Olympic champion Adam Peaty was left disappointed by some of the reaction to his plans to take an extended break from swimming.

It has been another fruitful Games in Tokyo for Team GB swimmer Peaty, who claimed gold in the 100 metres breaststroke and 4x100m mixed medley, as well as a silver in the men's 4x100m medley.

After taking his overall Olympic medal tally to five, Peaty announced on Sunday that he would be taking a break from the pool to recharge the batteries ahead of a hectic 2022 schedule.

While set to miss the International Swimming League, which starts in September, he will set his sights on the World and European Championships next year, as well as the Commonwealth Games.

Peaty cited the need to protect his mental health, becoming the latest high-profile athlete to do so in recent days after Simone Biles and Ben Stokes.

He said the reaction to his announcement to over 116,000 followers on Twitter showed why there remains "such a stigma around mental health", insisting the pressures of competition make taking time out essential.

"Reading some of the comments in response to this is why we have such a stigma around mental wellbeing in sport," tweeted Peaty, who has now won a combined 31 gold medals in major competitions.

"It isn't a normal job. There is a huge amount of pressure. Money does not buy happiness.

"I'm taking a break because I've been going extremely hard for as long as I can remember. I've averaged two weeks off a year for the last seven years.

"Unfortunately, there are people out there who think they know you more than you know yourself."

Simone Biles is set to make her long-awaited return in the Tokyo Olympics after being named on the starting list for Tuesday's balance beam final.

The United States star withdrew from the other four individual events for which she had qualified after pulling out of the women's team competition after just one rotation.

Biles, who won four gold medals at the Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, cited a need to focus on her mental health as she chose not to contest the individual all-round, vault, uneven bars and floor exercise finals.

USA Gymnastics said in a statement on Sunday: "Simone has withdrawn from the event final for floor and will make a decision on beam later this week. Either way, we're all behind you, Simone."

However, the team announced via Twitter on Monday: "We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow - Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!! Can’t wait to watch you both!"

Speaking last week via Instagram, Biles explained her mind and body were "simply not in sync" as she struggled with a mental block over her technique.

"For anyone saying I quit, I didn't quit, my mind and body are simply not in sync as you can see here," Biles wrote on her story. "I don't think you realise how dangerous this is on a hard/competition surface. Nor do I have to explain why I put health first. Physical health is mental health.

"It's honestly petrifying trying to do a skill but not having your mind [and] body in sync.

"Literally cannot tell up from down. It's the craziest feeling ever, not having an inch of control over your body."

Jeff Henderson, who won long jump gold for the USA in Rio, praised Biles for speaking openly about her difficulties.

"Almost every athlete [has these problems]. They just don’t speak on it," Henderson told Stats Perform.

"Every athlete goes through a mental breakdown or [has to] figure out their brain, what to do, over-thinking - that’s every athlete.

"I think it should be awareness for every athlete to have that issue because it's a huge thing to be protective of. If you're not protective of your mental [state], you're not going to do anything physical.

"There's nothing wrong with that. Any athlete would say take your time, relax, get your mental right come back when you're going to be ready. Every athlete would say that."

Long jump favourite Juan Miguel Echevarria was left in despair after injury prevented him from chasing the gold won by Miltiadis Tentoglou on countback at Tokyo 2020 on Monday.

Tentoglou said he was lucky to win gold in a shock result over Echevarria with a last-ditch sixth-round leap of 8.41m, beating Echevarria on countback, while Cuba also claimed bronze thanks to Maykel Masso's jump of 8.21m.

Echevarria, who had topped qualifying, had a final chance to beat the mark with his sixth attempt but could not make the jump due to injury, slumping to the floor on his knees in despair, consoled by compatriot Masso.

"It was very, very painful. I couldn't do what I usually do," Echevarria said.

"I have no words to express how I feel because I couldn't achieve what I wanted, what I have been fighting for so many years.

"I am personally not very happy with the result. I have always tried to go further."

The Greek had earlier registered a second-best jump of 8.15m compared to Echevarria's 8.09m to have the countback advantage, with his final attempt putting him ahead.

"Last attempt, I told myself to calm down and do a normal jump. I didn't expect it could be so big," Tentoglou said.

"I consider myself lucky. I was not lucky to jump 8.41m the last attempt but I was lucky to win."

The winning distance of 8.41m was well short of Mike Powell's world record of 8.95m, which has stood since 1991.

Tentoglou backed Echevarria to move on from his Olympic disappointment and one day reach the milestone.

"If someone can do the world record, it's Juan Miguel," he said. "I don't know for me. I need to do the national record first. I am not the national record holder."

Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn triumphed in the women's 100m hurdles a day after setting a new Olympic record in the semi-finals.

Camacho-Quinn won in 12.37 ahead of USA's Kendra Harrison (12.52) and Jamaica's Megan Tapper (12.55), who had an anxious wait to find out if she had claimed bronze ahead of Nigeria's Tobi Amusan (12.6) in fourth.

The Puerto Rican admitted afterwards she had her sights set on Harrison's world record of 12.2 but clipped a hurdle to thwart her.

 

TEAM USA AVOID BASKETBALL SHOCK

The United States bounced back after trailing to France in the last quarter to record a 93-82 win in the women's basketball.

France had headed the US 72-71 in the fourth quarter, but the gold medal favourites rallied with a 7-0 run to assert their dominance.

A'ja Wilson was huge in the final quarter, finishing with a game-high 22 points, along with seven rebounds and three assists, while Breanna Stewart had 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

Japan booked their quarter-final spot with a 102-83 win over Nigeria, while the US will go through in top spot from Group B ahead of the quarter-finals.

HOCKEYROOS HEARTBREAK, INDIAN JOY

Australia's Hockeyroos had a perfect group phase with five wins from as many games but were stunned by India in the quarter-finals 1-0 in women's hockey.

Gurjit Kaur scored the winner from a 22nd-minute penalty corner to stun the Australians, who have not medalled in women's hockey since Sydney 2000.

Australia also lost in the quarter-finals at Rio 2016 but were far better placed in Tokyo after their exceptional group form.

India have never claimed an Olympic medal in women's hockey, finishing fourth in 1980, and will face world number five Argentina in the semi-finals.

Argentina, who have won medals at four of the past five Olympics, overcame Germany 3-0 aided by two goals late in the first half.

 

INDONESIA WINS FIRST TOKYO GOLD

Indonesia won its first gold medal of Tokyo 2020 as Greysia Polii and Rahayu Apriyani combined to triumph in the women's badminton doubles.

The Indonesian pair defeated China's Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan 2-0, in a triumph that was the country's first in women's doubles, having won all other badminton events.

Kim So-yeong and Kong Hee-yong won the all-South Korean bronze medal match against Lee So-hee and Shin Seung-chan 2-0.

Five years ago, Inbee Park was not sure she would even be healthy enough to compete at the Rio Olympics. 

The LPGA star had battled a thumb injury throughout the year and would end up skipping three of the tour's five majors, but she made representing South Korea a top priority and it paid off. 

Park nearly went wire-to-wire to win gold, sitting a stroke back of the lead after one round and moving ahead to stay the following day before winning by five strokes over New Zealand's Lydia Ko. 

Looking back on that experience heading into the Tokyo Games, Park said on Monday she feels much more relaxed. 

"[In] 2016 I felt the most pressure in my life. I don’t think I could do that once again," Park said. 

"It’s definitely much better and much more relaxing this year because my conditions are not as bad as in 2016, where I had to deal with injuries and a lot of pressure."

She knew how many people were counting on her then as golf returned to the Olympic programme for the first time in more than a century, and the opportunity inspired her to push through the pain. 

“I was representing the country and going through the injury," she said. "It wasn’t like a normal tournament where if you don’t feel well, you just pull out and play well in the next event.

"I really wanted to play well and didn’t want to withdraw from the tournament because of the injury. I was just trying really hard to fight the injury.

“With the injury, a lot of people got worried. My family, staff, and probably the whole of Korea was worried that I was not in the best condition.

"That was kind of the pressure I was dealing with. To overcome that was really hard.

“I think that kind of pressure gave me the power to overcome a lot of the stuff, and being able to win gold was amazing.”

Park's quest to repeat begins on Wednesday at 8:41 am local time, when she will open Olympic play in a grouping with Ko and 2016 bronze medallist Feng Shanshan of China. 

She said she watched last week's men's tournament on television to try and get a feel for the course, then got in some practice Sunday and founded it firmer and longer than she had expected. 

However it plays later this week, she expects a difficult test but feels she is in a good position to handle it this time around. 

“I’m very excited to be here representing the country twice in a row," she said.

"It’s the biggest honour for me. [To be] here in Tokyo five years after Rio, it’s truly a dream come true for me."

Italy enjoyed arguably their greatest night in athletics on Sunday with two gold medals in the men's 100 metres final and the men's high jump at the Tokyo Olympics.

Marcell Jacobs won the first Olympics title in the post-Usain Bolt era, crossing the line in a new European record time of 9.80 seconds ahead of the United States' Fred Kerley and Canada's Andre de Grasse.

The men's 100m, the first at the Games not featuring three-time champion Bolt since 2004, had been difficult to predict and that continued in the semi-finals as USA trials winner Trayvon Bromell, the fastest man in the world this year, failed to qualify with a time of 10.00.

The quickest times were in the third semi-final, won by 60m expert Su Bingtian, who smashed the Asian record with a time of 9.83 to become the first man from the continent to reach the Olympic 100m final since 1932.

After Great Britain's Zharnel Hughes was disqualified for a false start, Su this time could not get the explosive start he needed and it was Jacobs who held his form and speed to cross the line first.

 

His triumph came barely an hour after a memorable high jump competition concluded with joint gold medallists being declared.

Italian Gianmarco Tamberi and double world champion Mutaz Essa Barshim each enjoyed spotless records before three failures at 2.39, a height that would have matched Charles Austin's Olympic record set in 1996.

Rather than contest gold and silver in a jump-off, the two agreed to share first place, celebrating wildly after speaking with the official.

"It's amazing, fantastic, it's a dream. It's incredible. No words," said Jacobs to the BBC before admitting his compatriot's exploits had inspired him.

"I watched him from the blocks and he boosted me really, really hard. I love Gianmarco. It's fantastic."

Tamberi added: "This night is memorable. We made our dream come true and we passed through many difficult times. I don't know what to say.

"We dreamed it so many times and now we did it."

 

Rojas leaps into record books

Yulimar Rojas twice jumped clear of the world record to win the women's triple jump title and secure Venezuela's first gold of the games.

The two-time world champion soared well over the mark of 15.50 set by Ukraine's Inessa Kravets in 1995 with her third jump, although she was beyond the board.

However, with her final attempt, Rojas leapt to a sensational 15.67 to finish 56 centimetres ahead of Patricia Mamona in second and Ana Peleteiro in third, each of whom claimed national records.

"I always said I was born with a talent, with a gift and I was destined to do great things in life," she said. "I think I'm opening doors and not just for myself. I'm opening doors [for people] who want to follow me. I'm so happy here to be talking to you, to write the history of my country."

 

The women's long jump final will be contested on Tuesday, with Serbia's Ivana Spanovic topping the qualifying with a distance of 7.00m.

In the 100m hurdles semi-finals, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn laid down a marker to the rest of the field, romping through in a time of 12.26s to break Sally Person's Olympic record of 12.35s.

In the 3000m steeplechase, favourite Hyvin Kiyeng and reigning world champion Beatrice Chepkoech eased into the final amid punishing earlier temperatures in Tokyo.

 

Warholm and Benjamin surge into final

One of the great modern rivalries in men's athletics will continue on Tuesday after Karsten Warholm and Rai Benjamin eased into the final of the 400m hurdles.

Warholm, who broke the world record in Oslo a month ago, finished seven hundredths of a second ahead of the American in the first semi-final on Sunday.

Alison dos Santos of Brazil qualified with an arena record of 47.31s, just behind Warholm's 47.30s. A field so stacked with talent it was described by former Olympic champion Felix Sanchez as "insane" will make for a gripping final.

The men's heats in the flat 400m were also completed, world record holder Wayde van Niekerk qualifying in 45.25s, some way down on the leading time of 44.82s set by Michael Cherry.

Ferguson Rotich was the fastest in the men's 800m semi-finals, but Nijel Amos, who claimed silver in 2012 behind the great David Rudisha, collided with Isaiah Jewett and will not contest the final.

 

Gold for Gong as Adams completes set

China's Gong Lijiao won the women's shot put final with a personal best of 20.58cm.

Raven Saunders was second and double former champion Valerie Adams, who won silver five years ago, took the bronze to complete her medal collection at this event.

"I've seen Valerie winning gold all the time and I'm very happy for her, but this time it is finally my time," said Gong.

Anita Wlodarczyk, who is bidding to become the first woman to win an individual athletics gold at three consecutive Games, needed just one throw to book her place in the hammer final.

Argentina coach Sergio Hernandez heaped praise on Luis Scola after a crucial 97-77 victory over Japan that made sure of a place in the knockout rounds of the men's basketball tournament.

Following back-to-back defeats, Argentina needed to beat the hosts in their final Group C match to qualify for the quarter-finals as one of the best third-placed teams.

Scola certainly led by example. The veteran power forward scored 23 points and also had 10 rebounds as the 2004 Olympic champions prevailed, securing a last-eight date with Australia.

Still going strong at the age of 41, the five-time Olympian's efforts delighted Hernandez.

"He's ridiculous. He's a hard worker, he doesn't stop ever. I think he hasn't stopped one day in the last 25 years," the Argentina coach said. 

"I am sure I am not the same coach without him. Not for his 23 points [against Japan], but for his leadership. I love him."

Within the space of nine manic minutes, Tokyo became 2021's latest Azzurri outpost on a momentous and historic night for Italy.

There were scenes of indescribable joy when Gianmarco Tamberi shared gold with Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim after each jumped 2.37 metres in the men's high jump. 

Social media was abuzz when the two agreed not to go ahead with a jump off, instead embracing in a warm hug before letting the moment overcome them. Tamberi, draped in an Italian flag, sunk to the track in sheer ecstasy.

From the position of the press tribune, the scenes were just as joyous as the Italian contingent roared their approval.

It proved a mere prelude for a sensational denouement on a hot, stuffy night at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium - a men's 100m final no one would have predicted prior in the heats.

The fastest man in the world this year, Trayvon Bromell, did not even make the final, narrowly missing out in his semi-final via a photo finish and not clocking a quick enough time to qualify as a fastest loser.

Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs booked his spot in European record-breaking fashion thanks to a run of 9.84 seconds. A sensation was brewing.

Even so, that was still only enough for the third quickest time in a third semi-finals of the highest quality – China's Su Bingtian storming home to set the pace at 9.83, finishing ahead of pre-final favourite Ronnie Baker after a photo review. 

For Jacobs to even medal still seemed a long shot, especially considering Italy had never before had a 100m finalist. Simply, there just seemed more obvious candidates to take gold in the Olympics' blue-riband event.

And yet, it is now Azzurri-riband. Jacobs made a flying start and never looked back to clock a new best time of 9.80, with Baker's compatriot Fred Kerley and Andre De Grasse – who takes bronze for the second straight Games – left in his wake.

Tamberi rushed straight over to his countryman in scenes that will have been met with wild celebrations back in Italy, this unexpected gold rush keeping the party going after Roberto Mancini's football team secured glory at Euro 2020.

What made those wild nine minutes even harder to fathom is the fact Italy had not won an athletics medal at an Olympics since 2008. The last time they won two at the same games was in Athens four years prior to that.

As special as this night was for Italy, its meaning stretches far beyond the ebullient Mediterranean nation. This was the start of the post Usain Bolt-era in the 100m at the Olympics. There is no doubt athletics misses its 21st century superstar and the men's race paled in terms of quality compared to the talent-stacked women's cast the night before.

Moreover, these remain the Games that most never wanted. Tokyo 2020 has undoubtedly suffered at times from the lack of crowds and golden moments played out with a distinct lack of atmosphere.

But this was a true reminder of what makes the Olympics so special, what makes billions of people tune in every four years (in non-pandemic times) to watch sports they may not have heard of before. The scenes of unbridled joy, the underdog stories, the sheer emotion of seeing someone's life work result in the greatest possible reward. They are human moments of cinematic grandeur and beauty.

Even before the bellissimo finale, there had been a timely reminder of why we're here at all. Yulimar Rojas, the two-time reigning world champion and silver medallist at Rio 2016, broke the world record with an astonishing leap of 15.67m in the women's triple jump. It was Venezuela's first gold medal since London 2012 and a first ever in athletics. 

The arguments will rumble on beyond next weekend's closing ceremony over whether these Games should have taken place during a deadly pandemic. On Sunday, Rojas, Tamberi and Jacobs offered a pretty good argument as to why they did.

Lamont Marcell Jacobs claimed an historic gold medal in the men's 100 metres final at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday.

The first Italian man ever to reach the final at the Games, Jacobs won in a time of 9.80 seconds, breaking the European record he set in the semi-final.

Fred Kerley of the United States took silver, with Canada's Andre de Grasse winning bronze just as he did five years ago in Rio de Janeiro.

The three medallists all claimed personal bests as all finishers went under 10 seconds, Nigeria's Enoch Adegoke pulling up injured around the halfway mark.

The first Olympic 100m contest in the post-Usain Bolt era had been difficult to predict and that continued in the semi-finals, as USA trials winner Trayvon Bromell, the fastest man in the world this year heading into Tokyo, failed to qualify with a time of 10.00.

The quickest times were in the third semi-final, won by 60m expert Su Bingtian, who smashed the Asian record with a time of 9.83 to become the first man from the continent to reach the Olympic 100m final since 1932.

He finished just ahead of Ronnie Baker (9.83) and Jacobs, who set a new continental best of 9.84.

After Great Britain's Zharnel Hughes was disqualified for a false start, Su this time could not get the explosive start he needed and he was effectively out of the medals before the last third of the race.

Kerley, who has come down from the 400m to try his hand over the shortest distance, looked strong in lane five but it was Jacobs who turned on the power over the closing metres before running to celebrate with compatriot Gianmarco Tamberi, who claimed joint high jump gold shortly before the race.

 

 

 

French super-heavyweight Mourad Aliev bizarrely claimed he was the victim of "an act of sabotage" as he staged a sit-down protest after being disqualified from his Olympic quarter-final.

Aliev was fighting Great Britain's Frazer Clarke when their tussle was stopped by referee Andrew Mustacchio in the second round at the Kokugikan Arena.

He was punished for use of the head but complained that he had not been warned by the referee before the fight was halted.

Aliev said: "I sat down to protest against the unfairness for me. I really wanted to fight against the injustice, so that was my way to show that I don't agree with that decision."

He had won the first round on three of the five judges' scorecards and said of his sudden elimination: "I was just stopped without any warning and they just told me that 'you lost' – just like that. So I think it was an act of sabotage.

"I fought my whole life. I prepared my whole life for this event, so getting mad for something like that is natural."

Clarke described the situation as "a bit confusing" and urged Aliev to rein in his complaints.

"I didn't want him to damage his reputation or to be rude to the judges and officials, because they're only doing their job," Clarke said.

Aliev was allowed to carry out his protest as the fight was the last on the schedule in Sunday's opening session, meaning it caused no delays.

"I felt there was a couple of heads going in there if I'm honest," Clarke said. "Whether it's intentional or not I don't know. Orthodox boxing a southpaw, it often happens.

"I'm not going to stand here and say that he did it on purpose because I'm sure that he wouldn't have wanted to have finished his Olympics the way that it has."

French boxing team general manager John Dovi protested: "The Englishman was cut with regular punches, not the head. Mourad therefore received a totally unjustified warning."


PICTURE PERFECT FOR WHITTAKER

Britain had a strong day at the boxing, with Ben Whittaker reaching the light-heavyweight final after a majority points verdict against hard-punching Russian Imam Khataev.

He will face Arlen Lopez of Cuba in Wednesday's final. Lopez won middleweight gold at the Rio Olympics.

Whittaker explained his pre-fight inspiration, saying: "My coach, every Christmas he used to buy me a Muhammad Ali photo from the Olympics when he's standing on the podium and he had the gold medal at 81kg.

"He said, 'This is going to be you'.

"Just before I came into the arena he sent me the photo and said, 'It's time, baby'. I replied back, 'It is time'.

"I’ve got the chance to do it now. Every kid's dream as an amateur is getting to that Olympic final and now I've got to change that colour to gold."


KNOCKING ON THE DOOR

Turkey's Buse Naz Cakiroglu guaranteed herself at least bronze by reaching the flyweight semi-finals, seeing off Thailand's Jutamas Jitpong by unanimous verdict.

The World Championship silver medallist considered it a victory for herself and the future of boxing in her homeland.

And if it means a little less of a quiet life when she returns, then the boxer who is affiliated to the Fenerbahce sports club is prepared to accept that.

"We were already on this road by getting good scores, good results in the European Championship, World Championship and there are little girls that come to my house to get my signature," she said.

"I believe that by getting successful in the Olympics, this will increase and we will inspire more little girls."


CUBAN TEST FOR McCORMACK

Britain's Pat McCormack was handed a free pass through to the welterweight final after Irish opponent Aidan Walsh pulled out of their last-four clash with an ankle injury.

Blocking the path to the gold medal will be Cuban Roniel Iglesias, who won light welterweight gold at the London 2012 Olympics.

Although both are experienced fighters, this will be their first clash, and the stakes could hardly be any higher.

"No, I never fought against him," Iglesias confirmed. "That is interesting that it will be the final of the Olympics, so I will just try to win."

Rafa Mir believes he would fit in well at Atletico Madrid but will wait until after the Tokyo Olympics to discuss his future with Wolves.

The 24-year-old has failed to settle since moving to Molineux from Valencia in 2018 and has spent the last three seasons on loan with Las Palmas, Nottingham Forest and Huesca.

Mir has less than a year to run on his contract and has been touted as a target for LaLiga champions Atletico, who are seeking further back-up for first-choice striker Luis Suarez.

Reports in Spain on Sunday, meanwhile, suggest the former Barcelona youth product has been offered to the Catalan giants by agent Jorge Mendes.

And with his stock high after scoring a hat-trick for Spain in their Olympic quarter-final win against the Ivory Coast on Saturday, Mir is not ruling out a transfer before the window closes.

"Things are happening. I have not asked to know much until the Games are over," he told AS.

"We will see how things progress. I still have one more year at Wolverhampton and calmly we will decide what is best for me.

"I want to be at a place I'm happy, as I was at Huesca. I want to feel loved by the people and the club. With those ingredients I can play at my best.

"I arrived in England during a difficult situation and then I was injured for a couple of months. My level of English also isn't good, but it's been improving.

"English football is a style I like and that's why I chose to go there after Valencia. Things have not gone as I wanted but I think I can do well there. 

"I'm still young and have many more years of my career to go, so we'll see what happens."

Asked about the links with Atletico in particular, Mir added: "They are a great club. I think the way they play suits me very well because of my characteristics. We'll have to see.

"Right now I'm focused on the Games. When they come to an end then we will see."

 

Mir was brought on as a substitute against the Ivory Coast and forced extra time just 58 seconds after being introduced from the bench, netting from his first touch of the ball.

He added two more goals in the additional period to earn Spain a 5-2 win and set up a semi-final with competition hosts Japan in Saitama on Tuesday.

That made the Murcia-born forward the first player to score a hat-trick in a knockout-round game in the tournament since Beijing 2008.

"I'm very happy with those goals and to help the team progress," Mir said. "You wake up with the same desire and enthusiasm which we cam with, which is to get a medal. 

"I've had the matchball signed by all my colleagues. I have a space at home for all my football possessions, such as shirts and balls from other hat-tricks I've scored."

Mir scored 13 goals in 38 LaLiga appearances last season – only seven players netted more – but he could not prevent Huesca from suffering relegation to the second tier.

Those 13 goals came from 120 shots, including blocks, which was the third highest tally in the Spanish top flight last season after Karim Benzema (123) and Lionel Messi (196).

Alexander Zverev followed up his stunning win over Novak Djokovic by storming to Olympic gold in the men's singles final.

A thumping 6-3 6-1 victory against Russian Olympic Committee's Karen Khachanov was the perfect way for world number five Zverev to land the biggest title of his career.

He won 10 of the last 11 games of his semi-final against world number one Djokovic and carried that form into Sunday's title match, brushing aside the threat across the net.

It makes him Germany's first men's singles champion at the Olympics. Steffi Graf won the women's title as part of a calendar Golden Slam in 1988, and four years later Boris Becker and Michael Stich teamed up to take doubles gold.

For the man who won the ATP Finals in 2018 and reached last year's US Open title match, this marked a step forward in a career many expect will eventually feature grand slam titles.

He secured a swift break in the first set against Khachanov, who was outstanding in the semi-finals against Pablo Carreno Busta but could not impose his game in the gold-medal match.

Another break followed and the set was gone in 43 minutes.

The second set rushed by in a mere 36 minutes, with Zverev against striking early and never looking back.

He created two break points in the second game of that set, and although Khachanov saved them, a third soon followed and the Russian netted on the forehand.

The momentum was all one way and there was never a moment when Khachanov, ranked 25th by the ATP, looked as though he might pose some danger. 

Zverev gave himself a first match point when he punched away a backhand volley, and the glory belonged to the German when Khachanov slapped a forehand into the net on the next point.


BENCIC DENIED GOLDEN DOUBLE

Belinda Bencic was the surprise champion in the women's singles and the Swiss had a chance to land a second gold medal on Sunday when she and Swiss partner Viktorija Golubic lined up in the doubles final.

It was not to be for Bencic and Golubic, however, as they were soundly beaten by the prolific Czech pair of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.

A 7-5 6-1 win for the reigning French Open champions meant Bencic and Golubic were left with the silver medal.

But there was little in the way of regret for the Swiss pair, with Bencic showing off both her gold and silver medals after the match, saying: "We are overjoyed. We will fly back on Monday with other medallists. It's a great feeling to know people are waiting and they acknowledge the medals we won for our country.

"The week here was incredibly beautiful. We experienced so many emotions, and it's great to go back and share all of these emotions with everyone at home.

"It's not just about the medals or the titles, it's about the memories you create that will last forever. To share this with Viki is unbelievable.

"The whole week I never felt like I was in a normal tournament or playing alone. She was alongside me the entire way. I always tell her we won this gold medal together as well. When we will be 80 years old and have a coffee, we will talk about this moment and I cannot wait for that."

Xander Schauffele landed Olympic gold on the golf course for the United States after a dramatic final round saw Rory Sabbatini's 61 almost snatch top spot on the podium.

A terrific third shot at the 18th left Schauffele with a short putt for victory, after he found deep rough off the tee and could not go for the green in regulation.

He held his nerve to protect his one-shot advantage, finishing on 18 under par as Sabbatini took a spirited silver for Slovakia.

The battle for the bronze at Kasumigaseki Country Club went down to a seven-man play-off, with Chinese Taipei's world number 208 CT Pan landing the third-place medal and Hideki Matsuyama, Collin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy among those left disappointed.

By the time they reached the fourth extra hole it was down to a two-man battle between Open champion Morikawa and Pan, who had both posted closing 63s. Morikawa found sand with his second shot, the ball becoming plugged, and although he just about got it on the green, the putt he left went astray, leaving Pan to roll in an eight-footer for the medal.

Schauffele and Matsuyama were in Sunday's final group to start, just as they were at The Masters in April when Japan's newest golf star became his country's first men's major champion.

This time it was Schauffele's time to triumph, with the 27-year-old Las Vegas resident, who was born in San Diego, just about doing enough as a four-under 67 sealed the title.

And he could relax at last, the tension of the past hour all forgotten.


THIS ONE'S FOR DAD

Schauffele, whose mother was raised in Japan, was asked if it was his biggest career win and replied: "I'd like to say so, yeah."

His father, Stefan, has been with him in a coaching capacity this week, and Schauffele said: "I really wanted to win for my dad. I am sure he is crying somewhere right now. I kind of wanted this one more than any other.

"You are trying to represent your country to the best of your ability and then you add family stuff on top of that and I'm probably going to have a nice call with my grandparents tonight. I am sure they are back home, everyone is back home watching. I was feeling the love from San Diego and Las Vegas this whole time.

"I'm a little speechless right now, quite honestly."

 

Schauffele almost lost his ball when he drove into trees on the right side of the fairway on the par-five 14th, hitting a provisional ball in case there was no sign of the first.

That ball was soon located though, with Schauffele taking a penalty to bring it into a just-about playable position.

Matsuyama found the green in two but Schauffele was still short after four and was grateful to make six. Matsuyama went close with his eagle putt but had to settle for birdie, moving one shot behind Schauffele who slipped back to join Sabbatini on 17 under.

"It got a little dicey there," Schauffele later said. "When you are trying to win you need some things to go your way. I took a pretty big risk trying a hack-it-through-a-bush type shot and it missed my gap. I literally did the Matrix through these trees and it could have easily hit a tree and gone out. So, today was definitely my day."


HANGING TOUGH, DESPITE THE ROUGH

It was a hectic leaderboard all day long. Sabbatini had come from way back in the field thanks to his 10-under round and was waiting in the clubhouse to see what reward that would bring him.

Home favourite Matsuyama bogeyed the next to fall two back but gave himself a chance of birdie at the short next hole with a tee shot to around 10 feet, only to miss by a whisker.

Ireland's McIlroy was then two inches away from a birdie at the last that would have taken him to 16 under and secured bronze, yet he went into the play-off instead, as did Matsuyama.

Schauffele made birdie at 17 to edge in front on his own, and after the wretched tee shot at the last threatened to undo his gold medal mission, the American saved his best for last.

The third shot was almost right at the pin, finishing four feet away. Schauffele made no mistake, succeeding Justin Rose as Olympic champion, with the sport having returned to the Games programme in 2016 for the first time in 112 years.

The play-off also featured Chile's Mito Pereira, Great Britain's Paul Casey and Colombia's Sebastian Munoz, with Pan the unlikely figure to emerge with the bronze.

Australian pool queen Emma McKeon said it felt "very surreal" as she clinched a place in the Olympic history books by becoming just the second woman to win seven medals in a single Games.

The 27-year-old finished her Tokyo 2020 campaign with a flourish by winning the 50 metres freestyle in an Olympic record of 23.81 seconds, then playing a key role in Australia's 4x100m medley squad also topping the podium.

She will head home with four golds and three bronzes, and now has the most medals by an Australian in the history of the Olympic Games.

Maria Gorokhovskaya won seven medals for the Soviet Union at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, claiming two gold medals and five silver, and now McKeon belongs in such company in the record books.

"I never thought I'd win two gold medals in one session. I’m very happy. It is very surreal," McKeon said.

"I'm very happy with how the meet went. I've been at these kind of meets before where I've been up and down, so I knew what to expect.

"I feel like it has been a bit of a roller coaster getting a gold medal and trying to keep the emotions at bay. It will take a while to sink in because I've been focusing on myself to keep my cool. I'm very proud of myself. I wouldn't be able to do it without all the support around me."

McKeon's parents Ronald and Susie were both international swimmers, as was brother David until his recent retirement.

Setting new Australian medal records was the icing on the cake for the Wollongong native. In a single Olympics, no Australian had previously won as many as seven medals or four golds.

McKeon now has 11 Olympic medals in her career, having won a gold, two silvers and a bronze in Rio five years ago.

The Tokyo haul moves McKeon past Ian Thorpe and Leisel Jones, fellow swimming greats who each won nine medals and were previously top of Australia's all-time list.

"That's also very surreal," McKeon said of the record.

"I look at the athletes who have come before me and been so impressed with what they have done and been inspired by what they have done, but I've never really looked at the stats of medal counts. It is an honour because I know I've worked so hard for it."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WORTHINGTON TAKES BMX FREESTYLE GOLD

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

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

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

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

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

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

FIRST MEDAL AT LAST FOR FRATUS

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

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

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

On Sunday, he ascended to the podium at last.

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

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

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

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

IRELAND BOXER WITHDRAWS FROM SEMI-FINAL

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tokyo 2020 stars could face disciplinary action after police were alerted to a late-night drinking session at the Olympic Village, organisers have confirmed.

The Fuji News Network reported the incident occurred at around 2am on Saturday, with a number of overseas athletes said to be consuming alcohol and making noise on the streets of the complex.

Although alcohol is permitted in the Village, which houses Games competitors and team officials, it is only allowed to be drunk in athletes' rooms and without the company of others.

Toshiro Muto, CEO of the organising committee, said: "Multiple athletes and members of the delegation were at the park within the Village and they were drinking alcohol.

"We are aware of this fact. Currently we are investigating the situation and based on the result we are to take appropriate action.

"Regarding the details, we are not yet in a position and don't have sufficient information available at this moment.

"Regarding the police, after the incident occurred we have heard they came. However, in regards to their response we haven't learnt about the details at this moment."

No names of those involved have yet emerged, but it is the latest breach that Games chiefs have had to address.

Two Georgian judo athletes had their accreditation withdrawn after taking a sightseeing trip around Tokyo, defying the 'playbook' that instructs athletes they must remain within the Olympic bubble.

"The playbook violation regarding this incident is for the safety and security of the citizens and also for the safety of the athletes themselves, the adherence is very important," said Muto. "In most cases the rules are being followed; however, unfortunately there are cases of violation."

The Games was continuing on Sunday in the wake of another positive drugs test in athletics, with Kenyan sprinter Mark Odhiambo, who was due to compete in the 100 metres, found to have anabolic-androgenic steroids in his system and provisionally suspended. He has denied wrongdoing and the case has been referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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