Kevin Durant said it felt "incredible" after he won a third gold medal and helped Team USA reach four in a row at the Olympics.

The men's basketball tournament looked primed for a potential shock when the United States team lost to France in their opening group game at Tokyo 2020, yet it came full circle as victory over the same opposition in Saturday's final tied up another success at the Games.

The USA won 87-82 against a French side who gave them trouble all game long, but a game-high 29 points from Durant carried Gregg Popovich's team to top spot on the podium.

"I'm so proud of this team," Durant said. "The coaching staff prepared us so well every single day, even some days when we didn't feel like practising but it was worth it at the end. I’m so glad. I’m ready to go home and celebrate.

"I love our country and this team is just amazing, it’s just incredible.

"How we came together. The adversity that we went through, so many people doubting us early on too. We get that support from our families, our friends, you know it’s bigger than us. We wanted to come here finish it and look alive."

Pre-Olympics defeats to Australia and Nigeria, followed by the France loss when competition began, hinted at major shortcomings in Popovich's ranks.

A host of withdrawals from the planned original roster meant this was a depleted team, but Durant proved to be a driving force throughout the tournament.

"This one feels good because we went through a lot," said the Brooklyn Nets superstar.

"We had a lot of first-time guys on the team, new experience for everyone on the team, COVID, the kind of bubble we were in, no fans, no one expecting us to lose.

"We heard it all over the past few weeks about our team. To fight through this adversity against a great team like these guys ... to come together so fast – it was beautiful to see, it was beautiful to be a part of."

There was widespread acclaim for Durant's on-court leadership.

Draymond Green earned a second Olympic gold and said Durant had "carried" the USA to gold, rating the 32-year-old as the greatest player in the history of the team.

"He's been special," Green said. "He is one of the best players to ever play this game, one of the most special guys you have ever seen lace their shoes and take the basketball court.

"He carried this team like we needed him to, like he was supposed to. Coming back for his third Olympics, all-time USA scorer, there's been a lot of great players to don this jersey – he is number one. That’s a special thing."

Jrue Holiday, who added the gold medal to his NBA championship with the Milwaukee Bucks, also raved about Durant.

Holiday said: "Doing it on the world stage and doing it against different countries and actually being on his team now has been pretty cool to see – how he carries the game, carries his teammates and takes over a game.”

Bam Adebayo said Durant had been "phenomenal", adding: "The thing I like about Kevin the most, he's one of the greatest scorers in our league but also he's a genuine person. People try to bash him in the media but he's one of those guys that got your back 24/7. Being around him, being around this group of guys, we created a brotherhood."

Not even a tropical storm could hold back Nelly Korda as the young American star held on for Olympic gold at Kasumigaseki Country Club.

The world number one golfer emerged triumphant from a fierce battle in the final round, winning by a single stroke from Japan's Mone Inami and New Zealand's Lydia Ko.

Inami fired a 65 and was the co-leader at 17 under until she bogeyed the last, finding a greenside bunker with her approach and failing to put the ball close, then missing her 20-foot par putt.

That meant Korda walked down the 18th knowing she was in pole position to take gold, albeit needing to keep an eye on Ko.

Both Korda and Ko found the green safely, each with an outside chance of birdie. Neither could sink that first putt, but Korda left herself a tap-in for the title and made no mistake.

The 23-year-old then was embraced by her sister Jessica, dancing across the green to offer a fond embrace.

Jessica Korda had fired a joint best-of-the-day 64 to finish in a tie for 15th, but it was Nelly's day to triumph.

The champion set herself up for this success with a 62 in round two, and consecutive rounds of 69 on Friday and Saturday took her over the winning line.

Play was briefly suspended with two holes left to complete for the front-runners, as the nearby storm caused a 49-minute delay just while the tension was ramping up.

But fears of a Saturday washout were allayed to ensure the tournament went the distance, and with gold on 17 under going to Korda, Inami took silver in a play-off when Ko bogeyed 18, the first extra hole.

Inami and Ko, who also made 65 in the final round, had finished tied on 16 under, one ahead of India's Aditi Ashok, whose closing 68 was not enough for a medal.

Korda's triumph meant the USA achieved a golf double, with Xander Schauffele having won the men's title.

Kevin Durant dazzled as Team USA won a fourth successive Olympic men's basketball gold medal, edging out France 87-82 in Saturday's final.

A game-high haul of 29 points from Brooklyn Nets superstar Durant saw the United States to a victory that avenged their opening group-stage loss to France.

It meant the USA kept up their strong recent record on the Olympic stage, with Durant securing a third gold medal of his career.

Jayson Tatum weighed in with 19 points, while France had five players in double figures but nobody in their ranks scored more than the 16 points managed by both Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier.

The USA led by 11 points at 71-57 in the third quarter, but an impressive France cut that advantage to three points at 73-70 with 5:42 remaining of the fourth after Frank Ntilikina drained a three-pointer

France again reined in a double-digit lead to get back to 85-82 in arrears with 10 seconds remaining, but a foul by Gobert on Durant gave the USA's star man the chance to put the game away, which he seized by making both his free throws.

China remain atop the Olympics Games medal table as they maintained their five-gold buffer over the United States with two on Friday in Tokyo.

The table-toppers head into the penultimate day at the Olympics with their advantage still intact, courtesy of gold in the women's javelin and the men's team table tennis.

Shiying Liu became the first Asian woman to win gold in the javelin, while China extended their perfect record in table tennis since its 2008 introduction – Ma Long becoming the most decorated table tennis Olympian with his fifth triumph.

USA matched China's gold count on day 14, collecting the top spot in the women's beach volleyball and via Gable Steveson's last-second victory in the men's superheavyweight freestyle wrestling.

Japan remain in third place and collected two golds, the first of which came in the women's featherweight freestyle wrestling from Mayu Mukaida with the second following through three-time world champion Ryo Kiyuna, who was crowned the first ever men's kata karate Olympic champion.

After falling down to sixth on Thursday, Great Britain bounced back up to fourth with a pair of golds. Laura Kenny teamed up with Katie Archibald to become the first British female Olympian to triumph at three consecutive Games – winning the women's madison comfortably.

Kate French captured Team GB's other gold in the women's pentathlon, though there could have been a third had the men's 4x100 metre relay team not been pipped at the line by Marcell Jacobs' Italy.

The Russian Olympic Committee sit in fifth on 17 golds, Zaurbek Sidakov securing their sole gold of the day in the men's welterweight freestyle wrestling.

After firing a blank on Friday, Australia – who equalled their best ever medal haul at the Games a day earlier – dropped down to sixth, level with the Russians on 17 golds.

 

Elaine Thompson-Herah completed a stunning sprint hat-trick at the Tokyo Olympics as Italy enjoyed further success on the track on Friday.

Having won both the 100m and 200m individual finals, Thompson-Herah was part of the impressive Jamaica team, alongside Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson and Briana Williams, that won the women’s 4x100m relay, finishing ahead of the United States.

No female athlete had been victorious in all three sprint events at a Games since American Florence Griffith Joyner back in 1988.

Thompson-Herah now has five Olympic golds in total, one behind Allyson Felix, who added to her collection with a bronze medal in a 400m race won convincingly by Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas.

After success in the 100m, Marcell Jacobs doubled his tally of golds from the Games as part of Italy’s 4x100m relay squad that pipped Great Britain on the line.

However, it was Filippo Tortu who ran an outstanding final leg for the Italians, seeing him edge out Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake on the line.

 

ITALIAN JOB SECURES MORE GOLD

Italy's relay triumph takes them up to five golds in athletics – they had never previously won more than three at a single Olympics. It is the first time they have made the podium in the 4x100m relay since a bronze in 1948.

"This is the year of Italy, this is our year," said a delighted Jacobs. "We won the Eurovision, we won the football European championships, we won five gold medals (in athletics)."

Also in Friday's action on the track, Joshua Cheptegei triumphed in the men's 5000m final while Faith Kipyegon claimed gold in the women's 1500m, with Sifan Hassan – who had won the 5000m – finishing third. She has a chance to claim another medal when running in the 10,000m on Saturday.

"I am very happy with my race. I tried my best, but I couldn't do more than this," Hassan said after her bid to complete an Olympic treble came to an end.

"I think, for me, the third place is good. There was a lot of wind at the stadium today and that is what made it difficult for me. I can't do anything about that, I just didn't have any more strength.

"For now, it is all about taking enough rest in order to be able to race again tomorrow."


KENNY KEEPS ADDING TO COLLECTION

Laura Kenny now has five Olympic gold medals after teaming up with Katie Archibald to win the madison for Great Britain.

The pair were dominant in the inaugural women's event, finishing up with 78 points. Denmark were a distant second on 35, with the Russian Olympic Committee taking bronze.

Kenny had already managed a silver in Tokyo in the women's pursuit, with this latest Olympic medal taking her to six. Only dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin can match that tally for a British woman.

"When I fell pregnant, there was a moment two months into the pregnancy where I woke up and said to Jason (Kenny, husband and fellow Olympian), 'I can't do this, I'm not going to be able to carry on (with cycling), there's just no way'. And here we are," said Kenny.

There was a one-two result for the Netherlands in the men's sprint, Harrie Lavreysen seeing off compatriot Jeffrey Hoogland in a tense final. Britain's Jack Carlin claimed the final spot on the podium.

 

GROSSO HITS THE SPOT

Canada held their nerve in a penalty shoot-out to become Olympic champions for the first time in women's football, overcoming Sweden in a dramatic final.

Julia Grosso slotted in the winning kick to secure a 3-2 triumph after Canada goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe had twice made crucial saves. Sweden had the chance to win it with their fifth attempt, only for captain Caroline Seger to fire over the crossbar.

In the men's tournament, Mexico defeated Japan 3-1 in the bronze medal game.

"We wanted to win a medal at these Olympic Games, so I feel very thankful," said Mexico coach Jaime Lozano. "In football, this is the most important day in my life. What we have experienced today will be with us for the rest of our lives."
 

ANNAN ACHIEVES A FIRST

In the women's hockey final, the Netherlands claimed a record fourth title as they defeated Argentina 3-1.

The result sees Alyson Annan become the first woman to get a gold as both a player and a head coach.

"It's nice but it's not why I do this," Annan said of that achievement. "My goal as a coach is to hopefully be a part of someone's career and have them look back and say 'That was a great time and I learned a lot and I became a better player and a better person'.

"For me it's not about the gold medal. That's for them."

Great Britain took bronze with a 4-3 win over India.

Stephanie Labbe was the penalty shoot-out hero as Canada took gold in their maiden Olympic final appearance following a 1-1 draw with Sweden.

Stina Blackstenius' first-half opener had the Scandinavians ahead but Jessie Fleming restored parity with a spot-kick after half-time when VAR intervened for a foul on Christine Sinclair.

Kadeisha Buchanan proved Canada's last-ditch hero with a clearance off the line to take the game to extra-time before Labbe's two saves secured a 3-2 triumph in the shoot-out.

Kosovare Asllani did the initial work for Sweden's opener, dispossessing Canada midfielder Quinn before rolling to Blackstenius, whose first-time attempt benefited from a slight deflection to find the back of the net.

Sinclair, whose 187 goals for Canada make her the all-time leading goalscorer in international football, nipped in front of Amanda Ilestedt and, after consulting VAR, Fleming levelled things up with a low spot-kick.

Asllani spurned a glorious opportunity to seal gold with a minute to go as she saw her effort cleared off the line by Buchanan, sending the final to extra-time and subsequently penalties with neither side finding a winner in the additional 30 minutes.

Sweden failed with their opening penalty, Asllani hammering into the right-hand post, before Fleming coolly slotted in Canada's first to gain an early advantage.

That lead quickly faded away, however, when Ashley Lawrence saw her effort saved and both Nathalie Bjorn and Olivia Schough converted for the Swedes.

Swedish veteran Caroline Seger had the chance to secure glory with the decisive strike, despite Labbe's save against Anna Anvegard, but she blasted over, sending the shoot-out to sudden death after Deanne Rose found the top right corner.

Labbe produced another stop from Jonna Andersson, teeing up Julia Gross for victory and she made no mistake, finding the bottom left corner to seal gold after consecutive bronzes in 2012 and 2016.

In the men's football, Mexico recovered from semi-final shoot-out heartbreak against Brazil to beat Japan 3-1 in Friday's bronze-medal match.

Sebastian Cordova netted the opener and provided the second for Johan Vasquez before Alexis Vega put the game out of the host nation's reach, despite Kaoru Mitoma grabbing a late consolation.

Marcell Jacobs declared 2021 as "the year of Italy" following his second gold at Tokyo 2020 in the men's 4x100m relay on Friday.

Jacobs, 26, powered to a surprise gold in 9.80 seconds in the men's 100m final before combining with Lorenzo Patta, Eseosa Desalu and Filippo Tortu to win Italy's first medal in the relay since London 1948.

The relay win gave Italy a fifth athletics gold in Tokyo, tied with the United States for the most. They had never previously claimed more than three at a single Games.

Jacobs has become just the second Italian to win multiple athletics Olympic titles after Ugo Frigerio's three walking golds between 1920 and 1924.

An outstanding meet continues a remarkable year for Italy, in which the country also won Eurovision before ending a 53-year wait for a European Championship triumph at Euro 2020, beating England in July's Wembley final.

"This is the year of Italy, this is our year," Jacobs said. "We won the Eurovision, we won the football European Championship, we won five gold medals [in athletics]."

Tortu's superb final leg gave Italy victory ahead of Great Britain by only 0.01s. Canada, led by 200m champion Andre De Grasse, finished third.

It was another unexpected success for Jacobs, who added: "I would never expect this [a second gold] before leaving, nobody would have expected that.

"Thank you Italy. We really have worked well and we believed in it so much. I adore these guys.

"Before entering the track, we looked at each other and we were determined to win a medal."

Elaine Thompson-Herah made it a hat-trick of Tokyo 2020 golds, Marcell Jacobs celebrated a famous double and Shaunae Miller-Uibo defended an Olympic title she won in Rio five years ago.

After Jamaica had celebrated glory in the women's 4x100 metres relay for Thompson-Herah's third top-podium finish, Jacobs – a shock winner of the men's 100m title – was part of the Italian team who won the men's race.

Elsewhere, Faith Kipyegon romped to 1500m glory to end Sifan Hassan's chances of an unprecedented Games treble.

Here's a round-up from the penultimate night of athletics inside the Olympic Stadium.

THOMPSON-HERAH AND JACOBS CELEBRATING AGAIN

Thompson-Herah's dream Olympics continued with a third gold medal of Tokyo 2020 in the 4x100m.

Having already taken out the 100 and 200m in the individual races, Thompson-Herah combined with the legendary Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Briana Williams and Shericka Jackson to take the gold in a blistering 41.02 - the second-fastest time ever run.

The United States took the silver ahead of Great Britain in third.

It was a far closer fight in the men's race, with Great Britain in pole position coming to the last changeover only for Filippo Tortu to run a blinding last leg that led Italy to victory by just 0.01s.

Andre De Grasse – the 200m champion here in Tokyo – was part of a Canadian team who earned bronze.

MILLER-UIBO DEFENDS IN DOMINANT FASHION

The 400m has proven a happy event for the Bahamas over the past two nights, with Miller-Uibo defending her title from Rio just a day after compatriot Steven Gardiner won the men's race.

Miller-Uibo was dominant, powering out of the final bend and storming to the line in an area-record time of 48.36s.

Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic set a national record 49.20 to take silver ahead of American legend Allyson Felix – who now has 10 Olympic medals.

Liu Shiying of China was the victor in the women's javelin thanks to a throw of 66.34m – a good time to launch a season's best distance. Poland's Maria Andrejczyk was heavily fancied for gold but had to settle for silver ahead of Kelsey-Lee Barber from Australia.

HASSAN'S HISTORY HOPES ENDED BY BRILLIANT KIPYEGON

Hassan was aiming to become the first athlete to win a 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m treble at a single Games and had already won gold in the second of those distances.

But it was not to be in the 1500 with the Dutchwoman settling for bronze in a race won emphatically by Kenya's Kipyegon in an Olympic-record time of 3:53.11.

The two were the pacesetters for the majority of the race but Kipyegon made a break on the back straight, while Hassan was ultimately overtaken by Great Britain's Laura Muir and finished third.

The men's 5000m was won in convincing fashion by world-record holder Joshua Cheptegei in 12:58.15.

Italy doubled up in the 20km walk race, with Antonella Palmisano celebrating her birthday with gold a day after Massimo Stano took out the men's event over the same distance. Dawid Tomala of Poland was a surprise winner of the men's 50km, a distance he was walking competitively for only the third time.

Elaine Thompson-Herah is the best sprinter in women's history according to former 400m hurdles champion Edwin Moses.

The Jamaican sprinter became the first woman in history to complete the double-double by defending her Olympic 100 and 200 metre titles in Tokyo before adding her third gold of the Games in the women's 4x100m relay on Friday.

Thompson-Herah, 29, set a new national record with her earlier 200m success and recorded the second-fastest time in the history of the event.

Those achievements led Moses, a former American track star and two-time Olympic gold medallist, to the conclusion that Thompson-Herah is in a class of her own.

"She’s the best women's sprinter in history," Moses exclusively told Stats Perform. "She's proved that over and over.

"She came through at the right time, I think people were concerned about her and even when she ran against Dina Asher-Smith and didn't win, people were concerned but she was obviously in that final phase of training and she didn't want to show her cards. She did an outstanding job."

Thompson-Herah, fresh from her earlier 100m exploits, fell just 0.19 seconds short of Florence Griffith-Joyner's long-standing 200m world record that was set in 1988.

However, Moses explained there is a possibility that the five-time Olympic champion could complete the seemingly impossible and break Griffith-Joyner's records.

"It's possible. Obviously it's going to depend on the track," Moses continued. "If it's not the Tokyo track we don't know what she's capable of doing.

"She ran very, very fast there and those kinds of times are going to be much harder to run on normal tracks and aren't that Mondotrack that they had in Tokyo."

Track cycling queen Laura Kenny scooped the fifth Olympic gold of her stellar career by teaming up with Katie Archibald to win the madison for Great Britain.

Kenny, who was an omnium and team pursuit champion at the 2012 and 2016 Games, became the first British woman to win gold medals at three Olympics.

Archibald was also a victorious British team pursuiter in Rio five years ago, and she and Kenny proved an irresistible partnership in Tokyo's inaugural women's Olympic madison.

They scored a staggering 78 points, with Denmark's Amalie Dideriksen and Julie Leth second on 35 points and the Russian Olympic Committee's Gulnaz Khatuntseva and Mariia Novolodskaia scoring 26 in taking bronze.

Kenny's win boosts her record tally of women's track cycling gold medals.

Of all competitors in track cycling, only her husband Jason Kenny and fellow Briton Chris Hoy have won more gold medals, with both having six to their name.

Among all female British Olympians, nobody has won more medals than Kenny, who also landed a team pursuit silver on Tuesday. The madison success meant she matched British equestrian star Charlotte Dujardin's haul of six medals (three gold, one silver, two bronze).

 

Kenny, 29, became a mother to son Albert in August 2017 and suspected at the time she had crossed the finish line in her cycling career.

She said after Friday's triumph: "When I fell pregnant, there was a moment two months into the pregnancy where I woke up and said to Jason, 'I can't do this, I'm not going to be able to carry on [with cycling], there's just no way'. And here we are."

Dutch rider Harrie Lavreysen prevailed in the men's sprint, becoming the first Olympian from the Netherlands to win two gold medals in track cycling, having landed a first in the team sprint earlier this week.

The latest triumph saw Lavreysen become the first Dutch winner of the sprint since Jacobus van Egmond in the 1932 Los Angeles Games.

He led a Dutch one-two, with silver going to Jeffrey Hoogland, while Britain's Jack Carlin took bronze.

Hoogland won the first heat of the final but Lavreysen came back to level in the next before taking gold, with both riders exhausted by the gruelling decisive third sprint.

Lavreysen said: "I was really thinking confident before the races like I was going to win this. I lost the first one, but I also made a mistake. So I thought, 'Okay, just refresh and go for the second one, I can still win this'. I got my head really clear and just focused on winning the race.

"It's such an amazing feeling. When I was on the track I really wanted to cheer and put my hands in the air, but I couldn't do it, I was in so much pain."

Carlin was satisfied with his third-placed finish, saying: "The Dutch team for the last five years have been dominant and both of those boys have unbelievable talent. It was always going to be hard against them."

Germany's Olympic cycling sports director Patrick Moster has been banned for the rest of the year after making racist slurs about time-trial riders from Eritrea and Algeria.

The UCI, cycling's world governing body, announced the punishment on Friday, in the wake of Germany's national federation (BDR) doling out its own punishment.

Moster has been stripped of his duties at international level and taken an enforced pay cut. The BDR described Moster's comments as "a massive violation" of the values of the federation and cycling as a whole.

Moster urged German rider Nikias Arndt to "get the camel drivers" during the July 28 time trial at Tokyo 2020.

He has since apologised but is paying the consequences now, with the UCI taking action over comments it labelled as "discriminatory and contrary to the basic rules of decency".

The UCI said in a statement: "Mr Moster has since acknowledged before the disciplinary commission that he had committed a breach of the UCI regulations and agreed to the imposition of a suspension until 31 December 2021, during which time Mr Moster may not participate in any capacity in any competition or activity authorised or organised by the UCI, a continental confederation or a member national federation.

"The UCI underlines that the sanction imposed by the UCI disciplinary commission is in addition to the measures taken by Mr Moster's national federation, the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer.

"The UCI condemns all forms of racist and discriminatory behaviour and strives to ensure integrity, diversity and equality in cycling."

Breanna Stewart said it would be an "insane" achievement for Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi to reach five Olympic gold medals after Team USA reached the Tokyo 2020 basketball final.

A comfortable 79-59 win over Serbia carried coach Dawn Staley's team through to Sunday's title match.

The USA will be chasing a seventh consecutive gold and a 55th successive Olympic game win, with Bird and Taurasi the longest serving players on the current roster.

Bird and Taurasi have been on the team since the Athens Games in 2004, with Stewart a relative newcomer after first being called up for Rio 2016.

"Sue and D, what they've done for USA basketball is extremely special," Stewart said.

"The fact that they're going for five straight golds is insane and I think for the rest of us as players, we want to make sure we put them in the best possible position to get that gold."

There could be a basketball double for the USA in Japan, with the men through to a title game against France on Saturday.

The women's team have surpassed the Olympic achievements of their male counterparts in this century.

The men managed only bronze in Athens but have won the three Olympic tournaments since, while the women last failed to gain gold in 1992 at Barcelona.

Bird, 40, and Taurasi, 39, might not have long left as active Olympians, but they are passing their knowledge on to the younger generation.

Yet for everyone representing the US, this is a stressful time, given that anything less than the gold medal would be written off by many as failure.

Stewart said: "I think that right now there's so much pressure that it's seven straight overall that you get lost in what's actually happening and enjoying being at the Olympics, being on the court and competing every single day.

"This is exactly where we want to be, so now everything is on the line. We're going to do what we can to make sure that we come home with a gold."

Julio Cesar La Cruz set his sights on winning a third Olympic boxing gold medal in Paris after landing heavyweight glory at Tokyo 2020 on Friday.

The powerful Cuban, who was shot in the hip during an attempted robbery in January 2014, added to the light heavyweight title he won in Rio five years ago

The 31-year-old now believes he can stay at the top until the 2024 Olympics.

La Cruz beat the Russian Olympic Committee's reigning world champion Muslim Gadzhimagomedov, who took silver, by unanimous verdict.

Two judges scored the gold medal bout 30-27 in favour of La Cruz and the other three settled on 29-28 decisions.

The success means Cuba have won three boxing golds in Tokyo, with La Cruz proud of his performance at the Kokugikan Arena.

"There was a lot of attention on the fight as he is the current world champion, but my team and trainers gave me a lot of confidence that I could win the fight, and they were right," La Cruz said. "They said that I had to believe in myself."

There appears to be no lack of self-belief with La Cruz, who added: "I've got two Games gold medals now but Paris is only three years away. I'll go to the next Olympics and try to win a third gold medal for my country."

Having won four world titles at light heavyweight, La Cruz is new to the higher weight category and seizing his opportunity to be a dual weight master.

After surviving the shooting seven years ago, La Cruz is keen to grasp every chance he gets to succeed.

"First of all when that happened it was tough," he said, "but I never lost hope.

"I had to heal for some time, but the Cuban doctors did a marvellous job and thanks to my hope and faith, my family and my mother, the Cuban people and Cuban doctors, the psychologists that helped me, I'm here today and was able to notch those two [gold medal] victories and I thought I deserved it."

The bullet that struck his hip remains in the family, La Cruz confirmed.

"My mother has it, as a token of remembrance of what happened there," he said.


USA STAR DAVIS PREDICTS 'EASY' FINAL

Cuban Andy Cruz awaits Keyshawn Davis in the lightweight final, which will take place on Sunday.

Ask American Davis how he sees that going and the 22-year-old professional boxer will fire back a confident answer, despite losing to Cruz in the World Championship final two years ago.

"I feel like that's going to be an easy fight, man," Davis said on Friday. "I feel like it's going to be easier for me. Like I said, I'm bigger, stronger, faster, smarter."

He made that declaration after beating Armenia's Hovhannes Bachkov in Friday's semi-final.

The United States remain without a men's Olympics boxing gold medal since the Athens 2004 Games.

Nelly Korda is attempting to banish thoughts of an Olympic gold medal even as she closes in on winning the women's golf tournament.

The 23-year-old American will carry a three-shot lead into the final round at Kasumigaseki Country Club after shooting a two-under 69 on Friday to reach 15 under par.

She had to scramble at times after a bright start and made 10 consecutive pars following a bogey six at the eighth hole, with Korda relieved to stay firmly in control through 54 holes.

Aditi Ashok of India sits second after a 68 moved her to 12 under, with third place at 10 under shared by New Zealand's Lydia Ko, Australia's Hannah Green, Emily Kristine Pedersen of Denmark and Japan's Mone Inami.

Asked what pleased her most about her round, Korda said: "Probably my fight. I didn't really have a good back nine. I was kind of spraying it all over the place.

"I made all pars and fought really hard to stay in it really, or ahead of it. If I was sloppy and didn't fight the way I did, I could definitely have shot a couple over par on the back nine easily. I had a couple of testy par putts but I never give up."

As for imagining a gold medal around her neck, Korda said it was only natural to let that thought cross her mind.

"I feel like everyone does it, but that's when you need to take a step back," she said. "There's still 18 more holes to go, there's still a lot that can happen.

"I try to remind myself even though I think about it – I quickly shake my head and I'm like, 'No, no, no, no, it's not there yet, we're not there, we still have a long way to go'."

The weather forecast for the weekend suggests it may be a struggle to fit in a fourth round, with storms expected to brush the east coast of Japan.

Therefore Korda will have already done enough if the tournament is reduced to a three-round event, but she is putting that thought to one side.

An early start has been scheduled for Saturday, with the first groups out at 06:30 local time. Korda, Ashok and Ko will be the last trio out starting from the first, weather permitting, at 08:18.

"My mindset is 72 holes, so I'm sticking to that and trying to give myself opportunities and make them," Korda said. "I'm trying to stay as present as possible and see how it goes.

"I've been really calm the last three days. I haven't really gotten nervous."

April Ross completed her set of Olympic medals as she teamed with Alix Klineman to defeat Australia's Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho to win another beach volleyball gold for the USA.

The American duo, dubbed the "A-Team", rolled to a 21-15 21-16 victory at sweltering Shiokaze Park for the USA's fourth gold in the event. Brazil, Australia and Germany are the only other countries to win, claiming one gold each. 

Ross, 39, became the oldest woman to medal in beach volleyball as she added to the silver medal she won with partner Jennifer Kessy at London 2012 and her bronze with Kerri Walsh Jennings at Rio 2016. 

She is the first person to win a beach volleyball medal with three different partners. Klineman, 31, moved from indoor volleyball to the beach in 2017 and began playing with Ross late that year, a partnership that culminated in gold in Tokyo. 

"I'm still trying to process it but I'm so in the present moment here with this team and this medal," Ross said. "I'm so proud of my other ones but just how this worked out, and the risks that Alix took to come out onto the beach and all her hard work … it doesn't happen without that.

"I can't fathom that it worked out the way it did. It's kind of a fairytale story like, 'Oh, I'm going at 39 to try and get my gold medal', and the fact that it actually happened feels so special and surreal. I'm just so proud of our team and so grateful for everyone who helps us get here.”

Switzerland's Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depre won bronze earlier Friday by defeating Latvia's Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka 21-19 21-15. 

ANOTHER HOCKEY MEDAL FOR TEAM GB

While they were disappointed not to be able to defend their hockey gold from Rio, Great Britain's women will leave Tokyo with bronze after a second-half comeback to defeat India 4-3. 

Grace Balsdon's goal off a penalty corner in the 48th minute was the difference for Team GB, who took a 2-0 lead before falling behind 3-2 at the half. 

Hollie Pearne-Webb equalised five minutes into the third quarter, just the fourth goal of her career. 

"It probably sums up our whole cycle, that match," said Laura Unsworth. "We start well, and then we have a bit of a dip, then we come back well. That game was probably our cycle.

"But I think the resilience and the fight in our team came out, and we weren't going to walk off this pitch without giving our all and that's certainly what we did."

Unsworth, 33, was part of Britain's Rio team and the London 2012 squad that won bronze. 

"When I first started as a little girl I don't think I could have dreamed of that," Unsworth said. "I've got to thank all of my team-mates, every single one of them who has been a part of these medals.

"But wow, I think I can retire a very, very, very happy person."

POLAND'S TOMALA TAKES GOLD IN 'BORING' 50K WALK

Dawid Tomala revived Poland's 50km race walk tradition, taking the gold medal Friday by 36 seconds over Jonathan Hilbert of Germany while Evan Dunfee of Canada was 51 seconds back for the bronze. 

Tomala finished in three hours, 50 minutes, eight seconds to become his nation's second champion in the event after Robert Korzeniowski won gold in 1996, 2000 and 2004. 

"The first 30km was so easy for me," Tomala said. "It was easy like [a] slow training [session]. Everything was amazing, Too perfect. So I was thinking maybe we can do something. The 50km is so boring, I have to do something [and move ahead of the field]."

The 31-year-old Tomala usually competes in the 20km race walk and had finished only one other 50km race prior to Friday, placing fifth at Dudince, Slovakia in March. 

"This was only the second 50km in my life and I win it," he said. "It is crazy, right?"

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