Sydney McLaughlin admitted after watching Karsten Warholm's record-breaking men's 400m hurdles run she felt Wednesday's women's final could see records fall.

McLaughlin smashed her own world record in her gold medal-winning time of 51.46, eclipsing her previous mark of 51.90.

The American's run means both gold medal winners ran a world record in the women's 400m hurdles and men's 400m hurdles finals at Tokyo 2020.

McLaughlin said she watched Warholm win the men's equivalent in 45.94, breaking his previous mark of 46.7, with amazement.

"When I saw the time yesterday I was amazed but not surprised," she said. "I knew it was going to be a really fast race for them. It definitely shocked me and I thought tomorrow [Wednesday] is going to be something fast."

In both 400m hurdles events, the silver medal winners ran faster than the old world record. All six medal winners ran faster than the previous Olympic records in these events.

"I'd definitely say it's a fast track," McLaughlin said about Tokyo Olympic Stadium. "You can feel the difference. It's one of those tracks which gives you the energy."

Silver medalist Dalilah Muhammad also broke the previous world record with 51.58, while Femke Bol from the Netherlands claimed bronze in 52.03 – a European record.

"Anything is possible," McLaughlin said about future world records. "You have such an amazing field of women.

"The more we race each other, anything is possible. Technically there's always more to improve upon. in terms of what's possible, it's completely limitless."

McLaughlin's gold was the 1000th won in athletics in Olympic Games history (since 1896).

CUNHA TRIUMPHS IN SWIMMING MARATHON

Five-time world champion Ana Marcela Cunha claimed the gold medal in the women's 10km marathon swim.

The Brazilian touched first in 1.59.30.8, only 0.9 seconds ahead of reigning Olympic champion Sharon van Rouwendaal from the Netherlands. Australia's Kareena Lee claimed the bronze.

Cunha finished 10th in her home games in Rio but the open water swimmer dominated in warm yet good conditions with minimal wind or current at Odaiba Marine Park.

YOUNGSTERS DOMINATE SKATEBOARDING

Japanese teenager Sakura Yosozumi won the first-ever women's park skateboarding gold medal with a best score of 60.09 in her first of three runs.

Yosozumi beat out 12-year-old compatriot Kokona Hiraki who scored 59.04 in her second run.

Sky Brown scored a 56.47 in her final run to claim bronze and become Team GB's youngest ever Olympic medallist, at the age of 13 years and 28 days.

DUTCH DELIGHT IN RIO RE-MATCH

Felice Albers scored a double as the Netherlands secured their spot in the women's hockey gold medal match after a 5-1 win over reigning champions Great Britain.

In a re-match of the 2016 Rio gold medal showdown, the world number one Dutch side proved too strong, scoring twice within a minute in the second quarter to open up a 2-0 half-time lead.

The Netherlands will be the favourites in the final, when they play either India or Argentina on Friday.

Dutch coach Alison Annan said: "This was a really solid performance and when you win 5-1 in a semi-final you can only be very happy and proud of the players and the team with the performance they put together."

Sydney McLaughlin shaved almost half a second off her own world record as she came from behind to win the women's 400m hurdles at Tokyo 2020 on Wednesday.

The American followed up Karsten Warholm's world record feats in the men's equivalent event on Tuesday, with a time of 51.46.

McLaughlin eclipsed her previous mark of 51.90, set in June earlier this year at the USA Olympic trials in Eugene.

USA's Dalilah Muhammad also broke the previous world record mark, claiming silver with a personal best 51.58.

Muhammad set the early pace but McLaughlin mowed her down over the final 100m to claim victory.

Femke Bol, from the Netherlands, won the bronze medal with a European record time of 52.03.

The top three all beat the previous Olympic record of 52.64, set by Jamaica's Melaine Walker at Beijing 2008.

Jamaica's Janieve Russell was fourth with Ukrainian pair Anna Ryzhykova and Viktoriya Tkachuk unable to threaten from the inside lanes, to finish fifth and sixth respectively.

Decorated sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce insists she has plenty more left to give, despite heading toward an age that most runners are already retired.

Fraser-Pryce, now 34, entered the Tokyo Olympics as favourite for the 100m title but had to settle for second behind compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah.  In the 200m event, she finished just outside the medals in the fourth position behind Thompson-Herah, Namibia’s Christine Mboma, and the United States’ Gabrielle Thomas.

Despite admitting to some amount of disappointment, Fraser-Pryce who turns 35 at the end of the year expects to press on, for now.

“A lot of persons believe that you’ve reached a certain age, you’ve achieved so much, why do more?” Fraser Pryce said.

In Tokyo, the athlete won her fifth Olympic individual medal, two of which have been gold.  In addition, she has five individual World Championship gold medals.

“I believe there’s more to give.  As you can see, I ran 21.9, I ran 21.7 earlier at the Jamaica National Champions.  I ran 10.6, I’m still running 10.7s.  It just shows the power of God and the gift and the talent that I have been given.  When I’m ready when it’s time I’m hoping that someone along the way has been inspired."

The athlete has repeatedly said that she expects next year’s IAAF World Championships in Oregon to be her final major Games appearance.

World-record holders Florence Griffith-Joyner and Usain may have something to do with Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson Herah shattering the former's 33-year-old Olympic record over the 100m and becoming the world's fastest woman over the 200m.

China added three more golds to their tally at Tokyo 2020 as they continue to lead the Olympic medal table.

It was a dominant final day of artistic gymnastics competition for China, with victory for Zou Jingyuan in the men's parallel bars and for Guan Chenchen in the women's beam final as she beat compatriot Tang Xijing and the returning Simone Biles.

China also took gold and silver in the men's 3m springboard final, which saw Xie Siyi claim the title ahead of Wang Zongyuan.

The United States are eight gold medals behind China, the American team winning two on Tuesday.

Athing Mu earned a stunning victory in the women's 800m, the 19-year-old prevailing in an outstanding final in which seven of the eight runners finished under one minute and 58 seconds.

The other USA gold on day 11 came from Tamyra Mensah-Stock in the women's 68kg freestyle wrestling.

After drawing a blank on Monday, Japan had athletes back on the top of the podium with two more gold medals, taking their total to 19.

Daiki Hashimoto claimed his second gold of the Games by winning the horizontal bar final and Sena Irie took the Olympic women's featherweight boxing title.

Japan have a five-gold buffer to Australia, who are fourth in the medal table with 14, while the Russian Olympic Committee and Great Britain are tied on 13 apiece.

Great Britain's performance on their water allowed them to move level with the Russian Olympic Committee, as they won two of the four sailing golds on offer on the day.

 

 Women’s Discus

Cuba’s Yaime Perez secured a bronze medal with a throw of 65.72.

Shadae Lawrence of Jamaica finished 7th with a distance of 62.12, which she did in the second round.

The gold medal went to Valarie Allman of the USA with 68.98 and Germany’s Kristin Pudenz was second with a personal best of 66.86.

 

Men’s 400 Metres

Three Caribbean men will be in the final of the men’s 400 metres.

Semi-final 1 saw Grenada’s 2012 Olympic champion Kirani James run his fastest time since the 2016 Olympic final.

 James won the race in 43.88 to advance to his third straight Olympic 400 metres final and will be seeking a third straight medal.

Trinidadian Deon Lendore was also in semi-final 1 and finished fourth in 44.93.

Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor finished second in semi-final 2 to advance to his first Olympic final with a season’s best 44.92.

Trinidad & Tobago’s Machel Cedenio and Alonzo Russell of the Bahamas finished seventh and eighth respectively with times of 45.86 and 46.04.

Bahamian 2019 World Champion Steven Gardiner ran 44.14 to win the third semi-final and advance.

Jamaica’s Demish Gaye finished fourth in 45.09, Trinidad & Tobago’s Dwight St. Hillaire finished seventh in 45.58 and Jonathan Jones of Barbados finished eighth in 45.61.

 

Women’s 400 Metre Hurdles

Jamaica’s Janieve Russell finished second in semi-final 1 in 54.10 to advance to the final.

Panama’s Gianna Woodruff ran a national record of 54.22 to finish second in semi-final 2 and advance.

Semi-final 2 also saw Cuba’s Zurian Echevarria finish fourth in 55.21 and Barbados’ Tia-Adana Belle finished eighth in 59.26.

 

Men’s Triple Jump

Cristian Napoles of Cuba was the only Caribbean man to advance to the final.

Napoles jumped 17.08 to finish fourth in qualifying.

Jamaica’s Carey McLeod, who also competed in the long jump at these Olympics, finished 24th in qualifying with a jump of 16.01.

 

Women’s 400 Metres

The Caribbean will be well represented in the semi-finals.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo turned up for heat 1 and ran 50.50 to easily win and advance to the semi-finals.

In fact, the top 4 women in heat 1 all hail from the Caribbean and all advanced to the semi-finals.

Roxana Gomez of Cuba finished second in 50.76 to get through automatically.

Sada Williams of Barbados also got through automatically after finishing third in 51.36.

Guyana’s Aliyah Abrams finished fourth and advanced to the semi-finals in one of the fastest loser spots.

Grenada’s Meleni Rodney competed in heat 2 and unfortunately failed to finish.

 Jamaica’s Roniesha McGregor advanced to the semis from heat 3 after finishing second in 51.14.

Candice McLeod from Jamaica won heat 4 in 51.09 to progress.

Heat 5 was also won by a Jamaican as Stephenie Ann-McPherson won in 50.89.

Marileidy Paulino of The Dominican Republic ran the fastest time in qualifying to win heat 6 in 50.06.

 

Women’s Long Jump

Tyra Gittens of Trinidad & Tobago finished 10th in the final with a distance of 6.60m.

Chantal Malone of the British Virgin Islands was also in the final and finished 12th with a jump of 6.50.

 Malaika Mihambo of Germany jumped 7.00m for the gold medal while silver and bronze went to Brittney Reese of the USA and Ese Brume of Nigeria respectively.

Both Reese and Brume jumped 6.97 but Reese finished second on countback.

             

Men’s 200 Metres

 Four Caribbean men advanced to the semi-finals.

Jamaica’s Rasheed Dwyer won heat 1 of the men’s 200 metres in a time of 20.30.

Bronze medalist at the 2017 World Championships, Jereem Richards of Trinidad & Tobago, easily won heat 2 in 20.52 to advance.

Kyle Greaux of Trinidad & Tobago finished fourth in heat 3 in 20.77.

 Silver medallist back at the 2009 Berlin World Championships, Panama’s Alonso Edward, finished second in heat 4 in 20.60 to progress.

Yancarlos Martinez from The Dominican Republic finished second in heat 6 with a national record of 20.17 to advance to the semi-finals.

Julian Forte of Jamaica finished seventh in heat 7 with a time of 20.65.

             

Men’s 400 Metres Hurdles

Kyron McMaster ran 47.08 in the men’s 400 metres hurdles final and unbelievably finished fourth.

Karsten Warholm won his first Olympic gold medal in what may go down as the greatest performance in Olympic track and field history.

 The Norwegian ran a ridiculous world record of 45.94 to break his own previous mark of 46.70 by almost a full second.

American Rai Benjamin finished second in a new American record of 46.17 and Brazil’s Alisson Dos Santos finished third in a new personal best and South American record 46.72.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simone Biles provided further inspiration when she returned to action on Tuesday and secured a bronze medal on the balance beam.

China enjoyed success with a Guan Chenchen and Tang Xijing one-two, but the American gymnast stole the headlines on her first appearance back after withdrawing from the team final last week.

Mental health concerns were cited as the reason for Biles stepping away from the team events and other individual disciplines, though the 24-year-old excelled in her sole event on the beam.

The four-time Rio Olympics gold medallist reminded the world of her quality with a 14.000 score, and, despite Chenchen's last-ditch 14.633, she produced an emphatic return for the United States.

"I was just happy to be able to perform, regardless of the outcome," Biles explained after Tuesday's event. "I did it for me, and I was just proud of myself for being able to compete one more time.

"Just to have the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games meant the world, because training for five years and then coming here, then kind of being triggered and not being able to do anything, it wasn't fun.

"To go out there and compete one more time and have everyone's support meant the world."

To add to Biles' memorable comeback, the USA's basketball stars nudged past Spain 95-81 to reach the Olympic semi-finals, with Kevin Durrant netting a team-high 29 points to drive his side towards victory.

It was a far from convincing performance from the USA, however, as they trailed 39-25 at one point in the second quarter before rallying impressively to level at 43-43 at the halfway stage.

THOMPSON-HERAH COMPLETES DOUBLE-DOUBLE

Elaine Thompson-Herah motored to sprinting history as she won the 200 metres women's final to complete the sprint double-double.

The Jamaican set a new national record with 21.53 seconds, the second-fastest time in the history of the event, making herself just the second athlete ever, after Usain Bolt, to win both titles at consecutive Games.

Thompson-Herah, who claimed 100-metre gold on Saturday after doubling up for the first time at Rio 2016, just missed out on Florence Griffith-Joyner's 1988 world record by 0.19s.

"Oh my god, it's amazing that I have ever seen this day. That I could complete another double. I can't believe it," the 29-year-old said after the 200 metres final.

"I really had to pull it out to win the 200m. It's a new PB [personal best] and a national record. I am so, so happy.

"Honestly I am so tired, my legs just need some rest. I've done so many races in the last few days, but I am very grateful."

WARHOLM'S WORLD

Karsten Warholm demolished the world record with a remarkable 400 metres hurdles triumph, smashing the previous record run for a second time in five weeks.

At the start of July in Oslo, Warholm cut 0.08 seconds off Kevin Young's longstanding record that was set at the Barcelona Games in 1992, though the 25-year-old slashed even more off in Tuesday's final.

The Norwegian star powered through in 45.94s, hacking an astounding 0.76s off the global mark to secure a memorable victory.

"It's just so big. It's almost like history here. It was the only thing missing from my collection," the 25-year-old said after his win. "I had a World Championships [gold medal]. I had European Championships, I had the world record, the European record.

"The Olympic gold medal is what everybody talks about. I knew this race was going to be the toughest of my life, but I was ready."

The top three finishers all beat the previous Olympic record, with American silver medallist Rai Benjamin running 46.17, yet the performance of Benjamin's life was simply no match for Warholm.

 

BRAZIL PREPARE TO DEFEND TITLE

Brazil inflicted shoot-out heartbreak on Mexico after a 0-0 stalemate in 120 minutes to set up a final showpiece with Spain.

Reinier converted the crucial spot-kick and, with Eduardo Aguirre and Johan Vasquez missing, the defending Olympic champions ran out 4-1 victors.

"Playing the final match in the Olympics is a dream," said Brazil's head coach Andre Jardine. "The film I saw was the film of life. Everything we’ve gone through. Although we didn’t win in the 90 minutes, we took more risks."

Japan suffered extra-time agony in their semi-final against Spain as Marco Asensio's late winner sunk the host nation to tee up a mouth-watering prospect for Saturday's final.

Despite footballing disappointment, women's boxer Sena Irie provided the host nation reason to celebrate as she edged past the Philippines' 2019 world champion Nesthy Petecio to achieve gold.

Irie's win in the women’s featherweight class final means she is Japan’s first female boxing champion at the Olympics.

CYCLING CHAOS

Germany twice recorded world record rides to earn their first gold – and, in fact, their first ever medal – in the women's team pursuit cycling track event.

A strong Great Britain side, including Laura Kenny, awaited Germany in the final but the team of Mieke Kroeger, Franziska Brausse, Lisa Brennauer and Lisa Klein produced the ride of their lives to finish in 4:06.159, almost two seconds quicker than the previous record.

In a dramatic day of cycling, the reigning world champions Netherlands won their first gold since 1936 in the men's team sprint as Team GB again had to settle for silver inside the velodrome.

That silver for Jason Kenny meant he became the first athlete to win eight Olympic medals in cycling track events and also equalled the total medal haul of Britain's most successful Olympian Sir Bradley Wiggins.

More controversy filled Tuesday's track events, with Denmark's Frederik Madsen crashing into the back of Team GB's Charlie Tanfield inside the closing kilometre of the men's team pursuit heats.

The UCI later deemed the Danes, who were near two seconds ahead of their opponents, to have completed a successful catch to make it through to Thursday's final against Italy, despite the incident.

Elaine Thompson-Herah had been writing down the goal of defending her Olympic titles daily prior to her history-making efforts at Tokyo 2020.

The Jamaican sprint star ran the second-fastest time ever in the women's 100 metres on Saturday to retain the gold she won at Rio five years ago.

On Tuesday, Thompson-Herah was celebrating again after a time of 21.53 saw her also defend in the half-lap race, which coincidentally was also the second fastest in the record books.

Thompson-Herah consequently became the first woman to defend the sprint double and she spoke about how she focused her attentions after injuries had plagued the intervening years between the two Games.

"I'm happy, I'm overwhelmed, I'm lost for words. I never think [about] this day even though the work was put in already," she told a news conference.

"But [with] the ups and downs, the obstacles that I have been hurdling and to five years later win a double at the Olympics – it's amazing.

"I think God is good, and I've written this down – if I had my phone I can show you it's in my notes – daily. I've written it down every day; defending my titles, setting new PBs, setting new records.

"Now I can tick those off. There is more in there that I'm looking forward to accomplishing but it's an amazing feeling to be among the greatest, to be in the record books and also the history books. It's an amazing feeling."

There is now only a three-year cycle to Paris 2024 given these Games were postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While becoming the first woman to three-peat in both events is on her radar, Thompson-Herah is focused on a more immediate goal at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon next year.

"Yes, three years is not far but since that I have both double Olympics I'm looking forward to [trying to win] a title in the World Championships," she added.

"I only have a silver from 2015. So therefore I'm just taking it year by year. I'm looking forward to next year in Eugene. Paris is in the books but I'm taking it year by year and looking for a World Championship title before Paris."

Thompson-Herah had spoken about how she had not slept much following her 100m win.

She elaborated on that point, saying: "Well I didn't say I was tired after the 100 metres, I said we had two runs yesterday which I have never had before.

"We had the heat in the morning and the semis in the afternoon, then to come back and run the final tonight that is tiring, of course, because normally we have every other day to compete in the 200 but this time the schedule was switched up on us where we had two races in one day. 

"So definitely, sprinting will take a lot out of your body, we are running very fast, I ran a PB in the 100m so of course I'm very tired, but it's my job. I came out here and I managed to get another PB and a national record that I'm really excited about."

Elaine Thompson-Herah joined some esteemed company by completing a 100 and 200 metres double at the same Olympics on Tuesday.

The Jamaican sprint star backed up her sensational triumph in the shorter distance, where she posted an Olympic record 10.61 seconds, to win the half-lap race in 21.53s.

In doing so, Thompson-Herah repeated the double she completed at Rio 2016 and is the first female athlete to defend each sprint title.

Indeed, only one runner has ever done so and that person happens to be the legendary Usain Bolt, who actually achieved the accolade of winning both races on three straight occasions.

Here, Stats Perform remembers the superstar duo's memorable moments of glory.

THOMPSON-HERAH:

Rio 2016 – 100m

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was attempting to become the first woman to win the 100m title at three straight Olympics but injuries had plagued her 2016 season and she could only finish third. Instead, it was Thompson-Herah who won gold for Jamaica in a time of 10.71s. "When I crossed the line and glanced across to see I was clear I didn't quite know how to celebrate. There is a big screen back home in my community in Jamaica. I can't imagine what is happening there right now," she said on that occasion.

Rio 2016 – 200m 

Only a few days later, Thompson-Herah became the first woman since Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988 to do the double in the women's premier sprint events (Marion Jones had done so in 2000 but later had her medals stripped). Then world champion Dafne Schippers tried to reel in her rival on the home stretch, but there was no stopping Thompson-Herah who crossed the line first in a time of 21.78s. "I know Dafne is a strong finisher, so I knew I had to have a strong finish, as well, just keep my composure and execute straight to the line," she said of the win.

Tokyo 2020 – 100m

Injuries had plagued Thompson-Herah in the intervening years but her form was peaking ahead of reaching these Games. And it all came together beautifully on Saturday when Thompson-Herah sprinted an Olympic-record time of 10.61s to lead a Jamaica one-two-three (Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson completed the podium) and defend her 100m title. "I could have gone faster if I wasn't pointing and celebrating early. But that shows there is more in store, so hopefully, one day, I can unleash that time," she said.

Tokyo 2020 – 200m 

Just like in 2016, Thompson-Herah backed up one dominant triumph with another. A time of 21.53 made her the second-fastest woman over 200m and also meant she could celebrate a place in the history books. She said: "Honestly I just need to sleep, I have not slept since the 100 metres, honestly my body is in shock mode, but I still had my composure to come out here. It feels good to be in the history book, to set a barrier for the other generation of athletes coming up because we have got a lot of athletes coming from Jamaica, it means a lot to me to set this barrier."

USAIN BOLT

Beijing 2008 – 100m 

The legendary Bolt started his era of domination in Beijing 13 years ago. In the 100m final, he ran a then world-record time of 9.69s despite easing up down the closing metres. "I wasn't bragging. When I thought I had the field covered I was celebrating. I was happy. I didn't know I'd broken it until my victory lap." With his victory, Bolt became the first men's 100m champion from Jamaica.

Beijing 2008 – 200m

At that same Games, Bolt became the first sprinter to break the 100 and 200m records at the same Olympics to take out the latter title in an astonishing time of 19.30s. Accused of jogging towards the line in earlier heats, Bolt delivered on a promise to run flat out in a dominant final. "I was worried [I might not break the record] after the semis. But I told everybody I would leave everything on the track and I did just that. I've proved I'm a true champion and that with hard work anything is possible," Bolt said.

London 2012 – 100m

Bolt had been beaten by a young pretender in the form of compatriot Yohan Blake in both 100 and 200m races in the 2012 season. But come Games time, it was Bolt who once again reigned supreme – clocking an Olympic record 9.63s (he had beaten his world benchmark from Beijing by this point) to defend the gold. "I tell you people it's all about business for me, and I brought it. When it comes down to business, I know what to do. The crowd were wonderful. I could feel that energy. I feel extremely good and happy," Bolt said.

London 2012 – 200m

An ever-relaxed Bolt enjoyed more success when he again came out on top against Blake in the 200m, winning with a time of 19.32s. In doing so, he became the first man to defend the 200m title and first to complete the 100-200m double twice. On the moment of history, he said: "I've got nothing left to prove. I've showed the world I'm the best and, right now, I just want to enjoy myself. This is my moment. I'll never forget this."

Rio 2016 – 100m

Bolt was by no means the favourite heading into his third Olympics four years ago, with long-time American rival Justin Gatlin holding the season's best prior to the Games. In the final, Bolt came good by defeating Gatlin by 0.08s. With this victory, Bolt became the first person to win the 100m title three times. In front of a jubilant crowd in Brazil, Bolt said: "It wasn't perfect today, but I got it done and I'm pretty proud of what I've achieved. Nobody else has done it or even attempted it."

Rio 2016 – 200m

He would again back up 100m glory in the 200m race, becoming the first man to win the 200m title three times despite having limited runs over the distance in the build-up to the Olympics. He ran a 19.78s to beat Canada's Andre De Grasse. "The fact I came here and executed what I wanted to is a brilliant feeling. I wasn't happy with the time when I crossed the line but I'm excited I got the gold medal - that's the key thing," Bolt said.

Elaine Thompson-Herah made history, while Karsten Warholm blasted the world record in the men's 400 metres hurdles in a frantic day of athletics action at Tokyo 2020.

Jamaican sprint star Thompson-Herah completed the 100m and 200m double becoming the first woman to defend each title at the Olympics having won both in Rio five years ago.

There was also a slice of history for Anita Wlodarczyk in the women's hammer and Athing Mu romped to victory in the 800m.

Here's a round-up of all the best action from the track and field on Tuesday.

THOMPSON-HERAH REIGNS AGAIN

It has been another Olympics to remember for Thompson-Herah, whose winning time of 21.53 seconds is the fastest ever in the women's 200m.

The 29-year-old stormed out of the bend and left her rivals trailing in her wake to take a commanding victory.

Christine Mboma of Namibia claimed the silver in a world under-20 record of 21.81 with Gabby Thomas of the United States completing the podium.

WARHOLM SMASHES RECORD IN RACE FOR THE AGES

Norwegian sensation Warholm absolutely destroyed his own 400m hurdles world record (46.70) with a blistering time of 45.94. Nearest rival Rai Benjamin himself posted a 46.17 to take silver.

"This is so crazy. It's by far the biggest moment of my life," two-time world champion Warholm said.

"I've been training like a f*****g maniac. I struggled to sleep last night because I had this special feeling in my chest. It's like the feeling I had as a six-year-old on Christmas Eve. I was so focused on getting that last medal in my collection and now it's all complete."

 

Also in the morning session, world champion Malaika Mihambo saved the best until last to win gold in the women's long jump.

American Brittney Reese, the 2012 Olympic champion, and Ese Brume of Nigeria had traded the lead through the first five rounds until Mihambo posted the only seven-metre jump of the competition at the sixth attempt (recording exactly 7m).

Reese finished in silver behind the German, with Brume taking the bronze.

MARVELLOUS MU TAKES 800m CROWN

Mu, the world leader over 800m this year, took up the lead almost immediately from the off and never looked back to come home in a time of 1:55.21 – setting a new American record in the process.

Keely Hodgkinson made a strong charge late in the race and set a new British benchmark of 1:55.88 to take silver.

A personal-best time of 1:56.81 from Raevyn Rogers meant the USA had two women on the podium.

HISTORY FOR WLODARCZYK AS DUPLANTIS REIGNS SUPREME

There was a sense of deja vu in the women's hammer as Wlodarczyk successfully defended the title she won at London 2012 and Rio 2016 – making her the first woman to win a trio of golds in the same discipline at three straight Games.

Her throw of 78.48m was a season's best. China's Wang Zheng took silver thanks to a 77.03m on her last throw, while Malwina Kopron of Poland was third with a 75.49m. Coincidentally the podium line-up was the same as the 2017 World Championships in London.

Mondo Duplantis lived up to his billing in the men's pole vault to win gold at his first Olympics by clearing a distance of 6.02m.

The Swede has broken the world record twice since winning silver at the World Championships in Doha two years ago, and had a crack at going to 6.19m here after it was confirmed he had won gold ahead of American Christopher Nilsen.

While he fell short there, Duplantis still fulfilled his dream of winning Olympic gold and, at 21, has plenty of time to try and beat his own benchmark.

DE GRASSE COASTS THROUGH, LYLES ALMOST PAYS THE PRICE

Fresh from winning bronze in the men's 100m, Canada's Andre De Grasse was fastest in the men's 200m with a Canadian record time of 19.73 seconds in the third semi-final.

World champion Noah Lyles is also into the final but eased up during his semi to finish outside the automatic spots and had to qualify as one of the fastest losers.

In the first round of the men's 110m hurdles, world champion Grant Holloway clocked a 13.02s – faster than the time needed to win gold at Rio 2016 and the fastest heat time of any competition in history.

Elaine Thompson-Herah won the sprint double-double at the Olympic Games after storming to victory in Tuesday's 200 metres final.

The Jamaican won in a new national record time of 21.53 seconds in Tokyo, the second-fastest in the history of the event.

Thompson-Herah, the 100m champion, also claimed gold over both distances in Rio de Janeiro five years ago. Usain Bolt is the only other male or female sprinter in history to win both titles at consecutive Games.

Christine Mbomba, barred from her preferred 400m event due to naturally high testosterone levels, took silver with another world-best under-20 time of 21.81. United States star Gabrielle Thomas won bronze ahead of Jamaican great Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Unsurprisingly, Thompson-Herah admitted her exploits had left her in need of a rest, having followed her 100m gold with a 200m run just 0.19 seconds short of Florence Griffith-Joyner's 1988 world record.

"Honestly, I just need to sleep!" she said to the BBC.

"I have not slept since the 100 metres, honestly my body is in shock mode, but I still had my composure to come out here.

"I knew my time wouldn't be fast because yesterday we ran two rounds, which took a lot from me, I equalled my PB last night. So to come out to get a national record and be two-time Olympic champion I am so happy.

"I was begging for the line, but you have to hold your technique through the line.

Thompson-Herah added: "It feels good to be in the history book, to set a barrier for the other generation of athletes coming up.

"We have got a lot of athletes coming from Jamaica, it means a lot to me to set this barrier."

Norway's Karsten Warholm smashed the world record in the men's Olympic 400 metres hurdles final, breaking the 46-second barrier on the way to gold medal glory.

Warholm finished in 45.94 seconds, well ahead of his own previous record mark of 46.70. USA's Rai Benjamin claimed silver in 46.17, also beating the old world record, with Alison dos Santos taking bronze in 46.72.

"It's by far the biggest moment of my life," Warholm said. "It defines everything, all the hours I put in, everything that my coach has been working for.

"With all the respect for all the athletes, there are athletes that were not good that will get an Olympic gold. Rai running 46.17 would deserve a gold medal. It is crazy, it is just an honour to be a part of it. I never thought in my wildest imagination that this would be possible."

Asked about his dash to the line in the closing metres, Warholm added: "I couldn't even feel my legs. I knew I had a crazy American trying to catch me, so I ran for my life."

Germany's Malaika Mihambo admitted she could not watch the finale to the women's long jump as she won gold.

Mihambo took the lead with a jump of 7.00m with her final attempt before USA's Brittney Reese and Nigeria's Ese Brume had their last jumps.

Neither could better the leading mark, with Reese settling for silver with 6.97 metres on countback ahead of Brume.

"It was really hard to watch, so I tried to just have a sneak peek on the display and see how far it was," Mihambo said.

"I really don't like this position where you cannot do anything about it, and you just have to let the girls do what they're able to do. You have to wait, so it was a horrible moment, but at least it was short.

“I feel overwhelmed. It was, I think, the most exciting women’s long jump competition in history."

DURANT DOMINATES AS USA SURVIVE SCARE

The United States did not have it all their way but triumphed 95-81 over Spain to seal a spot in the men's basketball semi-finals.

Spain led by as much as 10 points in the second quarter before USA drew level by half-time and accelerated in the second half. Spain again closed within four points of the gold medal favourites in the final quarter, inspired by Ricky Rubio's 38 points.

Kevin Durant excelled for Team USA, with 29 points and four assists, while Jrue Holiday contributed 12 points and five assists as they capitalised on a 17-9 turnover differential.

USA lost to Australia and Nigeria in exhibition games prior to Tokyo 2020 before losing their Olympics opener to France but have since steadied.

The winner of Australia-Argentina will play USA in the semi-finals on Thursday.

NBA duo Zoran Dragic (27 points, six rebounds and four assists) and Luka Doncic (20 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists) starred as Slovenia also progressed to the semi-finals with a 94-70 win over Germany.

CARRINGTON'S GOLD KAYAKING DOUBLE

New Zealand's Lisa Carrington had a golden day in the kayaking, remarkably winning two gold medals within an hour.

Carrington won her third straight gold in the women's kayak single 200m with an Olympic best time of 38.12 seconds, ahead of Spain's Teresa Portela and Denmark's Emma Jorgensen.

The New Zealander backed up alongside Caitlin Regal to win the women's kayak double 500m final with a world best time of 1:35.785.

Carrington joined fellow kayakers Ian Ferguson and Paul MacDonald and equestrian great Sir Mark Todd as the only New Zealanders to have won five medals at the Olympic Games.

The 32-year-old may win more medals too, competing in the K1 500 event which starts on Wednesday.

“Today was about taking just one race at a time," Carrington said. "There's a plan, and it was just about executing it. For me, it was just trying to stay in the moment and doing the best I can. We've worked really hard and knew today was going to be a big day.”

HENDRICKX POWERS BELGIUM INTO HOCKEY FINAL

World champions Belgium qualified for the gold medal match of the men's hockey after a commanding final quarter sealed a 5-2 win over India.

Belgium piled on three fourth-quarter goals to guarantee a medal in the decider where they will face either Australia or Germany.

Alexander Hendrickx scored a hat-trick including two of the Red Lions' goals in the final quarter after India had fought back from an early deficit to lead 2-1 at quarter-time.

Drag flick expert Hendrickx has scored an unrivalled 14 goals during Belgium's Tokyo 2020 campaign, eight clear of the next best, Australia's Blake Govers.

Hendrickx said: "It's really a team job that comes together. It's my name on the scoresheet, but it's a team job."

World number one Australia and sixth-ranked Germany meet later on Tuesday to determine the other gold medal match finalist.

Olympic chiefs have demanded answers from Belarus before the close of play on Tuesday over the saga involving sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya.

Tsimanouskaya refused to board a flight home from Japan after allegedly being taken to the airport against her will, having publicly criticised her team's organisation on social media.

She competed in just one event, finishing fourth in a 100 metres heat, before being pulled out of the Games by Belarusian officials. Due to also compete in the 200m, she claimed a Belarusian coach entered her for the 4x400m relay despite her never racing in the event before.

Tsimanouskaya suggested 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.

Now the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is stepping up its probe into what occurred.

IOC spokesperson Mark Adams said on Tuesday: "We've asked for a report from the [Belarusian] NOC today. We requested it yesterday, we want it today.

"We have decided to launch, not surprisingly, a formal investigation, which will be led by the IOC administration. We need to establish the full facts, we need to hear everyone involved. That obviously can take time."

Tsimanouskaya has been granted a Polish visa for now, and Adams said the 24-year-old spoke to the IOC twice on Monday, assuring that she now feels "safe and secure".

She has had police protection since alerting officers at Haneda airport to her situation.

"We've also now contacted the NOC of Poland," Adams said. "In terms of what the IOC can do for her in terms of her future we have talked to them with regard to her sport after her arrival in Warsaw, if that is where she does indeed choose to end up."

Raven Saunders could still face punishment for her crossed-arms 'X' political protest on the Olympic Games podium, despite USA team officials clearing her of any wrongdoing.

The shot put silver medallist raised her arms above her head in a pose she said represented "the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet".

Saunders, who is black and gay, has been backed by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), but that is not the end of the matter.

The USOPC said in a statement on Monday: "Per the USOPC's delegation terms, the USOPC conducted its own review and determined that Raven Saunders' peaceful expression in support of racial and social justice that happened at the conclusion of the ceremony was respectful of her competitors and did not violate our rules related to demonstration."

Yet political statements on the medal podium are not permitted at Tokyo 2020, even though rules on such actions have been relaxed elsewhere by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

In the wake of the USOPC remarks, the IOC was seeking further answers from the Americans on Tuesday.

Mark Adams, the IOC spokesperson, said in a briefing: "We've seen their public opinion and we're in touch with them.

"We've written a letter asking for some further information, to be able to evaluate the next steps, if any, that should be taken.

"Obviously, the Games are held under the Olympic charter and the rules of the Olympic movement, so let's wait to see what clarification we get from USOPC."

It seems unimaginable that the IOC would take any drastic action, given the outcry that would follow.

Saunders tweeted on Sunday: "Let them try and take this medal. I'm running across the border even though I can't swim."

The Olympic Games has seen few such protests on podiums. Perhaps the most notable was the 'Black Power' salute by Tommie Smith and John Carlos, gold and bronze medallists respectively in the 200 metres at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, when both raised a black-gloved fist as the US national anthem was played.

Both were expelled from the Games but got to keep their medals.

Tennis great and long-time equal rights activist Billie Jean King has backed Saunders, writing on Twitter: "Her gesture was meaningful and respectful. There is nothing for the IOC to investigate."

Hosting an Olympic Games at any time can be a logistical nightmare. Doing so during the height of a deadly pandemic only exacerbates the difficulties.

For example, how do you go about trying to appease a largely Olympic-sceptic city like Tokyo, whose residents were fearful of the effect welcoming thousands of athletes, officials and world's media would have in increasing coronavirus infection rates.

Stats Perform's man on the ground, Peter Hanson, provides a look at how travel is working at Tokyo 2020 to assuage the fears of the locals, and a behind-the-scenes glimpse of his journeys to the arenas he has visited.

BUSES, BUSES AND MORE BUSES...

Let's start with a secret.

This isn't my first time in Tokyo. I actually visited here seven years ago with a couple of American friends. The three of us had recently been in Bangkok for our buddy's Thai wedding and had decided to make the hop across to continue our travel adventure.

My overriding memories of that first jaunt were just how futuristic it felt, the signs and billboards burning bright LED lights directly into my quickly faltering retinas. For a major city, I remember also thinking how clean the place was. I'm a big fan of city dwelling – but most can be a little untidy in places.

The other thing that sticks out is how absolutely hopeless I was at navigating my way around. This is nothing new, I can barely get around the streets of Sheffield and Rotherham – the places I have lived my entire 31 years – back in England without needing to follow Google Maps. Luckily for me, my travel companions are not quite so directionally challenged, so I largely just hopped on whatever subway they did and didn't ask questions...

So, when I first got asked if I'd like to cover these Games my first reaction was "yes, absolutely". My second was "better start saving up for three weeks' worth of Ubers".

But these are pandemic times, and pandemic times call for pandemic measures. There are rules in place and restrictions to follow, and one of the great logistical challenges Tokyo 2020 organisers have faced is how to ferry around hordes of the world's media while restricting their interactions with locals – many of whom were not keen on hosting the Olympics at all – during the Games.

I have to say, the end result has been pretty impressive. As soon as you enter the departure hall at the airport, you are ferried onto a shuttle bus, taken to a taxi rank being held inside a huge car park around 20 minutes away, popped into a taxi and driven straight to your hotel.

For someone as dense with directions as I am, this was a bit of a relief.

But that was just the first problem to solve. For the first 14 days of your visit to Tokyo, you have to agree not to go anywhere other than your hotel or to Games-specific locations in a previously agreed Activity Plan.

For that fortnight you are also told not to take public transport anywhere. To solve this issue, Tokyo 2020 has created quite the travel network.

The media transport mall at the media centre is connected to nearly all the Games venues. There are over 30 terminals (not quite like you would see in a normal indoor bus depot – rather a series of stops in a huge outdoor space with sort of crudely constructed tents to keep you sheltered should it rain).

Approximately a third of these stops are connected to a list of Tokyo 2020-approved hotels, running buses to our accommodation 24 hours a day (although, understandably, between midnight and 6am these run much less frequently). 

The rest ship us off to the Games venues, with drop-off points roughly a five-minute walk to the various media centres.

It is not the only way to get around a city still under a state of emergency. Tokyo 2020 has created the Transport by Chartered Taxi system, whereby you can book Games-specific vehicles to cart you around to the desired location.

After that initial two weeks, you are technically allowed to use public transport (and are provided a travel pass to do so) but actively encouraged to keep using the media network to limit social interactions with the regular public.

MARVELLING AT THE MEDIA CENTRE

One of the things I was most looking to when entering Japan was seeing the media centre.

Okay, sure, partly because I'd been couped up in quarantine for three days and the escape from the four walls of my hotel room was a blessed relief.

But mostly because I was itching to see for the first time what a media centre for an Olympics looks like.

Once taking the bus from the hotel to the media centre, getting in is quite a smooth process. The media complex – which adjoins to the broadcasting centre – is so big that from the transport mall you have to take a shuttle bus. From there, you undergo a temperature check, lower your mask so the security cameras can get a good look at your face, and scan your accreditation card before waiting nervously for the green light to give recognition you are an approved member of the media.

The first impression was just how big the complex is. There are rows upon rows of hot desks, all with plug sockets and LAN cables, while every which way you turn there are TV monitors showing a variety of different events.

There are private offices everywhere (for the likes of the IOC and British Olympics association), medical rooms to drop off PCR tests, help desks for everything from tech woes to transport, food courts, cafes, fancy-looking vending machines…you name it, over several vast floors it's (probably) got it.

TRIBUNE TRAVAILS AT THE AQUATICS CENTRE

The sad thing about the Tokyo Aquatics Centre is the fact it serves as a reminder that these are the Games that could have been.

Opened in February 2020 close to Tokyo Bay, it is a hugely impressive structure that holds approximately 15,000 spectators – sadly, save for the pockets of athletes cheering on their team-mates, these seats are not in use and the bright-blue glow of the pool and the huge screens present an almost eerie feeling without the packed rafters.

My first trip there was an exciting one, though. It would act as my first "live" view of these Games and I got to witness TeamGB's first gold medal of Tokyo 2020 thanks to Adam Peaty, and caught most of Tom Daley's emotional triumph in the men's synchronised 10 metre diving.

It's a process much like the media centre to get in, only here you have a physical thermometer placed on your forehead to check you don't have a temperature. But as at all the venues you do go through airport-style checks before heading down to the media. It was at the aquatics centre I was asked to taste the bottle of water in my bag and, even though I knew it wasn't possible, I did start to panic and wonder what if it had been poisoned…

It hadn't of course and off I popped down the road towards the media area, which for the aquatics centre is a long tent that also adjoins to the press conference room.

So far so good. My issue came again with my aforementioned navigation skills. My friends back home call me 'Captain Direction' I'm that hopeless with them (okay, that's a nickname I actually gave myself but still…). The problem I encountered was trying to find my appropriate area in the media tribune, walking through about 10 different doors, and walking up and down several hefty flights of stairs before I reached the conclusion that I had probably been in the right place from the start…

INSPIRED BY SIMONE AT THE GYMNASTICS CENTRE

Before I travelled to Tokyo, I had a rough idea in my head of some of the things I wanted to do. One at the very top of my priority list was seeing Simone Biles live in the gymnastics.

So, on the first Tuesday of the Games I managed to get a high-demand ticket for the Ariake Gymnastics Centre to watch the final of the women's team event.

The trip there was probably my favourite, because unlike a lot of the other buses that serve just a single venue, this one was bit of a stadium hop around Ariake – a district of Koto in Tokyo.

Before I made it as far as the gymnastics centre, I was treated to a look at the Ariake Tennis Park – where there was a deep temptation to jump off and try and catch a glimpse of Novak Djokovic or Naomi Osaka – and Ariake Arena, where the volleyball was being held. 

Eventually, I arrived at the gymnastics centre – an impressive temporary venue, which after the Games will be turned into a 12,000 seater sporting arena, and went through the now customary protocols to get inside.

Unlike my first journey to the aquatics centre, finding my way around here was an absolute breeze. All of the media facilities are inside the building, and there are signs pretty much every few yards directing you to the tribune.

I should at this point make another admission. I don't know the first thing about gymnastics. In fact, when I was at school I was so hopelessly bad at the sport in P.E. or gym or whatever you call it where you are, that my "routine" consisted of a shambolic forward roll and jazz hands. In my defence I was short, stocky, not particularly agile and carrying about 20lbs extra weight. All of those things still stand true today.

But it was too good an opportunity to pass up and it seemed the same for a lot of people in there. I sat next to a journalist from Denmark (whose son by the way is named Peter Hansen – hello Spider-Man meme!) who was there for the exact same reason as me, to see Biles in person.

There was no way to predict what came next, with this genuine living legend managing just one rotation before sitting out the rest of the event. She later revealed she has been contending with mental health issues.

Sitting in the news conference room, it was impossible not be completely full of admiration for this frank admission. Her bravery to send that message, I think, is more important than any achievement she has in gymnastics.

DISCOVERING THE OLYMPICS STADIUM

Another on my bucket list for this trip was obviously to check out the Olympics Stadium. I decided to book in for the athletics at the first opportunity and go to the morning session last Friday.

By that point, I'd been in Tokyo for 10 days and the long days and sleepless nights had taken their toll…so my first journey there I can't recall too much to you because I took a decent snooze on the 30-minute trip.

But, when I got there my initial thought was wow. I absolutely love sports stadia, you can't be a sports-obsessed kid like I was and not. I've seen some impressive arenas in my time – Wembley, Soccer City in Johannesburg, Yankees Stadium…Hillsborough.

And this is right up there among the best I've been to. Only, after that initial buzz I must say I was almost overwhelmed by a sudden sadness. 

I think maybe because at the other venues I'd visited I was so one-track minded in what I wanted to do whereas my first visit here was more about finding my bearings and preparing for a busy week to come. 

I remember going to one of the morning sessions at London 2012 and the Olympic Stadium was absolutely packed. It was weird seeing this place (with a capacity of 68,000) empty knowing it would stay that way for the rest of the Games, and knowing that really it deserved better.

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