Tokyo 2020 organisers have put standby plans in place for the final weekend of the Olympic Games in case the approaching tropical storm forces a change to the schedule.

Strong winds and heavy rain are expected to either hit Japan's east coast directly or skirt close to making landfall.

It was already known that the final round of women's golf could be shifted from Saturday to Sunday, if conditions are unsuitable for play.

Now it has been confirmed that other alterations to the programme may be in the offing, with Games chiefs bracing themselves for all eventualities.

Masa Takaya, spokesperson for the organising committee, said: "At this point in time we just watch the situation closely."

Addressing media in a news conference, he said: "Of course the organising committee is making preparations for the unexpected, but I don't think it's appropriate for us to tell you all the state of preparation for unexpected situations that the organising comiitee is making, because it will only create speculation among yourselves.

"We are giving you possibly the warnings about the situation."

Takaya added: "According to the current strength of the storm, it is categorised as a tropical storm, not a typhoon.

"We just have to share the information, not overstating the strength of the typhoon too much."

Outdoor events over the closing weekend include the baseball and men's football gold medal games in nearby Yokohama, Saturday's final day of athletics in the Olympic Stadium, and the marathon events in Sapporo.

The International Olympic Committee has revoked the accreditations of two Belarus coaches as it continues to investigate the saga involving sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya.

Tsimanouskaya refused to board a flight home from Japan earlier this week after allegedly being taken to the airport against her will, having publicly criticised her team's organisation on social media.

She competed in just one event, finishing fourth in a 100 metres heat, before being pulled out of the Games by Belarusian officials. Due to also compete in the 200m, she claimed a Belarusian coach entered her for the 4x400m relay despite her never racing in the event before.

The IOC announced Friday that it has established a disciplinary commission to "clarify the circumstances around the incident and the roles the coaches Mr Artur Shimak and Mr Yury Maisevich played." 

The governing body added that it had "cancelled and removed" the two coaches' accreditations as a provisional measure "in the interest of the wellbeing of the athletes of the NOC of Belarus who are still in Tokyo." 

The IOC said the coaches were asked to leave the Olympic Village on Thursday night and did so, adding that they "will be offered an opportunity to be heard." 

Tsimanouskaya flew to Warsaw on Wednesday after being granted a humanitarian visa by Poland. 

The Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation indicated the 24-year-old feared for her life upon returning to Minsk.

The country is under the authoritarian leadership of president Alexander Lukashenko, whose son Viktor heads the national Olympic committee (NOC). Both men were banned last December from attending Tokyo 2020.

 

 

The United States cut China's lead at the top of the medal table to five as they collected four golds on day 13 of the Games.

Coming into Thursday's events, China boasted a seven-gold buffer as leaders but that was reduced by the USA's Katie Nageotte in the women's pole vault and Ryan Crouser in the men's shot put – the latter of which became a back-to-back Olympic champion.

More golds followed for the USA, with Nevin Harrison winning the women's single canoe 200m sprint – her country's first medal in either canoe or kayak sprint since 1992 – and David Taylor succeeding in the men's 86kg freestyle wrestling in the last second.

After shooting a blank the previous day, China ensured a five-gold gap going into Friday as the women's table tennis team continued their dominance, overcoming Japan to secure their fourth gold in four consecutive Games.

The table-toppers have now won all four of the women's diving events in Tokyo, too, as 14-year-old Quan Hongchan set a world record in the 10m platform, making it a China one-two with fellow teenager Chen Yuxi.

Defending Olympic champion Risako Kawai, who is also a three-time world champion, triumphed once more in the women's 57kg wrestling freestyle, meaning early leaders Japan remain in third with a gold count of 22.

Australia suffered shoot-out heartbreak in the men's hockey final but climbed up to fourth with men's kayak double 1000m sprint success and their first-ever Olympic gold medal in skateboarding, courtesy of Keegan Palmer's park win.

Their 17 gold medals at the Games with three days to go equalled Australia's best-ever haul, matching the total they collected at Athens in 2004. 

The Russian Olympic Committee leaped up a spot to fifth as Zaur Uguev was crowned champion in the men's 57kg wrestling freestyle and Albert Batyrgaziev fought to gold in the men's featherweight boxing.

Great Britain, who now boast 16 medals after winning just the one event on Thursday, slipped back down to sixth position with Matthew Walls' omnium gold ending Team GB's frustrating unsuccessful spell in the cycling track events.

 

Nine-time Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis did not hold back in his criticism of the United States' performance in the men's 4x100 metres relay at Tokyo 2020.

Team USA have not won the event in 21 years and though they entered Thursday's heat as one of the favourites, they failed to qualify for the final.

It is the first time Team USA have failed to reach the Olympic final since 2008, though they have hardly had much fortune in the event since their success in Sydney.

Indeed, they have only once made it to the finish line cleanly, without any mistakes, when they claimed silver at London 2012. That medal, however, was conceded in the wake of Tyson Gay's doping ban.

This time around, a team including three of the fastest men in the world over 100m in 2021, fared little better.

Trayvon Bromell, Fred Kerley, Ronnie Baker and Cravon Gillespie finished sixth in the heat with a time of 38.10 seconds.

"We just didn't get the job done today," Kerley said. "That's all."

Sprinting great Lewis, who won two golds in the 4x100m relay, hit out at what he labelled a "clown show".

"The USA team did everything wrong in the men’s relay," Lewis wrote on Twitter. "The passing system is wrong, athletes running the wrong legs, and it was clear that there was no leadership. It was a total embarrassment, and completely unacceptable for a USA team to look worse than the AAU kids I saw."

He then expanded on his criticism in an interview with USA Today.

"This was a football coach taking a team to the Super Bowl and losing 99-0 because they were completely ill-prepared," Lewis said.

"It's unacceptable. It's so disheartening to see this because it’s people's lives. We're just playing games with people's lives. That's why I’m so upset. It's totally avoidable.

"America is sitting there rooting for the United States and then they have this clown show. I can't take it anymore. It's just unacceptable. It is not hard to do the relay."

HISTORY MADE BY SPAIN

Sport climbing and karate were two of the sports introduced for the Tokyo Games, and the first medals in each were won by Spanish athletes.

At the age of 39 years and 323 days, Sandra Sanchez became Spain's oldest Olympic champion as she triumphed in the women's kata, breaking the record set by Joan Llaneras in the velodrome in 2008.

Sanchez also became the first Spanish woman to clinch gold in martial arts since judoka Isabel Fernandez did so in 2000.

Her triumph was followed up by golds for France's Steven da Costa and Bulgaria's Ivet Goranova in the men's and women's kumite respectively.

At the opposite end of the spectrum to Sanchez, 18-year-old Alberto Gines Lopez became the youngest male Spanish athlete to strike gold at the Games as he pipped Nathaniel Coleman and Jakob Schubert in the sport climbing men's combined final.

"I think it will help the sport to grow, and for it to get more support. We need good installations in order to help the sport, and I think this will bring more support to the sport," the teenager said, before revealing his plans of celebration: "I'm going to break my diet. And then call my family and friends."

FOURNIER PREPPED FOR 'THE MOST COMPLICATED MATCH'

Team USA and France will meet in the final of the men's basketball competition, as the two favourites go head-to-head for gold.

Luka Doncic's shooting was off as Slovenia fell to an agonising 90-89 defeat to France, who beat the USA in the pool stage.

The European Champions, who also defeated the USA in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, now face a rematch against a side that has scored over 90 points in the last four games.

Evan Fournier, whose 23 points was second behind only team-mate Nando de Colo, knows what is in store.

"It represents a real step towards a dream, and the dream is to win the Olympics against the United States," said Fournier, who has just swapped the Boston Celtics for the New York Knicks.

"We have to rest and not let our minds wander, and prepare as much as possible, because there's a team waiting for us. They've prepared for us for two years, apparently, and because we beat them in the pool it will be worse, so it will be the most complicated match of the competition for us without any doubt."

SHOOT-OUT GLORY FOR BELGIUM

Beaten finalists in 2016, Belgium claimed their first hockey gold, and only their second in an Olympic team sport, after their men beat Australia 3-2 in a shoot-out.

Goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch was the hero in dramatic circumstances.

He made two saves before then denying Jacob Whetton, only for Belgium's celebrations to be cut short by a referral. However, Vanasch stood firm for a second time.

The shoot-out drama followed a 1-1 draw, with Tom Wickham having cancelled out Florent van Aubel's opener.

"What a feeling. You become Olympic champion, but twice [because of the referral] It's unusual," Vanasch said. "We had to calm down and go again. We knew that.

"I'm like a musician, it's a rehearsal and then you come to the concert and it comes naturally. That's how I come on the pitch. I'm composed, but also I trust myself, I trust my reflexes."

Australia have now won seven men's hockey medals across the last eight Games, while Belgium won their first gold in a team event since the 1920 Antwerp Olympics, when their men's football team triumphed.

Luka Doncic explained an uncharacteristic poor shooting performance was the reason for his assist-heavy approach in Slovenia's Olympic semi-final defeat to France, despite appearing to sustain a wrist injury in the fourth quarter.

Slovenia – featuring at their first Games – agonisingly went down 90-89 to France following Nicolas Batum's block in the final three seconds of the game.

The European champions ran Les Bleus close even as Doncic attempted only two shots in the fourth quarter.

The Dallas Mavericks superstar looked to have taken a knock when he collided with a court-side screen early in the fourth but did not indicate any issue as he discussed his late preference for passes.

"My shots weren't falling today, so I was trying to find open team-mates," Doncic said.

Asked specifically about the final play when Batum blocked Klemen Prepelic's lay-up from a Doncic pass, he added: "I think Batum was helping so I had to pass.

"I think [Prepelic] was open and it was a great drive, but Batum had an amazing block. I think it was a good choice.

"Not always you can make a smart choice but I trust them, they trust me and I thought that was a good choice."

Doncic shot five-for-18 from the field and two-for-nine from three-point range but still tallied 16 points, 10 rebounds and 18 assists.

He became only the third player in Olympic history to record a triple-double, following in the footsteps of Alexander Belov and LeBron James.

But having been beaten for the first time in Slovenia colours, falling to 17-1 after success at EuroBasket 2017 and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Kaunas, Doncic was not interested in individual achievements.

"We lost the game so I don't care about my performance," he said.

Doncic leads the Games in points (121) and assists (50) but has also drawn the most fouls (39) and played the most minutes (160) in a gruelling campaign.

Opponent Evan Fournier felt the point forward, who led the NBA in usage rate last season (36 per cent), tired under close scrutiny from the French defenders.

"It was the objective to target him all through the match, several of us in relay," New York Knicks signing Fournier said.

"Tim [Luwawu-Cabarrot] did an excellent job, Nico did an excellent job, and I think, as strong as he is, in a 40-minute match you still get tired physically.

"He wasn't taking three-point shots and I think if he'd been fresher he would have done."

Doncic said of the attention: "I'm used to every defense now."

Batum embraced the 22-year-old at the end of the game, with the duo facing off in yet another crunch contest after a seven-game playoff series between the Mavs and the Los Angeles Clippers.

Doncic was on the losing side on that occasion, too, but averaged 35.7 points per game, and he said of the post-game exchange with Batum: "It was a good message. He's a class act. He told me he hates playing against me, in a good way."

An exhausted Luka Doncic fell agonisingly short of carrying Slovenia into the gold medal game at the Tokyo Olympics as they went down 90-89 in their semi-final against France.

Dallas Mavericks superstar Doncic has been the dominant player at the Games and was at the centre of the action again on Thursday.

Despite uncharacteristically slack two-for-nine shooting from deep – hindered by an apparent injury – Doncic put up 16 points, 10 rebounds and 18 assists for a heroic triple-double.

It was the third in Olympic history and first since LeBron James' against Australia at London 2012.

The 22-year-old played a game-high 36 minutes and took numerous hits, but it was Nicolas Batum's clutch block on Klemen Prepelic that decided the contest in France's favour.

Les Bleus will now face the United States, who they have beaten in consecutive tournament games, while Doncic must turn his focus to the bronze medal match against Australia after falling to 17-1 in international play.

Slovenia – making their Olympics debut this year – led 44-42 at halftime before a tough third quarter in which they struggled to get stops and were outscored 29-21.

Doncic then sustained a knock to his wrist in a collision with a court-side screen early in the fourth and seemed reluctant to shoot thereafter.

With their primary scorer pulling the strings but relying on his team-mates to make shots, Slovenia still took the game down to the closing seconds.

After Doncic's 10th rebound ensured his first triple of the Olympics, Prepelic went through for a lay-up inside the final three seconds, only for Batum's fourth block and Gobert's 16th board to deny Slovenia.

Sky Brown is hoping her success in Tokyo will help change people's minds about skateboarding as an Olympic sport, as she looks to add another discipline to her bow in 2024.

Brown became the youngest British medallist in Olympic history when she clinched bronze in the women's park skateboarding event on Wednesday.

The 13-year-old – who won gold at the X Games in July – fell on her first two runs, but nailed her final effort to take bronze with a score of 56.47. Japan's Sakura Yosozumi won gold, with the host nation also claiming silver through Kokona Hiraki.

Skateboarding was making its Olympic debut in Tokyo and will again be competed in Paris in 2024.

That decision had its detractors, but all four events across the men's and women's disciplines have been a huge success at the Ariake Urban Sports Park, where youth has reigned supreme.

"I'm feeling insanely happy, it's crazy to be here, I'm thankful," Brown told BBC Sport.

"I hope I've changed people's minds about skateboarding. People don't know how beautiful skateboarding is, there are no rules, you can be creative, just get out there and do whatever you want.

"Falling on your first two runs is the worst feeling ever. I usually make my first two runs so I was a little shocked yesterday. My dad told me: 'This is just a contest, even if you fall you're still amazing, you're still good.'

"Then [gold medallist] Sakura said: 'Sky, we believe in you, you've got it, just stick it.' Everyone was cheering and I just thought, 'I've got to do this. I've got to land it'."

 

Brown suffered skull fractures due to a fall in 2020, but she explained: "That was a bit of a rollercoaster, but that accident made stronger, it made me feel powerful, it made me want to go hard and push myself.

"That was a heavy time for my family. It's insane to be here right now."

It is not just skating that Brown excels at. She is also a keen surfer, along with her brother Ocean, and is hoping to compete in that event in three years' time.

"That's the goal, that's my dream, competing for skating and surfing in Paris. That would be really cool. I surf more than I skate," she said.

"All I did to get here was believe in myself and take baby steps. If you believe in yourself, you could be here. But you've got to have fun and enjoy the journey."

Steven Gardiner made it a world and Olympic double by winning the men's 400 metres at Tokyo 2020 on a day where Hansle Parchment shocked Grant Holloway to win the 110m hurdles.

Ryan Crouser defended his shot put title from Rio 2016, while Pedro Pablo Pichardo and Katie Nageotte were also among the gold medal winners at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium.

Here's a round-up of Thursday's best action in athletics.

 

GARDINER FOLLOWS UP DOHA TRIUMPH

Defending 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk, who suffered a horrific knee injury in 2017, was not in the final and Gardiner displaced the South African in the Tokyo humidity.

The man from the Bahamas won gold in Doha at the world championships two years ago and timed his race to perfection in the Japanese capital, storming ahead from the final bend and passing the line in a time of 43.85s.

Anthony Zambrano of Colombia was second, while 2012 champion Kirani James added Olympic bronze for Grenada.

Just a night on from Andre De Grasse becoming men's 200m champion, Canada had more reason to celebrate as Damian Warner earned an Olympic record 9,018 points to win the decathlon. Kevin Mayer of France took silver ahead of Australia's Ashley Moloney.

In the heptathlon, Nafissatou Thiam defended her gold from Rio 2016 – the Belgian accruing 6,791 points. Dutch pair Anouk Vetter and Emma Oosterwegel were second and third.

 

PARCHMENT BEATS HOLLOWAY IN HUGE SHOCK

Possibly the biggest shock on the track of Tokyo 2020 so far arrived in the men's 110m hurdles, where world champion and clear favourite for gold Holloway had to settle for silver.

Instead, first place was taken by Jamaica's Parchment, an outsider on paper who stormed through when Holloway's momentum appeared to stall at the last two hurdles to win in a time of 13.04 seconds.

There was further upset for Team USA in the men's 4x100m relay, where a shock sixth-placed finish in their heat meant they missed out on the final.

Massimo Stano was a surprise winner of the men's 20km walk race, a strong finish seeing him beat well-fancied Japanese duo Koki Ikeda and Toshikazu Yamanishi.

With his victory, Italy have won three athletics gold medals at the same Games for the first time.

CROUSER LIVES UP TO THE BILLING IN AN OLYMPICS QUIRK

Crouser lived up to his billing as favourite in the men's shot put and in some style to defend his title from Rio 2016.

The American equalled or bettered his previous Olympic record with each of his six throws, with the winning distance marked at 22.93m.

World Champion and countryman Joe Kovacs took silver, while New Zealand's Tom Walsh was third. Incredibly, this was the exact same podium as at Rio 2016 – the first time in Olympics athletics to have the exact same repeat of a podium.

Pichardo was equally brilliant in taking home the men's triple jump gold. His effort of 17.98m represents the second-best winning jump in Olympics history and was personal redemption for the Portuguese, who missed out in Rio five years ago.

China's Zhu Yaming earned silver with a lifetime-best jump of 17.57, with Hugues Fabrice Zango of Burkina Faso in third.

Nageotte earned a nice piece of history in winning women's pole vault gold for the United States. No woman or man has ever missed with their opening two attempts and gone on to win Olympic gold.

But Nageotte cleared 4.90m, a height no one else in the competition could match. Anzhelika Sidorova – the 2019 world champion – claimed silver for the Russia Olympic Committee, with Holly Bradshaw of the United Kingdom taking bronze.

Duke Ragan missed out on ending the USA's 17-year gold drought in men's boxing as Albert Batyrgaziev became the first professional to triumph in the Olympic ring.

The wait for a Games gold for the United States men continued on Thursday as a split decision went against Ragan in the featherweight final at the Kokugikan Arena, in a battle of two fighters who have recently left the amateur ranks behind.

Ragan edged it 29-28 on the scorecards of two judges, but it went against him by the same margin with two others, and a fifth, from Indonesia, scored it 30-27 in favour of Russian Olympic Committee fighter Batyrgaziev.

Their next meeting could be in a paid contest, given both are making their way in the professional game, and each man said the idea held plenty of appeal.

"That would be an additional motivation, to meet again as two professionals with my opponent in this final," Batyrgaziev said.

Ragan agreed, saying: "If that was to happen I really look forward to getting revenge and stuff like that, especially me and him, both being in the final of this Olympics.

"It would be a big headline and I'm pretty sure that everyone that tuned into the Olympics would want to see that again, especially on a bigger level."

Dagestan-born Batyrgaziev said of his gold: "This has been my dream since I started training for boxing when I was a child. This has made all the hard work and effort and the discipline I've shown since worth it. It has paid off.

"I am proud of my home. It deserves to be the home of an Olympic champion and I'll take the gold medal home to my people as I promised them."

Ragan regretted being unable to be the man to break the US gold drought, with no men's champion since Andre Ward's success at the Athens Olympics, but said silver still gave him some pleasure.

"Coming from the USA, I was the first professional boxer to compete in the Olympics. I take that and run with it. It was a blessing to be here," he said.

"I'm glad that I was a professional. A little bit more experience even though I didn't get the gold, but it's all good.

"I'm happy to be going home with the silver medal. It's not a happy ending for me but I'll take the silver medal over not getting on the podium at all."

 

FORMER 'SKIVVY' YAFAI REACHES GOLD FIGHT

Britain's Galal Yafai battled through to the men's flyweight final and explained how he has gone from a "skivvy" job to living out his dream.

Yafai earned a majority verdict over Saken Bibossinov of Kazakhstan, taking the verdict on three of the five judges' cards, and will face Carlo Paalam of the Philippines for gold on Saturday.

"It's the Olympic gold isn't it, man? Olympic gold is crazy. Just imagine being the Olympic champion," Yafai said.

"It's something I've dreamed about, but could never see happening. To be in an Olympic final, that's something I never thought I could do. Now I'm in it, it just goes to show that if you put in the hard work you reap the rewards."

The 28-year-old explained how he previously worked in a car factory in the English town of Solihull, near Birmingham, and reflected on how far he has come since those days.

"I was grafting, picking up boxes, dreaming of being at an Olympic Games," Yafai said. "I got to Rio [for the 2016 Olympics] a year later where it didn't work out for me. I've waited five years and it's paid off.

"I was doing the rubbish, picking up boxes, delivering parts. Just a skivvy job really. But now I'm on the verge of becoming Olympic champion.

"I hated working there, I'm not going to lie. I'd wanted to be a boxer for years, as I hate being told what to do. Now I'm my own boss and hopefully I can be the Olympic champion."

The Netherlands had reason to celebrate and cause for concern at the Izu Cycling Centre on Thursday, while Great Britain's Matthew Walls stormed to victory in the omnium.

Olympic debutant Shanne Braspennincx capped an incredible comeback from a heart attack six years ago to take gold in the women's keirin final, as the Netherlands defended the title Elis Ligtlee won in Rio 2016.

However, her triumph came after team-mate Laurine van Riessen had crashed out in the quarter-finals, taking Team GB's Katy Marchant with her.

Van Riessen was knocked unconscious and had to be taken off the track on a stretcher before she was transferred to hospital for further checks.

"Coach Hugo [Haak] said that our team doctor is with her. I sent her a message but it all went so fast and I had to go on," Braspennincx said when asked about Van Riessen's injury.

"Hugo does that. He told me she's in good hands; you have to focus on your own race now. I was worried about her, she went to the hospital, but at that moment I had to make the switch and focus on myself.

"It's tough to see. I know it's part of [racing] but this is what you really don't want and she was in very good shape as well."

Van Riessen clipped the wheel in front of her as she was about to enter the final lap, sliding straight into the unfortunate Marchant in the process.

"I think that’s just bike racing, wrong place, wrong time, I just hope everyone's okay that was in the crash. I think I'm okay, just a bit battered and bruised but I'm alright," Marchant told BBC Sport.

"I needed to finish the race in case there was something that came up on the results. I'm not really sure what happened, wrong place, wrong time, I just got caught up it in it."

A SURREAL SUCCESS

Braspennincx's triumph is made even more remarkable by the heart attack she suffered in 2015.

The Netherlands have now won the women's keirin event on two of the three times it has been held at the Olympic Games, and it brought up the nation's 10th gold medal on the track.

She finished ahead of Ellesse Andrews – the second woman from New Zealand to win an Olympic medal in the velodrome after Sarah Ulmer in 2004 – and Canada's Lauriane Genest. 

"I'll have to let it sink in first, it feels surreal," Braspennincx said. "I can't believe it. I don't know what it was like. I went in the moment, I had to go and I held it. 

"I think every athlete can say it's a very long [journey], especially this one. In Rio I was a spare rider because I had an injury. I had a long way to come back, and to celebrate it like this is worth it.

"There is amazing medical stuff still behind me. They tested me through, through and through in order to get the green light. In January 2016 I got to be an athlete again. My journey started again, really, really slow, and with a lot of stuff back. And now I am here in 2021, all good."

TEAM GB'S WONDER WALLS

Despite Marchant's disappointment, there was joy for Team GB in the men's omnium, as 23-year-old Olympic debutant Walls claimed gold in dominant fashion.

Walls, who tested positive for COVID-19 in March, accumulated 153 points across the four disciplines – with the entire event condensed into the space of three hours – to finish ahead of Campbell Stewart and defending champion Elia Viviani.

It brought up Team GB's first track cycling gold at Tokyo, adding to their successes in the BMX and mountain biking events.

Team GB have now won 16 golds and 50 medals overall at the close of racing at the velodrome. Ed Clancy (2012) and Mark Cavendish (2016) have previously taken bronze and silver in the men's omnium, while Laura Kenny goes into Sunday's women's event as the two-time defending Olympic champion.

"I managed to get a good lead coming into the end. It's been a hard day but I came into that points race with a bit of a lead and breathing room," Walls told BBC Sport.

Britain are the first nation to win three Olympic medals in the men's omnium, while Team GB have now won gold in nine of the current 12 events held on the cycling track at the Games.

Stewart's silver, meanwhile, means New Zealand have taken 19 medals in Tokyo, surpassing their record tally of 18, set five years ago in Rio.

WORLD CHAMPION LAVREYSEN ENDS KENNY'S DEFENCE

Jason Kenny's defence of his Olympic gold in the men's sprint came to an end as he was overcome by Dutch world champion Harrie Lavreysen.

Kenny took gold in London and Rio, but the 33-year-old's reign is now over, and Lavreysen looks good to push on for the biggest prize.

The Dutchman was pushed hard in his two races against Kenny, however, with the Team GB rider forcing a two-lap sprint in the second quarter-final heat before Lavreysen pulled away on the final turn.

Lavreysen must get past another Briton in the semi-finals, with Jack Carlin up next.

Carlin looked sharp and showed complete control in his quarter-final win over Maximilian Levy of Germany.

"Another day in the bag, see what happens tomorrow but the legs are feeling good, it's all to play for tomorrow," Carlin told BBC Sport.

"My legs are feeling alright, they're sore but everyone's are sore at this point of the week. I think we take each race as it comes, stick to our principles, keep calm and what will be, will be."

Asked about Kenny's valiant effort, Carlin added: "I think you saw today he was struggling a bit from fatigue. He still went out there and gave it his all, that's what Olympic champions do."

The other semi-final will see Denis Dmitriev face the Netherlands' Jeffrey Hoogland, meaning the Dutch are guaranteed a medal.

Megan Rapinoe scored direct from a corner as she and fellow United States veteran Carli Lloyd hit doubles to sink Australia 4-3 in the Olympic Games bronze medal game.

Australia's replies came from Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord and Emily Gielnik in the seven-goal feast at Ibaraki Kashima Stadium.

It was 36-year-old Rapinoe and 39-year-old Lloyd who stole the show, though, on what may prove to be farewell appearances for the superstar duo.

Whether they play on in the short term for the national team remains to be seen, but this was likely a final outing at the Olympics for both, and they went out in style.

Rapinoe opened the scoring in the eighth minute when her wicked in-swinging corner from the left evaded everybody and found the net.

Kerr levelled seven minutes later with her 48th goal for Australia – a new national team record – when her shot proved too powerful for Adrianna Franch, but it was soon Rapinoe's time again.

The standout player from the 2019 World Cup smashed in her second goal of this game on the volley, connecting sweetly from around 12 yards after Alanna Kennedy sliced an attempted clearance.

Lloyd, who became the outright second most-capped player in US history by making her 312th appearance, got in on the goals just before half time. Her thumping left-footed shot across goal found the right corner, putting the US 3-1 up.

Lloyd scored again in the 51st minute after another Kennedy error, this time a weak header back to her goalkeeper allowing Lloyd a clear run on goal, with the striker slotting home.

That made her the US team's all-time highest scorer in Olympic women's football with 10 goals. Lloyd won Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012, with Rapinoe also on the triumphant latter team in London.

Australia got back into this game with a header from Foord after 54 minutes, and Kerr headed against the left post two minutes later. Substitute Gielnik rattled in a delicious late third for Australia, but they could not find a fourth.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson explained how it was a "miracle" for her to even reach the starting line in the heptathlon after her Tokyo dream was ended by a calf injury.

World champion Johnson-Thompson was well in medal contention in the 200m event of the women's heptathlon, yet ultimately ended up trudging over the line in tears.

The 28-year-old, who ruptured her Achilles tendon in December, pulled up with a calf problem. However, she refused to get in the wheelchair that was rolled out to the track, and instead got over the line on her own.

On Thursday, Johnson-Thompson revealed the arduous journey she has gone through to ensure she could participate in Tokyo.

"I don't know where to begin in trying to explain how I feel. Only a handful of people understand what I've been through," she wrote in a statement posted to her official Twitter account.

"Even a smaller amount understand the mental and physical challenges I've faced trying to make it back in time through a pandemic after my Achilles ruptured the back end of December. I started the year in a wheelchair and I was not willing to end my Olympic campaign the same way.

"To make it to the line was a miracle. To not only do that, but to be on my way to putting a decent score together, is heart-breaking. I truly believed I was capable of winning a medal despite having up to half a year of missed training."

Johnson-Thompson's Olympic spirit was on show for all to see and the 2018 Commonwealth Games champion is proud of her efforts, though she conceded this is a blow that may take her some time to come back from. 

"More than ever, I am proud that I showed up, put myself out there and tried," she continued.

"It would have been very easy to shy away and pull out, to say I wasn't ready and blame the injury but I'm not that type of athlete or person.

"I am a fighter, I'm gritty and I find it extremely hard to give up. I can rest easy knowing I applied myself every single day and pushed until I couldn't push anymore.

"I've sacrificed so much, moving my entire life to France five years ago away from my family and friends.

"I've lost heart knowing that the work my team and I have done for the last eight months was for this outcome and I hate that my story has played out in more heartbreak. I've been knocked so many times and got back up, but it will take a lot of time for me to process this reality."

Kevin Durant admitted Team USA were caught with "a nice haymaker" from Australia before clambering to their feet and reaching another Olympic final.

The Americans scored a 97-78 victory at the Saitama Super Arena, putting a fourth successive gold medal at the Games within reach.

But at one stage in the second quarter Durant and co trailed 41-26, with the Australian Boomers making a fast and purposeful start to the semi-final that they could not maintain.

It was at the point the USA side fell 15 points behind that they took a timeout, and from that stage onwards they dominated, Durant leading the team with 23 points and nine rebounds.

Australia shot just 25 of 61 – 41 per cent – from the field, whereas USA managed 38 of 74 and dominated the boards 44-29 in what became a convincing victory.

"We've been down 15 in games before and came back," Durant said. "It doesn't matter what level it was at, or where it's at. A lot of guys have been in that position before. We know how to handle ourselves.

"We kept our composure and we knew that we could get back into the game pretty fast, if we got stops and got out and ran. So we've got to give credit to Australia because they came out and hit us with a nice haymaker, but we were able to get back up and get that lead back."

 

It came as no surprise to Durant that Australia began as they did.

"We knew Australia would come out fast and hit us with a nice punch. We know that teams want to get us down early, see how we respond," said the Brooklyn Nets star.

"A lot of these guys got continuity for years and years, so they know how to play with each other. I feel like a lot of teams are expecting us to fold early.

"We stuck with it, stuck with our principles, made a couple of switches on defence, and we were able to get some momentum going into the half. Guys came out with that intensity, making shots as well."

The 32-year-old Durant is chasing a third gold medal of his Olympic career, having played on the London 2012 and Rio 2016 teams.

For Jrue Holiday, who is coming off an NBA championship-winning season with the Milwaukee Bucks, this is a first Olympic experience.

Like Durant, he saw no need for panic after Australia began Thursday's semi-final so strongly.

By half-time, Australia's lead had been cut to just 45-42, and a 32-10 third quarter for the USA showed their firepower.

"I think we played the game long enough to know that there's always a chance," Holiday said. "So we took that six minutes in the second quarter and kind of ramped it up, and went into half-time in the position that we liked."

Australia have finished fourth in Olympic men's basketball four times, never going further and claiming a medal.

They will have a bronze-medal game to come in Tokyo and must pick themselves up to go again.

Jock Landale scored 11 points against the USA, and the Melbourne United star accepted it was tough for Australia to keep up their early high level.

"It's hard. It's really hard. They're great basketball players, they're smart basketball players," Landale said.

"They figure out what you're doing and they just find ways to exploit it. I think we started turning the ball over in that third quarter and they were just living in transition, and that's tough to beat. They're the most athletic guys in the world, so I think that's probably where we lost them."

Favourite Grant Holloway said nerves got the better of him after finishing second to Jamaica's Hansle Parchment in the men's 110 metres hurdles Olympic final.

The American led at the halfway mark but faded over the final 20 metres as he was beaten by his 31-year-old rival.

Parchment triumphed with a season-best time of 13.04 seconds, ahead of Holloway in 13.09, lucky to scrape ahead of Jamaican Ronald Levy who took bronze with 13.10.

Holloway and Parchment had run in the same heat and semi-final prior to the final, with the American winning both, before falling short in the all-important race.

"I think the anxiousness and the nerves got the better of me towards the end and I got sloppy with my form," Holloway said. "He got me this time but I'll make sure I get him in the next."

He added: "Hats off to Hansle for an amazing race. I was watching him when I was in high school. He's a hell of a competitor. He has an amazing race plan, he executed to the best of his ability."

Parchment admitted he learned from losing to Holloway in the previous two runs.

"I made some changes to my start, because I knew if I was going to catch up, I had to be closer in the first half," Parchment said. "I think I ran through pretty well. I maintained composure. It was a great race."

Portugal's Pedro Pichardo earned gold medal glory with a national record 17.98m in the men's triple jump.

Pichardo's triumphant effort came with his third attempt, while China's Zhu Yaming claimed silver with a personal best of 17.57m. Burkina Faso's Hugues Fabrice Zango took the bronze with 17.47m.

USA's defending champion Ryan Crouser threw an Olympic record 23.30m to win the men's shot put gold.

Crouser bettered the Olympic mark he set five years ago in Rio de Janeiro to win from countryman Joe Kovacs (22.65m), while New Zealand's Tomas Walsh (22.47m) claimed bronze.

EARLY SCARE AS USA REACH FINAL

The United States trailed by 15 points in the second quarter against Australia but rallied to qualify for the men's basketball gold medal match.

USA won 97-78 over Australia, who have never won an Olympic medal in men's basketball having finished fourth four times.

The Boomers had raced to a commanding position early on as Team USA struggled from beyond the arc.

Yet the reigning Olympic champions reduced the margin to three points by half-time and went up several gears with a 32-10 third quarter.

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant top-scored again with 23 points and nine rebounds, while Devin Booker had 20 points.

USA will face either France or Slovenia in the final as they chase a fourth straight gold medal.

CARRINGTON MAKES NEW ZEALAND HISTORY

New Zealand's Lisa Carrington added a third Tokyo 2020 gold medal to her haul, landing the title in the women's kayak single 500m final.

Carrington claimed her fifth-ever Olympic gold with a strong victory in 1:51.216, from Hungary's Tamara Csipes and Denmark's Emma Jorgensen.

She becomes the first athlete from New Zealand to win five Olympic gold medals, surpassing the four of Ian Ferguson, also in canoe sprint between 1984 and 1988.

Carrington is the fourth woman at Tokyo 2020 to win three gold medals, after Australian swimmers Emma McKeon (four) and Kaylee McKeown (three) and South Korean archer An San (three).

GERMAN ADDS GOLD IN OPEN WATER

After winning bronze in the 1,500m in the pool, Germany's Florian Wellbrock won the men's marathon swimming in open water.

Wellbrock won in one hour, 48 minutes and 33.7 seconds across 10 kilometres, finishing 25.3 seconds ahead of Hungary's Kristof Rasovszky for silver, with Italy's Gregorio Paltrinieri earning bronze.

The size of the German's victory was the biggest margin in Olympic marathon swimming history.

“It’s a little bit unreal," Wellbrock said. "The first seven (kilometres) of this race felt really easy."

AUSSIE SKATEBOARDING WINNER

Keegan Palmer won Australia's first-ever skateboarding gold medal with two amazing runs in the men's park final.

The 18-year-old's first run scored 94.04 before a throwaway second round. Palmer backed it up on his final run with a staggering top score of 95.83.

Brazilian Pedro Barros was next best with 86.14 for silver, while Cory Juneau claimed bronze with 84.13.

The event was the final skateboarding medal opportunity from the sport in its debut Olympics.

Team USA shook off a slow start to overwhelm Australia 97-78 and reach the gold medal game as Gregg Popovich saw the best and worst of his team in Thursday's semi-final.

A fourth successive men's basketball title for the US is now within sight, but coach Popovich will know another shaky opening might be asking for trouble.

Here, as in the quarter-final against Spain, the American team went through the gears and eventually piled on the points.

They had trailed 41-26 with 5:23 to go in the second quarter, which was when Popovich called a timeout, having seen enough of his team being pulled this way and that by Patty Mills and the lively Boomers.

Dante Exum's dunk from Jock Landale's delicious assist gave Australia that 15-point cushion, but that was as good as it got for them.

From that point on, the game flipped, the US team going on a 48-14 run through to the end of the third quarter as they built a 74-55 lead, with Australia unable to get close enough to worry their opponents.

Kevin Durant led the USA with 23 points and nine rebounds, albeit making just one of seven three-point shots, while Devin Booker backed him up with a 20-point game.

The clash of France and Slovenia in the second semi-final later on Thursday would dictate whom Popovich must prepare his side to face next.

As well as four in a row, the USA are targeting a seventh men's basketball gold medal in the last eight Olympic Games, going back to the 1992 'Dream Team' triumph in Barcelona.

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