here waiting to wake up. I’ve been thinking about this day for the past three or four years, just going in and out of thinking I can, or I can’t do it.

"I’m literally waiting to wake up right now. It feels like a dream.”

Australia's Logan Martin took the first men's gold medal in the event, his 93.30 on the first run getting the better of Venezuela's Daniel Dhers (92.05) and Great Britain's Declan Brooks (90.80).

FIRST MEDAL AT LAST FOR FRATUS

Amid more history-making performances for the American men and Australian women on the final day of swimming competition, Brazil's Bruno Fatus achieved some long-awaited personal glory.

The 32-year-old took bronze in the 50m freestyle behind Caeleb Dressel of the USA and Florent Manaudou of France, his first Olympic medal in his third attempt.

A three-time world championships medallist in the 50m free, Fratus finished an agonising 0.02 seconds off the podium at London 2012, then placed sixth in the event four years later in Rio.

On Sunday, he ascended to the podium at last.

"Winning bronze releases a lot of pressure that was on my back," Fratus said. "I’m so pleased to step on the podium with Caeleb and Florent, two of the best swimmers in history.

"Caeleb has all the potential to beat Michael Phelps’ (records) one day, who knows?

"And Florent is a beast, a monster and one of the best in history. I’m proud to be his friend and share an Olympic podium with him."

Dressel won gold in the 4x100m medley too to reach five Olympic titles in Tokyo, while Australian Emma McKeon also did the 50m free and medley relay double to complete a haul of four gold medals and seven medals in all for the Games. She equalled the haul of gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya at Helsinki in 1952 – the most won by any woman in one Olympics.

IRELAND BOXER WITHDRAWS FROM SEMI-FINAL

Ireland's Aidan Walsh was forced to withdraw from his welterweight semi-final bout against Great Britain's Pat McCormack due to an ankle injury suffered in the quarter-finals.

McCormack moves on to fight for gold against the winner of the other semi between Cuba's Roniel Iglesias and Andrei Zamkovoi of the Russian Olympic Committee.

Walsh will leave Tokyo with a bronze medal and the praise of Ireland's boxing team leader Bernard Dunne.

"What Aidan did this week is an incredible achievement," Dunne said in a statement. "His performance throughout the tournament has been outstanding.

"It is great to see him write his name in the annals of Irish sport. Just over two years ago we selected Aidan for his first major championship, and over the past few months that potential that we had identified has grown and developed into a world-class performance, that reflects greatly on the level of preparation he has put in ahead of these Games."

Walsh's older sister Michaela also fought in Tokyo, falling Monday in the featherweight round of 16.

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.

 

Jamaica completed a one-two-three clean sweep in the women's 100m sprint race in Tokyo, with gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah setting an Olympic record.

Thompson-Herah defended the title she won in Rio and became the second-fastest woman in history in the process, recording a time of 10.61 seconds.

Reigning world champion and compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce claimed silver, just .02 seconds ahead of Shericka Jackson as Jamaica completed a clean sweep which was celebrated on Twitter by Usain Bolt.

Legendary sprinter Bolt  – an eight-time gold medallist – retired in 2017, and the men's preliminary rounds struggled for big names in his absence.

 

Jamaica will have another chance of a medal in athletics, with 2019 world champion long jumper Tajay Gayle overcoming injury to make Monday's final with a leap of 8.14m.

Sweden sealed a one-two in the men's discus – Daniel Stahl taking gold and Simon Pettersson silver – while Poland won their second Olympic gold medal in a relay event in athletics, their mixed team succeeding in the same city in which their women had tasted victory in 1964.


NO LUCK FOR NOVAK

Djokovic's Golden Slam hopes were ended on Friday, and on Saturday, his medal hopes crumbled.

The world number one lost to Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta, who won 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 in the bronze medal match in the men's singles.

For Djokovic, it was a defeat which represented the end of his campaign.

He would have had another shot at bronze in the mixed doubles alongside Nina Stojanovic, but withdrew from that match, handing the medal to Ash Barty and John Peers of Australia in the process. 

"The exhaustion, both physical and mental, got to me and it's unfortunate that in the most important matches I just didn't deliver, but I gave it all," said Djokovic, whose attention will now turn to winning the US Open to complete a calendar Grand Slam.

 

BLACK FERNS RIGHT RIO WRONGS

New Zealand's women clinched gold in the rugby sevens on Saturday, overcoming France 26-12.

The Black Ferns cruised to the final in 2016, but slumped to a defeat to rivals Australia. Co-captain Portia Woodman was pictured in tears on the field in Brazil, yet her team made no such mistake this time around.

"Crying underneath the posts was one that I looked back on, but now it's gone," Woodman said. "Not when I look at this," she added, gesturing to the gold medal around her neck.

"Yeah, we've got titles and we've won things, but I want our group to be good people and show the world that you can be a good, genuine person and still have success," Woodman's fellow co-captain Sarah Hirini said. 

"Our programme allowed that. Things like this happen because you're able to be who you are."

In the bronze medal match, Fiji defeated Great Britain 21-12.

"We are totally gutted. We really thought we could come here and get a medal, but we just weren't good enough," conceded Team GB's Hannah Smith. "Fiji really brought it to us today, so fair play to them."

DEBUT BRONZE FOR WILSON, CHINA TAKE WINDSURFING GOLD

There was joy for Britain out on the water, however, as Emma Wilson – an Olympic debutant – won bronze in the women's windsurfing.

Wilson was already guaranteed a medal due to winning four races in the lead up to the final. The 22-year-old missed out on silver as Lu Yunxiu of China kept within a boat's length to claim the gold.

Charline Picon took silver to follow up her win in Rio five years ago.

"It's amazing. I tried so hard in that race - I just kept going and going," said Wilson. "I just want to win, but any medal is amazing. I'm super happy and I just gave it everything I had."

 

CHINESE TAIPEI WIN MAIDEN BADMINTON GOLD

Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin took home Chinese Taipei's first badminton gold on Saturday with a victory over Liu Yu Chen and Li Jun Hui of two-time reigning champions China in the men's doubles final.

Their victory brought up the seventh Olympic gold for Chinese Taipei – the previous six having been split across weightlifting (four) and taekwondo (two).

Malaysia claimed their first medal in Tokyo thanks to Wooi Yik Soh and Aaron Chia triumphing in the bronze medal match.

In total, Malaysia have claimed 12 medals in their Olympic history, but are yet to clinch gold in any event.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce fell just short of winning a third Olympic gold medal in the women's 100m but is proud to have left behind a legacy on the grandest stage as she reiterated her intention to retire next year.

The reigning world champion, seeking to become the first woman to win the same athletics event at three different Games following her success at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, finished marginally behind compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah.

Jamaica's Fraser-Pryce previously announced she intends to bow out of athletics in 2022 and will push ahead with those plans after adding to those two previous golds and the bronze collected at Rio 2016.

"The Paris Games are some way off, and I did say this would be my last Olympic appearance," said Fraser-Pryce, who missed more than a year of action around the birth of her son in 2017.

"As I said previously, I'm just happy to be competing at my fourth Games, doing it as a mum at 34 when people believe you're at the end of your career. To do what I'm doing now is a gift from God.

"I haven't had my best moment yet. I definitely believe something else is there. This is my final Olympics, but I'm looking forward to the World Championships next year and that will definitely be my final season."

Fraser-Pryce posted the fastest time in qualifying for Saturday's final, which saw six of the eight competitors finish under 11 seconds in what was the quickest women's final of all time.

Thompson-Herah's Olympic record time of 10.61s saw her take a second successive gold in the event and Shericka Jackson completed a Jamaican one-two-three with a personal best of 10.76s.

"I have respect for both of those ladies," Fraser-Pryce said. "Of course I'm disappointed – that was my first reaction. If you're an athlete and didn't run the race you wanted, you still have to be grateful for the opportunity and be happy for those who won.

"If it wasn't for the pandemic I can only imagine what would be happening in Jamaica right now. Just speaking about the legacy that we have back home, all those athletes young and old, they are all inspired by something that happened tonight."

POLAND MAKE HISTORY

The women's 100m race was one of three medal events on Saturday, with Poland earlier pulling off an upset by winning the Games' first ever 4x400m mixed relay.

Poland's team, comprised of Karol Zalewski, Natalia Kaczmarek, Justyna Swiety-Ersetic and Kajetan Duszynski, posted the fastest time in the heats and produced another great display in the final with a winning time of 3:09.87.

It is the second Olympic gold medal Poland have won in a relay event in athletics following their success in the women's 4x400m at the Tokyo Games in 1964.

United States are the world champions and entered the event as favourites, but they had tough time of things in qualifying – initially being disqualified before being reinstated – and finished third with 3:10.22.

Despite being pipped to gold by Poland and silver by the Dominican Republic, USA competitor Kendall Ellis was pleased to simply be on the podium.

"It feels great," she said. "It is so exciting to come here and run the first mixed relay at the Olympic Games, and to come out with a medal feels great. It feels like a win for us."

 

SWEDISH ONE-TWO IN MEN'S DISCUS

Sweden's Daniel Stahl lived up to his reputation of world champion by coming out on top in the men's discus to win gold, while compatriot Simon Pettersson took silver.

Stahl was the strong favourite coming into the event and registered a distance of 68.90m on his second attempt to finish ahead of Pettersson (67.39m) and Lukas Weishaidinger (67.07m) of Austria.

The last time Sweden took gold and silver in an event at a summer Games was in the men's 10,000m walk race at London 1948.

Australia's Matthew Denny sent the discus soaring a personal best 67.02m on his final attempt, but that was not enough for a medal.

"It's amazing. I am very happy," said Stahl, who became the first Swedish athlete to win an Olympic title in athletics since 2004. "There was a lot of hard work and fun on the way. I am extremely proud.

"My training partner [Pettersson] has been working hard. We have had a lot of fun together for many years. I am very proud of my coach too for believing in us and having faith."

POST-BOLT ERA BEGINS IN TOKYO

Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt won three straight men's 100m titles between 2008 and 2016, but he announced his retirement four years ago and the discipline is now wide open.

The preliminary rounds kicked off on Saturday, with the headline act being Dorian Keletela – competing at the Games as part of the Olympic Refugee team – advancing to Sunday's semi-final with a personal best of 10.33s.

In Saturday's other qualifying rounds, Cuba's Juan Miguel Echevarria spearheaded a group of 12 athletes to progress to Monday's final ​in the men's long jump with a leap of 8.50m.

2019 world champion Tajay Gayle, representing Jamaica, had to have a bandage applied to his left knee after struggling in his first two attempts, though he still advanced with a jump of 8.14m.

There were no surprises in the men's 800m heats, with all the favourites still in contention to take the title off David Rudisha, who is not competing at this year's Games due to injury.

Elaine Thompson-Herah insists she did not have any record in mind after her stunning victory in the women's 100 metres final at Tokyo 2020.

The Jamaican defended the title she won at Rio 2016 in sensational fashion, sprinting home in an Olympic-record time of 10.61 seconds to deny Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce becoming the first woman to win the same athletics event at three different Games.

It was the first time Thompson-Herah, who has endured a frustrating time with Achilles injuries since her crowning moment in Rio five years ago, had run below 10.7s.

But the 29-year-old was focused only on winning and believes her benchmark will too eventually be broken.

"Going into the final I didn't have a time in my head, I was just trying to execute the best race and I had the best race tonight because I got the PB," she told a post-race news conference.

"I wasn't looking at any record or any time as I said. But eventually those times will erase, even if it takes four or five years they will [be] erased [by] somebody. 

"Other women are coming up, rising, so to run this Olympic record tonight sends out a message anything is possible."

Fraser-Pryce had been the favourite to win the 100m for a third time in her decorated career but had to settle for silver, while Shericka Jackson completed a Jamaica one, two, three.

Thompson-Herah hailed Fraser-Pryce, who said this will be her final Olympics, as a benchmark in the sport.

"I wasn't checking the stats [of my races against Fraser-Pryce] I wasn't even counting," she added.

"She's a talented and a great athlete of course. She set the barrier for us younger generation coming through. As for a mum, she's soon to walk away from the sport, she's left her mark."

On the race itself, which saw Fraser-Pryce tense up over the last 30m with her rival right on her shoulder, Thompson-Herah confessed she had some nerves at the starting block.

"I've not seen the race as yet, I was super nervous but I had to control it. I knew all eight ladies were nervous," she said.

"We had done everything we could have done there is nothing else I could change. I think I had the best race tonight, I don't know if there is more to come but [I have] a PB and Olympic record so therefore tonight is the best race."

"I think my journey hasn't fully started yet."

For a double Olympic champion to say that may seem strange. But in the case of Elaine Thompson-Herah, who made such a claim in an interview with the Olympic Channel last September, it makes sense.

Five years ago in Rio, Thompson-Herah had toppled the great Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the two-time defending 100 metres women's champion at that point, who had struggled for form having contended with a painful toe injury.

When she followed up with 200m glory she became the first Jamaican to do the sprint double at the same Games. She was only the second from any nation in history do it.

It was as though a ceremonial torch had been passed from Fraser-Pryce, whose rise to stardom had coincided so beautifully with Usain Bolt's in a glorious era for Jamaican sprinting, to Thompson-Herah.

Only the path in sports is never quite so straightforward, and so it proved for Thompson-Herah. 

Just a year later, while Fraser-Pryce was absent having gone into labour with her first child, she placed fifth in the 100m final at the 2017 World Championships in London and did not even compete in the 200m.

Two years later, in Doha, disappointment struck again. Fraser-Pryce had returned to the top of the 100m food chain to reclaim gold. Thompson-Herah placed outside the medals in fourth. In the 200m, she was forced to pull out prior to the semi-finals with a nagging Achilles injury that had plagued her since 2018.

Those injuries were never used as an excuse. Instead it only fuelled a fire inside to return to the top.

"Disappointments do come, but I have to continue to work hard because no athlete goes into a championship to lose. I didn't go to a championship to lose. It was beyond my control," she said in the aforementioned Olympics Channel interview.

"Because sometimes when you have pain you don't want to share it on social media and share it with everybody. When you have pain, you think you can still do your best. I always tell myself that even if I am having pain, I am going to give my 100 per cent, even if it's not going to be 100 per cent, I know I am going to do my best."

Then, as it did for every athlete whether for better or worse, fate intervened. The coronavirus pandemic forced the postponement of the Games. For some, opportunity was denied. For others, there was a chance to hit the reset button.

Thompson-Herah was frustrated that the chance to defend her titles had been delayed but, having started training late in 2020, the extra time proved a blessing.

It has been a very competitive year in the women's 100m. Eight women had clocked a time under 10.90 seconds this season prior to these Games. Jamaicans Fraser-Pryce, Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson, the trio who ultimately occupied the podium in the Japanese capital, had gone below 10.80.

The injury niggles continued to trouble Thompson-Herah and forced her to miss a Diamond League Meeting in Gateshead. It also left her fearing she may not be able to compete at the Jamaican trials in June, where she placed third behind Fraser-Pryce and Jackson.

But just earlier this month she ran a 10.71 in Hungary, her fastest since 2017 and just outside her previous personal best of 10.70.

The confidence was growing and yet the spotlight was largely still on Fraser-Pryce, who was attempting to make history as the first woman to win a single athletics event three times.

But Thompson-Herah has now emulated her great compatriot by going back-to-back in the 100m – something Fraser-Pryce achieved at Beijing in 2008 and London 2012.

What is even more impressive is the way she did it. A final tipped to thrill lived up to its billing at a time when Tokyo 2020 needs its marquee events to deliver the goods.

Fraser-Pryce got off to a flier but from 60m onwards there was only ever winner. A time of 10.61 marks a new Olympic record, and the second fastest ever run in the women's 100m. There could have been no more perfect moment to pull the performance of a lifetime out of the bag.

Her victory in an event dubbed the "Race of the Games" completes an emotional return to the pinnacle. From bursting onto the scene, through the injury troubles, peaking at the right time – all have culminated in Thompson-Herah once more scaling the mountain.

This was the moment her journey began again.

Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah defended her Olympic title in emphatic fashion, as the country made a clean sweep of the medals in the Women’s 100m on Saturday.

In a superb display of sprinting, the Jamaican powered to the line in a time of 10.61, the fastest in the world this year, and now the second-fastest in history.  Fraser-Pryce, the world champion, who had gone into the event as favourite, was second with a time of 10.74, with Jackson, previously a 400m athlete who stepped down to the sprints earlier this year, third in 10.76.

Heading into the Games, it was Fraser-Pryce who had received all of the headlines, as the 34-year-old looked to be in prime position to secure a historic third Olympic gold medal in the event.  She had run the fastest time in the world at 10.63 and netted a win over both her compatriots at the Jamaica National Championships.

Thompson-Herah had, however, looked in superb form since and sent warning signs when she effortlessly coasted to win in 10.82 to open the competition.  She then followed that up with another fast 10.76 clocking, in the semi-final, run in a manner that suggested she plenty left in the tank.  She clearly did.

Thompson-Herah’s time also broke the Olympic record set by American Florence Griffith Joyner at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Dina Asher-Smith has withdrawn from the 200-metre race at Tokyo 2020 after struggling in the 100m semi-finals having torn her hamstring shortly before the Games.

A tearful Asher-Smith revealed the decision to pull out of an event where she is the reigning world champion as she reflected on a tough 100m outing.

The Briton, who took silver in the 100m at Doha 2019 and gold in the 200m, missed out on the final over the shorter distance with a semi time of 11.05 seconds, good enough for only third in her heat.

"Obviously I'm so disappointed to not make the final – it's Tokyo 2020, everything I've trained for for the last two years – but the last few weeks of my athletic life have been absolutely insane," Asher-Smith told BBC Sport.

She explained she had suffered a hamstring injury in the British Olympic trials final last month, prompting her withdrawal from events in Stockholm and Gateshead.

Asher-Smith expected she would not be able to travel to Tokyo.

"I was actually initially told it was a rupture and I'd need surgery and three to four months to get back," she said. "It's been a lot to deal with.

"Quite frankly, with that diagnosis, I couldn't have come to Tokyo. We had a statement ready to go.

"Thankfully, I went and got a second opinion and it was a misdiagnosis; it wasn't a rupture, it was a tear, but it was still attached, so we turned over every single stone to make sure I could stand on the line."

The 25-year-old still was not herself in the 100m, though, and was subsequently forced to make a call on Tuesday's 200m.

Asher-Smith had been the foremost British hope for a first athletics gold medal in an individual event since Jessica Ennis-Hill's 2012 heptathlon triumph.

"I am going to pull out of the 200m," she continued as the tears began. "As reigning world champion, I was in such good shape – you know that the Olympic champion is not much of a further step.

"Because of having three weeks off running, a week running slowly, I'm really proud to have been able to execute today and proud of doing everything I've done to this point.

"But when you're talking about the standard I know I'm capable of, there's plenty more championships for me to come and kill. We're in the middle of a four-to-five-year cycle.

"Yes, I've got a hamstring tear at the most inconvenient time but it doesn't change the calibre of athlete that I actually am.

"I know if I want to come and showcase that I need a few more weeks of power training to fill that gap that we had when I was trying to walk again, stretch my knee and trying to load my hamstring.

"John [Blackie, her coach] told me it's a no [for the 200m]. I would do it, because that's the kind of athlete that I am, but he's wiser than me. It's the Olympics, but there's another one."

Of her failure to make the 100m final, Asher-Smith said: "The most frustrating thing for me is that I was in really good shape. I was in the shape of my life.

"If you asked me six weeks ago, I was very confident I was going to win this because, being completely frank, every part of my race – my start, my transition and my finish – was better than some of the fastest women in the world.

"But when you have a hurdle like that, it's really hard to have a rejig."

Asher-Smith was part of a British team that took the bronze medal in the 4x100m at Rio 2016, also finishing fifth in the 200m.

“Disappointed, hurt, and entirely confused”. That is how Jamaican national champion Tyquendo Tracey described his emotions following the first round of the men’s 100 metres on Saturday.

Tracey did not start in heat 1 of the event, this morning, leaving many fans to wonder why.

  The 28-year-old took to his personal Instagram page to provide some clarity on the situation.

 “A few days ago, while training, I felt a sharp pain in the back of my leg while running from the blocks," Tracey explained.

“The pain was enough for me to have to stop training for the evening," he said.

  After doing an ultrasound, Tracey was under the impression that the injury was not serious. However, whilst getting ready for this morning’s heat, the sprinter said that the pain worsened. His injury was kept quiet in hopes that he would be ready to compete in round 1 but he did not recover in time.

Heat 1 was eventually won by the USA’s Ronnie Baker in a time of 10.03 seconds. It is not yet known whether he will be fit in time for the men’s 4x100 metre relay.

 He ended his Instagram post by saying, “To everyone who supported me, just want to say thanks and I will make it up to everyone including myself. Nuff love and respect!”

 Dominica’s Thea LaFond set a new national record, in the Women’s Triple Jump, to lead four of the region’s women into the final as session 2 and more Caribbean athletes beginning their quest for success.

Lafond jumped a national record of 14.60 to advance, the second-longest jump of the qualifying round behind the 14.77 done by Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela who is the gold medal favourite.

Liadagmis Povea of Cuba qualified in 5th with a jump of 14.50.  Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts, a silver medalist at the 2019 Doha World Championships, needed only one jump to qualify in 6th place.

To qualify for the final automatically an athlete needs to jump 14.40 and Ricketts did 14.43 on her 1st attempt.

Kimberley Williams of Jamaica was the last Caribbean athlete to qualify for the final, jumping 14.30 to finish 9th.

 

Women’s Shot Put – Trinidad and Tobago’s Warren claims spot in final

 The women’s shot put only saw one Caribbean athlete advance to the final, Trinidad & Tobago’s Portious Warren.  Warren threw a personal best 18.75 to finish 9th and advance to the 12-competitor final.

Jamaicans Danniel Thomas-Dodd and Lloydrica Cameron both missed out on a place in the final.

Thomas-Dodd, a silver medalist at the 2019 World Championships, finished 13th with a distance of 18.37, one spot outside a place in the final.

Cameron finished 21st in qualifying with a distance of 17.43.

Caribbean teams were also involved in the heats of the mixed 4x400m relay.

The Dominican Republic qualified for the final after finishing 2nd in heat 1 with a time of 3:12.74.

The 2nd heat saw the Jamaican team qualify for the final after a 3rd place finish.

The team comprising of Sean Bailey, Junelle Bromfield, Stacey Ann Williams, and Karayme Bartley ran 3:11.76.

 

Women’s 400mh – Jamaica’s Russell advances but mishaps for Nugent, Whyte

 The women’s 400 Hurdles saw four Caribbean women advance to the semi-finals and two suffering unfortunate mishaps.

Jamaica’s Janieve Russell advanced to the semi-finals after finishing second in heat 2 with a composed 54.81 clocking.

Russell’s Jamaican teammate, Leah Nugent, originally finished second in heat 3 but was later disqualified due to lane infringement.

  Gianna Woodruff of Panama originally finished third in heat 3 but was upgraded to second after Nugent’s disqualification and subsequently advanced to the semis.

Ronda Whyte of Jamaica lined up in heat four and was expected to comfortably advance but it was not to be as she, unfortunately, committed a false start.

Tia-Adana Belle of Barbados finished second in heat 4 with a time of 55.69 to advance.

Zurian Hechavarria of Cuba finished fifth in heat 5 and advanced to the semi-finals as one of the fastest losers.

 

Women’s discus – Jamaica’s Lawrence, Cuba’s Perez advance to final

 The women’s discus saw Shadae Lawrence of Jamaica and Yaime Perez of Cuba advance to the final.

Lawrence threw 62.27 to finish 11th in qualifying.  Perez, the gold medalist at the 2019 Doha World Championships, threw 63.18 to finish seventh in qualifying.

Denia Caballero of Cuba was the only other Caribbean woman in qualifying, throwing 57.96 to finish 23rd overall in qualifying.

No Caribbean men advanced past the heats in the men’s 800 metres.

 

Women’s sprint hurdles – Jamaica’s Tapper runs personal best

 The women’s sprint hurdles heats were largely successful for Caribbean athletes.

Haiti’s Mulern Jean was the only Caribbean woman that failed to advance past the first round after finishing fifth in heat 2 in 12.99.

  Heat 3 saw both Yanique Thompson of Jamaica and Devynne Charlton of the Bahamas advancing to the semi-finals, with Thompson running 12.74 to finish second and Charlton finishing fourth in 12.84.

Heat 4 also saw two Caribbean women advance as Brittany Anderson ran 12.67 to win and Pedrya Seymour of the Bahamas ran 13.04 to finish fourth.

Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn ran 12.41, the fastest time in the heats, to win heat 5 ahead of Megan Tapper of Jamaica, who ran a personal best 12.53 for 2nd.

 

 

 

 

Blessing Okagbare is out of the women's 100 metre competition at Tokyo 2020 after being provisionally suspended for a failed drugs test.

The Nigerian sprinter came through Friday's heats in a time of 11.05 seconds and was due to go up against Dina Asher-Smith and Elaine Thompson-Herah in the semi-finals on Saturday.

However, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) informed Okagbare she had tested positive for a human growth hormone following an out-of-competition test on July 19.

The AIU added that a provisional suspension is mandatory for an adverse analytical finding for such a substance under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.

It said no further comment would be made at this stage.

Okagbare was competing in her fourth Games and won a silver medal in the long jump at Beijing in 2008.

She was a strong medal hope and her provisional suspension follows the news 10 Nigerian athletes were declared ineligible for Tokyo 2020 due to non-compliance with out-of-competition drug testing requirements in the run-up to the Games.

Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare has been provisionally suspended after a positive test for human growth hormone. She was due to run in the semifinals of the women’s 100 meters at the Olympics on Saturday.

The Athletics Integrity Unit said Okagbare tested positive in an out-of-competition test on July 19. The AIU says it was only informed of the finding on Friday, after Okagbare had already run in the 100-meter heats at the Tokyo Games.

The AIU informed Okagbare of the finding and her provisional suspension on Saturday morning.

Okagbare won her heat in 11.05 seconds at the Olympic Stadium to progress to the semis.

China bounced clear of Japan at the top of the medal table at the Tokyo Olympics thanks in part to a gold medal in trampolining.

Xueying Zhu edged out compatriot Lingling Liu to win the women’s final, maintaining the country's dominance in the event. Only at the Sydney Games in 2000 has China ever failed to have a competitor make it onto the podium.

There was also an all-China final in table tennis, Ma Long defeating compatriot Fan Zhendong in the men's singles final.

Add in further success in the mixed doubles final in badminton and China now has 19 golds at these Games, two more than the host nation.

The United States sit third in the standings with 14 golds, while Great Britain remain in sixth place thanks to Beth Schriever riding away with a gold in the women’s BMX final.

New Zealand improved on their previous solitary gold with not one but two victories in the water on Friday. Emma Twigg's win in the women's single sculls final was followed by glory for the men's eight. The women's team in the same discipline claimed silver, finishing second to Canada.

Ethiopia celebrated a first medal of any colour on Japanese soil, Selemon Barega triumphant in the men's 10,000 metres final as the athletics began, a fast finish seeing him cross the line ahead of Ugandan duo Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo.

 

Selemon Barega took the first athletics gold of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on a day when Novak Djokovic saw his Golden Slam hopes ended.

Barega topped the podium for Ethiopia as he saw off competition from Ugandan duo Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo on Friday.

The 21-year-old ran a smart race and had the stronger finish in him to see off pre-race favourite Cheptegei, who took silver ahead of compatriot Kiplimo.

"It means a lot to me because I have been practising a lot, not only by myself but together with the Ethiopian people," said Barega, who quickly sets his sights on future success.

"As an athlete the primary target for us is to participate in the Olympics, be a champion, and also be able to break the record.

"So I'm really thinking about future opportunities for me to achieve that, and if possible I'm also communicating with my manager about that."

There was no such joy for Djokovic as his bid to become the first man to win a calendar Golden Slam was crushed by a semi-final defeat to Alexander Zverev.

Djokovic was a set and a break up but the Serbian contrived to lose eight games in a row en route to a 1-6 6-3 6-1 loss.

Germany's Zverev had sympathy for his beaten opponent, who he declared as the greatest of all time.

He said: "I know that he was chasing history, chasing the Golden Slam and chasing the Olympics, but in these kind of moments me and Novak are very close. Of course I'm happy that I've won, but at the end of the day I know how Novak feels.

"I feel sorry for Novak, but he's won 20 grand slams, 550 Masters Series or whatever, you can't have everything.

"He's the greatest player of all time, he will win the most grand slams out of anybody on tour, but I'm also happy that I'm in the final."

Defeat in the mixed doubles means the 20-time grand slam champion will face two bronze medal matches in Japan.

 

MIXED RELAY WOES FOR USA

The 4x400 metre relay mixed event made its debut in the Olympics on Friday but it did not go well for the favourites as the United States suffered disqualification.

One of the team's baton exchanges was deemed to have taken place outside the designated zone, ending their campaign and leaving the gold medal up for grabs.

Poland qualified fastest with a time of three minutes 10.44 seconds, with the Netherlands close behind and Jamaica also in the mix.

 

SCHAUFFELE LEADS THE WAY IN RAIN-AFFECTED MEN'S GOLF

Xander Schauffele fired a 63 to move top of the leaderboard at Tokyo 2020, while home favourite Hideki Matsuyama and Rory McIlroy made big moves on Friday.

The threat of serious weather caused another delay on day two, and eventually brought an early end to play with Matsuyama among those not to finish his round.

But Schauffele, who has a big following in Japan as his mother was brought up in the country, sat pretty at 11 under as the stellar names bared their teeth at Kasumigaseki Country Club.

Matsuyama was six under through 16 holes of his second round and eight under overall for the tournament.

McIlroy matched Matsuyama's round-one score but shot five under in round two and is well in the mix four shots back.

 

A LONG TIME COMING

Ma Long took gold in the table tennis as he became the first man to win consecutive Olympics titles in the event.

It was an all-Chinese final and Ma roared to victory against Fan Zhendong.

China also secured a one-two in the badminton mixed doubles.

 

IGLESIAS CAN BE CUBA'S HERO

Cuban welterweight fighter Roniel Iglesias earned a third Olympic medal after sinking American Delante Johnson with a sweep of the scorecards.

After a bronze in Beijing and gold at London in 2012, Iglesias savoured another chance to target the top step of the podium.

The 32-year-old said: "It is my third medal which is very important but what I really want is to win the gold medal. It is a historic moment for me and for my country, Cuba. I am very happy at this achievement."

Light heavyweight Ben Whittaker admitted he was a blubbering mess after securing at least a bronze medal for Great Britain. He set up a semi-final against Imam Khataev – representing the Russian Olympic Committee – after scoring a majority points win over Brazilian Keno Machado.

Whittaker was overwhelmed by the result and burst into tears at the realisation he would be taking home a medal.

"That was the hard part, getting that medal," Whittaker said. "I won't relax, but I've pushed through that first door now and all I have to do is start changing that colour. Bronze is a lovely colour but everyone wants gold."

 

DRAMA APLENTY IN WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

The quarter-finals of the women's football competition delivered on drama in a big way.

Penalty shoot-outs were needed for Canada and the United States to progress to a last-four showdown, with Brazil and the Netherlands their respective victims.

Australia won a seven-goal thriller 4-3 against Great Britain after extra time and will now meet Sweden, who knocked out hosts Japan 3-1.

Ethiopia's Selemon Barega secured gold in the men's 10,000 metres final as the athletics got underway at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday.

Barega surged clear of Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo, who were each denied a first Olympic gold for Uganda, as he clocked 27 minutes 43.22 seconds in the Japanese capital.

Cheptegei, the 2019 world champion, was highly fancied to win, while compatriot Kiplimo would have become the youngest man to be crowned champion at the distance at the age of 20 years and 258 days.

But Barega, himself only 21, claimed the honour of the maiden athletics gold at this year's event after timing his kick for the line to perfection.

USA SUFFER MIXED RELAY DQ

It was a disappointing outing for the United States' mixed 4x400m relay team as the favourites were disqualified.

The event is making its debut in the Olympics but the landmark will not be fondly remembered by USA's foursome after one of their baton exchanges was deemed to have taken place outside the designated zone.

That has left the gold medal well and truly up for grabs, with Belgium, Ireland and Germany the automatic qualifiers from heat one, while in heat two it was Poland, Netherlands and Jamaica.

Great Britain and Spain round off the final eight, having gained the two next best times.

 

HASSAN SETS THE STANDARD

Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan laid down a marker in the heats for the 5,000m.

The first heat was much quicker than the second, with Hassan's 14:47.89 leading the way.

She is chasing a first Olympic medal and will face stiff competition from the likes of Kenya's Hellen Obiri.

Obiri won silver in Rio and qualified second fastest in the second heat with a time of 14:55.77.

 

HAVING A FIELD DAY

In two of the field events to begin on Friday, women's world number one triple jumper Yulimar Rojas recorded the longest leap of the heats at 14.77m.

The Venezuelan, a two-time world champion, had to settle for silver in Rio behind Colombia's Caterina Ibarguen, who will be eyeing a repeat in Tokyo.

Ibarguen's qualifying jump was a season's best 14.37m.

China led the way in the women's shot put, Gong Lijiao staking her claim with a throw of 19.46m, putting her ahead of compatriot Song Jiayun (19.23).

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