In-demand midfielder Franck Kessie says he wants to stay at Milan "forever" and plans to sign a new deal when he returns from the Olympics.

Kessie is in the final year of his deal with the Rossoneri and has been linked with the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.

The 24-year-old, currently representing Ivory Coast at the Games in Tokyo, has assured Milan he has no intention of moving on.

"I'm proud to have chosen Milan and it is not my intention to leave. Indeed, I want to stay forever," he told Gazzetta dello Sport: 

"When I come back from the Olympics, I'll fix everything. I just want Milan. Sporting director Paolo Maldini knows my thoughts.

"I want to be the 'president' of Milan for life."

 

Milan head coach Stefano Pioli said he has no concerns about Kessie departing earlier this month.

Asked about the prospect of Kessie signing a new deal, he said: "These are club things. We all know how important Franck is and how happy he is to be at Milan.

"Franck has grown a lot, we talk about him but the others have also grown. He can still do a lot, both I and the club know how important Franck is, I have already heard it. First he rested, then married, now he will go with the national team."

Kessie scored 13 goals – 11 of those coming from the penalty spot – and provided four assists as Milan finished second behind city rivals Inter in Serie A last season.

The first Olympic gold medal in the women's skateboarding went the way of a 13-year-old from Japan, as Momiji Nishiya won the street event in Tokyo.

Nishiya, at the age of 13 years and 330 days, became the second-youngest Olympic gold medallist after American diver Marjorie Gestring took the top prize in the 1936 Games (13y 268d).

Her triumph completes a clean sweep for host nation Japan in the street event of the skateboarding – a sport introduced for these Games – after Yuto Horigome's success in the men's competition at Ariake Urban Sports Park on Sunday.

Nishiya kept her nerve after Rayssa Leal of Brazil failed to land her final jump – she would have been the youngest ever individual Olympic champion.

Having missed the landing with her first two tricks, Nishiya registered a score of 15.26 after nailing her final three attempts, bettering Leal's 14.64.

Nishiya's compatriot Funa Nakayama, 16, completed a podium which had an average age of just 14 years and 191 days – the youngest individual podium in Olympic history.

The field had opened up for the youngsters after world number one Pamela Rosa and fellow favourite Leticia Bufoni, both of Brazil, had dropped out in the preliminary heats.

"Very, very delighted! I'm simply delighted," a shy Nishiya beamed in a news conference. "I am so happy to be [the champion in my country]."

Leal said: "I'm very, very happy to make this dream come true. It's a dream for my parents and a dream for me to be here at the Olympics and fantastic to represent Brazil and to get this medal, and I had great fun."

Adam Peaty revealed he has gone through "breakdowns" and has had to hide emotions from his family after becoming a double Olympic champion.

It was another dominant performance from world-record holder Peaty in the 100 metres breaststroke at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, with a time of 57.37 – the fifth fastest in history – enough for him to make history as the first British swimmer to defend an Olympics title.

Peaty is unbeaten in the event in seven years and only one other swimmer has ever breached the 58-second mark – that being silver medallist Arno Kamminga.

Despite his dominance, Peaty spoke about the challenges he has faced, with the 26-year-old having become a father to his son George within the past year.

He said: "It's been a heavy investment. A lot has changed this last year, more than the last five. Becoming a father, buying my first house and some days when I woke up and was like 'this is hard, this is really hard'.

"There's been so many challenges, so many challenges and f*****g some breakdowns as well. 

"It's like 'what am I doing every single day? Why am I training three times a day, giving it everything for this swim?'.

"I've hidden a lot of emotion from my own family, I've hidden a lot of stress and a lot of those moments where I was like 'this is very, very hard'.

"The 99.9 per cent of time that we spend in the dark is for the 0.01 per cent we spend in light."

Having made history, Peaty was asked how much longer he foresees himself staying in the pool, with the Paris Games three years away.

"I think of sport very simply, as soon as I stop having fun I'll stop, I'm still having fun, I have a lot of fun with my boy, I have a lot of fun at home and having a normal life too," he added.

"It's such a big decision, it's a family decision now, not just me being a selfish athlete because we have to be selfish but we'll have that conversation when we're home. 

"Obviously, we're targeting Paris anyway, anything after that is a bonus really. It's about how young you keep your mind, sport is getting faster, the world is getting faster, you have to take that in to consideration too.

"It depends what else is out there, if I can inspire people in other ways I'll probably do that. But I live in the present."

Norway's Kristian Blummenfelt said he never had a doubt he would win the triathlon, and his confidence never wavered as he pulled away late to take the gold. 

The top contenders spent much of Monday's race biding their time, with all the favourites in the mix following the swim and bike legs, but Blummenfelt drove the pace on the final leg. 

When the lead group winnowed down to himself, Great Britain's Alex Yee and Hayden Wilde of New Zealand, Blummenfelt urged the 23-year-olds to keep the hammer down – then ran away from them in the end. 

One last kick over the final kilometre put Blummenfelt atop the podium, with Yee taking silver and Wilde bronze. 

"We were like 10 guys in the running lead and when he picked up the pace I saw that we were down to four and I tried to get [Yee] motivated to keep the pace," Blummenfelt told reporters.

"I said, 'Guys, we have a medal now, keep the gas on,' and I think that for Alex and Hayden this is a great moment to get an Olympic medal, too."

Yee's compatriot Jonathan Brownlee, who won silver in the event in Rio and bronze in London as his brother Alistair took gold in both races, finished fifth on Monday.

"I told myself last night that all I can do is try my hardest and before that, prepare," Brownlee said. "I did everything I could, I got ready for the heat, I trained as hard as I could, had a great team around me and that's all you can ask.

"I think I've been very, very fortunate in my two Olympic Games, I've had two medals. It's hard to perform and I've performed well in three." 

 

'NERVOUS' OSAKA KEEPS ROLLING

Playing for the second consecutive day, second-seed Naomi Osaka showed no signs of fatigue as she cruised to a 6-3 6-2 second-round victory over Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic on Sunday. 

Japan's big hope Osaka had to play back-to-back after having her schedule altered following the honour of lighting the Olympic cauldron Friday, and the other top women in action looked just as strong after a day off Sunday. 

"Honestly, I feel like I was a bit more nervous before the match," Osaka told reporters. "I felt a lot of butterflies, but I think as I started playing and feeling more comfortable, I knew that no matter what it would be a great match."

After pulling out of the French Open before the second round and skipping Wimbledon, the four-time grand slam winner has not had much match time over the last two months, but her goal in Tokyo remains the same. 

“It would mean a lot to win gold here, but I know it's a process," she said. "I know these are the best players in the world, and honestly I haven't played in a while, so I'm trying to take it one notch at a time.

"All in all, I'm just really happy to be here. I haven't been in Tokyo for a couple of years."

In other early matches, seventh-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain rolled past China's Wang Qiang 6-3 6-0, while eighth seed Barbora Krejcikova had a tougher time with Canada's Leylah Annie Fernandez before moving on 6-2 6-4 and 11th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-1 6-1. 

 

MACNEIL EARNS CANADA'S FIRST GOLD

It took Margaret MacNeil a few moments to realise she had won Canada's first gold medal of the Tokyo Games.

The 21-year-old usually wears contact lenses but does not put them on when she is in the pool, so she had to focus to see her name atop the scoreboard after the 100m butterfly at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. 

"I like to check the scoreboard pretty quickly, but it's hard just because I don't have contacts," she said. "It does take me a minute to read the scoreboard, so I was just trying to squint and see where I came."

Her vision problems may have been a benefit during the race, which saw her edge China's Zhang Yufei by 0.05 from lane seven. 

"I could hardly see anyone on the far side of the pool, which I think helped me a lot, because I was able to just focus on my own race," MacNeil said. "I just put my head down and tried to get to the wall as fast as possible. I'm really glad it all came together."

While MacNeil took the first gold medal in the pool Monday, her win was overshadowed by later events. 

Great Britain's Adam Peaty defended his Olympic title in the 100m breaststroke, while Ariarne Titmus of Australia dethroned the reigning champion Katie Ledecky in the 400m freestyle. 

In the final medal event of the day, Caeleb Dressel – Michael Phelps' heir apparent – and the USA won the 4x100m freestyle relay by 1.14 seconds over Italy. 

 

UPSETS ABOUND IN FENCING

Three of the top six women in the world were eliminated early in the women's sabre competition Monday. 

Top-ranked Olga Kharlan of Ukraine, twice a bronze medallist, fell to Yang Hengyu of China 15-12 in the round of 32 to end her hopes of a third straight medal. 

Fourth-ranked Shao Yaqi of China and world number six Anne-Elizabeth Stone of the USA went out in the same round. 

Sofia Velikaya of Russia, who took silver in Rio, remains alive heading into the quarter-finals later Monday along with 2016 fourth-place finisher Manon Brunet of France. 

 

REIGNING CHAMPIONS FIJI OPEN RUGBY SEVENS PLAY

Reigning gold medallists Fiji rallied in the second half to defeat Japan 24-19 in a rematch of the Rio 2016 semi-finals. 

Fiji trailed 19-12 but fought back through a pair of tries and a conversion from substitute Waisea Nacuqu in the final four minutes.

The team they beat for gold five years ago, Great Britain, opened play with a flourish, thrashing Canada 24-0, while New Zealand crushed South Korea 50-5. 

Fourth-place finishers in 2016, South Africa defeated Ireland 33-14 while Argentina beat Australia 29-19 and the United States edged Kenya 19-14. 

Ariarne Titmus said staying composed was the key to her victory over Katie Ledecky in a captivating women's 400 metre freestyle final.

In what was billed as one of the races of Tokyo 2020, both women produced a performance straight out of the top drawer in a battle that went down to the wire.

World champion Titmus was back by around six lengths at one stage as Ledecky stormed out of the blocks.

The American world record holder, who set her benchmark when winning gold at Rio 2016, would be reeled in by a determined Titmus, though, and the Australian held on to win a thriller.

"Honestly, at the 200 metre [mark] I was a bit worried, but I did not come to the Olympic Games unprepared," said Titmus, who became the third Australian woman to win gold in the event, after Lorraine Crapp and Shane Gould.

"I had to trust myself and stay as composed as I could. Use the speed that I have. And all that against a woman who has an amazing back end of her race. I'm really proud."

Titmus is also slated to race in the 200m and 800m free races at Tokyo 2020 and says the celebrations are on hold for now.

"It is the biggest thing you can pull off in your sporting career, so I'm over the moon," she added.

"I'm trying to contain it as much as I can. I have a big programme ahead of me, but I can enjoy this afterwards."

Ledecky had never been beaten in an individual Olympics race and swam her second ever fastest time in the 400m free.

The American concedes her rival was just better on the day.

"She definitely swam a really smart race. She was really controlled up front," Ledecky said.

"I felt smooth and strong. I looked up at 300m, and she was right there, so I knew it would be a battle to the end. I didn't feel like I died or really fell off. She just had a faster final 50 or 75m and got her hand to the wall first."

When asked if this was her toughest race, Ledecky, a five-time Olympic gold medallist, replied: "I guess. 

"I've had some tough ones over the years. It was certainly a tough race and I delivered. I couldn't do much better than that. 

"It was a tremendous race, a lot of fun. I can't be too disappointed. It was my second-best swim ever (over 400m freestyle). I felt like I fought tooth and nail and that's all you can ask for."

"Some days you've just got to attack the f*****g mountain, that's as simple as it is."

Those were the words of Adam Peaty during his pre-camp for Tokyo 2020. And boy has he attacked that mountain.

Five years ago, Peaty broke new ground to become an Olympic champion for the first time in Rio and set in motion a Team GB gold rush that would see them ultimately finish second in the medal table.

On this occasion, there was no world record – the only thing that is sure to secretly irritate this perfectionist who revels in finding new ways to push the limits of what is humanly possible – but not for the first time Peaty obliterated the competition to once again win Olympic gold in the 100 metres breaststroke.se

Whether his success can have the same sort of rousing effect on Team GB, only time will tell.

What is more certain is that Peaty must surely now be considered among the pantheon of Olympic greats.

At one stage in 2021, the 26-year-old was in possession of the 20 fastest 100m breaststroke times in history. It is mind-boggling dominance.

When the great Usain Bolt used to race there was a real awe about the way in which he had his opponents beaten by the time he was on the start line. It was mesmerising watching the sprint king, who just seemed to defy logic.

Peaty in the pool exudes a similar feeling. To witness this phenomenon in person is some experience. If you blink you might miss him.

Following his victory in the heats on Sunday, Peaty described Tokyo 2020 as "weird" without the crowds – with fans of course absent due to the coronavirus pandemic – and conceded it did "not feel like an Olympics".

He does have a point. Peaty's moment of triumph came on a day where Ariarne Titmus defeated Katie Ledecky in an epic to clinch the women's 400m freestyle – a race that really did deserve a full house – and Caeleb Dressel, tipped as an heir to American great Michael Phelps, won the first of what is likely to be multiple gold medals at these Games.

Such stars deserve a captivated audience. The cheers of their team-mates offered only slight consolation that their moments of glory are taking place in surreal circumstances.

But there is nothing strange now about seeing Peaty dominate in the pool and while the circumstances compared to his first crowning moment in Brazil could scarcely be more different, he continues to enhance his status as a supreme champion.

His latest victory was a moment of history – no British swimmer had ever defended an Olympic title before. Only three other swimmers from Britain have ever won multiple golds, and he is just the second man to defend the 100m breaststroke title after Japan's Kosuke Kitajima.

When you think of the great athletes Britain has produced – Steve Redgrave, Kelly Holmes, Chris Hoy, Laura Kenny, Jason Kenny – all belong in the category of elite Olympians.

That Peaty now too belongs in that same category is not even a debate. He is a cool competitor, but he is also a ferocious one. A contemplator, a thinker, a man who self-described himself as "liberated" by the circumstances of the past year, time that saw him become a father and learn to appreciate the important things in life as lockdowns and restrictions became the norm for us all.

What is scary is that you feel there is still new ground for Peaty, unbeaten in his event since 2014, to break.

Speaking prior to the Games, Peaty opened up about what makes him the athlete he is.

"It sounds very cliche but I'm very obsessed with continual improvement and pushing the boundaries of what's possible," he said then. 

"I don't want to end my career and go 'oh I could have done that or I should have done this'. It's that relationship with the team that makes me that person. But I think it's also I just love to race, I love to scrap and I like to dominate. That's why I swim, that's why I race it gives me something I can't get in normal life."

And even now with all he has achieved there still seems to be an unquenchable thirst to be the best, no taking the foot off the gas in a continued desire to go where no one has been before.

"No one is invincible, everyone can be beaten," he told a news conference following his victory in Tokyo.

"I'm a firm believer in that. If I didn't believe in that I wouldn't have the world record, it's about setting no limits. 

"Today could have gone either way. It's a morning final, you saw it this morning with such a close race with Ledecky and Titmus, it could have gone either way.

"Everyone is beatable, it's who wants it more and who is invested more in those races."

For most, owning the world record and becoming a double Olympic champion would be well beyond the pinnacle of the mountain.

For Peaty, it seems certain he will just keep on f*****g attacking it.

Ariarne Titmus defeated Katie Ledecky in a thrilling women's 400 metre freestyle final that lived up to its billing, while the brilliant Adam Peaty made history by becoming a double Olympic champion.

A star-studded cast in the pool at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Monday did not disappoint, with Canada's Maggie McNeil adding to her World Championship title in the women's 100m butterfly.

And in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay, Caeleb Dressel – tipped to be one of the stars of the pool – earned his first gold of the Tokyo Games.

TITMUS AND LEDECKY PUT ON A SHOW

The only disappointment about the women's 400m free was the fact no fans were in attendance to witness a battle for the ages.

The pre-race hype centred around whether it would be Ledecky, who had never lost in an individual Olympic event, or Australia's world champion Titmus that would be prevail.

Ledecky held a six-tenths lead after 200m and looked well on course to defending the title she won at Rio 2016 in a world-record time of 3:56.46.

But Titmus came storming back and a stunning 28.67 split on the way home was enough to fend off Ledecky – whose 3:57.36 was her second fastest time in the 400m free.

Titmus' 3:56.69 is second only to Ledecky's world record and she becomes the third Australian to win gold in the event.

PERFECT PEATY DOUBLES UP

There was no world record over three races for Peaty but his utter dominance of the men's 100m breaststroke shows no sign of abating as he became the first Briton to ever defend an Olympics swimming title.

Five years on from winning gold in a world-record time at Rio 2016 (a benchmark he has since beaten twice), Peaty swam a 57.37 to stand atop the podium again ahead of Arno Kamminga – the only other swimmer in history to go under 58 seconds.

It was perhaps not quite the time Peaty, who had designs on another world record, wanted but it still represents the fifth fastest time in history and edged his previous season best of 57.39.

Peaty unleashed an almighty roar after his win and later said to BBC Sport: "I haven't felt this good since 2016. It just means the world for me.

"Thank you to the nation for being behind me. This victory wasn't mine - it was a great swimming team, my family, my friends."

Peaty is now only the second man to defend an Olympic breaststroke title, and just the fourth swimmer from Great Britain to win multiple golds in the Games.

MAGIC MAGGIE

Maggie McNeil completed a world and Olympic double in the women's 100m butterfly in an incredibly tight race.

The Canadian was down in seventh but propelled towards the front after a brilliant turn and managed to hold off China's Zhang Yufei to earn gold. 

The top four all ranked inside the top seven swims in the 100m butterfly of all time, with McNeil's 55.59 the second fastest ever. Australia's Emma McKeon took third, with Torrie Huske of the USA just 0.1 off the podium.

DRESSEL UP AND RUNNING

America's big men's hope in the pool at these Games is Dressel, who has been touted as the successor to the legendary Michael Phelps.

The 23-year-old is top seeded in three individual events and raced in the first of potentially four relay events on Monday as the United States romped to victory in the 4x100m freestyle.

Joined by Blake Pieroni, Bowen Becker and Zach Apple, the US came home in a time of to 3:08.97, with Italy and Australian rounding out the podium. 

Elsewhere, Duncan Scott of Great Britain went fastest in the men's 200m freestyle (1:44.60) semi-finals ahead of American Kieran Smith (1:45.07), while world record holder Ryan Murphy led the way in the 100m backstroke semis.

In the women's 100m backstroke semi-finals, Regan Smith set an Olympic record time of 57.86 and Tatjana Schoenmaker went quickest in the women's 100 breaststroke semi-finals ahead of rival Lilly King.

The third full day of the Tokyo Olympics sees 21 gold medals up for grabs during a packed programme.

Plenty of eyes will be on the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, where four swimming golds will be on the line, while the first women's skateboarding champion will be crowned.

The rugby sevens event gets under way and the men's triathlon will also take place.

Stats Perform picks out some of the standout action.

 

LEDECKY STEPS UP GOLD QUEST

After winning four golds in Rio five years ago, Katie Ledecky has the chance to add four more to her collection in Tokyo, starting with the women's 400m freestyle.

The United States competitor set a world record time in the event in 2016, but she will face a big challenge from Australia's Ariarne Titmus this time.

Titmus was marginally faster than Ledecky in the heats, though whether that edge will count for anything on the day remains to be seen.


WILL IT BE ANOTHER PEATY BLINDER?

Great Britain's Adam Peaty is nothing short of a phenomenon in the world of swimming and will be looking to retain his 100m breaststroke title.

Peaty qualified for the final in a dominant manner, his time of 57.56s just two hundredths of a second off his own world record pace.

Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands is expected to be Peaty's biggest threat, having produced a personal best of 57.80s in the previous heat.


MORE SEVENS HEAVEN FOR FIJI?

Fiji's triumph in the men's rugby sevens was one of the more remarkable stories of the Rio Games and the islanders will now be out to retain their title in Tokyo over the coming weeks.

They begin their group campaign on Monday with games against tournament hosts Japan and then Canada later in the day.


MEN'S TRIATHLON WIDE OPEN

The men's triathlon is a tough one to call, with back-to-back champion Alistair Brownlee not taking part in this year's event.

The likes of Alex Yee, Kristian Blummenfelt, Morgan Pearson and Tyler Mislawchuk are among those to watch in one the standout events at any Games.


BILES SURVIVES, NOW MEN MUST THRIVE

After Simone Biles struggled to find top gear in her Games entrance on Sunday, albeit making it through to each of her finals, Monday's gymnastics event is the men's team final.

Japan are the defending champions and led the way in qualifying, but they are expected to face stiff competition from China and the Russian Olympic Committee team. Watch out for Russian maestro Nikita Nagornyy and Japan's Daiki Hashimoto among a star-studded cast.


OSAKA BACK IN ACTION

It is proving to be a busy Games for Naomi Osaka, who followed lighting the Olympic cauldron on Friday with a first-round tennis win on Sunday.

Japan's four-time grand slam winner is back on court on Monday, looking to inch closer to the women's singles final. Awaiting her is Swiss world number 50 Viktorija Golubic, and it will be their first match encounter. Men's title hopefuls Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev are among those also due in action.


WOMEN'S SKATEBOARDING MAKES ITS DEBUT

Japan's Yuto Horigome made history on Sunday by winning the first Olympic gold in men's skateboarding. On Monday, it is the turn of the women.

Among those competing in the event are Kokona Hiraki of Japan and Team GB's Sky Brown, who are aged 12 and 13 respectively.

After plenty of falls and drama in the men's equivalent, expect more of the same in this inaugural event. 

Damian Lillard predicted Team USA's stunning defeat to France at the Tokyo Olympics would be portrayed as "the end of the world" but vowed the gold medal was still a target.

The Portland Trail Blazers star was one of a host of under-performing players in blue as Gregg Popovich's team were beaten 83-76 at the Saitama Super Arena.

France's shock win meant the US team's 25-game winning streak in men's basketball at the Olympics came to an end, raising doubts about their ability to challenge for glory at these Games.

Exhibition defeats to Australia and Nigeria ahead of the Olympics getting underway were red flags, but most expected the Americans to find match-winning form once the stakes were raised.

"I think we have a history of dominance and, maybe not always blowing people out, but we have a history of winning," Lillard said.

"It's not often that you see Team USA go out there and lose, especially to start. So, I think that's why a lot of people make it seem like the end of the world.

"But our job as professionals and this team, representing our country in these Olympics, we got to do what's necessary, and we still can accomplish what we came here to accomplish, and we got to make sure we keep that in mind."

 

Evan Fournier of the Boston Celtics starred with 28 points for France.

Fournier began the 2020-21 NBA season with the Orlando Magic and averaged 19.7 points per game, before that figure dropped to 13.0 for his outings with the Celtics following a trade in March.

Here he served up a reminder of how he can perform, and the US opposition suffered.

Lillard, who made just three of his 10 field-goal attempts, said: "You know who we see each night sometimes in the NBA, they are completely different when they play for their countries.

"They got more freedom, and the comfort level is obvious. So we put ourselves in a dogfight, and they made plays to win it."

Kevin Durant called it "a make-or-miss game".

"And we didn't hit the shots that we were supposed to late in the game in the fourth quarter, but I think we will be better next game," Durant, who scored 10 points, added.

There are Group A games to come for the Americans against the Czech Republic and Iran, and those could allow Durant, Lillard and co to find form ahead of the knock-out rounds.

Team USA have won the last three gold medals at the Olympics, and Bam Adebayo, who scored 12 points and had a team-high 10 rebounds, pointed to French desire for a slice of such glory as being a telling factor on Sunday.

"You can definitely tell they're tired of the USA winning," Adebayo said. "Everybody wants that feeling of getting that gold medal. And we can't rely on talent all the time to just bring us home."

United States men's basketball coach Gregg Popovich insists his side's defeat to France in their first outing at Tokyo 2020 should not be considered a surprise result.

Team USA have won gold in the last three Games, but they saw a 25-game winning streak in the tournament come to an end on Sunday against an inspired France side.

Les Blues, who also beat a much-fancied USA in the World Cup quarter-finals in 2019, are ranked seventh in the FIBA rankings but proved too strong for the world's top team with an 83-76 win at the Saitama Super Arena.

Despite his side's long unbeaten run in the competition coming to an end, Popovich – taking charge at his first Games – was quick to put the loss into some perspective.

"People shouldn't be surprised that we lost to the French team or the Australian team or the Spanish team or the Lithuanian team," he told reporters. 

"It doesn't matter who it is – the gap in talent shrinks every year, as there are more and more great players all over the world. 

"And you need to give the French team credit for playing well. They were more consistent than we were at both ends of the court. It's as simple as that."

 

STARS ALIGN FOR HISTORY-MAKING ZOLOTIC

Sunday was a positive day on the whole for Team USA – especially compared to Saturday, when they failed to win a medal on the opening day of a Games for the first time since Munich 1972 – as they picked up four gold, two silver and four bronze.

That haul includes a maiden gold in the women's taekwondo thanks to teenager Anastasija Zolotic, who beat Tatiana Minina of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) in the final of the -57kg weight category event. 

"My eight-year-old self was running around the schoolyard saying I was going to be Olympic champion but she could never have imagined what this moment is like," Zolotic said. 

"It's unbelievable. It really hasn't sunk in yet. I can't believe it. I'm in a bit of shock. I'm just trying to wrap my head around it. It feels wonderful. I came here confident and ready to take the gold. The stars were aligned."

Zolotic's win came on the back of two-time Olympic champion Jade Jones suffering a shock elimination to Refugee Olympic Team member Kimia Alizadeh in the last 16, denying the Team GB athlete a shot of winning a historic third gold.

 

BILES BOUNCES BACK, CHUSOVITINA WAVES GOODBYE

A lot of focus has been on Simone Biles heading into the Games, though she had a rare off day as the USA finished behind ROC in the women's gymnastics qualifying.

Biles, who won four golds and a bronze in Rio, was penalised on both floor and vault but still scored a respectable 14.166 to book a spot in the final.

While Biles still has time on her side, both in Tokyo and in the long term, the 2020 Games will be the last for Uzbekistan's Oksana Chusovitina, who bowed out on Sunday after a record-setting eighth appearance at the Olympics.

Chusovitina, at the age of 46, just missed out on qualifying for the vault event and was given a standing ovation by the small number of people inside the arena.

To put Chusovitina's remarkable run of appearances into perspective, she made her debut at the Games in 1992, some five years before Biles was born.

"It was really nice. I cried tears of happiness because so many people have supported me for a long time," she said. "I didn't look at the results, but I feel very proud and happy. I'm saying goodbye to sports. It's kind of mixed feelings.

"I'm alive, I'm happy, I'm here without any injuries, and I can stand on my own."

KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY

Japanese pair Uta and Hifumi Abe made Olympic history as they became the first siblings to win gold medals on the same day of a Games in an individual sport, both enjoying success in judo on day two in Tokyo.

Uta won the women’s 52kg competition, defeating France's Amandine Buchard. A closely contested bout went to a golden score, with Abe crucially claiming ippon to settle the final in her favour.

The two-time world champion cried tears of joy in the aftermath, admitting: "I don't know, maybe it may not have been appropriate but I couldn't hold myself back."

Older brother Hifumi made it a family double, overcoming Vazha Margvelashvili of Georgia to triumph in the men's 66kg final.

"This has turned out to be the greatest day ever," he said. "I don't think we, as brother and sister, could shine any brighter on this stage known as the Tokyo Olympics. I'm so happy."

 

Simone Biles mixed brilliance with an unfamiliar touch of the erratic as she launched into Tokyo 2020 action, just about keeping alive the prospect of beating her Rio haul of four gold medals.

The American gymnastics great headed the all-around individual standings, just ahead of the impressive Brazilian Rebeca Andrade, with USA team-mate Sunisa Lee in third.

She remains in the hunt in six events, but it was far from a dominant Biles at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre, and the United States team as a whole had an unusually mediocre day. The Russian Olympic Committee gymnasts finished above them in the team standings for the first time since 2010 at a major event.

Russia's score of 171.629 suggested they can post a major challenge in the final to the usually dominant United States (170.562), although Biles and her team-mates will want to prove themselves once again.

Since 2011, the USA have won team gold at all five World Championships and both Olympic Games, in London and Rio.

Biles' landings were not near as sure-footed as they have so typically been, and in her floor exercise she misjudged a tumbling pass to such an extent she stepped back all the way off the raised floor.

 

Tom Forster, high performance co-ordinator for the USA, was taken aback by Biles' mistakes.

He said: "That was a surprise. She's been incredibly consistent and I'm sure she feels bad, but I'm super proud of the way she trained.

"She's been a great leader for us. Sometimes, just like in other sports, great athletes drop the ball in the end zone or a quarterback throws an interception. It happens. Those steps are mental errors."

At one point it appeared Biles might miss out on the eight-woman final of the uneven bars, but she squeezed in, benefiting from the rule that allows only two athletes from each nation in the final. Biles finished 10th in qualifying, but four Russian competitors were ahead of her, with two of those unable to advance.

It means she remains in the hunt for titles in all six of her events, including the team competition, for which Forster will look to ensure Biles and her team-mates are thoroughly prepared.

"Staying in bounds would help. Simone took three big steps on her beam dismount. I've never seen her do that before," Forster said.

The challenge of the Russian team could lift the Americans, or it could point to a changing of the guard at the top of women's gymnastics.

Forster is only looking to the former, saying: "This might be a great awakening for us, and we'll take advantage of it."

While 24-year-old Biles battles to recover peak form in time for Tuesday's team final, Olympic veteran Oksana Chusovitina has reached the end of the road in her Games career.

Competing at her eighth Olympics, the 46-year-old took part in the vault but failed to qualify for the final.

Chusovitina, who has previously competed for the Soviet Union and Germany and made her Games debut in 1992, was back representing her native Uzbekistan in Tokyo and received an ovation from her rivals after producing two valiant vaults.

"It was really nice. I cried tears of happiness because so many people have supported me for a long time," she said of the recognition.

"I feel very proud and happy. I'm saying goodbye to sports. It's kind of mixed feelings. I'm alive, I'm happy, I'm here without any injuries, and I can stand on my own."

China remain top of the medal table at the Tokyo Olympics after an eventful round of action on Sunday that saw the United States and hosts Japan enjoy a golden day.

Having picked up four medals on the first full day of action, China added to their haul with three more golds, one silver and three bronze.

Two of China's golds came in weightlifting, with Li Fabin and Chen Lijun coming out on top in the men's 61kg and men's 67kg, followed by success in the women's synchronised 3m springboard final.

A lot is expected of hosts Japan at these Games and they picked up four golds on Sunday, two of those in judo through Hifumi Abe and Uta Abe.

Yuto Horigome made history by winning the first gold in the men's street skateboarding, while Yui Ohashi finished first in the women's 400m individual medley swimming event.

The United States failed to pick up a medal on the opening day of the Games for the first time since Munich 1972, but they stormed back into contention with 10 medals on Sunday.

That included a gold for Lee Kiefer, who became the first American fencer to win a gold medal in individual foil.

William Shaner and Chase Kalisz prevailed in the men's 10m air rifle and 400m individual medley swimming, meanwhile, and Anastasija Zolotic took taekwondo gold in the women -57kg.

Behind China, Japan and USA in the medal table is South Korea, who doubled their tally of golds thanks to victory in the women's team archery.

Austria, France, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Australia and the Russian Olympic Committee also got off the mark with their first golds of the delayed 2020 Games on Sunday.

 

Keyshawn Davis has his sights trained on gold after dominating his first Olympic fight, while Charley Davison wants a "Battle of the Super Mums" with Mary Kom in Tokyo.

American Davis earned a unanimous decision in his lightweight (57-63kg) round-of-32 bout with Dutchman Enrico Lacruz at the Kokugikan Arena and declared that was just the start.

Team GB fighter Davison is eyeing a clash with fellow mother Kom, a superstar of the sport, after coming through her first Olympic fight.

Boxing action at the Games on Sunday certainly delivered on its promise.


DAVIS: GOLD IS ALL I'M MISSING

Davis won all three rounds in his debut Olympic bout against Lacruz of the Netherlands and is determined to become the youngest winner of this event since Oscar de la Hoya was crowned champion aged 19 in 1992.

He said: "I feel great, I got a unanimous decision on my Olympic debut. I felt like I could have given more, but I did what I had to do.

"In my previous competitions, especially in the amateurs, each day I got better and better, got more in the groove. Today was just the start and there is more to come."

The 22-year-old added: "The gold medal is the one and only thing that I need to put on my resume as of right now. That's the only thing I am focusing on."

 

 

DAVISON TARGETS MOTHER OF ALL FIGHTS

Davison only joined the Great Britain Olympic programme last year as a mother of three and beat Morocco's Rabab Cheddar on points in her maiden Olympic fight.

The 27-year-old flyweight would relish the chance to step into the ring with Indian mother of four Kom, the 38-year-old six-time World Championship gold medallist who is in her half of the draw and made it through to the last 16.

Asked about the prospect of that fight taking place, she said: "We were only taking about that earlier. What a fight that would be, the 'Battle of the Super Mums'. I'd love that.

"I know her background, and she is a brilliant athlete who has done so well in the sport. She was the first one to do it as a mum, so I'm basically following on from her."

 

NAKIMI IN THE HUNT TO EMULATE ADAMS

Japan's Tsukimi Namiki beat Catherine Nanziri on points in the women's flyweight (48-51kg) round of 32.

Namiki, a bronze medallist at the 2018 World Championships, had the better of all three rounds of her fight with Ugandan Nanziri.

Nicola Adams is the only female boxer to win an Olympic medal on home soil, with gold in London nine years ago, but Namiki could also achieve that feat.

The United States saw a 25-game winning streak in men's basketball at the Olympics come to an end as they were beaten by France in their first outing at Tokyo 2020.

Team USA arrived in Japan looking to strike gold for a fourth straight Games, yet their build-up had been anything but straightforward. Exhibition defeats to Australia and Nigeria raised concerns before travelling, while COVID-19 protocols ruled out Bradley Beal and Kevin Love was replaced at late notice by JaVale McGee.

Still, a squad including Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard and Jayson Tatum – as well as Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday from the Milwaukee Bucks, the newly crowned NBA champions – saw the reigning champions listed as favourites.

France, though, caused an early upset at the start of the tournament. Evan Fournier starred with 28 points to help his team triumph 83-76 at the Saitama Super Arena.

There were wins for Australia and Italy too on Sunday, as well as a victory for the Czech Republic.

 

Big names come up short in shock defeat

Team USA had rounded out their build-up to the Games by beating Spain, yet there will be concerning signs for head coach Gregg Popovich following a flat performance against France.

They were successful with just 41 per cent of their two-point attempts and landed only 10 of the 32 shots put up from beyond the arc. Despite the shooting issues they still led 45-37 at half-time, only for the game to turn in a third quarter where they mustered a paltry 11 points.

Durant finished up with 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting, while Lillard had 11. The latter's slip that caused a turnover in the closing seconds when down by four rather summed up a disjointed performance from the entire roster, leading to a first loss at the Olympics since going down to Argentina at Athens 2004.

Devin Booker, who had helped the Phoenix Suns reach the NBA Finals, landed only one of his six attempts from the field, with Holiday (18 points) finishing as the USA's leading scorer having only joined up with the team on the day of the game.

Also in Group A, the Czech Republic recorded an 84-78 victory over Iran.

Ingles impressed, but Nigeria come up short

Nigeria had defeated both Argentina and the United States ahead of the Games, raising hopes of making an impact in Japan.

However, able to knock down just 29 per cent of their attempts from deep, they struggled to keep pace with Australia, scoring only 27 points in the entire second half as they went down 84-67.

Still, Joe Ingles – who had 11 points for Australia – praised the Nigerians for their display, particularly on defense as they forced 21 turnovers. Patty Mills was the leading scorer in the game, finishing with 25.

"You have to give a lot of credit to Nigeria, with how they played and the style they play," Ingles said. "They are up and in, they are athletic and get up the floor, and they obviously have a great coach [in Mike Brown].

"I think a lot of people underestimate the team and the country. They are a really good basketball team."

Meanwhile, Italy opened their Group B campaign with a 92-82 victory over Germany. Simone Fontecchio led the way with 20 points, including landing all five of his three-point attempts.

France got the better of South Africa in a seven-goal thriller as Andre-Pierre Gignac's hat-trick inspired Les Bleus to a 4-3 victory at the Tokyo Olympics.

Having been thrashed 4-1 by Mexico in their opening game of Group A, France hit back to keep their chances of progression alive, though they had to do so the hard way in Saitama.

Indeed, South Africa led on three occasions during a remarkable second half, yet it was Les Bleus who took the points.

Liberato Cacace's stunner was not enough to propel New Zealand to victory against Honduras in Group B, while reigning champions Brazil could only draw 0-0 with the Ivory Coast and Spain overcame Australia thanks to Mikel Oyarzabal's late winner.

 

GIGNAC AND SAVANIER SETTLE THRILLER

France were on the wrong end of conceding four last time out, and though they still let three in this time around, Teji Savanier's stoppage-time goal saw them clinch victory.

It was 35-year-old Gignac who had previously dragged France level on three occasions – a close-range finish followed by a thumping header before the Tigres striker, the leading scorer in the competition, converted his second penalty of the tournament to cancel out Teboho Mokoena's glorious 81st-minute strike.

Luther Singh had missed a first-half penalty for South Africa, with Kobamelo Kodisang and Evidence Makgopa also getting on the scoresheet.

But Gignac's efforts set the stage for France to nose themselves ahead when Montpellier's experienced Savanier lashed home, sending South Africa out in the process.

France sit third in Group A, three points behind leaders Japan, who survived a late scare to beat Mexico 2-1.

ALL WHITES LET LEAD SLIP

Cacace's exceptional strike put New Zealand ahead after just 10 minutes in Kashima – the defender picking out the top-right corner with a first-time effort from 30 yards out.

Luis Palma restored parity in first-half stoppage time, yet Chris Wood carried on his scoring form to put New Zealand back in front just after the restart.

Yet substitutes proved the difference for Honduras. Juan Obregon netted with 12 minutes remaining, paving the way for Rigoberto Rivas to clinch the comeback victory.

Matters were much more simple for South Korea, as they cruised to a 4-0 triumph against Romania, meaning all four Group B teams are on four points heading into the final matchday.

 

OYARZABAL RECORDS LONG-AWAITED SPAIN WIN

Spain secured their first win at an Olympic Games since 2000 thanks to Oyarzabal's header against Australia, which came with nine minutes of normal time remaining.

The 24-year-old Real Sociedad winger – who played a pivotal role in Spain's run to the semi-finals at Euro 2020 – has put La Roja top of Group C heading into Wednesday's encounter with Argentina, who beat Egypt.

Spain, who drew with Egypt in their opener, won gold in 1992 and silver in 2000, but had only qualified once since then, but they failed to score across their three appearances in the 2012 London Games.

CHAMPIONS HELD AS GERMANY BOUNCE BACK

Brazil sparkled in their 4-2 win over Germany on matchday one, though they could not find a way past the Ivory Coast, who held them to a 0-0 draw in Group D.

Douglas Luiz was sent off early on for Brazil, who missed a last-gasp chance to seal qualification through substitute Malcom after the Ivory Coast had also been reduced to 10 men.

Meanwhile, Germany recovered from their defeat on matchday one to beat Saudi Arabia 3-2 – Felix Uduokhai netting the decisive goal in the 75th minute.

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