Elaine Thompson-Herah, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic triple gold medalist, will take on American upstart Sha ‘Carri Richardson and a stacked field that includes the Olympic 100m silver and bronze medalists Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson, respectively, in a blue-ribbon showdown at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meet on Saturday, August 21 in Eugene, Oregon.

Thompson-Herah, who won the 100/200m double at the 2016 Rio Olympics, created history in Tokyo earlier this month when she became the first woman to successfully defend both titles at the same Olympics.

She won the 100m in an Olympic record of 10.61, eclipsing the 10.62 set by Florence Griffith-Joyner at Seoul in 1988 and followed up by winning the 200m in a personal best of 21.53, which made her the second-fastest woman in history.

She then added a third gold medal as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m sprint relay team that established a new national record of 41.02.

The 21-year-old Richardson, who ran a personal best 10.72 in April, won the 100m at US trials in July in 10.86. However, she was subsequently banned for a month after testing positive for THC, a derivative of marijuana. Her omission triggered a debate about whether she would have won had she been allowed to compete in Tokyo.

However, the much-touted American will not only be facing the Olympic champion in the blue-ribbon sprint. She is also facing a motivated Fraser-Pryce, the second-fastest woman in the world this year and the third fastest all time, who is likely to be still smarting from her loss in the Olympic 100m final.

The 34-year-old two-time Olympic champion (2008, 2012) was considered the overwhelming favourite to land a third 100m Olympic title following her 10.63s run at the National Stadium in Kingston on June 5. However, she finished second to Thompson-Herah in 10.74.

The Olympic 100m bronze medalist Jackson, who ran a personal best 10.76 in Tokyo, has also been included in the line-up that will also feature, Tokyo relay gold medalist Briana Williams (10.97), Teahna Daniels (10.98), Javiane Oliver (10.96) and Marie Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast, who ran a personal best 10.78 in Tokyo.

Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji who has run a season-best 10.96, is also listed for the clash that is perhaps the fastest field ever assembled.

 

West Indies bowler Hayden Walsh Jr has paid tribute to the female athletes of the Caribbean, following a number of dominant performances in the recently concluded Tokyo 2020 Games.

In total, women from the Caribbean region snapped up a total of 18 medals, with the region claiming 34 overall.

There were outstanding performances from Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah who successfully defended her Olympic titles after repeating the sprint double, and was, along with her two compatriots Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson, part of a clean sweep of the 100m podium places.

Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo also put in a commanding performance after dismissing the field to defend her 400m Olympic crown in a new personal best.

“I’ve enjoyed all the successes of the Caribbean, especially the women,” Walsh Jr told SportsMax.Tv’s InCaseYouMissedIT.

“Seeing the women from Jamaica perform and bring home the medals, normally you would hear about the men from Jamaica but this  I’m proud the women pulled through for us,” he added.

The win by the Jamaica team in the 4x100m was the first for the country’s women’s team since 2000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The chairman of the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) George Soutar, was left ecstatic following Jamaica’s outstanding display in the sprint hurdles at the just-concluded Olympic Games, an area in which the foundation has invested heavily in recent years. 

Since 2019, the SDF has provided 20 hurdles each to 53 schools, that’s over 1,000 hurdles across Jamaica in a concerted effort to widen the hurdling pool in the island.

Soutar pointed out that the established schools were not a part of the programme as the strategy was to reach out to the more disenfranchised schools to build them up. “The SDF looks forward to Jamaica becoming as dominant in hurdling as in the sprints, in the 100m, 110m and 400m formats,” said Soutar.

Jamaica won three hurdling medals at the Olympics courtesy of Hansle Parchment who struck gold in 110m hurdles and was followed home by Ronald Levy who won the bronze medal.

Jamaica did not stop there as Megan Tapper became the first female to win a hurdles medal in sprint hurdling when she copped bronze in the Women’s 100m hurdles.

The SDF also extended congratulations to the Jamaican team on yet another outstanding display in securing nine medals inclusive of four gold, a silver and four bronze.

There was a special mention for another rare sweep of all medals by the women’s 100m runners, something some Jamaicans may take for granted, not appreciating the magnitude of this achievement.

"For these three homegrown, born and bred Jamaican women to take on the might of the world, in the middle of a pandemic and swept to victory over all else, is an achievement worthy of the highest accolades,” said Soutar.

“To all who have contributed to this magnificence, we say thanks. To their coaches, the JAAA, the JOA, their families we say thanks on behalf of all Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora,” added.

“Jamaica is forever in the debt of these athletes, who have sacrificed to take us all with them to the pinnacle of world athletics,” Soutar noted.

 

Swimmer Caeleb Dressel led the way with five golds as the United States finished top of the medal table at the Olympic Games for a third successive time.

Team USA's haul of 113 medals at the Tokyo Games – comprising 39 gold, 41 silver and 33 bronze – was 25 more than second-placed China, while Japan finished third.

The 58 medals won by the hosts set a record for the most they have ever won at a single Olympics, including 27 golds – 11 more than their previous record from 1964 and 2004.

Italy (40 medals), the Netherlands (36), Brazil (21), New Zealand (20), Turkey (13) and Chinese Taipei (12) also enjoyed their best ever Games showings.

In all, 93 different competing nations claimed a medal in Tokyo, which is more than any other edition of the global showpiece, surpassing the previous record of 87 set in 2008.

That includes first ever Olympic medals for Turkmenistan, San Marino and Burkina Faso in weightlifting, shooting and athletics events respectively.

Indeed, with a population of around 34,000 people, San Marino are now the smallest nation to win an Olympic medal.

 


MCKEON IN SEVENTH HEAVEN

Twenty of Australia's 46 medals came in the pool, with swimmer Emma McKeon responsible for seven of those – at least two more medals than any other athlete in Tokyo.

In doing so, the 27-year-old became the second female athlete to claim seven or more medals at a single Olympics after Maria Gorokhovskaya in 1952.

Dressel swept up five golds in the men's swimming events, meanwhile, to become the 10th athlete to reach that tally at a single Games.

Away from the Aquatics Centre, it was an Olympics to remember for Elaine Thompson-Herah as the Jamaican became the first woman to win both the 100 metre and 200m sprint at two Games.

Further success came for Thompson-Herah in the 4x100m relay, making her only the second woman to win five athletics golds after Allyson Felix (seven).

The Netherlands' Sifan Hassan also wrote his name in the record books by becoming the first athlete to win a medal in the 1500m (bronze), 5000m (gold) and 10,000m (gold) at the same Games.

Indeed, Hassan is the first track and field athlete to claim a medal in three individual disciplines since Carl Lewis and Heike Drechsler in 1988.

 


AGE IS JUST A NUMBER

Japanese skateboarder Momiji Nishiya became the youngest Olympic gold medal winner since 1960 – and third-youngest of all time – with victory in the women's street event at the age of 13 years and 330 days.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, 62-year-old Andrew Hoy of Australia became the oldest medallist at the Olympics since 1968 with a silver and bronze in the equestrian competitions.

Judokas Hifumi Abe and Uta Abe kept it in the family by becoming the first brother and sister combo to claim gold medals at the same Olympics when winning the men's -66 kilograms and women's -52kg events respectively.

July 28 proved to be a day to remember in more ways than one for Olga Frolkina and Evgeniia Frolkina, meanwhile, as the twin sisters took silver in the 3x3 basketball on their 24th birthday.

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge successfully defended his men's marathon title and the United States added three more golds to their tally on the final day of Tokyo Olympics action.

Kipchoge crossed the line one minute and 20 seconds ahead of runner-up Abdi Nageeye to become the third athlete to win the event at back-to-back Games.

In doing so, the 36-year-old – who previously took 5,000 metre silver in 2008 and bronze in London four years later – believes he has inspired a generation of runners.

"It means a lot to me, especially at this hard time," he said. "Last year was postponed, and now it has happened.

"I think I fulfilled the legacy by winning the marathon for the second time. That's my total happiness, my inspiration for the next generation."

The final day of action at the 2020 Games ultimately belonged to the United States, though, as they collected three golds to finish above China at the top of the medal table.

 

USA TRUMP CHINA

Team USA trailed China by two gold medals heading into Sunday's events, but triumphs in basketball, volleyball and track cycling saw them top the standings.

USA's victory in the women's basketball would have come as little surprise given it is their seventh straight success in the competition.

Brittney Griner racked up 30 points and Breanna Stewart also impressed in the 90-75 win over Japan with 14 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks.

Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi each picked up their fifth gold medals, while for Japan the silver was their first medal of any sort in the sport.

"The only thing about getting older, you know all the bad stuff that can happen," Bird said. "We lost in the 2006 World Cup. We tasted that and that's always been the driver. 

"So, when we actually have the medal around our necks, it just feels so good. It's a sense of relief in a lot of ways."

While success in the women's basketball is par for the course, overcoming Brazil in the volleyball final provided USA with their first gold medal in the event.

After finishing runners-up to Brazil in the 2008 and 2012 Games, USA exacted some revenge with a 25-21 25-20 25-14 victory in Sunday's final.

Jennifer Valente completed the hat-trick for the Americans in the women's cycling omnium, the 26-year-old delivering her country's first track cycling gold since 2000.

She led from start to finish, despite crashing in the final points race, with home favourite Yumi Kajihara taking silver.

"There were some bumps. It was actually quite a short day as far as omnium goes," Valente said. "That was something that was very much on my mind, that we played into.

"Crashing in the point races is never ideal. I was just trying to get back on my bike, make sure I was okay, and get back in the race as soon as possible."


BRITAIN RULE THE TRACK

Kelsey Mitchell won the women's sprint for Canada by beating Ukraine's Olena Starikova 2-0 in the best-of-three final.

But it was a familiar outcome in the men's keirin as Jason Kenny finished 0.763 seconds ahead of Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia to win his seventh Olympic gold medal.

That makes Kenny Great Britain's most decorated Olympian and ensured Team GB finished top of the cycling medals table with six golds, four silver and two bronze.

"It's a bit of shock, I think," Kenny said of his latest medal success. "I really wanted to cross the finish line. I am absolutely buzzing. 

"Going into the final I didn't expect anything other than a five, really. I was hoping to kind of get stuck in, and hopefully come away with some silverware. 

"To win at the corner on my own like that is absolutely buzzing."

AMERICA'S BOXING WAIT GOES ON

The final four boxing gold medals were up for grabs on Sunday and plenty of focus was on the super-heavyweight bout between Bakhodir Jalolov and the USA's Richard Torrez. 

Twenty-two-year-old Torrez started strongly with a ferocious assault in the first round, but Uzbekistani boxer Jalolov recovered and won unanimously.

Torrez's compatriot Keyshawn Davis earlier lost his men's lightweight clash with Cuba's Andy Cruz, meaning USA's wait for an Olympic men's boxing gold will reach 20 years come Paris 2024.

"I've never felt this much pressure in fights a day in my life," Davis said. "I'm glad I got to experience this because it did make me a better fighter.

"I'm not cool with winning silver, but it's something I've got to live with and I'm okay with that. I'm gonna live with it and we're just gonna take it to the next level."

In the female categories, Kellie Anne Harrington beat Brazil's Beatriz Ferreira in the lightweight final to earn Ireland their second gold of the Games, while GB's Lauren Price outclassed Li Qian to win the middleweight final on points.

World record holder Eliud Kipchoge vowed to enjoy the moment before setting his next goal after successfully defending his Olympic men's marathon title at Tokyo 2020 on Sunday.

The 36-year-old Kenyan won by over a minute in a time of two hours, eight minutes and 38 seconds, with Dutchman Abdi Nageeye and Belgium's Bashir Abdi taking silver and bronze respectively.

The triumph was a coronation for Kipchoge who won gold at Rio 2016, while he claimed bronze and silver Olympic medals in the 5,000m in Athens and Beijing respectively.

Kipchoge, who is widely regarded as the greatest marathon runner in the modern era, refused to look ahead after his latest win.

"I am a believer of the philosophy that you should only chase one rabbit," Kipchoge said. "If you chase two, then you cannot get all of them.

"For the last two years I have been focusing on the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, so I will only plan the next thing when there is a big job ahead of me.

"What was in my bucket list was Tokyo 2020. So I will go back now, talk to my coach, and see what the opportunities are and then I will come back to you people. But, for now, I want to enjoy winning here in Tokyo."

Nageeye and Abdi claimed second and third with an enthralling final sprint, edging out Kenyan Lawrence Cherono for the medals. The Dutchman willed on training partner Abdi in the dying stages.

"I was just telling him to stay with us, stay with us the last one (kilometre)," Nageeye said. "I felt good as that is what I was doing. I wasn't volunteering, but I knew if he stayed until the end, the last 200 metres, close your eyes and just sprint."

KENNY CLAIMS HISTORIC SEVENTH OLYMPIC GOLD

British cyclist Jason Kenny secured his seventh career Olympic gold medal, winning the men's keirin final on the final day of the Games after a remarkable race where he stormed ahead unopposed.

Kenny claimed his historic gold by 0.763 seconds from Malaysia's Mohd Azizulhasni Awang who edged Harrie Lavreysen of the Netherlands on the line to claim silver and bronze respectively.

In a bizarre race, the 33-year-old Kenny pulled clear with two laps to go, with second-placed Matthew Glaetzer not following him, powering ahead and eventually crossing the line on his own.

"It was such a long way," Kenny said. "I felt like the last lap took me about half an hour. But I got there in the end. I still can’t believe I crossed the line on my own."

He first won gold in the team sprint at Beijing 2008, following with two triumphs at London 2012 and three at Rio 2016, including the keirin title which he successfully defended.

Kenny's gold medal means he is the most successful British athlete in Olympic history, pulling clear of cyclist Chris Hoy.

Jason's wife Laura Kenny was involved in a huge crash in the opening round of the women's omnium and missed out on the medals, with gold won by USA's Jennifer Valente. Japan's Yumi Kajihara won the host country's first medal in cycling at Tokyo 2020 with silver.

Canada's Kelsey Mitchell won the gold medal from Ukraine's Olena Starikova in the women's sprint, with Hong Kong's Lee Wai Sze taking bronze.

USA CONTINUE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL DYNASTY

The United States women's basketball team claimed their seventh consecutive gold medal with a 90-75 victory over hosts Japan.

Brittney Griner top-scored with 30 points for USA, along with five rebounds and two assists.

Team USA opened up a nine-point lead at the first change and they were never headed, with a strong display headed by Griner.

USA only hit four three-pointers for the game compared to Japan's eight, but the favourites played to their strengths with strong offensive and defensive contributions from A'ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart.

Wilson added 19 points, seven rebounds, five blocks and five assists, while Stewart was exceptional with 14 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks and five assists.

USA veteran Sue Bird signed off on her Olympic career with a fifth gold medal.

USA MOVE CLEAR WITH VOLLEYBALL TRIUMPH

The United States moved into the outright lead on the gold medal table after clinching their first-ever women's volleyball victory.

USA triumphed 3-0 over Brazil, winning 25-21 25-20 25-14 in a dominant final display.

The gold medal took USA's tally to 39 golds, moving ahead of China with 38 as the final day continued to unfold.

Eliud Kipchoge defended his Olympic marathon title in sensational fashion before telling those at home to "be inspired" and expressing his belief Tokyo 2020 has shown there is "hope" towards a return to normality.

The Kenyan legend became just the third person to successfully defend an Olympic marathon title and the first athlete to do so since 1980.

Kipchoge's time of 2:08:38 was 1.20 faster than Abdi Nageeye and was a sensational result considering the searing heat in Sapporo. It also marked the largest margin of victory since Frank Shorter's win in 1972.

Afterwards, Kipchoge – who now has four Olympic medals to his name – used his platform to deliver an inspirational message about how the Games have provided a sense of normality amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: "Firstly I want to say thank you to everyone for the support and to those that made the Olympics, Tokyo 2020 happen.

"I am happy to defend my title and to show the next generation, if you respect the sport and be disciplined you can accomplish your assignment.

"It was not easy, but it was really hard for everybody if you consider the weather. I am happy to cross the finishing line as the fastest.

"Tokyo 2020 has happened, it means a lot, it means there is hope. It means we are on the right track to a normal life. So we are on the track to our normal lives that is the meaning of the Olympics.

"Thank you to all fans, to all the people in the whole world who were watching, be inspired."

The men's marathon was the last athletics event of Tokyo 2020 ahead of Sunday's closing ceremony, which is due to start at 8pm local time.

Grenadian 400m bronze medallist, Kirani James, has expressed gratitude to be back on the Olympic podium, after a difficult four years, which included being diagnosed with a debilitating disease and the passing of his mother.

As a 19-year-old James, was the toast of the Caribbean after claiming 400m gold at the 2012 London Games, four years later he battled to silver behind South African Wayde van Niekerk who won the event in a blistering world record time.

Shortly after, however, the athlete’s fortunes took a drastic turn for the worst, and, in an event as brutal and as grueling as the 400m, the odds were stacked against the athlete getting a third Olympic medal in Tokyo.  He defied them anyway.

In 2017, James had found himself struggling with fatigue and weight loss.  He dropped around 20 pounds before being diagnosed with the thyroid condition known as Graves’ disease.  Just two years later, he faced perhaps even more difficult circumstances after his mother Pamela James passed away following a lengthy battle with a terminal disease.

At the 2019 World Championship James had fought his way back to competition weight but finished fifth in the final leaving many to wonder if he would ever be back amongst the elite.  Just a year later the James had to deal with the cancelation of the Olympic Games and the disruption and uncertainty brought about by the pandemic.

After clocking a time of 43.88 in the semi-finals, his fastest since 2012, the athlete showed that he was doubtlessly back to his best, and, despite not crossing the line first in the final, after four years of tribulation, the bronze medal was a sweet reward for the Grenadian.

“It’s always great.  You have to give credit to all eight guys in the race, they are so, so good, so it's tough to race against them.  I’m just happy to compete against those guys and get a medal,” James said.

“I had an illness.  It’s still going on, I have to be on medication for the rest of my life.  2019 I lost my mother who was the matriarch of our family,” James added.

“I’ve had to deal with Covid, the quarantines and the lockdowns and not having a place to train and trying to figure things out.  So, it’s been a whirlwind, a roller coaster.”

James became the first man in Olympic history to win a medal in the event at three different Games.

There was home joy at Yokohama Baseball Stadium on Saturday as Japan beat the United States to the baseball gold medal.

Elsewhere, the diving board brought further Chinese success, and Sifan Hassan was among the familiar winners on the track.

Stats Perform breaks down the best of the action from Tokyo.

JAPAN JOY AGAIN AGAINST USA

Japan's women had beaten the United States 2-0 in the softball final and it was the turn of the men to achieve an identical result against the same opposition in the baseball.

The sport will not return for the 2024 Games, but the hosts seized their opportunity.

Japan stopped their major league season to make a number of leading players available and were rewarded with a first baseball gold medal.

Munetaka Murakami's third-inning home run put the hosts in control, before Tetsuto Yamada profited on an error in the eighth to complete the win.

USA manager Mike Scioscia said: "This tournament has been as intense as anything I've been a part of.

"Nineteen years managing the [Anaheim/Los Angeles] Angels, World Series and I don't know how many playoff games with the [Los Angeles] Dodgers. There's an intensity here. There's a focus."

CHINA DOMINATE BUT DALEY DELIGHTED

Cao Yuan's gold and Yang Jian's silver in the men's individual 10m platform completed a remarkable Games in the diving for China.

Cao became the first Olympic diver to win gold in three different disciplines (3m, 10m synchronised and 10m individual), while the one-two incredibly meant China won both gold and silver in every individual diving event.

Yang joined his team-mate on the podium after registering the highest score in Olympic history, with a forward four and a half somersaults in a pike position earning 112.75 points.

That performance left Tom Daley in third, but he was in awe of the dive.

"Honestly, Yang Jian is almost superhuman; he does the hardest dives in the world," Daley said. "I think if lots of other people tried to do that dive, you'd see quite a few catastrophes, so it's very impressive to see him do that dive."

Daley, who took gold in the 10m synchronised, was delighted all the same, telling BBC Sport: "I am so happy this Olympics has gone the way it has.

"I feel I am a different athlete and to finally get here... I always dreamed I would but if someone told me I was going to win a gold and a bronze I would have laughed in their faces."

HASSAN 'NEEDED' BRONZE HEARTBREAK

Hassan was going for an outstanding hat-trick at these Games, aiming to triumph in the 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m.

The Dutchwoman made a fine start in the 5000 but then had to settle for bronze in the 1500 on Friday, meaning she was determined to top the charts in her last outing.

A time of 29:55.32 ensured Hassan did just that, and she said: "Today I'm grateful for [the bronze], because yesterday I was number three. That was not what I wanted, but what I needed.

"If I had won yesterday – if I raced smart and won the race – today I [could not have finished]. It was so hot. From the beginning I was really tired. I felt like I was sprinting.

"I was thinking about yesterday the whole race, and I've never gone deep like I did today."

BOWING OUT ON A HIGH

Allyson Felix was asked whether she had passed the torch after her Olympic career wound down in typical fashion with victory as part of a star-studded United States 4x400m team, their time of 3:16.85 the quickest since 1993.

"I just came out really at peace and wanting to soak it all in," she said after a record-extending 11th medal. "Obviously, I had complete confidence in the team.

"I think that is a really special team because we're not 400-metre runners – I don't see myself as a 400-metre specialist.

"We all do different things and it was really cool to come together, to get to close out the Olympic Games and, for me, my Olympic career."

Sydney McLaughlin added: "I think we were excited. An amazing group of women right here, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I think we all just knew going in it's going to be fast and just have fun."

BOOMERS BREAK THE BARRIER

After the United States won yet another gold earlier in the day, it was time for a new medallist in the men's basketball.

Olympic debutants Slovenia, led by Luka Doncic (22 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, eight turnovers), went down 107-93 to Australia, who have had far more experience of this stage.

The Boomers reached the semi-finals for the fifth time in Tokyo but only now collected a medal.

Dante Exum said: "We're just ecstatic to get that one out of the way. Getting on the podium is not only huge for us as a team but for Australian basketball.

"We're definitely going to set this standard, that that's where we've got to be, and we're expected to be there every time."

Patty Mills contributed an outstanding 42 points to conclude his fourth Games, and Exum added: "Patty, I mean what do you say about Patty Mills?

"It's unbelievable what he brings on the court, off the court, to the culture of the Boomers. I hope that I can just carry that on when he steps down."

The United States cut into China's lead in the medal table, leaving them just two ahead at the end of the penultimate day of the Tokyo Olympics.

China came into Saturday with a five-gold lead but double 4x400m relay success provided the platform for USA to make up ground.

Allyson Felix became the only American athlete to win 11 track medals as the women cruised to relay gold, while the men coasted to an 18th success as they finished well ahead, the Netherlands a distant second.

Team USA recorded their fourth successive gold in the men’s basketball final, plus there was success for Nelly Korda in the women's golf.

China picked up two golds to take their tally to 38, with Cao Yuan, who became the first athlete to win three different Olympic diving events, and Yang Jian securing a Chinese one-two in the 10m platform. Their other victory came in the women's canoe double 500m sprint.

Early leaders Japan collected a trio of triumphs, the first of which came in softball, while the Russian Olympic Committee also secured three golds, Abdulrashid Sadulaev dominating the men's heavyweight freestyle wrestling.

Galal Yafai captured Great Britain's 19th gold with a 4-1 points decision in the men's flyweight boxing final before Joe Choong added another by replicating Kate French's achievement in the men's version of the modern pentathlon.

Australia, who equalled their record medal haul at the Games on Thursday, remain in sixth place, Nicola McDermott's silver making history in the women's high jump with her country's first medal in the event since 1964.

 

Women’s 4x400 Metres Relay

 Jamaica secured a bronze medal in the women’s 4x400 metres relay as the track and field portion of the Tokyo Olympics ended today.

The team of Roniesha McGregor, Janieve Russell, Shericka Jackson and Candice McLeod combined to run 3:21.24 to finish 3rd behind the USA and Poland.

Sydney McLaughlin, Allyson Felix, Dalilah Muhammad and Athing Mu came together to win gold for the US in 3:16.85 and Poland’s Natalia Kaczmarek, Iga Baumgart-Wittan, Malgorzata Holub-Kowalik and Justyna Swiety-Ersetic won silver in a national record 3:20.53.

 

Men’s 4x400 Metres Relay

 Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago both failed to secure medals in the men’s 4x400 metres relay.

The Jamaican team of Demish Gaye, Christopher Taylor, Jaheel Hyde and Nathon Allen ran 2:58.76 to finish 6th while the Trinidadian team of Deon Lendore, Jereem Richards, Dwight St. Hillaire and Machel Cedenio finished 8th in 3:00.85.

 Michael Cherry, Michael Norman, Bryce Deadmon and Rai Benjamin combined to win gold for the USA in 2:55.70.

The silver medal went to the Dutch quartet of Liemarvin Bonevacia, Terrence Agard, Tony van Diepen and Ramsey Angela who ran 2:57.18, a national record.

The Botswana team of Isaac Makwala, Baboloki Thebe, Zibane Ngozi and Bayapo Ndori combined to run 2:57.27 for bronze, breaking their own African record in the process.

Sifan Hassan doubled up, Jakob Ingebrigtsen broke an Olympic record and Neeraj Chopra made history for India on the final Saturday at Tokyo 2020.

On the last night of athletics inside the Olympic Stadium there was plenty of reason to celebrate with the United States rounding out the track events in the Japanese capital in style in the 4x400m relays.

Here's a round-up from all the action.

HASSAN AT THE DOUBLE

Hassan came into these Games attempting an unprecedented 1500, 5000 and 10,000m treble.

Ultimately, she fell narrowly short after taking bronze in the shortest distance on Friday but the Dutchwoman doubled up with a fantastic win in the 10,000m.

Letesenbet Gidey led for much of the race, with Hassan and Kalkidan Gezahegne making it a three-way tussle. The former fell away on the final bend as Hassan – who is the second woman to win three medals in individual distance events at a single Games – sprinted to the line to come home in a time of 29:55.32.

In the women's marathon Peres Jepchirchir led home a Kenya one-two, a first for the women's event in Olympic competition, in stifling morning conditions. World record holder Brigid Kosgei had to settle for silver and Molly Seidel of the United States completed the podium.

THERE'S NOR-WAY TO BEAT NEW OLYMPIC-RECORD HOLDER JAKOB

In a thrilling men's 1500m race, Ingebrigtsen finally defeated Timothy Cheruiyot in their 13th career competitive meeting.

To do so, the Norwegian had to run a European and Olympic record time of 3:28.32, with Cheruiyot just holding off Josh Kerr to take silver.

Kerr and the three athletes to follow him all ran PBs, while the first seven men all finished inside the pre-2021 Olympic record time of 3:32.07.

CHOPRA BREAKS NEW GROUND FOR INDIA

Prior to this final evening of competition in the Olympic Stadium, India had never won an athletics gold.

All that changed thanks to Chopra, who took out the men's javelin thanks to a second-round throw of 87.58m.

In a huge shock, overwhelming favourite Johannes Vetter did not even make the cut for the final three throws and finished ninth.

Czech duo Jakub Vadlejch (86.67m) and Vitezslav Vesely rounded out the podium.

Mariya Lasitskene of the Russian Olympic Committee won a thriller in the women's high jump, clearing 2.04m on her second attempt.

Nicola McDermott, with a new PB and Oceanic record of 2.02m claimed silver, and Ukraine's Yaroslava Mahuchikh cleared the same height but took bronze having dislodged the bar first time around.

USA DOMINATE 4x400m RELAYS

As is tradition at an Olympics, the 4x400m relays closed the show. First up were the woman and the United States quartet wowed with a 3:16.85 – the fifth fastest in history and quickest since 1993.

Sydney McLaughlin and Athing Mu consequently won second golds of the Games, while Allyson Felix extended her record of most track and field medals for a female athlete to 11. The teams from Poland and Jamaica were second and third.

The men were just as dominant in the final track event of the night as the quartet of Michael Cherry, Michael Norman, Bryce Deadmon and Rai Benjamin ran home in 2:55.70 to beat the Netherlands and Botswana.

It was by no means certain the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics would even go ahead, such was the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

But go ahead they did and now here we stand on the eve of the closing ceremony in the Japanese capital.

They have certainly been a Games like no other and we all hope future Olympics will not be held under such unusual circumstances, and judging the success of Tokyo 2020 is no easy feat given the measures to do so are too arbitrary.

Having said that, here are the highs of the Games and some of the lows, too.

The highs…

WARHOLM AND MCLAUGHLIN HAMMER THE HURDLES

Karsten Warholm revelled in bringing the "wow" factor to the men's 400m hurdles, and rightly so. The Norwegian became the first man to break the 46-second barrier – running an astonishing 45.94 seconds to smash his own world record, five weeks after breaking a benchmark held by Kevin Young for 29 years. A day later, Sydney McLaughlin battered her own world record in the women's race, clocking in at 51.46s.

VAN VLEUTEN'S HEARTWARMING TRIUMPH

Five years ago in Rio, Annemiek van Vleuten was on course for victory in the women's cycling road race until a high-speed crash left her with minor fractures to her spine. To make matters worse, the Dutchwoman made headlines for celebrating what she thought was victory in the same event here in Tokyo – only to realise she had finished second behind runaway winner Anna Kiesenhofer. But finally, her golden moment arrived in the women's time trial – at the age of 38 years and 293 days, she became the third-oldest woman to win Olympic gold for the Netherlands.

SWIMMING STARS PROVE THERE'S LIFE AFTER PHELPS

Michael Phelps is an Olympics legend and no one can lay claim to more than the 23 golds or 28 overall medals he accrued over between 2004 and 2016. But a stellar cast this year proved swimming is in a very strong position. Emma McKeon took home seven medals (including four golds) – the joint-most of any woman at a single Games – while Ariarne Titmus' 200m and 400m free double was memorable, particularly her win over the great Katie Ledecky in the latter race. Caeleb Dressel took five golds to show his potential as Phelps' heir apparent, while Adam Peaty stunned again for Great Britain. It was some week in the pool.

THOMPSON-HERAH DOES THE DOUBLE-DOUBLE

Elaine Thompson-Herah announced herself to the world stage with a 100 and 200m sprint double at Rio 2016 but injuries in the intervening years stemmed her momentum a little. However, she peaked at the perfect time in Tokyo and backed up her double from Brazil – becoming the first woman to repeat on the 100 and 200m. Indeed, only Usain Bolt had ever previously done so.

THE AZZURRI'S GOLDEN HOUR

There was a shock in the men's 100m final where the unheralded Marcell Jacobs started the post-Bolt era with gold. That followed on from countryman Gianmarco Tamberi having minutes earlier shared high jump glory with Mutaz Essa Barshim. There were hugs aplenty as Italy, surely celebrating their greatest night at an Olympics, won two athletics golds at the same Games since Athens in 2004.

NEW EVENTS CATCH THE IMAGINATION

One of the most fascinating aspects of any Olympics is the new sports and categories that get added to the programme. At Tokyo 2020, skateboarding, surfing and climbing have all attracted new and younger audiences to the Games – while the addition of mixed triathlon and the mixed 4x400m track relay have been successes.

BILES' INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE

On the one hand, the fact we saw so little of Simone Biles and some of the reprehensible bilge aimed her way over the decision to pull out of the women's team event after just one rotation and then miss four individual events can be seen as a negative. But, on the other hand, the fact that she came back to take bronze on the balance beam and use her platform to promote the importance of protecting mental health has to be seen as a high. It takes bravery and courage in her position to speak on such matters. Kudos to you, Simone.

And the lows…

EMPTY STADIUMS AN ENDURING IMAGE

Let's start with the obvious here and something that has been spoken about pretty relentlessly. The absence of fans has had a huge cost on the atmosphere at these Games. Magical moments and career peaks played out in front of huge, empty stadia has undoubtedly been a huge negative. Many will take the fact we got here and managed to hold a Games at all as a positive. And it is. But at times, the whole thing felt a bit… meh.

TENNIS' HEADLINE ACTS FAIL TO DELIVER

With so many of the top male players opting to skip Tokyo, there was a big focus on Novak Djokovic and the next checkmark on his quest for a rare Golden Slam (only Steffi Graf has ever done it). The Serbian fell short, dropping out at the semi-final stage then getting a little stroppy. Big things were also expected of Naomi Osaka – a home hope and the 'face of the Games'. She made it as far as round three before going down to Marketa Vondrousova.

THE TSIMANOUSKAYA SAGA

One of the ugliest stories to emerge from the Games was the story of Belarusian runner Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who refused to board a flight after allegedly being taken to the airport against her will following her public criticism of her team's organisation on social media. Tsimanouskaya competed in only one event and claimed she was entered into a 4x400m relay despite never racing in the discipline, suggesting that was a result of members of the team being considered ineligible due to not completing enough doping tests. The Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation indicated Tsimanouskaya feared for her life upon returning to Minsk. The country is under the authoritarian leadership of president Alexander Lukashenko, whose son Viktor heads the national Olympic committee (NOC). Both men were banned last December from attending Tokyo 2020. The whole thing has been really rather unsavoury.

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