Jason Kenny took a leap of faith and saw it pay off as the British cycling great landed his seventh Olympic gold medal with an audacious keirin triumph.

The 33-year-old Kenny made an immediate break from the pack in Sunday's final as soon as the derny bike - the motorised bicycle that paces the riders in the early laps - moved aside.

It was a calculated gamble as Kenny surged the best part of half a lap clear of his rivals, who were caught by surprise and only began to seriously narrow the gap in the closing metres.

Kenny, who won his first gold in Beijing, has now been a podium topper at four consecutive Olympic Games and becomes the first athlete from Great Britain to win more than six golds in a career. He had previously been level with fellow cyclist Chris Hoy.

In total, Kenny has nine Olympic medals, with two silvers to go with his stack of gold.

"It is a bit of shock I think," Kenny said. "I really wanted to cross the finish line. Obviously, I am absolutely buzzing."

Asked about his decisive early move, he explained: "It was just too big an opportunity. I didn't really want to be on the front, I felt like I had a bit of a target on my back with these guys behind. When I looked back, I saw a gap, gave it a little squeeze and it got bigger. I just sort of went through it.

"Everyone just looked at each other and it was just enough - I was just lucky it was enough for me to slip away and get my head down.

"I kind of felt like I had nothing to lose, so I put my head down and went through it.

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

 

Silver went to Malaysian rider Mohd Azizulhasni Awang, and Dutchman Harrie Lavreysen took bronze.

Kenny earned a team sprint silver earlier in his Tokyo 2020 programme but was only eighth in the individual sprint.

To produce a gold-winning display again was a fine way to end his time in Japan's capital, but there was disappointment for his wife, Laura Kenny, whose bid for a hat-trick of omnium titles ended with a sixth-placed finish.

The London 2012 and Rio 2016 champion had a fall in the scratch race and then struggled to get in medal contention, with gold going to American Jennifer Valente, silver to Yumi Kajihara of Japan and bronze to Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands.

Laura Kenny at least enjoyed her husband's success, after privately fearing he would fall short.

"The amount of people who came up to me afterwards and were like 'I'd have counted him out of this' - and to be honest, so had I!" Kenny told BBC Sport.

"I was speaking to him last night and he was like 'I just want to go home'. Then obviously he won - just typical Jason, that."

Gold in the women's sprint went to Canada's Kelsey Mitchell, who edged out Ukraine's Olena Starikova in the final, with Lee Wai Sze of Hong Kong beating Germany's Emma Hinze to bronze.

Sue Bird signed off her Olympic career with a fifth gold medal as Team USA landed a seventh successive women's basketball title, scuppering the hopes of hosts Japan in the final.

At the age of 40, Bird has declared Tokyo 2020 will be her final Games, and she helped the latest incarnation of the mighty United States team to a 90-75 win in the Saitama Super Arena.

Brittney Griner set a new USA record of 30 points in a women's Olympic final, while Diana Taurasi joined Bird in landing a fifth gold, the two longest-serving members of the team each finishing the game with seven points. Taurasi, 39, could yet play on until the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

A'ja Wilson scored 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field in Sunday's final, while Breanna Stewart added 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

Maki Takada led Japan with 17 points. Her team-mate Nako Motohashi drained four of five three-point shots but was far less clinical when nearer the net.

Japan made just 36 per cent of their field-goal attempts (28 of 77) and the 54 per cent success rate of the US team (37 of 69) proved a decisive factor.

The home team never led and trailed 50-39 at half-time, then 75-56 after the third quarter, and by that point the contest was all but over.

Taurasi said of her fifth gold: "It's 20 years of sacrifice, of putting everything aside and just wanting to win. It's never easy playing on this team [with] the pressure, but this group found a way to win and I'm just happy this group got to enjoy it."

Griner, who was also on the Rio 2016 team, recalled the efforts of the triumphant teams of years gone by, with this winning streak having begun at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

"Seven in a row, I mean that's just amazing. That just goes to show everything USA basketball's about," Griner said.

"Japan's hard to guard. They can shoot it anywhere on the court. They're a tough guard, they're a really good team. I'm just glad we've got this gold."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani Alves says winning Olympic gold is his greatest achievement in football after Brazil overcame Spain to reign at the Games once again.

Brazil secured back-to-back golds on Saturday, following on from their Rio 2016 triumph with a 2-1 victory after extra time.

Mikel Oyarzabal levelled to bring Spain back into the game after Matheus Cunha's opener but Malcolm came off the bench to capture Olympic glory.

Alves, a three-time Champions League winner who also has six LaLiga titles on his resume, proclaimed Tokyo to be his greatest success in football.

"To be sincere, yes," the 38-year-old responded when asked if this was his greatest prize. "Because the others are every year, and I have competed time and time again, but with this medal, this is my last chance. I won’t make it to Paris.

"This means a lot for me. Everybody trusted in me, and I knew this would be a once-only opportunity, to be able to enjoy this dream. It’s not every day that you become an Olympic athlete, and even less at the age of 38.

"And so I came here like everybody else, as a virgin, to this competition. I came with the boys to live the dream with them. And we have managed it, after a lot of effort and sacrifice, and we are taking the biggest prize back home, back to our people."

Captain Alves and his team-mates were reduced to tears at the full-time whistle as Brazil came out on top in a record-breaking fifth final appearance.

The last trophy missing from his illustrious collection of honours is the World Cup, so could he keep on going for his country?

"I’m a dreamer, a small dreamer, and more than a dreamer, somebody who executes their dreams," he said in response to questions about Qatar 2022.

"The most important thing is to fight, and that’s what I know what to do. I have the drive of a 23-year-old.

"I still want to do big things in football, and have respect for the profession, because when you have respect for your profession, it brings you great things, and which is what I'm living."

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

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

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

JAPAN JOY AGAIN AGAINST USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHINA DOMINATE BUT DALEY DELIGHTED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HASSAN 'NEEDED' BRONZE HEARTBREAK

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

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

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

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

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

BOWING OUT ON A HIGH

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

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

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

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

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

BOOMERS BREAK THE BARRIER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Malcom came off the bench to claim gold for Brazil, who beat Spain 2-1 after extra time to defend their Olympic crown.

Mikel Oyarzabal's stunning effort cancelled out Matheus Cunha's opener to force extra time at the International Stadium Yokohama.

There was plenty of drama before normal time was up – Richarlison blazing a penalty over just prior to Cunha's opener before the Everton forward hit the crossbar in the second half, with Oscar Gil and Bryan Gil also hitting the woodwork at the other end.

Yet it was substitute Malcom who ultimately proved decisive, the Zenit winger getting the better of Jesus Vallejo to prod home beyond Unai Simon and seal back-to-back gold medals for Brazil.

Diego Carlos had to clear off the line to prevent an embarrassing own goal in the 16th minute, before Richarlison sliced into the side netting from a tight angle.

The tournament's leading scorer Richarlison should have added to his tally in the 38th minute, after Spain goalkeeper Simon was adjudged to have fouled Cunha on a VAR check, but he lashed his spot-kick well over.

Brazil swiftly recovered, though – Dani Alves doing brilliantly to keep a move alive, with Cunha bringing down the looping ball and arrowing a finish into the bottom-right corner.

Simon redeemed himself with a fine save from Richarlison after the break, parrying the forward's effort onto the underside of the crossbar, and Oyarzabal's wonderful 61st-minute strike subsequently restored parity. 

The woodwork came to Brazil's salvation late on in normal time, Gil's right-wing centre clipping off the bar before Bryan's thunderous effort rattled off the frame of the goal.

Brazil made their fortune count in the 18th minute of extra time, Malcom's turn of pace proving too much for Vallejo, who could only watch on as the former Barcelona man secured their second Olympic gold.

Alves and Co. were in tears at full-time, collapsing on the pitch as Brazil became the fourth team to win successive gold medals in the men's football event, in what was a record-setting fifth final.

Contesting their third Olympic final, Spain – champions in 1992 – had to settle for silver, the medal they won back in 2000.

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

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

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

HASSAN AT THE DOUBLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHOPRA BREAKS NEW GROUND FOR INDIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

USA DOMINATE 4x400m RELAYS

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

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

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

Golf lionheart Nelly Korda admits Olympic gold medal success probably will not fully sink in until the end of the season as she turns her focus towards Carnoustie and the Women's Open.

The 23-year-old American has risen to world number one, landed a first major title and now snatched Tokyo 2020 glory in what is proving a stellar year in her young career.

She completed a second successive round of 69 to polish off victory on Saturday at the Kasumigaski Country Club, finishing one clear of Japan's Mone Inami, who won a silver medal play-off, and New Zealand's Lydia Ko.

The demands at the pinnacle of professional golf are such that, though Korda spoke of an "amazing" feeling at being an Olympic champion, she is well aware of what lies ahead for her in the coming weeks.

And so rather than going away to celebrate, Korda will be heading for Scotland on another working trip.

"It's honestly crazy. You're constantly looking ahead for your next event," she said. "One event you finish, and then next it’s like the British or Scottish [Open].

"It never really gets to sink in, in a sense. I'll look back at the season after the season is done but right now there's a lot of big events coming up, but when I do look back it’s just crazy.

“I think every win is special in its own way. I wouldn't say one win is more special or one win is bigger. Each win has a significant meaning to me.

"Obviously this is a huge honour, and it’s amazing to be a gold medallist - to even just be an Olympian and represent your country. You have to be at the top of the top to come to the Games."

Korda's parents, former Czech tennis stars Regina Rajchrtova and Petr Korda, have suggested she possesses the hunger of a queen of the jungle.

Asked about the focus she needed to find in the final round, when a storm delay held up play for 49 minutes in the closing holes, Korda said: "My parents always say that I'm a lion because always since a young age I've always been super determined and super focused on what I want, so I feel it's built inside of me."

Sister Jessica has even suggested Korda already belongs in the "G.O.A.T." - greatest of all time - conversation. Jessica finished outside the medals in a tie for 15th but nobody beat her closing 64 on Saturday.

The Scottish Open begins on Thursday and Korda is not currently listed as competing in that tournament, but she will be in the Women's Open field, with the tournament beginning on August 19.

After winning the Women's PGA Championship and following up in style in Japan this week, Korda will test her game on the Scottish links when Carnoustie stages its second women's major.

Korda had a second-round 62, which was the lowest round of the week, and that paved the way for her Olympic success.

"Safe to say I really enjoyed my first Olympic experience," she said.

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

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

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

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

The highs…

WARHOLM AND MCLAUGHLIN HAMMER THE HURDLES

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

VAN VLEUTEN'S HEARTWARMING TRIUMPH

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

SWIMMING STARS PROVE THERE'S LIFE AFTER PHELPS

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

THOMPSON-HERAH DOES THE DOUBLE-DOUBLE

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

THE AZZURRI'S GOLDEN HOUR

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

NEW EVENTS CATCH THE IMAGINATION

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

BILES' INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE

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

And the lows…

EMPTY STADIUMS AN ENDURING IMAGE

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

TENNIS' HEADLINE ACTS FAIL TO DELIVER

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

THE TSIMANOUSKAYA SAGA

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

Germany's modern pentathlon coach Kim Raisner has been disqualified from the Olympic Games after hitting a horse that refused to jump during the women's competition.

Early leader Annika Schleu's medal hopes were shattered on Friday when Saint Boy, the horse she was allocated for the show-jumping section of the five-discipline event, proved unwilling to perform.

It led to Schleu being reduced to tears while still on board the seemingly agitated horse as her prospects of success slipped away.

Raisner suggested Schleu hit the horse to jolt it into action, before striking it herself near its rear left leg.

Modern pentathlon's world governing body, the UIPM said on Saturday its executive board (EB) had "given a black card to the Germany team coach Kim Raisner, disqualifying her from the remainder of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games".

"The EB reviewed video footage that showed Ms Raisner appearing to strike the horse Saint Boy, ridden by Annika Schleu, with her fist during the riding discipline of the women's modern pentathlon competition," the UIPM added in a statement.

"Her actions were deemed to be in violation of the UIPM competition rules, which are applied to all recognised modern pentathlon competitions including the Olympic Games.

"The EB decision was made today at the Tokyo Stadium before the resumption of the men's modern pentathlon competition."

That meant Raisner was not present as Germany competed on Saturday, with Patrick Dogue finishing second in the show-jumping stage in her absence.

Germany's modern pentathlon federation, the DVMF, promised an investigation.

Modern pentathlon competitors are presented with horses for the show-jumping element, and have 20 minutes to become acquainted before they must ride.

"It goes without saying that there will be a comprehensive and critical evaluation of what happened after the Olympic Games," the DVMF said.

"The DVMF also makes it clear that the welfare of the horses is the unreserved concern of the association."

Michael Morkov and Lasse Norman Hansen added Olympic gold to their World Championship title as Denmark were crowned kings of the Tokyo 2020 men's madison.

Great Britain took silver and France the bronze in the Izu Velodrome, but Denmark again proved they are masters of the event, with their riders adding to the silver they captured in team pursuit.

Having served as Deceuninck-QuickStep’s lead-out man in the Tour de France, helping Mark Cavendish secure the four stage wins that took him level with the great Eddy Merckx, this was another standout moment for Morkov, and it was his day to scoop big-stage glory.

He and Hansen landed the madison world title in March of last year, before lockdown hit much of Europe, and now they have gold at the Olympics to their name.

The British duo of Ethan Hayter and omnium gold medallist Matt Walls finished strongly to snatch second place by landing the double-points final sprint.

France, who had led the gold medal chase with six sprints remaining, were reeled in and forced to settle for third.

Morkov said: "I know we won the race but it's hard to believe now. We were the main favourite. Lasse and I won all the medals we ever did together internationally. We know we had a good shot at this but it came very close.

"Actually I knew it 10 laps out because we were leading with 11 points. We had the French with us and the British were off the road, they could maximum take 10 points. So it was kind of a sweet finish even though it was very, very hard because it was our chase, but still I wanted to look at the board in the end to get it confirmed.

"I had in mind all the time our Danish badminton player Viktor Axelsen, who won an amazing gold medal a week ago, and he was a big inspiration for me today."

The madison had been off the Olympic programme since 2008 until its return this year, with Morkov finishing sixth in the event in Beijing 13 years ago alongside Alex Rasmussen, when the Danes had higher ambitions.

Morkov described the move to scratch the madison from the 2012 and 2016 Olympics as "a big bummer", given his prowess in the event.

"But in 2017 when I heard it was back on the programme, I was in no doubt that this would be my shot at an Olympic medal," the 36-year-old said.

Hansen, 29, savoured the moment, saying of Morkov: "Man, he's been one of my idols since I started riding on the tracks, so it means a lot to stand here beside him."

Galal Yafai secured a first Olympic gold for his family with a points win in the men's flyweight final on Saturday.

Four of the judges scored the bout against Carlo Paalam narrowly in Yafai's favour at Kokugikan Arena to bring the Great Britain star Games joy at Tokyo 2020.

Yafai lost in the round of 16 at Rio 2016, while brother Kal fell at the same stage at Beijing 2008 and then failed to make weight for a box-off ahead of London 2012. Gamal, a third brother, is also a boxer.

It was a victory long in the making then, as Yafai said: "Whenever I do anything good it impacts [his brothers].

"We're a close-knit family, close-knit brothers and hopefully they can celebrate this with me too."

Yafai said winning a world title was "a million per cent" an aspiration, but he would not immediately commit to turning professional.

"I'll have a rest now," he said. "Obviously everyone wants to turn pro. I've been amateur for a long time, been to two Olympic Games, I'm Olympic champion now.

"I think it's a big thing that everyone wants to do, but I'm just going to have a rest at the minute and spend time with family and friends and just soak it all in."

BRUTAL END TO STUNNING UNBEATEN RUN

Hebert Sousa became the second Brazilian to win an Olympic gold in boxing after ending Oleksandr Khyzhniak's sensational undefeated streak in style.

Khyzhniak, one of the favourites in the middleweight event, had not lost in 62 amateur bouts going back to 2016.

But the Ukrainian was knocked out in the third round by Sousa, having been in control of the fight to that point.

"It was very difficult and I had to confront my opponent," Sousa said. "He's very, very powerful. I believed in our possibility and I trained to get the medal. I trained and trained."

MIXED FORTUNES IN TURKEY'S MEDAL FIGHTS

Saturday's two women's finals both brought unanimous decisions, with Turkey's Busenaz Surmeneli winning the welterweight gold but compatriot Buse Naz Cakiroglu having to settle for silver in the fly.

Cakiroglu, in action first, had missed out on becoming Turkey's first boxing gold medallist as Stoyka Zhelyazkova Krasteva of Bulgaria triumphed.

That honour instead went to Surmeneli following her victory over China's Hong Gu.

Surmeneli said of the achievement: "I am really happy to get that. I am just a pioneer and this medal is for all Turkey. I hope to win more medals.

"This is hope for the Turkish girls and it is a sign that you should run for your dreams, you should do your best for your dreams."

Draymond Green turned on Team USA's critics after landing another basketball gold medal at the Olympic Games, saying: "Somebody needs to teach these people some loyalty."

A sketchy start to the Tokyo 2020 mission was followed by steady improvement from Gregg Popovich's team, and an 87-82 win over France in Saturday's final tied up a fourth successive gold-winning campaign.

Pre-tournament losses to Australia and Nigeria hinted at teething problems in fusing together a new-look squad, and an early-group stage loss to France only fuelled doubts that this side might come up short.

But the United States team came good when it mattered, fending off a France side who kept coming back for more in the gold game. 

Golden State Warriors power forward Green has now played on two of the Americans' triumphant men's basketball Olympic teams, and he was keen to hit out at what he called "a lot of doubters".

"You turn on American sports talk, TV, or whatever, and you got guys like Kendrick Perkins doubting us," Green said.

Perkins, 36, is a former NBA championship winner with the Boston Celtics who now works as a television game analyst and commentator.

"Somebody needs to teach these people some loyalty. How about you cheer for your country?" Green said.

"When a guy doesn't play they say, 'Oh you need to represent your country', and then you lose, hit a little bump in the road, and everybody is mad in America. You are an American too, act like it.

"Do your job. I do some media stuff, I understand doing your job, but when you talk about a special group, you better be sure you are right, and a lot of people got it wrong.

"And trust me, I will be posting those guys, I'll be posting everyone I find who said something. No one holds anyone accountable any more, but I will."

 

Kevin Durant was the driving force behind the USA's success, scoring a game-high 29 points in the final and being a powerful presence during the tournament.

Like others, Green said that Durant "carried" the team, but he also pointed to the efforts of Jayson Tatum, Devin Booker and Jrue Holiday as being significant.

"It's a challenge to do special things," Green said. "I know it seems as if it has come easy for so long, but I played in 2016. It wasn’t easy then, it wasn’t easy this year.

"If it's worth having, you have to fight for it. We fought, they fought, I think the better team came out with the gold medal."

With families unable to join the team in Tokyo, and the Games coming on the back of a taxing NBA season, Green suggested this was a win to savour perhaps more than the Rio success, where there were no issues as imposing as the ongoing COVID restrictions.

"Don't get me wrong, I don't take either one for granted, but this one feels sweet," Green said. "It feels a lot sweeter."

Peres Jepchirchir and Brigid Kosgei set the pace for most of Saturday's women's marathon, and the only question entering the final five kilometres was which Kenyan would cross the line first. 

Jepchirchir finally broke from her countrywoman with a little over two kilometres to go and pulled away to win by 16 seconds.

Kosgei's second-place finish made Kenya the first nation to claim gold and silver in the event at the same Olympic Games.

“I pushed on the pace [and when I opened the gap] it was like, 'Wow, I’m going to make it. I’m going to win,'" Jepchirchir said. 

"It feels good. I’m so, so happy because we win as Kenya. First and second. I thank my god so much. I'm happy for my family. I'm happy for my country, Kenya."

Ten seconds behind Kosgei, Molly Seidel of the USA shouted "Yes! Yes!" as she crossed the line for a stunning bronze medal in only her third competitive marathon.

Seidel is the third US woman to medal in the marathon, following Joan Benoit Samuelson's gold at the inaugural women's race in Los Angeles in 1984 and Deena Kastor's bronze at Athens 2004.

She said she took inspiration from her friend Courtney Frerichs' aggressive approach that led to a silver medal in the 3,000m steeplechase this week.

"Seeing her do that and race aggressively was truthfully what gave me the strength to not be afraid to stick my nose in it," Seidel said.

"It is just to go out, stick your nose where it doesn’t belong and try and make some people angry. My goal today was just to go in and for people to think, 'Who the hell is this girl?'."

ANOTHER GOLD FOR MCGEE FAMILY

JaVale McGee was a late addition to the USA basketball squad, but Saturday's victory over France made him a part of history.

McGee's mother Pam won gold with the USA in basketball at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, and she and JaVale are now the first American mother-son combo to win gold in any sport.

“It's an amazing feeling man," McGee said. "I got a gold medal, my mother's got a gold medal. You can't really explain it, just knowing you're the best in the world.

“If that don't add to the resume, I don't know what will. It's a family resume. That's what it’s all about, in the end, is family.”

YAFAI WINS BOXING GOLD FOR BRITAIN

Galal Yafai became the first British man to win boxing gold since London 2012, defeating Carlo Paalam of the Philippines for the flyweight title Saturday.

Yafai knocked down Paalam in the opening round and never looked back, winning 4-1.

The 28-year-old Birmingham native competed in Rio as a light flyweight but lost in the second round.

He is the first Brit to medal in the men's fly since 1956.

Paalam is the first man from the Philippines to medal in any sport since boxer Mansueto Velasco took silver in the light fly at Atlanta 1996.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL NEWCOMERS TAKE MEDALS

A sport traditionally dominated by Brazil and the USA saw three newcomers on the podium on Saturday.

The Norway duo of Anders Mol and Christian Sorum defeated Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy, representing the Russian Olympic Committee, to take home the gold medal.

In the bronze-medal match, Ahmed Tijan and Cherif Younousse of Qatar downed Edgar Tocs and 2012 bronze medallist Martins Plavins of Latvia.

None of the podium nations had won a medal of any kind in men's or women's beach volleyball before, though the winners do have an Olympic legacy of sorts.

Mol's mother, Merita Berntsen, placed ninth with partner Ragni Hestad in the first beach volleyball competition at the 1996 Atlanta Games, then retired when Anders was born the next year.

"My mum thought it was going to be really hard to travel around with two kids, because my brother was born in 1994. She had me and then quit," Mol said. "I always dreamed of beating my mum in the Olympics. She got a ninth [place[. I was actually really happy when we made it to the quarter-finals because we became historical by achieving [at least] a fifth place.

"It has been a journey for a long time and our parents and families are very proud of us right now."

SIXTH KAYAK GOLD FOR HUNGARY'S KOZAK

Danuta Kozak claimed her sixth Olympic gold medal as Hungary won the women's sprint kayak four 500 metres.

The 34-year-old teamed with Tamara Csipes, Anna Karasz and Dora Bodonyi to hold off Belarus and Poland.

It was Kozak's third consecutive gold in the fours after taking silver in the event in her Olympic debut in Beijing.

She also won gold in the K1 500m in London and Rio, and in the K2 in Rio. She took bronze in the K2 earlier this week, so Saturday's win gives her eight Olympic medals overall.

In other sprint kayak finals, Germany won the men's kayak four 500m, China took the women's canoe double 500m and Isaquias Queiroz dos Santos of Brazil won the canoe single 1000m.

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