Karsten Warholm revelled in the "wow" factor of his astonishing 400 metres hurdles triumph as the world record was obliterated at the Tokyo Olympics.

The 25-year-old Norwegian ran 45.94 seconds, breaking the record for a second time in five weeks, after Kevin Young previously held the global mark for 29 years.

"I didn't touch one hurdle. I was even able to find another gear coming home, so 'wow'," Warholm said.

"It's just so big. It's almost like history here. It was the only thing missing from my collection. I had a World Championships [gold medal]. I had European Championships, I had the world record, the European record.

"The Olympic gold medal is what everybody talks about. I knew this race was going to be the toughest of my life, but I was ready."

The top three in the race all went under 47 seconds and beat the previous Olympic record, with silver for American Rai Benjamin in 46.17 and bronze going to Brazilian Alison dos Santos in 46.72.

 

Warholm ran 46.70 in Oslo at the start of July to slash 0.08 seconds off Young's long-standing record, which was set at the Barcelona Olympics.

There were many ways to dissect the magnitude of this latest record, and one was to look at how the world record shifted by just 0.75 seconds from Ed Moses running 47.45 in 1977 until Warholm's 46.70 in July.

To now scythe a further 0.76 seconds off the all-time mark represented a staggering achievement.

"I mean, man it’s so crazy. It’s by far the biggest moment of my life," Warholm said.

"It defines everything, all the hours I put in, everything that my coach has been working for.

"I dream about it like a maniac, I tell you. I sleep all night on it. I spend all my time thinking about this, so just getting this last medal into my collection, it’s complete.

"I can't sleep. I've spent thousands of hours thinking about this.

"I had this special feeling in my chest, you know when you are nervous. I was just thinking this is the feeling that I had when I was six years old. I've never had that feeling since I got older, but yesterday I had it."

Warholm had a healthy lead heading into the final 150 metres but came under pressure from Benjamin over the final two barriers, the gap closing.

The 25-year-old from Ulsteinvik held his nerve and maintained his rhythm, though, sprinting away to post a record that could stand for many years to come.

Some even compared it to Bob Beamon's 1968 long jump world record in Mexico City, which stood for 23 years and remains the second longest leap of all time.

Benjamin was reduced to tears after the race, having delivered the performance of his life but still finished on the second step of the podium

"Knowing that you want to be the best, this is what it costs. It's hard. It hurts. But it is what it is," Benjamin said.

"I always give myself 24 hours to process things. Right now I am just full of emotion. I have worked so hard. This is what matters. I got a medal but it just hurts to lose."

He added: "I'm a dog. I'm a fighter. It's my first Olympics. I made some mistakes that cost me, but it's all right. I'll fix it."

Karsten Warholm set a massive world record in the men's 400 metres hurdles as the Norwegian landed gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

He became the first man to dip under 46 seconds, setting a startling time of 45.94 seconds as he fended off American Rai Benjamin, who clocked 46.17.

The top three in the race all went under 47 seconds and beat the previous Olympic record, with bronze going to Brazilian Alison dos Santos in 46.72.

Warholm was already the world record holder, setting a time of 46.70secs in Oslo at the start of July to break the previous best of 46.78 that had been held by Kevin Young since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics..

Now he has demolished his own mark, helped by being pushed all the way by Benjamin.

Warholm had a healthy lead heading into the final 150 metres but then came under pressure from the USA star over the final two barriers, the gap closing.

The 25-year-old from Ulsteinvik held his nerve and maintained his rhythm, though, sprinting away to post a record that could stand for many years to come.

All three medallists went under the previous Olympic record.

Gold in the women's long jump went to Germany's Malaika Mihambo, whose final-round effort of 7.00 metres saw her edge ahead of America Brittney Reese and NIgerian Ese Brume, the silver and bronze medallists, who both posted best leaps of 6.97m.

Max Whitlock is already looking to Paris and potentially beyond after becoming a three-time Olympic champion by defending his pommel horse gold at Tokyo 2020.

The Team GB gymnast was up first and produced an outstanding performance, scoring 15.583 and ensuring the pressure was on his rivals at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre.

Lee Chih-kai of Chinese Taipei fell short with a score of 15.400, while home favourite Kazuma Kaya secured the bronze.

This marks Whitlock's third Games, with his first at London 2012 yielding two bronze medals before he won two golds and a bronze in Rio five years ago.

The postponement of these Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic means there are only three years until Paris 2024. Whitlock believes that will ultimately play into his favour, while he has not fully ruled out competing in Los Angeles in seven years' time.

"I was thinking that [about competing in Paris] before Tokyo even started. I would really, really love to make it four Olympic Games," he told a round-table of journalists.

"I feel very proud to have done my third and you obviously get the results to go with it, the three-year cycle helps me out – I'm 28 years old now, every year that goes by it gets harder and harder, there's no doubt about that.

"But a three-year cycle can help me out a lot. Competitions will come around in no time, I know that, and Paris will be here before we know it. 

"Hopefully, I'd love to look towards that, then who knows? At that point in my career, being completely honest, I'd have to look how the British team is faring up and see if there's an opening for me to give LA a shot. We'll see how the team is looking."

 

As part of his preparations for Tokyo, Whitlock would train in empty gyms back at home to prepare for the absence of spectators.

While he was disappointed for fans not to be present, Whitlock insists the rush of winning was just as big as it was in Rio.

"I mean it's a huge shame no fans were there, there's no doubt about that, I think every athlete would agree," he added.

"But there was still atmosphere which is incredible. It was quieter, obviously, but the feeling was no different to what it would have been with fans because it's the result that means so much to you, with the routine and the performance - I still got that amazing feeling which is incredible. 

"But yeah there's no doubt it would have been a dream to have a fully packed audience in there especially being in Japan with gymnastics, they love the sport, and the Japanese getting on the pommel podium as well and doing what they've done this whole time, I feel like this atmosphere would have been incredible. But there's no doubt it was still amazing."

Whitlock has been away from his wife Leah and daughter Willow for around a month, due to pre-Games preparations and training camps.

He said his family help to keep things in perspective when the pressure of competition mounts.

"I've spoken to them all, they're massively proud. They can't believe it as much as me," he said. "It's been a bit of a surreal moment and a crazy journey to get to this point, it really has been. 

"To go and do that I feel like the pressure was massively, massively on this time. It's probably the most nervous I've felt before any competition I've ever done in my whole life. To pull it off I'm really, really pleased. I literally cannot wait to get home and see everybody.

"I think it puts a lot of things into perspective. One of the things I spoke to Leah about before I went out to compete, she could kind of tell I was massively nervous. She said, 'Remember, it's gymnastics'. 

"I think that's what it does, I think it puts a lot of things into perspective, facetiming my whole family and Willow running around playing with her cousins, which is amazing. 

"It makes me feel 10 times more chilled, and it's kind of another thing I can think about, whether you have a good competition or don't have a good competition, I actually still look forward to going home massively.

"We were talking about it earlier, and thanks to the NHS because I'm double jabbed I can literally go back straight away, no quarantine, spend time with my family, spend time with the people who helped me get to this point straight away, which is an incredible feeling. 

"They've massively helped me put a lot of things into perspective because sport can be intense and can be hard at times. I think having your mind in the right place before you compete is massively important."

China have a commanding lead at the top of the Tokyo 2020 medal table following another hugely successful day at the Olympics.

Five gold medals on day 10 took China's tally for the Games to 29.

Two of those came in weightlifting as Wang Zhouyu prevailed in the women's 87kg category and Li Wenwen set an Olympic record in the +87kg division.

Zhang Changhong won the men's 50m air rifle three positions, China's women took team sprint gold in the velodrome and Liu Yang beat compatriot You Hao in the men's rings final.

It means China are seven golds ahead of the United States, with two more Americans becoming Olympic champions on Monday.

Jade Carey was triumphant in the women's floor exercise final and Valarie Allman took gold in the discus throw.

Japan are third in the table after a day in which they failed to add any golds to their tally of 17.

Australia (14 golds) and the Russian Olympic Committee (12 golds) are fourth and fifth having also been kept off the top step of the podium.

Breathing down the neck of the Russian Olympic Committee are Great Britain, their tally of golds increased to 11 with victory in team eventing.

 

Soufiane El Bakkali ended Kenya's dominance in the men's 3000m steeplechase by claiming a first Olympic gold medal for Morocco in any sport since 2004.

The Kenyans have set the standard in this event in recent times, winning gold at each of the previous nine Games.

But El Bakkali put paid to that streak, claiming victory ahead of Ethiopia's Lamecha Girma as Benjamin Kigen collected a bronze for Kenya.

The last Moroccan to claim prevail sport was Hicham El Guerrouj, who won the men's 1500m and 5000m in Athens 17 years ago.

"I am so used to seeing Kenyans win, it's a big accomplishment for me," El Bakkali said. 

"I have been aiming for this for years and this was my opportunity to show that Morocco is capable of winning this prize in front of the Kenyans. 

"I have tried so many times to compare myself with the Kenyans and Ethiopians to see whether I could reach this gold, and I did."


HASSAN HAT-TRICK BID ON TRACK

Sifan Hassan is aiming to become the first athlete to win a 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m treble at a single Olympic Games.

The Ethiopian-born Dutchwoman, who recovered from a fall to get through her 1500m heat earlier in the day, got her bid off to an outstanding start with victory in the 5000m on Monday.

"After I fell down, it cost me a lot of energy, I went home and I wanted to sleep," said Hassan, who claimed the Netherlands' first Olympic gold in athletics since 1992.

"Many people think I am crazy. I think also I am crazy. Many people think this is crazy and I am not even going to get one medal. 

"Life is not about the gold, the winner; it's also about following your heart."


CANADA END TEAM USA HOODOO TO REACH FINAL

Canada sensationally ended a 36-game winless run against the United States, Jessie Fleming's penalty securing a place in the women's football final.

The Canadians had not beaten Team USA – four-time Olympic gold medallists – since March 11, 2001.

However, their luck changed with Fleming's 74th-minute penalty settling the semi-final after VAR ruled that Tierna Davidson had fouled Deanne Rose.

Canada's reward is a gold-medal showdown with Sweden, who beat Australia 1-0 thanks to Fridolina Rolfo's second-half strike.

On a brighter note for the United States away from football, it was announced Simone Biles will take part in Tuesday's balance beam final.


FOUR-MIDABLE LOPEZ

Mijain Lopez became the first male Greco-Roman wrestler to win four gold medals at the Olympics after defeating Georgia's Iakobi Kajaia in the 130kg final.

His success saw him receive a congratulatory call from Cuba president Miguel Diaz-Canel, while he did not rule out carrying on through to Paris 2024 either.

"I feel happy, proud to be the best in the world and make history," Lopez said.

"I've had a long career, working hard to make these goals and break this record. 

"I've been working so hard to get to this point. Being able to break this record today for me is a great achievement, because I've faced the best and I can be proud."


DEJA VU IN THE WOMEN’S HOCKEY

Having contested the 2016 final in Rio, Great Britain and the Netherlands will face off again at the Games - this time in a mouth-watering last-four showdown.

Team GB required a shoot-out to see off Spain following a 2-2 draw, with Hannah Martin and Sarah Jones scoring their efforts while goalkeeper Maddie Hinch produced heroics to seal a 2-0 success.

Martin said: "It's a huge moment for us to get to those medal matches. We're just over the moon.

"Maddie was absolutely exceptional in there. We knew she had it and the feeling was utter elation. I couldn't get to her quick enough."

As for the Netherlands, they enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win over New Zealand.

The United States are showing no complacency despite maintaining a sensational streak en route to a last-eight clash with 2018 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup final opponents Australia at the 2020 Olympics.

Team USA are the clear favourites for the women's basketball title after extending their winning run at the Games to 52 matches, going back to 1992.

They could tie the record of seven consecutive gold medals in a team event – set by the men's basketball team between 1936 and 1968 – by triumphing again in Tokyo.

But the United States survived a scare in their final Group B outing on Monday.

France, needing merely to lose by 14 points or fewer to advance, led with under nine minutes of the fourth quarter remaining before going down 93-82 – 11 points being Team USA's largest lead.

Sue Bird, aiming alongside Diana Taurasi to become the first athlete to win five Olympic golds in team sports, feels her team must heed their warning.

"There are a lot of areas that we need to improve on in the next 48 hours, I guess," she said, with Australia later confirmed as the United States' last-eight opponents.

"I said this the other day: these teams in the Olympics, these teams have trained and they have waited four years and they play like it is their last game.

"It is a desperation that we have not risen to just yet and we need to get there quick."

'A WORK IN PROGRESS'

Team USA had 22 points on nine-for-12 shooting and seven rebounds from A'ja Wilson and 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists from Breanna Stewart, who played 38 minutes, but coach Dawn Staley agreed with Bird's assessment.

"[France] played with extra effort, they hit some incredible shots and they put us back on our heels," Staley said.

"I thought we made some adjustments and I thought we did what we needed to do to win a basketball game.

"We had great contributions from a lot of different people, but we're still a work in progress and hopefully we can continue to clean up some things and some areas out on the floor."

Stewart will have fond memories of facing Australia after the 73-56 final win at the World Cup, where she was named MVP.

After beating France, she said: "This is where we start to peak."

OPALS LEAVE IT LATE

Australia had a tough task in reaching the last eight. They needed to beat Puerto Rico by 25 or more points to pip Canada to the last quarter-final spot.

The Opals entered the final two minutes 19 points ahead, but five from Leilani Mitchell in the closing stages – boosting her tally to 19 – helped secure a precious 96-69 success.

Australia have already taken on one of the top teams in China, who ended the preliminary stage as the first seeds after a 74-62 success against Belgium. They face Serbia next.

FRANCE PUT UP A FIGHT

Meanwhile, a quarter-final against Spain was the consolation in defeat for France, whose desire impressed Staley.

"The countries here at the Olympic Games, they pour into their women's teams, and now you're seeing the effects of it," the United States coach said. "And that is great women's basketball play.

"We know we're in a dogfight every time we step on the floor.

"It's great for those who just put the television on and sit down and watch players that they haven't seen before, countries that they haven't seen before, and see them play a great game."

France's Nevada-born forward Gabby Williams added: "It was 10 minutes by 10 minutes and [we were] just trying to focus on staying with them."

In the same pool, Japan – led by Saki Hayashi's 23 points and seven made threes, along with Rui Machida's record-equalling 15 assists – beat Nigeria 102-83 and will face Belgium next in the quarters.

Sweden have reached the women's football final at the Olympics for the second successive time after beating Australia 1-0 through Fridolina Rolfo's solitary second-half strike.

Peter Gerhardsson's side, seeking to go one better than Rio 2016 when losing to Germany in the final, will face the United States' conquerors Canada in Friday's gold medal match.

USA, who had won 36 games in a row against Canada prior to their surprise 1-0 loss earlier on Monday, will now take on Australia for the bronze medal.

Rolfo was on target twice when Sweden ran out 4-2 winners against Australia in the group stage and went closest to scoring in the first half of this semi-final showdown.

The Barcelona star thumped a shot against the crossbar from the edge of the box, though she did not have to wait much longer to find a breakthrough.

A heavily deflected shot from range bounced awkwardly off the wet surface and a backpedalling Teagan Micah parried it onto the crossbar, with the ball looping back into play.

Stina Blackstenius helped the loose ball to Rolfo and the forward hooked a first-time shot away from Micah from four yards to score what proved to be the match-winning goal.

Australia enjoyed spells on top but a 96th-minute red card shown to Ellie Carpenter for dragging down Lina Hurtig signalled the end of the Matildas' hopes of reaching a first final.

Canada sensationally ended a 36-game winless run against the United States, with Jessie Fleming's penalty securing a place in the women's football final at the Tokyo Olympics.

USA had 17 attempts on Monday but a second defeat at the Games – they had gone down 3-0 to Sweden in their opening group fixture – means the reigning world champions will not have a chance to secure gold in Japan.

There was controversy surrounding the winning goal, too, as a VAR check resulted in Canada being awarded a penalty for a foul by Tierna Davidson on Deanne Rose in the 74th minute.

Substitute goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, who had replaced the injured Alyssa Naeher in the first half, guessed correctly but Fleming's penalty still found the net.

Canada stubbornly held on for the remainder of the contest to secure a first triumph over their rivals since March 11, 2001.

While USA can still claim a bronze medal, Megan Rapinoe did not hold back when assessing the impact of the result, particularly against opponents they have become accustomed to beating through the years.

"It's a bitter one to swallow. We never want to lose to Canada. I don't think I ever have, so it's a bitter one," Rapinoe said.

"Still a lot to compete for. It's not the colour we wanted, but there's still a medal on the line and that's a huge thing. We want to win that game, but this sucks. It sucks."

Asked why USA had struggled so much to find form during the tournament, Rapinoe replied: "I feel like we haven't had our joy a little bit.

"It just hasn't flowed for us, hasn't been easy. It's not for a lack of effort, or anyone not giving everything they have. It just didn't click for us.

"I don't know if it was roster rotation, I know it's a tough tournament when trying to save people, but our bench is as deep as hell. I don't think we can put it on that, and I can't quite put my finger on it.

"We just didn't have that juice that we normally do."

USA had been aiming to strike Olympic gold for a fifth time having missed out on a medal of any colour at Rio 2016, where they lost to Sweden on penalties in the last eight.

The Swedes lost to Germany in the final five years ago but could still go one better this year – they take on Australia in the second semi-final.

China defended the women's team sprint title on the opening day of track cycling at Tokyo 2020, having earlier broken the world record.

The duo of Bao Shanju and Zhong Tianshi overcame Lea Sophie Friedrich and Emma Hinze of Germany in Monday's final.

Denmark also set a new Olympic benchmark during qualifying for the men's team pursuit. Here is a round-up from day one at the Izu Velodrome.

 

MORE VELODROME GOLD FOR CHINA

Four years ago, it was China who triumphed in the women's sprint event at Rio 2016, while in London four years previously they were relegated to silver.

They laid down a marker in qualifying with a new world-record time of 31.804 seconds. 

Interestingly, the previous benchmark (32.034) was actually slower than the old Olympic record of 31.928 as the UCI never ratified China's Rio 2016 Olympic record as a world best.

In the final, Bao and Zhong were .325 seconds in front by the midway stage but a strong finish from the German pair meant there were 85 thousandths of a second splitting the teams, with China clocking a 31.895.

The Russian Olympic Committee defeated the Netherlands in the bronze medal race.

GERMANY SMASH RECORD AS GREAT DANES SET NEW OLYMPIC MARK

World-record holders Denmark surpassed the old Olympic marker set by Great Britain at Rio 2016 in qualifying fastest in the men's team pursuit.

The rapid Danes clocked a time of 3:45.014 to set up a meeting with GB, whose time of 3:47.507 is the quickest they have posted, for the right to contest the gold medal.

Whoever comes out on top in that battle will face either Italy or New Zealand.

Germany registered the fastest time in the women's team pursuit – indeed, the fastest time in history, almost three seconds quicker than the previous world record – and go up against Italy, with the victors to meet either Great Britain or New Zealand for the gold.

Olympic champion Adam Peaty was left disappointed by some of the reaction to his plans to take an extended break from swimming.

It has been another fruitful Games in Tokyo for Team GB swimmer Peaty, who claimed gold in the 100 metres breaststroke and 4x100m mixed medley, as well as a silver in the men's 4x100m medley.

After taking his overall Olympic medal tally to five, Peaty announced on Sunday that he would be taking a break from the pool to recharge the batteries ahead of a hectic 2022 schedule.

While set to miss the International Swimming League, which starts in September, he will set his sights on the World and European Championships next year, as well as the Commonwealth Games.

Peaty cited the need to protect his mental health, becoming the latest high-profile athlete to do so in recent days after Simone Biles and Ben Stokes.

He said the reaction to his announcement to over 116,000 followers on Twitter showed why there remains "such a stigma around mental health", insisting the pressures of competition make taking time out essential.

"Reading some of the comments in response to this is why we have such a stigma around mental wellbeing in sport," tweeted Peaty, who has now won a combined 31 gold medals in major competitions.

"It isn't a normal job. There is a huge amount of pressure. Money does not buy happiness.

"I'm taking a break because I've been going extremely hard for as long as I can remember. I've averaged two weeks off a year for the last seven years.

"Unfortunately, there are people out there who think they know you more than you know yourself."

Simone Biles is set to make her long-awaited return in the Tokyo Olympics after being named on the starting list for Tuesday's balance beam final.

The United States star withdrew from the other four individual events for which she had qualified after pulling out of the women's team competition after just one rotation.

Biles, who won four gold medals at the Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, cited a need to focus on her mental health as she chose not to contest the individual all-round, vault, uneven bars and floor exercise finals.

USA Gymnastics said in a statement on Sunday: "Simone has withdrawn from the event final for floor and will make a decision on beam later this week. Either way, we're all behind you, Simone."

However, the team announced via Twitter on Monday: "We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow - Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!! Can’t wait to watch you both!"

Speaking last week via Instagram, Biles explained her mind and body were "simply not in sync" as she struggled with a mental block over her technique.

"For anyone saying I quit, I didn't quit, my mind and body are simply not in sync as you can see here," Biles wrote on her story. "I don't think you realise how dangerous this is on a hard/competition surface. Nor do I have to explain why I put health first. Physical health is mental health.

"It's honestly petrifying trying to do a skill but not having your mind [and] body in sync.

"Literally cannot tell up from down. It's the craziest feeling ever, not having an inch of control over your body."

Jeff Henderson, who won long jump gold for the USA in Rio, praised Biles for speaking openly about her difficulties.

"Almost every athlete [has these problems]. They just don’t speak on it," Henderson told Stats Perform.

"Every athlete goes through a mental breakdown or [has to] figure out their brain, what to do, over-thinking - that’s every athlete.

"I think it should be awareness for every athlete to have that issue because it's a huge thing to be protective of. If you're not protective of your mental [state], you're not going to do anything physical.

"There's nothing wrong with that. Any athlete would say take your time, relax, get your mental right come back when you're going to be ready. Every athlete would say that."

Long jump favourite Juan Miguel Echevarria was left in despair after injury prevented him from chasing the gold won by Miltiadis Tentoglou on countback at Tokyo 2020 on Monday.

Tentoglou said he was lucky to win gold in a shock result over Echevarria with a last-ditch sixth-round leap of 8.41m, beating Echevarria on countback, while Cuba also claimed bronze thanks to Maykel Masso's jump of 8.21m.

Echevarria, who had topped qualifying, had a final chance to beat the mark with his sixth attempt but could not make the jump due to injury, slumping to the floor on his knees in despair, consoled by compatriot Masso.

"It was very, very painful. I couldn't do what I usually do," Echevarria said.

"I have no words to express how I feel because I couldn't achieve what I wanted, what I have been fighting for so many years.

"I am personally not very happy with the result. I have always tried to go further."

The Greek had earlier registered a second-best jump of 8.15m compared to Echevarria's 8.09m to have the countback advantage, with his final attempt putting him ahead.

"Last attempt, I told myself to calm down and do a normal jump. I didn't expect it could be so big," Tentoglou said.

"I consider myself lucky. I was not lucky to jump 8.41m the last attempt but I was lucky to win."

The winning distance of 8.41m was well short of Mike Powell's world record of 8.95m, which has stood since 1991.

Tentoglou backed Echevarria to move on from his Olympic disappointment and one day reach the milestone.

"If someone can do the world record, it's Juan Miguel," he said. "I don't know for me. I need to do the national record first. I am not the national record holder."

Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn triumphed in the women's 100m hurdles a day after setting a new Olympic record in the semi-finals.

Camacho-Quinn won in 12.37 ahead of USA's Kendra Harrison (12.52) and Jamaica's Megan Tapper (12.55), who had an anxious wait to find out if she had claimed bronze ahead of Nigeria's Tobi Amusan (12.6) in fourth.

The Puerto Rican admitted afterwards she had her sights set on Harrison's world record of 12.2 but clipped a hurdle to thwart her.

 

TEAM USA AVOID BASKETBALL SHOCK

The United States bounced back after trailing to France in the last quarter to record a 93-82 win in the women's basketball.

France had headed the US 72-71 in the fourth quarter, but the gold medal favourites rallied with a 7-0 run to assert their dominance.

A'ja Wilson was huge in the final quarter, finishing with a game-high 22 points, along with seven rebounds and three assists, while Breanna Stewart had 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

Japan booked their quarter-final spot with a 102-83 win over Nigeria, while the US will go through in top spot from Group B ahead of the quarter-finals.

HOCKEYROOS HEARTBREAK, INDIAN JOY

Australia's Hockeyroos had a perfect group phase with five wins from as many games but were stunned by India in the quarter-finals 1-0 in women's hockey.

Gurjit Kaur scored the winner from a 22nd-minute penalty corner to stun the Australians, who have not medalled in women's hockey since Sydney 2000.

Australia also lost in the quarter-finals at Rio 2016 but were far better placed in Tokyo after their exceptional group form.

India have never claimed an Olympic medal in women's hockey, finishing fourth in 1980, and will face world number five Argentina in the semi-finals.

Argentina, who have won medals at four of the past five Olympics, overcame Germany 3-0 aided by two goals late in the first half.

 

INDONESIA WINS FIRST TOKYO GOLD

Indonesia won its first gold medal of Tokyo 2020 as Greysia Polii and Rahayu Apriyani combined to triumph in the women's badminton doubles.

The Indonesian pair defeated China's Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan 2-0, in a triumph that was the country's first in women's doubles, having won all other badminton events.

Kim So-yeong and Kong Hee-yong won the all-South Korean bronze medal match against Lee So-hee and Shin Seung-chan 2-0.

Five years ago, Inbee Park was not sure she would even be healthy enough to compete at the Rio Olympics. 

The LPGA star had battled a thumb injury throughout the year and would end up skipping three of the tour's five majors, but she made representing South Korea a top priority and it paid off. 

Park nearly went wire-to-wire to win gold, sitting a stroke back of the lead after one round and moving ahead to stay the following day before winning by five strokes over New Zealand's Lydia Ko. 

Looking back on that experience heading into the Tokyo Games, Park said on Monday she feels much more relaxed. 

"[In] 2016 I felt the most pressure in my life. I don’t think I could do that once again," Park said. 

"It’s definitely much better and much more relaxing this year because my conditions are not as bad as in 2016, where I had to deal with injuries and a lot of pressure."

She knew how many people were counting on her then as golf returned to the Olympic programme for the first time in more than a century, and the opportunity inspired her to push through the pain. 

“I was representing the country and going through the injury," she said. "It wasn’t like a normal tournament where if you don’t feel well, you just pull out and play well in the next event.

"I really wanted to play well and didn’t want to withdraw from the tournament because of the injury. I was just trying really hard to fight the injury.

“With the injury, a lot of people got worried. My family, staff, and probably the whole of Korea was worried that I was not in the best condition.

"That was kind of the pressure I was dealing with. To overcome that was really hard.

“I think that kind of pressure gave me the power to overcome a lot of the stuff, and being able to win gold was amazing.”

Park's quest to repeat begins on Wednesday at 8:41 am local time, when she will open Olympic play in a grouping with Ko and 2016 bronze medallist Feng Shanshan of China. 

She said she watched last week's men's tournament on television to try and get a feel for the course, then got in some practice Sunday and founded it firmer and longer than she had expected. 

However it plays later this week, she expects a difficult test but feels she is in a good position to handle it this time around. 

“I’m very excited to be here representing the country twice in a row," she said.

"It’s the biggest honour for me. [To be] here in Tokyo five years after Rio, it’s truly a dream come true for me."

Italy enjoyed arguably their greatest night in athletics on Sunday with two gold medals in the men's 100 metres final and the men's high jump at the Tokyo Olympics.

Marcell Jacobs won the first Olympics title in the post-Usain Bolt era, crossing the line in a new European record time of 9.80 seconds ahead of the United States' Fred Kerley and Canada's Andre de Grasse.

The men's 100m, the first at the Games not featuring three-time champion Bolt since 2004, had been difficult to predict and that continued in the semi-finals as USA trials winner Trayvon Bromell, the fastest man in the world this year, failed to qualify with a time of 10.00.

The quickest times were in the third semi-final, won by 60m expert Su Bingtian, who smashed the Asian record with a time of 9.83 to become the first man from the continent to reach the Olympic 100m final since 1932.

After Great Britain's Zharnel Hughes was disqualified for a false start, Su this time could not get the explosive start he needed and it was Jacobs who held his form and speed to cross the line first.

 

His triumph came barely an hour after a memorable high jump competition concluded with joint gold medallists being declared.

Italian Gianmarco Tamberi and double world champion Mutaz Essa Barshim each enjoyed spotless records before three failures at 2.39, a height that would have matched Charles Austin's Olympic record set in 1996.

Rather than contest gold and silver in a jump-off, the two agreed to share first place, celebrating wildly after speaking with the official.

"It's amazing, fantastic, it's a dream. It's incredible. No words," said Jacobs to the BBC before admitting his compatriot's exploits had inspired him.

"I watched him from the blocks and he boosted me really, really hard. I love Gianmarco. It's fantastic."

Tamberi added: "This night is memorable. We made our dream come true and we passed through many difficult times. I don't know what to say.

"We dreamed it so many times and now we did it."

 

Rojas leaps into record books

Yulimar Rojas twice jumped clear of the world record to win the women's triple jump title and secure Venezuela's first gold of the games.

The two-time world champion soared well over the mark of 15.50 set by Ukraine's Inessa Kravets in 1995 with her third jump, although she was beyond the board.

However, with her final attempt, Rojas leapt to a sensational 15.67 to finish 56 centimetres ahead of Patricia Mamona in second and Ana Peleteiro in third, each of whom claimed national records.

"I always said I was born with a talent, with a gift and I was destined to do great things in life," she said. "I think I'm opening doors and not just for myself. I'm opening doors [for people] who want to follow me. I'm so happy here to be talking to you, to write the history of my country."

 

The women's long jump final will be contested on Tuesday, with Serbia's Ivana Spanovic topping the qualifying with a distance of 7.00m.

In the 100m hurdles semi-finals, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn laid down a marker to the rest of the field, romping through in a time of 12.26s to break Sally Person's Olympic record of 12.35s.

In the 3000m steeplechase, favourite Hyvin Kiyeng and reigning world champion Beatrice Chepkoech eased into the final amid punishing earlier temperatures in Tokyo.

 

Warholm and Benjamin surge into final

One of the great modern rivalries in men's athletics will continue on Tuesday after Karsten Warholm and Rai Benjamin eased into the final of the 400m hurdles.

Warholm, who broke the world record in Oslo a month ago, finished seven hundredths of a second ahead of the American in the first semi-final on Sunday.

Alison dos Santos of Brazil qualified with an arena record of 47.31s, just behind Warholm's 47.30s. A field so stacked with talent it was described by former Olympic champion Felix Sanchez as "insane" will make for a gripping final.

The men's heats in the flat 400m were also completed, world record holder Wayde van Niekerk qualifying in 45.25s, some way down on the leading time of 44.82s set by Michael Cherry.

Ferguson Rotich was the fastest in the men's 800m semi-finals, but Nijel Amos, who claimed silver in 2012 behind the great David Rudisha, collided with Isaiah Jewett and will not contest the final.

 

Gold for Gong as Adams completes set

China's Gong Lijiao won the women's shot put final with a personal best of 20.58cm.

Raven Saunders was second and double former champion Valerie Adams, who won silver five years ago, took the bronze to complete her medal collection at this event.

"I've seen Valerie winning gold all the time and I'm very happy for her, but this time it is finally my time," said Gong.

Anita Wlodarczyk, who is bidding to become the first woman to win an individual athletics gold at three consecutive Games, needed just one throw to book her place in the hammer final.

Argentina coach Sergio Hernandez heaped praise on Luis Scola after a crucial 97-77 victory over Japan that made sure of a place in the knockout rounds of the men's basketball tournament.

Following back-to-back defeats, Argentina needed to beat the hosts in their final Group C match to qualify for the quarter-finals as one of the best third-placed teams.

Scola certainly led by example. The veteran power forward scored 23 points and also had 10 rebounds as the 2004 Olympic champions prevailed, securing a last-eight date with Australia.

Still going strong at the age of 41, the five-time Olympian's efforts delighted Hernandez.

"He's ridiculous. He's a hard worker, he doesn't stop ever. I think he hasn't stopped one day in the last 25 years," the Argentina coach said. 

"I am sure I am not the same coach without him. Not for his 23 points [against Japan], but for his leadership. I love him."

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