Tokyo Olympics Recap: El Bakkali ends Kenya's dominance, Canada stun United States

By Sports Desk August 02, 2021

Soufiane El Bakkali ended Kenya's dominance in the men's 3000m steeplechase by claiming a first Olympic gold medal for Morocco in any sport since 2004.

The Kenyans have set the standard in this event in recent times, winning gold at each of the previous nine Games.

But El Bakkali put paid to that streak, claiming victory ahead of Ethiopia's Lamecha Girma as Benjamin Kigen collected a bronze for Kenya.

The last Moroccan to claim prevail sport was Hicham El Guerrouj, who won the men's 1500m and 5000m in Athens 17 years ago.

"I am so used to seeing Kenyans win, it's a big accomplishment for me," El Bakkali said. 

"I have been aiming for this for years and this was my opportunity to show that Morocco is capable of winning this prize in front of the Kenyans. 

"I have tried so many times to compare myself with the Kenyans and Ethiopians to see whether I could reach this gold, and I did."


HASSAN HAT-TRICK BID ON TRACK

Sifan Hassan is aiming to become the first athlete to win a 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m treble at a single Olympic Games.

The Ethiopian-born Dutchwoman, who recovered from a fall to get through her 1500m heat earlier in the day, got her bid off to an outstanding start with victory in the 5000m on Monday.

"After I fell down, it cost me a lot of energy, I went home and I wanted to sleep," said Hassan, who claimed the Netherlands' first Olympic gold in athletics since 1992.

"Many people think I am crazy. I think also I am crazy. Many people think this is crazy and I am not even going to get one medal. 

"Life is not about the gold, the winner; it's also about following your heart."


CANADA END TEAM USA HOODOO TO REACH FINAL

Canada sensationally ended a 36-game winless run against the United States, Jessie Fleming's penalty securing a place in the women's football final.

The Canadians had not beaten Team USA – four-time Olympic gold medallists – since March 11, 2001.

However, their luck changed with Fleming's 74th-minute penalty settling the semi-final after VAR ruled that Tierna Davidson had fouled Deanne Rose.

Canada's reward is a gold-medal showdown with Sweden, who beat Australia 1-0 thanks to Fridolina Rolfo's second-half strike.

On a brighter note for the United States away from football, it was announced Simone Biles will take part in Tuesday's balance beam final.


FOUR-MIDABLE LOPEZ

Mijain Lopez became the first male Greco-Roman wrestler to win four gold medals at the Olympics after defeating Georgia's Iakobi Kajaia in the 130kg final.

His success saw him receive a congratulatory call from Cuba president Miguel Diaz-Canel, while he did not rule out carrying on through to Paris 2024 either.

"I feel happy, proud to be the best in the world and make history," Lopez said.

"I've had a long career, working hard to make these goals and break this record. 

"I've been working so hard to get to this point. Being able to break this record today for me is a great achievement, because I've faced the best and I can be proud."


DEJA VU IN THE WOMEN’S HOCKEY

Having contested the 2016 final in Rio, Great Britain and the Netherlands will face off again at the Games - this time in a mouth-watering last-four showdown.

Team GB required a shoot-out to see off Spain following a 2-2 draw, with Hannah Martin and Sarah Jones scoring their efforts while goalkeeper Maddie Hinch produced heroics to seal a 2-0 success.

Martin said: "It's a huge moment for us to get to those medal matches. We're just over the moon.

"Maddie was absolutely exceptional in there. We knew she had it and the feeling was utter elation. I couldn't get to her quick enough."

As for the Netherlands, they enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win over New Zealand.

Related items

  • Saint-Etienne 1-3 Paris Saint-Germain: Neymar injured as Di Maria and Marquinhos spare Pochettino's blushes Saint-Etienne 1-3 Paris Saint-Germain: Neymar injured as Di Maria and Marquinhos spare Pochettino's blushes

    Neymar suffered a potentially serious injury as Paris Saint-Germain laboured to a 3-1 win over 10-man Saint-Etienne.

    Looking for a response after their defeat to Manchester City in midweek, not to mention the speculation over Mauricio Pochettino's future, PSG fell flat for much of Sunday's game but Angel Di Maria and Marquinhos came up with the goods late on.

    Marquinhos had earlier cancelled out Denis Bouanga's opener, after Timothee Kolodziejczak was sent off for the struggling hosts.

    However, PSG will now hold concern over Neymar, who had to be taken off on a stretcher with an apparent ankle injury between the visitors' late goals.

  • A-League: Two from two for Popovic and Victory A-League: Two from two for Popovic and Victory

    Melbourne Victory made it two A-League wins from two under Tony Popovic thanks to a resounding 3-0 triumph over Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Sunday.

    Popovic's tenure as Victory boss started with a 1-0 win at Western United last week and an own goal from Kai Trewin under pressure from Brendan Hamill had the home side up and running after 27 minutes on this occasion.

    Just four minutes later that advantage was doubled with Nick D'Agostino finishing a fine team move from close range.

    It was game over shortly after the restart with Ben Folami heading in Marco Rojas' delivery, meaning Victory went top of the infant A-League table and left Roar propping up the division.

    Sunday's other fixture saw Western Sydney Wanderers play out a back-and-forth 2-2 draw at home to Newcastle Jets.

    The visitors took the lead through Beka Mikeltadze's 19th-minute penalty but were trailing thanks to goals either side of half-time from Bernie Ibini-Isei and Tomer Hemed.

    Wanderers were pegged back by Olivier Boumal in the 52nd minute, though, leaving both teams winless through two games.

  • Rumour Has It: Man Utd hopeful of Rangnick edge in Haaland pursuit Rumour Has It: Man Utd hopeful of Rangnick edge in Haaland pursuit

    The race to sign Erling Haaland may have taken another turn.

    Norway forward Haaland is a hot property being pursued by a host of top clubs, with Manchester United among them.

    Borussia Dortmund retained his services at the start of this season but the race is expected to heat up in the off-season.

     

    TOP STORY – UNITED HOPEFUL OF HAALAND EDGE

    The Mirror reports that the imminent appointment of Ralf Rangnick at Manchester United can give them the edge in the race for Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland.

    Rangnick and Haaland worked together previously at Salzburg and United believe that relationship can propel them to the front of the queue.

    Manchester City, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are all in the race to sign the 21-year-old.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - PSG will not let head coach Mauricio Pochettino exit the club during the season amid links with Manchester United's vacant managerial role, reports Goal. The Argentine may be allowed to leave at the end of the season.

    - Marca report that Real Madrid will not be signing Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba in the off-season despite widespread speculation about a move.

    - Sevilla are leading the race to sign Blackburn's Chile international Ben Brereton, according to The Sun. Rovers want £20m for his services.

    - West Ham are set to launch a £7m bid to sign Burnley defender James Tarkowski,  report The Sun.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.