Nine-time Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis did not hold back in his criticism of the United States' performance in the men's 4x100 metres relay at Tokyo 2020.

Team USA have not won the event in 21 years and though they entered Thursday's heat as one of the favourites, they failed to qualify for the final.

It is the first time Team USA have failed to reach the Olympic final since 2008, though they have hardly had much fortune in the event since their success in Sydney.

Indeed, they have only once made it to the finish line cleanly, without any mistakes, when they claimed silver at London 2012. That medal, however, was conceded in the wake of Tyson Gay's doping ban.

This time around, a team including three of the fastest men in the world over 100m in 2021, fared little better.

Trayvon Bromell, Fred Kerley, Ronnie Baker and Cravon Gillespie finished sixth in the heat with a time of 38.10 seconds.

"We just didn't get the job done today," Kerley said. "That's all."

Sprinting great Lewis, who won two golds in the 4x100m relay, hit out at what he labelled a "clown show".

"The USA team did everything wrong in the men’s relay," Lewis wrote on Twitter. "The passing system is wrong, athletes running the wrong legs, and it was clear that there was no leadership. It was a total embarrassment, and completely unacceptable for a USA team to look worse than the AAU kids I saw."

He then expanded on his criticism in an interview with USA Today.

"This was a football coach taking a team to the Super Bowl and losing 99-0 because they were completely ill-prepared," Lewis said.

"It's unacceptable. It's so disheartening to see this because it’s people's lives. We're just playing games with people's lives. That's why I’m so upset. It's totally avoidable.

"America is sitting there rooting for the United States and then they have this clown show. I can't take it anymore. It's just unacceptable. It is not hard to do the relay."

HISTORY MADE BY SPAIN

Sport climbing and karate were two of the sports introduced for the Tokyo Games, and the first medals in each were won by Spanish athletes.

At the age of 39 years and 323 days, Sandra Sanchez became Spain's oldest Olympic champion as she triumphed in the women's kata, breaking the record set by Joan Llaneras in the velodrome in 2008.

Sanchez also became the first Spanish woman to clinch gold in martial arts since judoka Isabel Fernandez did so in 2000.

Her triumph was followed up by golds for France's Steven da Costa and Bulgaria's Ivet Goranova in the men's and women's kumite respectively.

At the opposite end of the spectrum to Sanchez, 18-year-old Alberto Gines Lopez became the youngest male Spanish athlete to strike gold at the Games as he pipped Nathaniel Coleman and Jakob Schubert in the sport climbing men's combined final.

"I think it will help the sport to grow, and for it to get more support. We need good installations in order to help the sport, and I think this will bring more support to the sport," the teenager said, before revealing his plans of celebration: "I'm going to break my diet. And then call my family and friends."

FOURNIER PREPPED FOR 'THE MOST COMPLICATED MATCH'

Team USA and France will meet in the final of the men's basketball competition, as the two favourites go head-to-head for gold.

Luka Doncic's shooting was off as Slovenia fell to an agonising 90-89 defeat to France, who beat the USA in the pool stage.

The European Champions, who also defeated the USA in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, now face a rematch against a side that has scored over 90 points in the last four games.

Evan Fournier, whose 23 points was second behind only team-mate Nando de Colo, knows what is in store.

"It represents a real step towards a dream, and the dream is to win the Olympics against the United States," said Fournier, who has just swapped the Boston Celtics for the New York Knicks.

"We have to rest and not let our minds wander, and prepare as much as possible, because there's a team waiting for us. They've prepared for us for two years, apparently, and because we beat them in the pool it will be worse, so it will be the most complicated match of the competition for us without any doubt."

SHOOT-OUT GLORY FOR BELGIUM

Beaten finalists in 2016, Belgium claimed their first hockey gold, and only their second in an Olympic team sport, after their men beat Australia 3-2 in a shoot-out.

Goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch was the hero in dramatic circumstances.

He made two saves before then denying Jacob Whetton, only for Belgium's celebrations to be cut short by a referral. However, Vanasch stood firm for a second time.

The shoot-out drama followed a 1-1 draw, with Tom Wickham having cancelled out Florent van Aubel's opener.

"What a feeling. You become Olympic champion, but twice [because of the referral] It's unusual," Vanasch said. "We had to calm down and go again. We knew that.

"I'm like a musician, it's a rehearsal and then you come to the concert and it comes naturally. That's how I come on the pitch. I'm composed, but also I trust myself, I trust my reflexes."

Australia have now won seven men's hockey medals across the last eight Games, while Belgium won their first gold in a team event since the 1920 Antwerp Olympics, when their men's football team triumphed.

Steven Gardiner made it a world and Olympic double by winning the men's 400 metres at Tokyo 2020 on a day where Hansle Parchment shocked Grant Holloway to win the 110m hurdles.

Ryan Crouser defended his shot put title from Rio 2016, while Pedro Pablo Pichardo and Katie Nageotte were also among the gold medal winners at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium.

Here's a round-up of Thursday's best action in athletics.

 

GARDINER FOLLOWS UP DOHA TRIUMPH

Defending 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk, who suffered a horrific knee injury in 2017, was not in the final and Gardiner displaced the South African in the Tokyo humidity.

The man from the Bahamas won gold in Doha at the world championships two years ago and timed his race to perfection in the Japanese capital, storming ahead from the final bend and passing the line in a time of 43.85s.

Anthony Zambrano of Colombia was second, while 2012 champion Kirani James added Olympic bronze for Grenada.

Just a night on from Andre De Grasse becoming men's 200m champion, Canada had more reason to celebrate as Damian Warner earned an Olympic record 9,018 points to win the decathlon. Kevin Mayer of France took silver ahead of Australia's Ashley Moloney.

In the heptathlon, Nafissatou Thiam defended her gold from Rio 2016 – the Belgian accruing 6,791 points. Dutch pair Anouk Vetter and Emma Oosterwegel were second and third.

 

PARCHMENT BEATS HOLLOWAY IN HUGE SHOCK

Possibly the biggest shock on the track of Tokyo 2020 so far arrived in the men's 110m hurdles, where world champion and clear favourite for gold Holloway had to settle for silver.

Instead, first place was taken by Jamaica's Parchment, an outsider on paper who stormed through when Holloway's momentum appeared to stall at the last two hurdles to win in a time of 13.04 seconds.

There was further upset for Team USA in the men's 4x100m relay, where a shock sixth-placed finish in their heat meant they missed out on the final.

Massimo Stano was a surprise winner of the men's 20km walk race, a strong finish seeing him beat well-fancied Japanese duo Koki Ikeda and Toshikazu Yamanishi.

With his victory, Italy have won three athletics gold medals at the same Games for the first time.

CROUSER LIVES UP TO THE BILLING IN AN OLYMPICS QUIRK

Crouser lived up to his billing as favourite in the men's shot put and in some style to defend his title from Rio 2016.

The American equalled or bettered his previous Olympic record with each of his six throws, with the winning distance marked at 22.93m.

World Champion and countryman Joe Kovacs took silver, while New Zealand's Tom Walsh was third. Incredibly, this was the exact same podium as at Rio 2016 – the first time in Olympics athletics to have the exact same repeat of a podium.

Pichardo was equally brilliant in taking home the men's triple jump gold. His effort of 17.98m represents the second-best winning jump in Olympics history and was personal redemption for the Portuguese, who missed out in Rio five years ago.

China's Zhu Yaming earned silver with a lifetime-best jump of 17.57, with Hugues Fabrice Zango of Burkina Faso in third.

Nageotte earned a nice piece of history in winning women's pole vault gold for the United States. No woman or man has ever missed with their opening two attempts and gone on to win Olympic gold.

But Nageotte cleared 4.90m, a height no one else in the competition could match. Anzhelika Sidorova – the 2019 world champion – claimed silver for the Russia Olympic Committee, with Holly Bradshaw of the United Kingdom taking bronze.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson explained how it was a "miracle" for her to even reach the starting line in the heptathlon after her Tokyo dream was ended by a calf injury.

World champion Johnson-Thompson was well in medal contention in the 200m event of the women's heptathlon, yet ultimately ended up trudging over the line in tears.

The 28-year-old, who ruptured her Achilles tendon in December, pulled up with a calf problem. However, she refused to get in the wheelchair that was rolled out to the track, and instead got over the line on her own.

On Thursday, Johnson-Thompson revealed the arduous journey she has gone through to ensure she could participate in Tokyo.

"I don't know where to begin in trying to explain how I feel. Only a handful of people understand what I've been through," she wrote in a statement posted to her official Twitter account.

"Even a smaller amount understand the mental and physical challenges I've faced trying to make it back in time through a pandemic after my Achilles ruptured the back end of December. I started the year in a wheelchair and I was not willing to end my Olympic campaign the same way.

"To make it to the line was a miracle. To not only do that, but to be on my way to putting a decent score together, is heart-breaking. I truly believed I was capable of winning a medal despite having up to half a year of missed training."

Johnson-Thompson's Olympic spirit was on show for all to see and the 2018 Commonwealth Games champion is proud of her efforts, though she conceded this is a blow that may take her some time to come back from. 

"More than ever, I am proud that I showed up, put myself out there and tried," she continued.

"It would have been very easy to shy away and pull out, to say I wasn't ready and blame the injury but I'm not that type of athlete or person.

"I am a fighter, I'm gritty and I find it extremely hard to give up. I can rest easy knowing I applied myself every single day and pushed until I couldn't push anymore.

"I've sacrificed so much, moving my entire life to France five years ago away from my family and friends.

"I've lost heart knowing that the work my team and I have done for the last eight months was for this outcome and I hate that my story has played out in more heartbreak. I've been knocked so many times and got back up, but it will take a lot of time for me to process this reality."

Women’s 400 Metres

 Five Caribbean women advanced to the final.

Marileidy Paulino of The Dominican Republic won semi-final 1 in a national record of 49.38 to advance.

Jamaica’s Candice McLeod and Cuba’s Roxana Gomez also progressed from semi-final 1.

McLeod ran a personal best of 49.51 to finish second and advance automatically while Gomez finished third in a personal best 49.71 and advanced in a fastest loser spot.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo advanced by running 49.60 to win the second semi-final.

Jamaica’s Roniesha McGregor and Guyana’s Aliyah Abrams were also in semi-final 2 but failed to advance, finishing third in 50.34 and seventh in 51.46 respectively.

Stephenie Ann McPherson won semi-final 3 in a personal best 49.34 to qualify.

Sada Williams finished third in that race in a national record of 50.11 but that wasn’t enough to get her into the final.

 

Men’s 200 Metres

 Canadian Andre DeGrasse ran a Canadian record 19.62 to take gold.

DeGrasse, silver medalist behind Usain Bolt at the 2016 Rio games, will be joined on the podium by Americans Kenny Bednarek and Noah Lyles.

Bednarek ran a personal best 19.68 for silver and Lyles ran a season’s best 19.74 for bronze.

Jamaica’s Rasheed Dwyer finished 7th in 20.21 and Jereem Richards of Trinidad & Tobago finished 8th in 20.39.

 

Women’s High Jump

 St. Lucian Levern Spencer finished 22nd in qualifying.

 

Women’s 4x100 Metres Relay

 The Jamaican team consisting of Briana Williams, Natasha Morrison, Remona Burchell and Shericka Jackson ran 42.15 to finish third in heat 1 and advance to the final.

 

Men’s 4x100 Metres Relay

 Jamaica qualified for the final after running the fastest time in the heats.

The team of Jevaughn Minzie, Julian Forte, Yohan Blake and Oblique Seville ran a time of 37.82 to win heat 1.

Trinidad & Tobago were also in heat 1 and finished 6th with a time of 38.63.

Their team consisted of Kion Benjamin, Eric Harrison, Akanni Hislop and Richard Thompson, silver medalist from the 2008 Beijing games.

 

Men’s 110 Metres Hurdles

 Jamaica secured two medals in the final of the men’s 110 metres hurdles.

Hansle Parchment, a bronze medalist at the 2012 London Olympics, ran a season’s best of 13.04 to win gold ahead of the prohibitive favourite, Grant Holloway of the USA, who took silver in 13.09.

 Ronald Levy ran 13.10 for bronze, his first Olympic medal.

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EARLY SCARE AS USA REACH FINAL

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

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

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

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

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

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

CARRINGTON MAKES NEW ZEALAND HISTORY

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

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

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

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

GERMAN ADDS GOLD IN OPEN WATER

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

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

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

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

AUSSIE SKATEBOARDING WINNER

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

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

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

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

Jamaica's Hansle Parchment shocked favourite Grant Holloway to win the men's 110 metres hurdles gold medal at Tokyo 2020 on Thursday.

Parchment triumphed in 13.04 seconds, ahead of American Holloway in 13.09, with Ronald Levy claiming another medal for Jamaica with bronze at 13.10.

The 31-year-old Parchment becomes the oldest male athlete to win the 110m hurdles in Olympic history, with the gold arriving nine years after Parchment took bronze at London 2012.

Holloway had led at the halfway mark and appeared on track to challenge Aries Merritt's world record of 12.80 from 2012.

The American lost his stride and subsequent momentum, however, allowing Parchment to swoop with an emphatic final 20m.

Another of the pre-race contenders, USA's Devon Allen, missed out on the medals, clipping a hurdle on his way to fourth spot in 13.14.

Barbadian Sada Williams set a new national record in the 400 metres at Tokyo 2020.

Running in semifinal 3, Williams stopped the clock at 50.11 seconds to place third. She smashed the 43-year-old Barbadian record of 51.04 seconds. It is also, of course, her new personal best.

Stephenie Ann McPherson from Jamaica won the race with a personal best of 49.34 while veteran Allison Felix was second with a season's best of 49.89.

Despite Williams' valiant run, she did not advance to the final. Her time is now the fastest run by an athlete to not make it to the final.

The finals of the women's 400 metres will take place on Friday.

 

 

 

Jamaica’s national champion, Daniel Thomas-Dodd, could not throw her way into the finals of the Women’s Shot Put, and unfortunately failed to advance from the group stages.

The Indoor World Champion silver medalist threw a distance of 18.37m, in group B action of the qualifying round, but it was only good enough for sixth in her group.

Despite not achieving the qualifying mark, however, the athlete is delighted she was able to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games any at all.

For the 28-year-old a major goal had already been ticked off just by making it to the Games to showcase her talent, and she hopes it will pave the way for other young aspiring Jamaican athletes.

“I came to the 2020 Olympic Games to showcase my talent and also show the younger Jamaicans that they can do it too, they can do whatever they believe in. Unfortunately, I was unable to advance to the finals of the women's shot put. I have so much to be thankful for,” Thomas-Dodd shared via social media.

The second time Olympian reflected that she was close to stepping away from the circle for good a few years ago, but because of the strong support of her husband, now coach, she decided to stay with the sport. She revealed that the season was particularly challenging but that she has taken away a lot from it and it would only make her stronger.

"At this time a few years ago, I was so ready to hang up my throwing shoes but with the nudge and support of my husband now coach I continued and to this day he is my biggest support and motivation.

It has definitely been an up and down and unpredictable season which I have learned so much from. I am no doubt disappointed, however, I am also very grateful for this experience a second time around and If you know me you know that this will only make me stronger.”

The Commonwealth Champion ended by saying that her performance at the Games is not the best of what she can do and that she is not done yet.

China’s Lijiao Gong won the finals of the Women’s Shot Put with a distance of 20.58m, a new personal best. She was the only athlete that went over the 19m mark, Raven Saunders of the United States of America and Valerie Adams of New Zealand were second and third respectively.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

China failed to top the podium on day 12 at Tokyo 2020 but still hold a seven-gold buffer over the second-place United States in the medal table.

The leaders endured a rare quiet outing on Wednesday, with Rio silver medal pairing Huang Xuechen and Sun Wenyan providing the sole silver of the day for China in the artistic swimming.

The USA failed to significantly dent the eight-gold gap from Tuesday, collecting just one gold in the women's 400m hurdles, where Sydney McLaughlin obliterated her own world record as part of an American one-two with defending Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad.

Muhammad's silver was one of three – all on the athletics track – for the USA as Courtney Frerichs and Kenny Bednarek boosted the medal count – the latter finishing second to North American rival Andre de Grasse in the men's 200m final.

Japan, who led the early gold count in Tokyo, remain in third and added golds through Yukako Kawai in the women's wrestling and Sakura Yosozumi in the women's skateboarding – Japan's third of four possible golds in the debuting event.

Great Britain leaped up from sixth to fourth as Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntrye secured gold in the women's sailing and Ben Maher became Team GB's second successive showjumping champion, backing up Nick Skelton's win at the previous Olympics.

Australia are tied with Team GB on 15 golds after Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan sailed to victory in the men's 470 to go one better than their runners-up finish at Rio in 2016.

The Russian Olympic Committee make up the top six after Svetlana Kolesnichenko and Svetlana Romashina overcame China's Xuechen and Wenyan in the first of two artistic swimming events to win the Russians' 14th gold of the Games.

Meanwhile, Peruth Chemutai became the first Ugandan woman to win an Olympic medal as she claimed gold in the women's 3,000m steeplechase.

 

Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse ended his long wait for an Olympic gold medal in the 200 metres final, while Italy smashed the world record in the men's team pursuit final on Wednesday.

De Grasse took silver behind the great Usain Bolt in this event five years ago, while he claimed a bronze in the 100m and 4x100m relay.

But there was no stopping the 26-year-old, who was also a bronze medallist in the 100m earlier this week. 

De Grasse registered a national record of 19.62 seconds; finishing 0.06s ahead of America's Kenny Bednarek, whose compatriot Noah Lyles completed the podium.

He also became the third Canadian champion of the men's 200m at the Olympic Games – and first since Percy Williams in 1928.

"I finally did it. I always felt like I came up short, winning bronze and silver, so it is good to have this gold medal," he said.

"No one can take that away from me. I lived for this moment. This is what dreams are made of. I did this for my kids.

"I am proud of this moment and I want everybody to know. I shocked the world and that is what I came to do. 

"Everyone was saying that the Americans were going to win, but this was my moment and I knew I had it in me.”


FORZA AZZURRI

Italy smashed the world record as they beat Denmark to glory in the men's team pursuit final.

Filippo Ganna – the reigning world time trial champion – produced the goods in the final 1,000m as the Italians edged their noses in front before crossing the line in 3:42.032 – almost eight seconds faster than Great Britain's winning time in Rio five years ago.

"We knew that we were fighting against a really good team, so we were off to a very good start and we were able to overtake," Ganna said.

"We knew that after 2.5 kilometres, we had people who were much stronger, so we wanted to attack them in the last kilometre. We thought that was where we would make the difference.

"I think we can really enjoy the moment now. It's really wonderful to have this medal around our necks and I want to thank all those who have encouraged us day after day to do better."


SWEET SIX FOR SVETLANA

Svetlana Romashina became the most decorated artistic swimmer in Olympic history after claiming her sixth gold medal in the women’s duet.

Alongside Svetlana Kolesnichenko, Romashina scored 98.800 after a wonderful routine in the final to land gold in this event for a third successive Olympic Games.

"I don't think about the sixth medal, I just think about our work which we have done," she said.

"We are very happy. I think we are happy of our work, of our team.

"I don't count the medals, I just want to feel this moment."


LASHA’S RELENTLESS STREAK CONTINUES

Georgia's Lasha Talakhadze resumed his domination of the super heavyweight division, lifting a total of 488kg on the way to glory in the men's +109kg event.

Talakhadze established three world records along the way in snatch, clean and jerk, and total, while finishing 47kg ahead of Iran's Ali Davoudi.

He has now won all 26 available gold medals in major international competitions since the 2016 Olympic Games.

"I feel quite well. I have just gained for a second time an Olympic gold medal and, of course, I have also set a new world record," Talakhadze said.

"When I was standing on the podium, hearing my country's national anthem, it was most exciting because we were for a long time looking forward to this Olympic Games and winning this gold."

A prophecy was fulfilled at Tokyo 2020 on Wednesday.

With the legendary Usain Bolt bowing out of the Olympics for good after another golden Games at Rio 2016, the desperate hunt for his sprint successor began.

One man stood out among the pack in the form of Canadian star Andre De Grasse, who had pushed Bolt all the way in a thrilling 200 metres final.

Injuries in the intervening years quelled the momentum somewhat but at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, five years on from having the tag of Bolt's heir apparent thrust upon him, De Grasse ultimately lived up to the billing.

Here is his journey from Rio to Tokyo.

PUSHING BOLT TO THE LIMIT

Having already shown his mettle with a pair of bronze medals in the 100m and 4x100m relay at the World Championships a year previously, De Grasse arrived in Rio with a reputation as a rising star. In Brazil, De Grasse had competed well with Bolt in the 100m semi-finals then earned a first Olympic medal with bronze in the final behind the Jamaican legend and Justin Gatlin. In the 200m, there was further cause for excitement with De Grasse clocking the quickest time in the heats. When it came to the semi-final, De Grasse emerged on Bolt's shoulder and the two exchanged smiles in a lasting image of the Games. Though Bolt went on to triumph in the final, he said of silver medallist De Grasse: "He's going to be good. He runs just like me, he's really slow out of the blocks but when he gets going, he gets going."

INJURY WOE IN LONDON

De Grasse had picked up Diamond League wins in Oslo, Stockholm, Rome and Rabat over the 100m and 200m prior to the 2017 World Championships. With a retiring Bolt not running the 200m in London, De Grasse was a strong favourite, while many were hopeful of seeing the popular duo face off in the shorter race one last time before Bolt hung up the spikes. Sadly, De Grasse would not even make it to the English capital due to a pulled hamstring. More hamstring injury problems occurred a year later, which forced De Grasse to miss out on the Commonwealth Games.

 

BOUNCING BACK IN 2019

After a couple of injury-hit years, De Grasse worked himself back into form in 2019 and made the podium in five of seven races over 100m and six of six over 200m before the World Championships that year. In Doha, De Grasse was back on the podium in the shorter sprint behind champion Christian Coleman and silver medallist Gatlin. In the 200, he lost out to Noah Lyles and settled for silver but was philosophical about the result saying: "I'm not disappointed, I didn't think I'd be here a year ago."

PROPHECY FULFILLED

With the COVID-19 pandemic wiping out the majority of the 2020 season and postponing the Games by a year, the focus for all athletes turned to 2021. De Grasse enjoyed particular success in the 200 in the build-up to Tokyo, finishing in the top three at three Diamond League meetings including a win in Oslo. At the Games, De Grasse placed third in a wide-open 100m final that was won by surprise package Marcell Jacobs of Italy, before reaching the pinnacle with his triumph in the 200m, where he clocked a Canadian record 19.62s.

Andre De Grasse succeeded Usain Bolt as the men's 200 metres Olympic champion on a day Sydney McLaughlin broke new ground at Tokyo 2020.

Five years on from being tipped as the Jamaican legend's heir apparent after claiming silver over the same distance at Rio 2016, De Grasse went one better to clinch a first Olympic gold of his career.

Elsewhere there was a Kenya one-two in the men's 800m final, while Wojciech Nowicki celebrated success in the hammer.

Here's a round-up of the action from the athletics on Wednesday.

DE GRASSE MAKES GOOD ON RIO PROMISE

After pushing Bolt all the way in the 200m at Rio 2016, big things were expected of De Grasse but several injury woes in the intervening years stifled his progress a little.

But he has peaked at just the right time and has ultimately lived up to the billing. World champion Noah Lyles was electric out of the blocks, yet it was De Grasse who was lightning quick driving out of the bend.

With a time of 19.62 seconds, De Grasse ultimately held off the charge of Kenny Bednarek, who took silver for the United States ahead of countryman Lyles.

At the finish line there was a nice message from De Grasse, who told Lyles: "You push me man, you motivate me."

MCLAUGHLIN FOLLOWS WARHOLM LED

Just a day on from Karsten Warholm sensationally smashing the men's 400m hurdles world record, McLaughlin followed suit in the women's race.

Defending champion Dalilah Muhammad, who also ran under the previous WR time, was leading but was overtaken by McLaughlin on the finish straight – the American clocking a hugely impressive 51.46s.

"I saw Dalilah ahead of me with one to go. I just thought 'run your race'. The race doesn't really start until hurdle seven," she said.

In the women's 3000m steeplechase, Uganda's Peruth Chemutai claimed gold in a time of 9:01.45.

Courtney Frerichs had opened up a sizeable lead but Chemutai was closing by the final lap and passed her American rival on the back straight, safely negotiated the final obstacle and coasted over the line unchallenged with Frerichs taking second.

KORIR TAKES 800M GLORY, NOWICKI'S LIFETIME BEST DELIVERS GOLD

It was a Kenya one-two in the men's 800m, with Emmanuel Korir coming home in a time of 1:45.06 ahead of countryman Ferguson Rotich.

Peter Bol had taken on the pace but Korir made his move around the final bend. Bol ended up outside of the medal places with Poland's Patryk Dobek third.

In the men's hammer, Nowicki threw a whopping 82.52m to win the men's hammer. He followed up with three more throws over 81m.

The Pole had won bronze at the past four global championships and was third place at Rio 2016.

His compatriot Pawel Fajdek – a four-time world champion – finished third in his first Olympic final with an 81.53, with Norwegian Eivind Henriksen throwing a national record 81.58m to earn silver.

ELSEWHERE…

Grant Holloway, the overwhelming favourite in the men's 110m hurdles, qualified fastest for the final in 13.13, while Sifan Hassan – aiming to complete a 1500, 5000 and 10,000m treble at Tokyo 2020 – qualified for the final of the former event, having already won 5000m gold.

Dutchwoman Anouk Vetter leads the women's heptathlon through four events, although world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson had to withdraw after injuring her calf when running the 200m, and in the men's decathlon Canada's Damian Warner is in the gold-medal position after five.

Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse finally got his hands on an Olympic gold medal in Wednesday's 200 metres final in Tokyo.

De Grasse took silver behind the great Usain Bolt five years ago in Rio and came through an open field this time ahead of a trio of American rivals.

His time of 19.62 seconds broke his own national record set in the semi-final to lead Kenny Bednarek (19.68) and world champion Noah Lyles (19.74), with 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton – the youngest male 200m finalist in Olympic history – just missing out on a medal in fourth as five athletes went under 20 seconds.

Bednarek posted a personal best, while Lyles' time was his fastest this season, but neither could match De Grasse, who enjoyed a smooth run from lane six.

For the 26-year-old, victory ended a long wait for Games glory, having also taken bronze in the 100m in both Rio and Tokyo, with a further third-placed finish in the 4x100m last time out.

He was in control throughout this time, though, getting off to a strong start and running smoothly through the bend to hold off Bednarek in the next lane and Lyles on the inside.

Men’s 110 Metres Hurdles 

Two Caribbean men advanced to the final. Jamaica’s Ronald Levy advanced after winning semi-final 1 in 13.23.

Levy’s teammate, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Hansle Parchment, also advanced to the final after finishing second in semi-final 3 in 13.23.

Jamaica’s third participant in the semis, Damion Thomas, narrowly missed out on a place in the final after finishing third in semi-final 2 in 13.39.

Shane Brathwaite of Barbados and Eddie Lovett were the other Caribbean competitors in the discipline but both men failed to progress from the heats. 

 

Men’s 200 Metres

Jamaica’s Rasheed Dwyer and Trinidad & Tobago’s Jereem Richards will both contest the final.

Dwyer advanced by finishing second in semi-final 1 in a time of 20.13, while Richards finished third in semi-final 2 with 20.10 to advance as one of the two fastest losers.

 

Women’s 800 Metres

Jamaica’s Natoya Goule was the Caribbean’s lone competitor in the final.

Goule attempted to go with the early pace set by outstanding American teenager Athing Mu and unfortunately faded towards the end of the race, eventually finishing eighth in 1:58.26.

The race was won by Mu in an American record of 1:55.21 and she was followed by Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson, also only 19 years old, who ran a British record 1:55.88 for silver and American Raevyn Rodgers who ran a personal best 1:56.81 for bronze.

 

Women’s 200 Metres

Elaine Thompson-Herah created history by becoming the second person to win the 100-200 double at back-to-back Olympics, the first being the great Usain Bolt who did it at three straight games from 2008-2016.

She crossed the line first in a new personal best of 21.53 to become the second-fastest woman of all time over the distance.

Namibian Christine Mboma won silver in a world junior record of 21.81 and American Gabby Thomas won bronze in 21.87.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran 21.94 to finish fourth and Shaunae Miller-Uibo, evidently saving her legs for the 400 metres, jogged home to finish 8th in 24.00.

 

Men’s Javelin

No Caribbean men advanced to the final.

Grenada’s Anderson Peters, a 2019 World Championship gold medalist, finished 15th in qualifying with a best distance of 80.42.

Trinidadian 2012 Olympic Champion, Keshorn Walcott, finished 16th in qualifying with 79.33.

Walcott was aiming to win javelin medals at three straight Olympics after winning gold in London in 2012 and bronze in Rio in 2016.

 

Women’s 400 Metres Hurdles

The running theme of spectacular 400-metre hurdling at the Tokyo Olympics continued as the women’s equivalent also saw a new world record being established.

American Sydney McLaughlin won gold in a new world record of 51.46, breaking her own previous world record of 51.90 which she set at the US trials.

Her teammate Dalilah Muhammad, the defending champion in the event, finished second in 51.58, a new personal best.

Dutch rising star Femke Bol won bronze by setting a new European record 52.03.

Jamaica’s Janieve Russell finished a distant fourth but came away with an outstanding new personal best of 53.03 in the process.

 

 

 

Many athletes have expressed their joy after competing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. They have done so through their social media pages and interviews.

 Antigua’s Joella Lloyd is one such athlete. She competed in the women’s 100 metres where she comfortably won heat 3 of the preliminary round in a time of 11.55 seconds. She then went on to finish 7th in heat1 with a slightly improved time of 11.54 seconds. That heat was won by the USA’s Teahna Daniels while Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith came second and Murielle Ahoure from the Ivory Coast finished third.

 Via her Instagram account, she posted a photo of herself waving at the start of her race with the caption, “Walking out and lining up for the 100m at the Tokyo Olympics was everything I dreamt it would be.”

 She then expressed gratitude to all those who supported her throughout the season.

 The caption ended, “All the love and encouragement has not gone unnoticed and I’m extremely grateful for it. It was a pleasure representing Antigua and the Vols on the big stage. Antigua, I love y’all plenty plenty and we’ll be back at it next year!”    

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