"It's time to start looking like Team USA." That was the approach after a shock opening Olympics loss, Damian Lillard said, and the Games favourites delivered on Wednesday.

France had upset the United States in their first game, following up a 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup quarter-final triumph against the same opponents.

It was a defeat that will ensure doubts remain about Team USA's title aspirations for some time, but they at least got back to winning ways against modest opponents in Iran.

Lillard led the way in Wednesday's stand-out game, scoring 21 points in a dominant 120-66 success.

"I think after our loss to France we had two days between games and everybody just wanted to get back out there and get right," the Portland Trail Blazers guard said. "After that loss, we came together."

Lillard added of the Iran game: "I think we came out with a lot more urgency. Our energy was higher, we played at a faster pace. We were more aggressive, and we played like ourselves.

"We didn't come out here and think that it was just going to happen; we made it happen, and that's the way that we've got to play if we want to be successful in these Olympics."

'WE DON'T NEED HEROES'

Lillard's game-high tally – consisting entirely of seven three-pointers – was still significantly down on the 28.8 he averaged in the 2020-21 NBA regular season.

But that is exactly what coach Gregg Popovich wants from his team, knowing Devin Booker (16 points on Wednesday, 25.6 in the NBA), Jayson Tatum (14, 26.4), Zach LaVine (13, 27.4), Kevin Durant (10, 26.9) and Khris Middleton (10, 20.4) cannot all be the main men.

"Each of these guys scores 20 or 25 or 30 for their teams, and their teams depend on that every night," Popovich said. "We can't play like that, and so we don't.

"They appreciate each other and they know what their team-mates can do. They understand that good basketball is sharing the basketball.

"Everybody's, in a sense, kind of a role player now. We don't need heroes."

FRANCE TAKE TOP SPOT

Les Bleus built on their victory over Team USA and will now top Pool A ahead of the American side thanks to a 97-77 defeat of the Czech Republic.

France trailed 28-22 through the first quarter but turned the game around with a dominant second, settled 29-12 in their favour.

As against the United States, Evan Fournier topped the scoring charts, weighing in with 21 points on 62 per cent shooting.

BOOMERS BIGS WIN BATTLE

Australia also have two wins from two after edging Italy 86-83 on Wednesday, led by the frontcourt contributions of Jock Landale and Aron Baynes.

Landale led the Boomers with 18 points, but the pair crucially also finished with seven rebounds and a block apiece. Between them, they accounted for nine of the team's 16 vital offensive rebounds – Nick Kay added another four from the bench.

"Our bigs were huge today," said Utah Jazz wing Joe Ingles. "The rebounds, tip-outs – they got us a ton of extra possessions."

Elsewhere in Pool B, Nigeria's pre-tournament optimism might have given way after a second straight defeat that gives them a mountain to climb.

D'Tigers beat Team USA and Argentina in exhibitions but lost to Australia and then, on Wednesday, Germany – a 99-92 reverse despite 33 points from Jordan Nwora, fresh from playing a fringe role in the Milwaukee Bucks' run to the NBA title, including one minute and three points in the Finals.

Sena Irie made boxing history for Japan and Kurt Walker produced a huge upset by ending Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov's bid to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday.

Featherweight Irie became the first woman to win an Olympic boxing medal with a points victory over Maria Claudia Nechita at the Kokugikan Arena in her homeland.

Irish featherweight Walker eliminated world champion and top seed Mirzakhalilov of Uzbekistan in the round of 16, claiming a split decision.

We take a look at the pick of the action in the ring.

 

IRIE WANTS JAPANESE WOMEN TO SWAP JUDO FOR BOXING

The 20-year-old Irie will win at least a bronze medal after her defeat of Nechita and faces Team GB's Karriss Artingstall, who edged out Skye Nicolson of Australia, at the semi-final stage.

Irie hopes her exploits will inspire Japanese women to pick boxing over judo.

"Judo is a much more famous sport in Japan so I hope this makes boxing a lot more famous and inspires more Japanese women to take it up," she said.

"I've shown other women who might not be good at sport that you can achieve something if you work hard.

"This medal is the result of 13 years' hard work. I've made history but it is still just a little contribution. I want to do more. Winning gold would be so much bigger."

 

KURT WALKING TALL 

Walker produced the performance of his career to eliminate Mirzakhalilov.

Mirzakhalilov was strongly fancied to take gold, but Walker had other ideas as he pulled off a shock victory.

The 26-year-old said: "I'm over the moon. I really can't explain it, but I worked on it and I knew it was going to happen. I believed. I knew. I'm not surprised. 

"It's just brilliant. I never would have thought it before I came, it's a fairytale. But there is still more work for me to do. I need to recover, go back and get more tactics and hopefully get a medal."

Asked how he ranks the win, he said: "The best I'd say. I beat the current world champion, the number one seed, in the Olympics Games, the biggest stage of the lot."

Duke Ragan will be Walker's quarter-final opponent on Sunday after the American dominated Serik Temirzhanov of Kazakhstan.

 

FONTIJN: PRICE NOT IN MY HEAD

Nouchka Fontijn and top seed Lauren Price could be on a middleweight semi-final collision course after securing midweek victories.

Fontijn of the Netherlands beat Pole Elzbieta Wojcik in the first round, while Price got her quest for Olympic glory by dominating Mongolia's Myagmarjargal Munkhbat.

Dutch boxer Nouchka thought she had won the world title in 2019, but Price took the title in Russia after the British team launched a successful appeal.

The two will meet it again if they come through their quarter-final bouts this weekend and Fontijn says Price is not in her head.

"I’m not busy with Lauren Price any more than other opponents," said the Rio 2016 silver medallist. "Some people think I need revenge and that she's always in my head and that's not true. I am just working towards my next fight and we'll see what happens then.

"I've already got the silver, and gold would be perfect in my collection. But every Olympic Games is another chapter and it’s been five years since Rio. There's a whole new squad of opponents, so it’s a different story."

Daniil Medvedev did not take kindly to a question over the controversy surrounding Russian athletes at the Tokyo Olympics after he battled through sweltering conditions to reach the quarter-finals.

Medvedev beat Italy's Fabio Fognini 6-2 3-6 6-2 on Wednesday in a match that was paused for 10 minutes due to on-court temperatures reaching 31 degrees Celsius, with humidity then adding to that.

The world number two had to receive medical attention on two occasions before he prevailed to tee up a last-eight tie with Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain.

Top seed Novak Djokovic continued his march towards the medal matches with a routine win over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, though in the doubles, Andy Murray's hopes of winning a historic fourth Olympic prize were shattered.

 

MEDVDEV'S TEMPER FRAYS IN THE HEAT

It had already been a stressful day for Medvedev. The 25-year-old replied "I can finish the match but I can die. If I die, are you going to be responsible?" when asked by chair umpire Carlos Ramos whether he could carry on playing against Fognini following two medical timeouts. 

Medvedev's temper then boiled over in the media mixed zone when he was questioned over the contentious nature of Russian athletes competing at the Games.

The Russian flag is not represented in Tokyo due to sanctions against the country for state-sponsored doping offences. Russia is suspended from competing in global sporting events for two years – a ban that was reduced from an initial four-year punishment. Instead, athletes are competing under the banner of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

Medvedev was asked if he feels the Russian athletes are "carrying a stigma of cheaters".

Seemingly misunderstanding the question, Medvedev hardly held back in his reaction, saying: "That's the first time in my life I’m not gonna answer a question, man. And you should be embarrassed of yourself."

Before leaving the room, Medvedev subsequently told the press officer: "I think you should [remove] him from either the Olympic Games, either the tennis tournament. I don't wanna see him again in my interviews. Thanks."

MURRAY'S PARIS PARTICIPATION IN DOUBT

There was to be no fairytale title tilt for former world number one Murray. He won gold in the singles in London and Rio, and also managed a silver medal at the 2012 Games in the mixed doubles, but he and Joe Sailsbury suffered a defeat to Croatian pair Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig in the quarter-finals.

The British pair won the first set but failed to make their advantage count, with Croatia's duo coming back to win 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 10-7.

Murray will be 37 by the time the Paris Games come around, and as he continues to carefully manage his return from hip surgery, the Scot could well have made his Olympic farewell.

"I don't know. I don't know if I'll get the opportunity to play [in the Olympics] again," he conceded.

"I love every minute of playing the Olympics. I wish that today would have gone differently. I had another chance with Joe to win a medal. We were so close and that is just disappointing. There was some stuff I wish I could have done at the end of the match to try and help out more. But yeah, very disappointing."

MIXED BAG FOR TSITSIPAS

While Medvedev, Djokovic and Alexander Zverev all progressed into the last eight in the singles, there was no place for Stefanos Tsitsipas, whose hopes were ended by Ugo Humbert.

The Greek world number four suffered a seemingly innocuous leg injury in the second set tie-break and failed to recover in the decider as Frenchman Humbert claimed the biggest win of his career.

However, Tsitsipas was swiftly back on court to play in the mixed doubles alongside partner Maria Sakkari, and the duo claimed a comfortable 6-3 6-4 victory over Canada's Gabriela Dabrowski and Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Asked after that win to discuss what went wrong in his earlier defeat, Tsitsipas replied: "I figured out a few things later during the match, like really, really late. 

"I think if I've had the same mindset or the same attitude, same vision that I had towards the very end of the match, I think things would have gone much, much smoother and better for me. It's something that I learned."

He also confirmed his injury was "nothing serious."

DJOKOVIC ON A ROLL

As expected, Djokovic is one win away from a shot at a medal in the singles, and he then followed up his victory over Davidovich Fokina by combining with Nina Stojanovic in the mixed doubles.

The Serbian pair beat Marcelo Melo and Luisa Stefani of Brazil 6-3 6-4 in just 70 minutes to book their place in the next round.

Djokovic will have the host nation against him in his next match, however, as he takes on Kei Nishikori, who is Japan's only hope of a singles medal after Naomi Osaka's exit.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has confirmed matches at the Tokyo Olympics will now start later in the day after concerns over player health and welfare.

World numbers one and two Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev have been among the players to complain about games starting too early in the day, citing the heat and humidity at Ariake Tennis Park as a major issue.

Indeed, on Wednesday, 25-year-old Medvedev struggled with the conditions as he battled to a 6-2 3-6 6-2 win over Fabio Fognini.

Despite being allowed 10 minutes off court at one stage, Medvedev was in visible discomfort during the last-16 tie, and had two medical timeouts before being asked by chair umpire Carlos Ramos whether he could continue.

"I can finish the match but I can die," the Russian replied to Ramos, per ESPN. "If I die, are you going to be responsible?"

The 72 per cent humidity meant 31 degrees Celsius felt like 37 degrees Celsius on the heat index. Medvedev was not the only player to suffer on Wednesday, with Paula Badosa having to be taken from the court in a wheelchair as she retired against Marketa Vondrousova due to heatstroke.

Earlier in the week, Medvedev had questioned the approach of starting matches in the late morning, while top seed Djokovic suggested scheduling the first games for 15:00 local time.

The ITF has now agreed, with start times pushed back to 15:00, meaning the majority of matches in the closing stages of the Olympic tennis will be played during the slightly cooler evening hours.

"In the interests of player health and welfare and following extensive consultation, the ITF has announced a change of schedule due to the increasing heat and humidity currently being experienced in Tokyo," an ITF statement read.

"The decision to start matches at 3pm JST from Thursday is possible due to the outcomes of today’s matches across the five competitons being staged and the size of the player field.

"[The decision] is designed to further safeguard player health."

Primoz Roglic eased to an emphatic time trial victory to clinch gold at the Tokyo Olympics, claiming Slovenia's first gold medal in any cycling discipline.

Roglic was pipped to the post in the 2020 Tour de France, when compatriot Tadej Pogacar stole a march on him in the final time trial.

The Jumbo-Visma rider's attempts to wrest the title away from Pogacar proved fruitless this year, as he suffered a huge crash early on in the race and was eventually forced to abandon.

He did not make the podium in Saturday's road race, Pogacar taking that honour for Slovenia, but Roglic hit back with a supreme display on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old finished the 44.2km course in a time of 55:04, more than a minute ahead of his nearest rival, Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands.

Roglic was never out of the top two. He led by 0.04 seconds after 15km, yet had dragged that lead out to 42.34 seconds at the 37km time check.

Rohan Dennis got the bronze, becoming the second Australian to win a medal in both road and track cycling, after Kathy Watt in 1992.

Dumoulin, a Jumbo-Visma team-mate of Roglic, became the first Dutchman to win two Olympic medals on the road, following his time trial silver in Rio.

Pre-event favourite Wout van Aert of Belgium was unable to keep the pace and finished down in sixth, while world TT champion Filippo Ganna had to settle for fifth.

TWO UP FOR SLOVENIA

Pogacar decided not to push himself for Wednesday's event, making Roglic Slovenia's hope, and he certainly delivered with what was a brilliant display of power.

Roglic's gold was Slovenia's first in cycling and the European nation's second at these Games, following Benjamin Savsek's success in the men's canoe slalom on Monday, equalling their best tally at a Games, which came in Sydney 21 years ago.

Dumoulin's silver, meanwhile, brought up the Netherlands' seventh medal of Wednesday. It has equalled their most successful single day (August 11, 1928) at a Games.

Team GB's two-time gold medallist Geraint Thomas finished 12th, capping a frustrating week after he crashed out of the road race.

"It was tough," the Welshman told BBC Sport. "I tried to start at a pace that we thought would be there or thereabouts for a medal. Then I heard I was 50 seconds down on Roglic which wasn't great for morale.

"It's been a super hard five weeks and it just seems to be one thing after the next. I just need to stay positive and try to keep going."

VAN VLEUTEN GETS GOLD, VAN DER BREGGEN GOES OUT ON A HIGH

Two of Dumoulin's countrywomen contributed to the Netherlands' medal count on Wednesday, with Annemiek van Vleuten finally claiming gold.

The 38-year-old thought she had won the road race on Saturday, but was mistaken. However, there was no such error on this occasion, as she won by over a minute on the 22.1km course.

She is the third-oldest woman to win an Olympic gold for the Netherlands, after dressage rider Anky van Grunsven (aged 40 years, 230 days) and rower Marit van Eupen (38y, 326d), with that duo winning in Beijing in 2008.

After her silver medal on Saturday, Van Vleuten is the sixth female cyclist to claim a podium place in the road race and the individual time trial at the Games.

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten finally has an Olympic gold medal after obliterating the field in the time trial.

She won by nearly a minute over the 22.1km course, with Switzerland's Marlen Reusser in silver and Van Vleuten's team-mate Anna van der Breggen claiming the bronze.

Marlen Reusser of Switzerland finished second, while Anna van der Breggen boosted the Netherlands' count with a bronze – her third Olympic medal.

A surprised Van der Breggen was initially disappointed with her effort, but it was enough to ensure the Netherlands claimed multiple medals in a cycling event at the Games for the first time.

"There's not so much of a story. The time trial did not feel so good. It was not my best time trial. I thought it was nothing, and in the end it was a bronze medal, so I'm really happy to have a medal," she said.

The medal caps off a stellar career for Van der Breggen, who is retiring at the end of the season.

"A bronze medal is a great way to finish this all. It's my third Olympic medal and that makes me proud," she added. "I can look back on many great races and on a great career."

Paula Badosa was forced to withdraw from her quarter-final against Marketa Vondrousova and taken from the court on a wheelchair after suffering from heatstroke at Tokyo 2020.

Tuesday saw heavy downpours in the Japanese capital, but the hot and humid conditions from earlier in the week returned early on Wednesday with temperatures at times going above 30 degrees Celsius.

Vondrousova, who had shocked home favourite Naomi Osaka in the previous round, won the first set 6-3 at Ariake Tennis Park but her opponent was clearly struggling as she prepared to play the second set.

She required medical assistance to depart the court, as Vondrousova progressed to the final four.

VONDROUSOVA COMMENTS ON THE HEAT

The conditions for the tennis in Tokyo have been a quite literal hot topic with both Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic stating matches should start at 3pm so the majority can be played as temperatures cool.

Vondrousova explained how it was playing in the searing heat, saying: "It was a big struggle from the beginning.

"I warmed up in the morning and I felt it was really hot and humid. Also, I was a bit tired from yesterday because I had doubles too.

"But I knew she had too [singles and doubles]. I felt like we both were struggling from the beginning.

"I was just thinking, you have to stay there mentally, just fight for every point and just see what happens. It's good for me that I can have some rest now.

"It's all about the head too. You have to stay there mentally and fight. Even when you lose the point, you have to get up and fight again. It's really a struggle here with the weather, but that's it, we have to fight."

OLYMPICS LIKE A SLAM FOR SVITOLINA

Next up for Vondrousova is a last-four meeting with Elina Svitolina, the fourth seed and highest-ranked player left in the women's draw.

The Ukrainian was a 6-4 6-4 victor over Camila Giorgi and talked up the significance of winning Olympic gold.

"I know that for Ukraine, [the Olympics] is a really big thing," Svitolina said. 

"I value the Olympics as a grand slam, and I tried to prepare to bring my best tennis. Here I am in the semi-final, and I can get a chance to get a medal. It's very special for me, but I try to take one match at a time."

Belinda Bencic (9) came through 6-0 3-6 6-3 against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on the other side of the draw. She will face Elena Rybakina (15), who was too good for seventh seed Garbine Muguruza in a 7-5 6-1 win.

Ash Barty was beaten along with partner Storm Sanders in the women's doubles quarter-finals earlier on Wednesday but the world number one bounced back to win her first-round mixed doubles match with partner John Peers.

The Australian duo beat Argentina's Horacio Zeballos and Nadia Podoroska 6-1 7-6 (7-3).

Daniil Medvedev told the chair umpire "I can finish the match but I can die" as he struggled with the suffocating heat at Tokyo 2020.

A 6-2 3-6 6-2 win over Fabio Fognini on Wednesday was enough to see Medvedev through to the last eight at Ariake Tennis Park.

But the world number two struggled with 72 per cent humidity that meant an already hot 31 degrees Celsius felt like 37 degrees Celsius on the heat index.

An extreme heat rule meant Medvedev and Fognini were allowed to leave the court for 10 minutes at one stage of the contest.

Medvedev was in visible discomfort before serving, between points and at changeovers. 

He had two medical timeouts before being asked by the chair umpire Carlos Ramos whether he could continue.

"I can finish the match but I can die," the Russian replied to Ramos, per ESPN. "If I die, are you going to be responsible?"

After the match, Medvedev – who along with Novak Djokovic has been vocally calling for matches to start later in the day to counteract the heat – described his struggles.

He said: "Even from the first set, I didn't feel good enough with my breathing. That's why I called the physio. I felt like my diaphragm had blocked. 

"I couldn't breathe properly. I think it was the most humid day we have had so far.

"Then, on the second set, I just had darkness in my eyes, like between every point I didn't know what to do to feel better. 

"I was bending over, and I couldn't get my breathing together. I was ready to just fall down on the court.  

"I knew there was a 10-minute break. So I went under the cold, freezing shower.

"When you have such a change of temperature and go out on the hot court, you can fully cramp, and it finishes the match for you, either that or you feel better. I was lucky I felt better.

"I don't care too much [about closing the roof], to be honest because I don't know if they have AC [air-conditioning]. 

"It can be actually more humid and hot when they close it, but they should start the matches later. I said it in the first round, and I'll continue saying it.

"All the players I know said this is not normal to start at 11am [local time]. 

"[Djokovic] went to ITF and talked to them, and they gave him reasons - I heard maybe from tomorrow they're going to change it, but let's see."

Following the Medvedev match, organisers were quoted as saying they were "considering" making a change, starting from Thursday's action.

Paula Badosa also struggled on Wednesday and ultimately had to leave the court in a wheelchair after retiring with heatstroke from her quarter-final match against Marketa Vondrousova. 

The Spaniard also withdrew from her mixed doubles match later alongside Pablo Carreno Busta, ending their hopes.

Carreno Busta is still in the singles and will face Medvedev next.

Vondrousova, who had won the first set before her opponent withdrew, said: "It was a big struggle from the beginning because I warmed up in the morning and I felt it was really hot and humid.

"Also, I was a bit tired from Monday because I had doubles too. But I knew [Badosa] had [played singles and doubles] too. 

"I felt like we both were struggling from the beginning. I was just thinking, you have to stay there mentally, just fight for every point and just see what happens."

Netherlands' Annemiek van Vleuten finally ended her hunt for an Olympic gold as the 38-year-old triumphed in the women's time trial on Wednesday.

Van Vleuten's confusion in the road race made headlines over the weekend as she celebrated when crossing the line in second place, thinking she had won.

However, it was Anna Kiesenhofer – who is currently without a professional team – who triumphed, having forged a breakaway with 40 kilometres remaining; Van Vleuten failing to realise the Austrian had finished well ahead.

Yet Van Vleuten, who looked set to win gold in Rio only to crash out on the final approach, finally clinched the top prize, and despite her veteran status, she is determined to push for more.

"I think it will sink in tonight maybe, not at the moment," said Van Vleuten, who became the second Dutch cyclist to win the individual time trial at the Games, after Leontien van Moorsel in 2000 and 2004.

"My story started in Rio but the story has not ended yet, because I will not stop. But this is really beautiful. It makes it extra beautiful... extra beautiful."

She also insisted she never lost faith in her ability, despite her troubles.

"I knew after the road race that I was in really good shape, and no one believed. They were talking about different stuff but not about my performance, but in my heart I knew that my preparation had been optimal and that I was in really good shape here," Van Vleuten added.

"If you know that you're really close to the gold sometimes you tend to think only about the mistakes you can make on this quite technical course, about the corners, about if it starts to rain or it's slippery, or that you make a mistake.

"But I was in a good flow today and I was not thinking about mistakes. I was turning it around, like, 'Where can I gain time?'"

Van Vleuten, at the age of 38 years and 293 days, is the third-oldest women to win Olympic gold for the Netherlands.

She finished ahead of Marlen Reusser and compatriot Anna van der Breggen, who equalled Van Moorsel as the Dutch cyclist with the most Olympic medals (three).

Kevin Durant feels the key to the United States' confidence-boosting win over Iran at the Tokyo Olympics was down to becoming more selfish and playing with freedom.

Team USA's 25-game winning run in the men's basketball at the Games was ended by France last week but they responded with a 120-66 victory against Iran on Wednesday.

That loss to France followed exhibition defeats to Australia and Nigeria in the build-up to the event, leading to questions over the cohesion of the record 15-time gold medallists.

But Gregg Popovich's side answered those critics against Iran with a comprehensive victory in which they played fast, aggressive basketball throughout.

Damian Lillard, one of those to come in for heavy criticism following the opening-game defeat, top-scored with 21 points, all from beyond the arc.

USA knocked down 19 3-pointers and 22 of their 37 shots (62 per cent) inside the arc as they showed signs of the quality that has taken them to three successive gold medals.

Brooklyn Nets forward Durant insists the chemistry of the side was never in question as he highlighted the changes made between matches.

"After a tough loss last game, today we came out with more freedom as individuals and took the shots that we normally like to take," Durant said.

"They went in tonight, and we guarded up, so it was a good step.

"I felt like we were in sync last game, but like I've been saying, it's a make or miss game today.

"We created good shots last game and I think today it's the continuity of what we've been doing over the last week. We finally capitalised on the stuff that we've been working on.

"Like I said, our chemistry has been great since day one. We're all excited to be here, I mean this is the Olympics, this is the national team. 

"But I think we were a bit too unselfish early on and tried not to step on toes. That bit us before.

"Tonight the guys came out there and were super aggressive to look for their shot but also keep everybody involved, and we were able to make some shots. 

"Damian came out, got it scorching for us, so we're going to need that going forward."

 

Head coach Popovich rotated his roster against Iran by bringing in Jrue Holiday and Devin Booker, who were brought off the bench against France.

"In the last game we have to play two 'bigs' and I think that might have clogged it up a bit for us all offensively," Durant added.  

"Defensively we've been solid the whole time, but offensively we were trying to find our rhythm. 

"I played the four [position], so I was able to stretch the floor a bit and give guys space and we were able to get some confidence and knock some shots down."

A victory over the Czech Republic on Saturday will guarantee the world's top-ranked side a place in the quarter-finals.

That next match will also provide Durant with his next opportunity to surpass Carmelo Anthony as USA men's basketball all-time Olympic top scorer.

Durant managed 10 points against Iran, moving him to within five of Antony's record (336).

Andy Murray conceded he was hurting after going down to a narrow defeat in the men's doubles quarter-finals at Tokyo 2020 but insisted he did not regret prioritising the competition over the singles.

Team GB duo Murray and Joe Salisbury suffered a heart-breaking loss to Croatian pair Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig at Ariake Tennis Park on Wednesday.

They won the first set but Cilic and Dodig ultimately prevailed 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 10-7, with Murray rueing how close he and Salisbury had come to a semi-final berth that would have guaranteed him a shot at a medal.

Despite falling just short, the two-time Wimbledon winner insisted he did not regret pulling out of the singles tournament to focus on the doubles as he manages a quad injury.

Instead, the singles gold medallist in London and Rio was only looking back to scrutinise some of the decisive points that went against his team.

"No, I don't regret that decision," Murray said. "I think we put ourselves in a really good position to win and do well here. 

"This is the one, it hurts a lot, losing that one, because you get through it, and you get two matches for a medal. 

"We were just so close. I just wish I could have done some stuff differently at the end of the match, so I regret that, not the decision [not] to play singles."

Tokyo could be the last Olympics for Murray, who has had a torrid time with injuries and will be 37 when Paris 2024 comes around.

"Yeah it is just hard – I hate losing," he said when asked about the potential of it being his last Games.

"I don't know if I’ll get the opportunity to play again, I wanted to try and win a medal with Joe. 

"It is difficult to take, it is disappointing – you have regrets and think about points and things you should have done differently. 

"I have always loved team sports. I love being a part of the Olympics as I am sure Joe would say. 

"It is his first time, so I am sure he will be hungry to come back and do more, and do better next time. 

"I know all the tennis players on our team have really enjoyed it and loved the experience, I just wish we could have done better."

Murray added that his leg "felt fine" during the loss, but would monitor how his injury heals before deciding whether he will be able to play the US Open, which starts at the end of August.

Ash Barty has followed up her shock women's singles defeat by crashing out of the women's doubles after an epic clash with Czech pair Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.

World number one Barty was stunned in the first round of the women's singles on Sunday by Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo but teamed up with Storm Sanders in the doubles, with the Australian pair reaching the quarter-finals.

However, Krejcikova and Siniakova proved too strong in a three-set thriller, winning 3-6 6-4 10-7.

"You never quite have their measure,” Barty said. "It's disappointing but there's only a couple of points in that match, here and there and it's a different result.

"We did everything right today but just weren't able to win those big points when it mattered most."

Barty's medal hopes are now entirely focused on the mixed doubles, where she has partnered with John Peers.

Andy Murray's bid to become the first male to win four Olympic tennis medals ended with defeat to Croatia's Marin Cilic and Ivan Dogic in the men's doubles.

Murray, teaming up with Joe Salisbury, went down in two hours and 18 minutes after also winning the first set. The Croatian pair won 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 10-7.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist had withdrawn from the men's singles on Sunday due to a right quad injury, preferring to focus on playing doubles. TeamGB have not fielded a mixed doubles team.

 

TITMUS DOUBLES UP, LEDECKY LIFTS FOR GOLD

Ariarne Titmus backed up her women's 400m freestyle gold medal from Monday with another triumph, getting the better of rival Katie Ledecky to win the 200m free.

The 20-year-old Australian won the final ahead of Hong Kong's Siobhan Bernadette Haughey and Canada's Penny Oleksiak, while Ledecky finished back in fifth.

Ledecky would claim her sixth Olympic gold medal, triumphing in the women's 1500m free, with the US claiming a rare one-two as Erica Sullivan grabbed the silver ahead of Germany's Sarah Kohler.

After being beaten twice by Titmus earlier in the meet, Ledecky said: "I approach each race with a belief in myself. It's the attitude I've always had that's why I've been so successful. Anything can happen, [the attitude I go in with is] I can beat the world record in this race. 

Japan's Yui Ohashi won the women's 200m individual medley, Hungarian favourite Kristof Milak powered to victory in the men's 200m butterfly and Great Britain triumphed in the men's 4x200m freestyle relay.

 

STEERING ERROR COSTS GB IN ROWING

Australia claimed two gold medals in the rowing at Sea Forest Waterway as Great Britain were left to lament a wayward finish in the men's four final.

Australian quartet Alexander Purnell, Spencer Turrin, Jack Hargreaves and Alexander Hill won in 5:42:76 ahead of Romania and Italy who claimed silver and bronze respectively.

Italy's late charge almost saw a collision with Great Britain, who finished in fourth, after veering towards the neighbouring Italian boat, narrowly avoiding a clash of oars.

GB's Oliver Cook, who steered the men's coxless four, told BBC Sport: "I do (have the steering). I need to diagnose it but I feel I screwed up a bit and as I was closing in at the end and taking big strokes at the end going for the line I forgot the steering and that’s what cost us to be honest, cost us a medal."

Australia also won the women's four narrowly ahead of the Netherlands by 0:34 seconds, with Ireland claiming the bronze more than five seconds back.

Romania secured its first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics by winning the women's double sculls final, while France triumphed in the men's equivalent.

The Netherlands and China triumphed in the men's and women's quadruple sculls finals respectively.

 

RADRADRA DREAMING OF FIJI SEVENS GOLD

New Zealand will take on 2016 gold medalists Fiji in the final of the men's rugby sevens on Wednesday evening.

Fiji went through to the gold medal match with a 26-14 triumph over Argentina, who will take on Great Britain for bronze.

New Zealand were too strong for the British, winning 29-7 in their semi-final, with two tries each to captain Scott Curry and Regan Ware.

Former NRL star Semi Radradra, who plays for Fiji after switching codes in 2017 and scored a try against Argentina, said: "Playing in the Olympics is a blessing for me. I never knew I would be here.

"I think it is everyone's highlight to win a gold medal in the Olympics. That is our aim and we try to give back to our people at home."

USA RESTORES CONFIDENCE IN BASKETBALL

Team USA restored some confidence following their first-up loss to France with a comprehensive 120-66 thrashing of Iran in men's basketball.

USA played fast throughout, wasting no time in offense, with Damian Lillard top scoring with 21 points, all from beyond the arc.

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine had eight assists along with his 13 points while Devin Booker, who played in the NBA Finals last week, scored 16 points and had five rebounds and three steals.

USA head coach Gregg Popovich rotated his roster on and off the court, sharing minutes, as hos team piled on 38 points in the last quarter to round out a comprehensive victory.

In Group B, Germany defeated Nigeria 99-92 despite Jordan Nowra's 33-point haul.

Simone Biles will not defend her Olympic title in Thursday's individual all-around competition in order to focus on her mental health, USA Gymnastics has confirmed.

The four-time gold medallist from Rio completed only one event in Tuesday's team competition at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre, registering the lowest score of the first rotation.

Biles left the floor with a trainer and, although she later returned donned in a tracksuit, she opted not to continue and remained to support her team-mates who could only secure silver behind the Russian Olympic Committee.

Following the team event, Biles opened up on her struggles at Tokyo 2020 and said she would take it day-by-day before making a decision.

USA Gymnastics subsequently announced she will not participate on Thursday and will continue to be evaluated before a decision is made on whether she takes part in the individual event finals, which take place next week.

"After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health," a USA Gymnastics statement read.

"Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals. Jade Carey, who had the ninth highest score in qualifications, will participate in her place in the all-around."

USA Gymnastics hailed Biles for her decision to put her own well-being ahead of competing.

"We wholeheartedly support Simone's decision and applaud her bravery in prioritising her well-being," the governing body added.

"Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many."

Katie Ledecky called on a source of inspiration close to home as she ended her wait for a gold at the Tokyo Games with victory in the women's 1500m freestyle final.

Ledecky, who Olympic great Micheal Phelps hailed as "the best female swimmer that we have ever seen", had endured a frustrating start to the Games, failing to defend the 200 metre and 400m free golds which she won at Rio 2016.

Australia's Ariarne Titmus has instead enjoyed the breakthrough to stardom this time around, but Ledecky finally struck gold in Tokyo as she powered to glory in the maiden women's 1500m event.

It took her total of Olympic golds to six – the 24-year-old becoming the fourth female swimmer to reach that mark, after compatriots Jenny Thompson (eight) and Amy van Dyken (six), and Germany's Kristin Otto (six).

Ledecky, who clocked in at 15:37.34, is also just the fourth American woman to claim six golds, after Thompson, Van Dyken and Allyson Felix.

Erica Sullivan clinched silver to seal a one-two for Team USA, and Ledekcy revealed her thought process following a disappointing fifth-place finish in the 200m race.

"After the 200, I knew I had to turn the page very quickly and in the warm-down pool I was just thinking of my family," said Ledecky, who has now won gold medals at three different Games, following success in London, at the age of 15, and Rio.

"Each stroke I was thinking of my grandparents. They're the toughest four people I know and that's what helped me get through that.

“It means a lot. People maybe feel bad that I'm not winning everything, but I want people to be more concerned about other things in the world. People are truly suffering. I'm just proud to bring home a gold medal to Team USA.”

Sullivan's silver handed the USA's first one-two finish in a women's swimming race since Sydney 2000, when Brooke Bennett and Diana Munz wrapped up the top prizes in the 400m freestyle.

“I'm so happy to go one-two with Erica," Ledecky added. "It is the first women's 1500m (freestyle in Olympic history) so I couldn’t have a better outcome than that. I’m so, so happy."

Sarah Kohler completed the podium to become the first German swimmer to win an Olympic medal since 2008.

One of the enduring images of Tokyo 2020 will be the sight of Dean Boxall's exuberant celebrations after Ariane Titmus won an epic women's 400 metres freestyle race.

It was the sheer joy and exuberance on the face of the rock-star looking coach as he wildly revelled in the momentous achievement of his pupil, who had just toppled the great Katie Ledecky in the most sensational fashion.

"I can't help it. I bleed with my athletes. When they leave the pool deck with me – whether I'm having a chat with them for an hour if it has to be – but when they leave, they have to start the recovery process and go home. They switch off. I don't. I go home and dream for them. I go home and try and find a way for them to get better," Boxall explained after he had gone viral on social media.

Titmus herself saw the funny side.

"That's just the way Dean is," she said. "He's very passionate about what he does – he really becomes quite animated.

"This is just as much for him as it is for me. He has sacrificed a lot in his family life, his kids and his wife, for his job. He puts 100 per cent into being a swimming coach. I would not be here without him."

But it was something else Boxall said that really went furthest to explaining his emotional display.

"I've been with her for five years. Having a dream together. Katie was so far in front of us that in the beginning when I started to coach her I couldn't even have this conversation," he said.

"When Arnie came to me she was a 4.12 [in the 400m]. At that stage Katie went 3.56. That's 16 seconds. We just started chipping away, we started to believe."

From a dream, to belief, to the reality of being an Olympic champion.

On Wednesday, Titmus would confirm her status as a breakout star of Tokyo 2020 with another victory in the 200m free filled with fight, desire and a never-say-die attitude.

Billed as Titmus versus Ledecky II, there was a sense of deja vu about Litmus' performance but another battle with her equally brilliant rival – now a six-time gold medallist over three Games after winning the first ever Olympics women's 1500m race – failed to transpire as the American could only finish fifth.

Instead it was Hong Kong's Siobhan Haughey who brought the very best out of Titmus. It took a huge effort down the final 50m to break the Olympics record in a time of 1:53.50.

At the medal ceremony there were tears and a warm embrace with Boxall, the emotion spilling out of this cool customer after becoming just the third Australian, along with Shane Gould and Ian Thorpe, to complete a 200 and 400m free double at a single Olympics.

"I feel like I'm pretty good at containing my emotion I knew that's something I had to do after the 400 because the 200 was right after," Titmus told a news conference after doubling up.

"Now that I haven't got a swim tonight I think I kind of let it out a bit, seeing him [Boxall] and seeing him emotional makes me emotional because this is a great partnership, this isn't just me winning, this is him winning so I think that's why I got so emotional."

For the uninitiated, this week is not the first time Titmus has triumphed over Ledecky, the 20-year-old from Tasmania having taken out the gold at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju.

But Ledecky, who had won the 200 and 400m free at Rio in 2016, had been contending at that meet with a stomach virus and prior to this week it was far from certain where the golds were headed.

Titmus has emphatically answered the question, though, and it is her personable qualities that have made her resonate this week.

So too have the ferocity, tenacity and sheer awesome speed of her performances.

The Aquatics Centre, as Titmus herself adhered to when addressing the media, provides about as close to a normal experience as you're likely to find at Tokyo 2020. While there are still swathes of empty seats in this 15,000 capacity venue, there are areas designated to team-mates and coaches – all cheering, chanting and applauding to create at least some semblance of an Olympics atmosphere. 

But it is Litmus' displays that have brought true electricity, not only to the pool but for the Games at large.

Two more chances at gold lie in wait in the 800m (where Ledecky, a gifted long-distance swimmer, is favourite) and the 4x200m freestyle relay.

Regardless of what happens in those races, a new star has been born.

Ariarne Titmus stole the show again in the pool at Tokyo 2020, while Yui Ohashi also doubled up and Katie Ledecky got herself on the gold trail.

Australia's Titmus was back competing against Ledecky just two days on from their epic in the 400m free, though the latter was not in medal contention this time in the shorter 200.

However, the American – who has previously described herself as a "distance swimmer with a sprinter's mentality" – did become a six-time Olympic gold medallist on Wednesday.

Here's a round-up from the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

TERRIFIC TITMUS DOUBLES UP

Wednesday's 200m freestyle race was billed as Titmus versus Ledecky II, with the former upstaging her American rival in the 400m free in a thriller two days earlier.

This time Ledecky was off the pace down in fifth and it was Hong Kong's Siobhan Haughey providing the test as Titmus had to pull one out of the bag again to get the gold.

A storming last 50m propelled her to a new Olympic record time of 1:53.50 and cemented her status as a breakout star.

"I could see I was trying to mow Siobhan down on the third 50. I had no idea where she was on the last lap. I knew I had Penny [Oleksiak, bronze] covered but Siobhan was the person that was there," Titmus said.

"I felt a little bit that was there. I felt a little bit - my legs started to go a bit but I'm happy to get it done."

Titmus joins Shane Gould and Ian Thorpe as the only Australians to complete a 200/400m freestyle double at a single Games.

JOY OF SIX FOR LEDECKY

She may have been unable to retain two of her titles from 2016 but the awesome Ledecky added to her gold medal haul with a dominant win in the first ever women's 1500m free Olympics final.

The American came home in 15:37.34 to lead a US one-two from Erica Sullivan.

Ledecky has now won gold medals at three different Games, having also topped the 800m free podium at London 2012.

OHASHI MARVELS IN IM ONCE MORE

Another star of these Games has been Ohashi, who will have delighted the Japanese fans watching at home after adding to her 400 individual medley crown in the shorter 200m race.

A race tipped to be wide open proved to be so with Ohashi battling stroke-for-stroke down the final 50m with American Alex Walsh, who was pipped by just 0.13 seconds.

Walsh's compatriot Kate Douglass rounded off the podium in third.

MILAK MAULS RIVALS

You can never be fully certain of an outcome in any sport but Kristof Milak was about as close to a shoo-in in the men's 200m butterfly as you can get.

So it proved to be. The Hungarian at least had the good decency to allow his rivals to believe they had a chance before absolutely blasting them out the water with his trademark finishing power.

Milak came home in a time of 1:51.25, a new Olympic benchmark and only half a second off his own world-record time. Japan's Tomoru Honda took silver from lane eight, some 2.48 seconds adrift.

DOUBLE DELIGHT FOR DEAN AS TEAMGB STAR IN RELAY

There was to be no record for TeamGB in the men's 4x200 free but they utterly dominated the competition to bring home gold in a time of 6:58.58.

Tom Dean, champion over the distance in the individual race on Tuesday, anchored the first leg before James Guy hit the front on his stint.

Matt Richards further stretched the advantage and Duncan Scott – who took silver behind Dean – brought it home in style with the Russian Olympic Committee over three seconds behind to take silver.

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