Brazil will defend their men's Olympic football title in the final thanks to a classy display of penalty-taking in a 4-1 shoot-out defeat of Mexico following a 0-0 draw after extra time.

The 2016 champions were pushed all the way by Jaime Lozano's side in Kashima but ultimately got the job done on penalties, successfully converting all four of their attempts to reach the final where they will face either Spain or Japan.

Guilherme Arana spurned the best chance of the first half in the 13th minute when he was denied by Guillermo Ochoa with just the goalkeeper in his way.

An even better opportunity looked set to fall Brazil's way soon after as Douglas Luiz was sent tumbling in the box, but the initial penalty award was overturned following a VAR review, with the Aston Villa midfield shown to have exaggerated contact with Jose Esquivel.

The second half was far tetchier, however, with opportunities a rare commodity at either end. The best Brazil could muster until the latter stages was a feeble Antony effort that caused Ochoa no concerns.

Ochoa was beaten in the 82nd minute but the post came to his rescue, with Richarlison's header coming off the inside of the upright but refusing to cross the line.

That saw the match go to extra time and rarely did either side look likely to make the breakthrough, with penalties long appearing a formality.

Eduardo Aguirre missed Mexico's first kick in the shoot-out after Dani Alves had converted, giving El Tri an uphill battle right from the start, and Johan Vasquez did no better with their second as he smashed against the post.

Charly Rodriguez at least got Mexico on the board, but Reinier followed the example set by Gabriel Martinelli and Bruno Guimaraes before him to slot home the decisive kick.

Kevin Durant said Team USA have "got to finish it" after battling past Spain to reach the Olympic semi-finals.

The Brooklyn Nets star poured in a team-high 29 points as the United States won 95-81 at the Saitama Super Arena, bolstering their gold medal hopes.

It was far from an easy assignment, and nor was it always entirely convincing from the US team, who trailed 39-29 with 3:25 of the second quarter remaining.

They rallied impressively, however, to draw level at 43-43 at the halfway point, and Spain never led again.

"We started making shots there in the second quarter. Once we see that ball going into the rim, that put all of us at ease," Durant said.

"Our defence was a little better, a little tighter, we rebounded better after that. And guys just got more comfortable shooting the basketball.

"We drove it to the rim at the end of that second and were able to get our rhythm back a little bit. I like how we played in that second quarter, from the end of the second quarter all the way to finish the game, and that's how we're gonna need to play going forward.

"It was a huge boost. We didn't want to go into the half down double digits. We knew we didn't want to get down big against this team."

Ricky Rubio plundered 38 points for Spain, with the Minnesota Timberwolves man shooting 13-of-20 from the field. That gave him the highest score by a Spain men's player in an Olympic game, beating the 37 points that Pau Gasol scored against China in 2004.

Rubio also drained four of his seven shots from three-point range, the same as Durant, but USA's 22-6 run at the start of the third quarter took the game away from Spain.

The Spaniards briefly got back to just four points behind, in the early moments of the fourth quarter, yet despite their overall 42-32 dominance on the boards, they were found wanting elsewhere.

USA coach Gregg Popovich said: "I feel great about the victory knowing full well there is a lot of work to be done. We played a terrific basketball team.

"To play that team and go down by nine or 10 and stay in and find a way to win is very satisfying."

Durant feels the team are ready to step up a level, now they are through to the final four.

The pre-Olympics defeats to Australia and Nigeria no longer matter, nor does the loss to France in the Tokyo 2020 group stage.

"I love how we stuck with it throughout this whole period of time and guys started figuring out what we need to do," Durant said.

"You've just got to finish it. We're supposed to be here. For us it's about getting a gold."

Norway's Karsten Warholm smashed the world record in the men's Olympic 400 metres hurdles final, breaking the 46-second barrier on the way to gold medal glory.

Warholm finished in 45.94 seconds, well ahead of his own previous record mark of 46.70. USA's Rai Benjamin claimed silver in 46.17, also beating the old world record, with Alison dos Santos taking bronze in 46.72.

"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.

"With all the respect for all the athletes, there are athletes that were not good that will get an Olympic gold. Rai running 46.17 would deserve a gold medal. It is crazy, it is just an honour to be a part of it. I never thought in my wildest imagination that this would be possible."

Asked about his dash to the line in the closing metres, Warholm added: "I couldn't even feel my legs. I knew I had a crazy American trying to catch me, so I ran for my life."

Germany's Malaika Mihambo admitted she could not watch the finale to the women's long jump as she won gold.

Mihambo took the lead with a jump of 7.00m with her final attempt before USA's Brittney Reese and Nigeria's Ese Brume had their last jumps.

Neither could better the leading mark, with Reese settling for silver with 6.97 metres on countback ahead of Brume.

"It was really hard to watch, so I tried to just have a sneak peek on the display and see how far it was," Mihambo said.

"I really don't like this position where you cannot do anything about it, and you just have to let the girls do what they're able to do. You have to wait, so it was a horrible moment, but at least it was short.

“I feel overwhelmed. It was, I think, the most exciting women’s long jump competition in history."

DURANT DOMINATES AS USA SURVIVE SCARE

The United States did not have it all their way but triumphed 95-81 over Spain to seal a spot in the men's basketball semi-finals.

Spain led by as much as 10 points in the second quarter before USA drew level by half-time and accelerated in the second half. Spain again closed within four points of the gold medal favourites in the final quarter, inspired by Ricky Rubio's 38 points.

Kevin Durant excelled for Team USA, with 29 points and four assists, while Jrue Holiday contributed 12 points and five assists as they capitalised on a 17-9 turnover differential.

USA lost to Australia and Nigeria in exhibition games prior to Tokyo 2020 before losing their Olympics opener to France but have since steadied.

The winner of Australia-Argentina will play USA in the semi-finals on Thursday.

NBA duo Zoran Dragic (27 points, six rebounds and four assists) and Luka Doncic (20 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists) starred as Slovenia also progressed to the semi-finals with a 94-70 win over Germany.

CARRINGTON'S GOLD KAYAKING DOUBLE

New Zealand's Lisa Carrington had a golden day in the kayaking, remarkably winning two gold medals within an hour.

Carrington won her third straight gold in the women's kayak single 200m with an Olympic best time of 38.12 seconds, ahead of Spain's Teresa Portela and Denmark's Emma Jorgensen.

The New Zealander backed up alongside Caitlin Regal to win the women's kayak double 500m final with a world best time of 1:35.785.

Carrington joined fellow kayakers Ian Ferguson and Paul MacDonald and equestrian great Sir Mark Todd as the only New Zealanders to have won five medals at the Olympic Games.

The 32-year-old may win more medals too, competing in the K1 500 event which starts on Wednesday.

“Today was about taking just one race at a time," Carrington said. "There's a plan, and it was just about executing it. For me, it was just trying to stay in the moment and doing the best I can. We've worked really hard and knew today was going to be a big day.”

HENDRICKX POWERS BELGIUM INTO HOCKEY FINAL

World champions Belgium qualified for the gold medal match of the men's hockey after a commanding final quarter sealed a 5-2 win over India.

Belgium piled on three fourth-quarter goals to guarantee a medal in the decider where they will face either Australia or Germany.

Alexander Hendrickx scored a hat-trick including two of the Red Lions' goals in the final quarter after India had fought back from an early deficit to lead 2-1 at quarter-time.

Drag flick expert Hendrickx has scored an unrivalled 14 goals during Belgium's Tokyo 2020 campaign, eight clear of the next best, Australia's Blake Govers.

Hendrickx said: "It's really a team job that comes together. It's my name on the scoresheet, but it's a team job."

World number one Australia and sixth-ranked Germany meet later on Tuesday to determine the other gold medal match finalist.

Olympic chiefs have demanded answers from Belarus before the close of play on Tuesday over the saga involving sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya.

Tsimanouskaya refused to board a flight home from Japan 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.

Tsimanouskaya suggested that was a result of members of the team being considered ineligible due to not completing enough doping tests.

The Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation indicated Tsimanouskaya 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.

Now the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is stepping up its probe into what occurred.

IOC spokesperson Mark Adams said on Tuesday: "We've asked for a report from the [Belarusian] NOC today. We requested it yesterday, we want it today.

"We have decided to launch, not surprisingly, a formal investigation, which will be led by the IOC administration. We need to establish the full facts, we need to hear everyone involved. That obviously can take time."

Tsimanouskaya has been granted a Polish visa for now, and Adams said the 24-year-old spoke to the IOC twice on Monday, assuring that she now feels "safe and secure".

She has had police protection since alerting officers at Haneda airport to her situation.

"We've also now contacted the NOC of Poland," Adams said. "In terms of what the IOC can do for her in terms of her future we have talked to them with regard to her sport after her arrival in Warsaw, if that is where she does indeed choose to end up."

Raven Saunders could still face punishment for her crossed-arms 'X' political protest on the Olympic Games podium, despite USA team officials clearing her of any wrongdoing.

The shot put silver medallist raised her arms above her head in a pose she said represented "the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet".

Saunders, who is black and gay, has been backed by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), but that is not the end of the matter.

The USOPC said in a statement on Monday: "Per the USOPC's delegation terms, the USOPC conducted its own review and determined that Raven Saunders' peaceful expression in support of racial and social justice that happened at the conclusion of the ceremony was respectful of her competitors and did not violate our rules related to demonstration."

Yet political statements on the medal podium are not permitted at Tokyo 2020, even though rules on such actions have been relaxed elsewhere by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

In the wake of the USOPC remarks, the IOC was seeking further answers from the Americans on Tuesday.

Mark Adams, the IOC spokesperson, said in a briefing: "We've seen their public opinion and we're in touch with them.

"We've written a letter asking for some further information, to be able to evaluate the next steps, if any, that should be taken.

"Obviously, the Games are held under the Olympic charter and the rules of the Olympic movement, so let's wait to see what clarification we get from USOPC."

It seems unimaginable that the IOC would take any drastic action, given the outcry that would follow.

Saunders tweeted on Sunday: "Let them try and take this medal. I'm running across the border even though I can't swim."

The Olympic Games has seen few such protests on podiums. Perhaps the most notable was the 'Black Power' salute by Tommie Smith and John Carlos, gold and bronze medallists respectively in the 200 metres at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, when both raised a black-gloved fist as the US national anthem was played.

Both were expelled from the Games but got to keep their medals.

Tennis great and long-time equal rights activist Billie Jean King has backed Saunders, writing on Twitter: "Her gesture was meaningful and respectful. There is nothing for the IOC to investigate."

Hosting an Olympic Games at any time can be a logistical nightmare. Doing so during the height of a deadly pandemic only exacerbates the difficulties.

For example, how do you go about trying to appease a largely Olympic-sceptic city like Tokyo, whose residents were fearful of the effect welcoming thousands of athletes, officials and world's media would have in increasing coronavirus infection rates.

Stats Perform's man on the ground, Peter Hanson, provides a look at how travel is working at Tokyo 2020 to assuage the fears of the locals, and a behind-the-scenes glimpse of his journeys to the arenas he has visited.

BUSES, BUSES AND MORE BUSES...

Let's start with a secret.

This isn't my first time in Tokyo. I actually visited here seven years ago with a couple of American friends. The three of us had recently been in Bangkok for our buddy's Thai wedding and had decided to make the hop across to continue our travel adventure.

My overriding memories of that first jaunt were just how futuristic it felt, the signs and billboards burning bright LED lights directly into my quickly faltering retinas. For a major city, I remember also thinking how clean the place was. I'm a big fan of city dwelling – but most can be a little untidy in places.

The other thing that sticks out is how absolutely hopeless I was at navigating my way around. This is nothing new, I can barely get around the streets of Sheffield and Rotherham – the places I have lived my entire 31 years – back in England without needing to follow Google Maps. Luckily for me, my travel companions are not quite so directionally challenged, so I largely just hopped on whatever subway they did and didn't ask questions...

So, when I first got asked if I'd like to cover these Games my first reaction was "yes, absolutely". My second was "better start saving up for three weeks' worth of Ubers".

But these are pandemic times, and pandemic times call for pandemic measures. There are rules in place and restrictions to follow, and one of the great logistical challenges Tokyo 2020 organisers have faced is how to ferry around hordes of the world's media while restricting their interactions with locals – many of whom were not keen on hosting the Olympics at all – during the Games.

I have to say, the end result has been pretty impressive. As soon as you enter the departure hall at the airport, you are ferried onto a shuttle bus, taken to a taxi rank being held inside a huge car park around 20 minutes away, popped into a taxi and driven straight to your hotel.

For someone as dense with directions as I am, this was a bit of a relief.

But that was just the first problem to solve. For the first 14 days of your visit to Tokyo, you have to agree not to go anywhere other than your hotel or to Games-specific locations in a previously agreed Activity Plan.

For that fortnight you are also told not to take public transport anywhere. To solve this issue, Tokyo 2020 has created quite the travel network.

The media transport mall at the media centre is connected to nearly all the Games venues. There are over 30 terminals (not quite like you would see in a normal indoor bus depot – rather a series of stops in a huge outdoor space with sort of crudely constructed tents to keep you sheltered should it rain).

Approximately a third of these stops are connected to a list of Tokyo 2020-approved hotels, running buses to our accommodation 24 hours a day (although, understandably, between midnight and 6am these run much less frequently). 

The rest ship us off to the Games venues, with drop-off points roughly a five-minute walk to the various media centres.

It is not the only way to get around a city still under a state of emergency. Tokyo 2020 has created the Transport by Chartered Taxi system, whereby you can book Games-specific vehicles to cart you around to the desired location.

After that initial two weeks, you are technically allowed to use public transport (and are provided a travel pass to do so) but actively encouraged to keep using the media network to limit social interactions with the regular public.

MARVELLING AT THE MEDIA CENTRE

One of the things I was most looking to when entering Japan was seeing the media centre.

Okay, sure, partly because I'd been couped up in quarantine for three days and the escape from the four walls of my hotel room was a blessed relief.

But mostly because I was itching to see for the first time what a media centre for an Olympics looks like.

Once taking the bus from the hotel to the media centre, getting in is quite a smooth process. The media complex – which adjoins to the broadcasting centre – is so big that from the transport mall you have to take a shuttle bus. From there, you undergo a temperature check, lower your mask so the security cameras can get a good look at your face, and scan your accreditation card before waiting nervously for the green light to give recognition you are an approved member of the media.

The first impression was just how big the complex is. There are rows upon rows of hot desks, all with plug sockets and LAN cables, while every which way you turn there are TV monitors showing a variety of different events.

There are private offices everywhere (for the likes of the IOC and British Olympics association), medical rooms to drop off PCR tests, help desks for everything from tech woes to transport, food courts, cafes, fancy-looking vending machines…you name it, over several vast floors it's (probably) got it.

TRIBUNE TRAVAILS AT THE AQUATICS CENTRE

The sad thing about the Tokyo Aquatics Centre is the fact it serves as a reminder that these are the Games that could have been.

Opened in February 2020 close to Tokyo Bay, it is a hugely impressive structure that holds approximately 15,000 spectators – sadly, save for the pockets of athletes cheering on their team-mates, these seats are not in use and the bright-blue glow of the pool and the huge screens present an almost eerie feeling without the packed rafters.

My first trip there was an exciting one, though. It would act as my first "live" view of these Games and I got to witness TeamGB's first gold medal of Tokyo 2020 thanks to Adam Peaty, and caught most of Tom Daley's emotional triumph in the men's synchronised 10 metre diving.

It's a process much like the media centre to get in, only here you have a physical thermometer placed on your forehead to check you don't have a temperature. But as at all the venues you do go through airport-style checks before heading down to the media. It was at the aquatics centre I was asked to taste the bottle of water in my bag and, even though I knew it wasn't possible, I did start to panic and wonder what if it had been poisoned…

It hadn't of course and off I popped down the road towards the media area, which for the aquatics centre is a long tent that also adjoins to the press conference room.

So far so good. My issue came again with my aforementioned navigation skills. My friends back home call me 'Captain Direction' I'm that hopeless with them (okay, that's a nickname I actually gave myself but still…). The problem I encountered was trying to find my appropriate area in the media tribune, walking through about 10 different doors, and walking up and down several hefty flights of stairs before I reached the conclusion that I had probably been in the right place from the start…

INSPIRED BY SIMONE AT THE GYMNASTICS CENTRE

Before I travelled to Tokyo, I had a rough idea in my head of some of the things I wanted to do. One at the very top of my priority list was seeing Simone Biles live in the gymnastics.

So, on the first Tuesday of the Games I managed to get a high-demand ticket for the Ariake Gymnastics Centre to watch the final of the women's team event.

The trip there was probably my favourite, because unlike a lot of the other buses that serve just a single venue, this one was bit of a stadium hop around Ariake – a district of Koto in Tokyo.

Before I made it as far as the gymnastics centre, I was treated to a look at the Ariake Tennis Park – where there was a deep temptation to jump off and try and catch a glimpse of Novak Djokovic or Naomi Osaka – and Ariake Arena, where the volleyball was being held. 

Eventually, I arrived at the gymnastics centre – an impressive temporary venue, which after the Games will be turned into a 12,000 seater sporting arena, and went through the now customary protocols to get inside.

Unlike my first journey to the aquatics centre, finding my way around here was an absolute breeze. All of the media facilities are inside the building, and there are signs pretty much every few yards directing you to the tribune.

I should at this point make another admission. I don't know the first thing about gymnastics. In fact, when I was at school I was so hopelessly bad at the sport in P.E. or gym or whatever you call it where you are, that my "routine" consisted of a shambolic forward roll and jazz hands. In my defence I was short, stocky, not particularly agile and carrying about 20lbs extra weight. All of those things still stand true today.

But it was too good an opportunity to pass up and it seemed the same for a lot of people in there. I sat next to a journalist from Denmark (whose son by the way is named Peter Hansen – hello Spider-Man meme!) who was there for the exact same reason as me, to see Biles in person.

There was no way to predict what came next, with this genuine living legend managing just one rotation before sitting out the rest of the event. She later revealed she has been contending with mental health issues.

Sitting in the news conference room, it was impossible not be completely full of admiration for this frank admission. Her bravery to send that message, I think, is more important than any achievement she has in gymnastics.

DISCOVERING THE OLYMPICS STADIUM

Another on my bucket list for this trip was obviously to check out the Olympics Stadium. I decided to book in for the athletics at the first opportunity and go to the morning session last Friday.

By that point, I'd been in Tokyo for 10 days and the long days and sleepless nights had taken their toll…so my first journey there I can't recall too much to you because I took a decent snooze on the 30-minute trip.

But, when I got there my initial thought was wow. I absolutely love sports stadia, you can't be a sports-obsessed kid like I was and not. I've seen some impressive arenas in my time – Wembley, Soccer City in Johannesburg, Yankees Stadium…Hillsborough.

And this is right up there among the best I've been to. Only, after that initial buzz I must say I was almost overwhelmed by a sudden sadness. 

I think maybe because at the other venues I'd visited I was so one-track minded in what I wanted to do whereas my first visit here was more about finding my bearings and preparing for a busy week to come. 

I remember going to one of the morning sessions at London 2012 and the Olympic Stadium was absolutely packed. It was weird seeing this place (with a capacity of 68,000) empty knowing it would stay that way for the rest of the Games, and knowing that really it deserved better.

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.

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