The emerging rivalry between Caeleb Dressel and Kristof Milak can inspire the pair to more world records after the American broke his previous mark to win the men's 100m butterfly gold medal.

Dressel won the final in 49.45 ahead of Hungarian Milak by 0.23 seconds, with the American breaking his previous world record of 49.5 set in Gwangju in July 2019.

The American had already won the men's 100m freestyle on Thursday, before Saturday's gold medal.

Milak, who won the 200m butterfly in an Olympic record time on Wednesday and holds the world record for that event, said Dressel pushed him to get better, eyeing off a time under 49 seconds.

"It is very good for us that we can inspire each other," Milak said. "The result will be many world records and personal bests, and better times, maybe under 49 seconds.

"I’ve no personal relationship with him - we didn’t have the chance to get to know each other. But as a competitor, he’s a tough guy, very competitive."

First-time Olympian Milak, 21, said it was the beginning of a long rivalry with 24-year-old Dressel, who went to Rio in 2016, where he won gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay but not in any individual events.

“This is the beginning," the Hungarian said. "We all know our place in the Games, in the competition. Everyone wants to win, we have to respect each other."

Switzerland's Noe Ponti claimed the bronze medal, with a time of 50.74 and gushed in praise of Dressel and Milak.

“Before these Olympics, the goal was to get into semifinals," Ponti said. "Behind Kristof, who I know pretty well, and Caeleb, it’s very inspiring.

"It means me and the other guys, the other guys behind me, we have a lot of work to do to catch them.

"That’s what motivates us a lot. It was a crazy race, very fast, for them too and for myself."

Caeleb Dressel stormed a world-record time in the men's 100 metres butterfly to win a third gold of Tokyo 2020, while Katie Ledecky earned a measure of revenge on Ariarne Titmus in Saturday's action at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

It has been some week for Dressel, though he later missed out on a fourth gold in the mixed 4x100m medley final.

There was more success for Kaylee McKeown and Australia in the 200m backstroke, while Adam Peaty was a gold medal winner again.

THREE UP AND A WR AS DRESSEL WINS THRILLER

He had to do it the hard way but Dressel scooped a third gold of the games and broke his own world record in the men's 100m butterfly after a thriller with Kristof Milak.

Dressel exploded off the block and had a healthy lead but Milak roared back down the home 50m to give his rival a scare.

But the American found an extra gear in the final few strokes to post a 49.45. He now has seven of the best 100m butterfly times in history, while five of the sub-50 second times in the event have come in 2021.

 

LEDECKY TREBLES UP, SCORES TITMUS REVENGE

Ledecky's prowess in the 800m free came to the fore again as she exacted revenge on Australian rival Ariarne Titmus.

American great Ledecky was pipped by Titmus – who also took out the 200m – in an astonishing 400m race earlier this week.

But for the third straight Games Ledecky is the 800m champion, stealing a march in the opening 50m and, though Titmus stayed close throughout, came home in 8:12.79 - the 17th-fastest swim of all-time.

Ledecky is just the third woman after Australian Dawn Fraser (100 free, 1956-64) and Hungarian Krisztina Egerszegi (200 back, 1988-96) to win three consecutive golds in the same swimming event.

MCKEOWN DOUBLES UP

Kaylee McKeown made it a backstroke double by taking out the women's 200m race having won the 100m earlier in the meet.

The Australian had to do things the hard way to reel back in Canada's Kylie Masse who was eight tenths clear of McKeown after 100m.

But McKeown charged down the final stretch doing the final 50m in 31.08 to touch home in 2:04.68, becoming the first Australian woman to gold medal in the event.

PEATY STRIKES GOLD AGAIN AS GB ROMP TO MEDLEY GLORY

Earlier this week, Adam Peaty defended his title in the men's 100m breaststroke in convincing style and he won his second gold of the Games as Great Britain smashed the world word in the in the 4x100 mixed medley.

Peaty, now a three-time Olympic gold medallist, swam an astonishing 56.78 leg, as he, Kathleen Dawson, James Guy and Anna Hopkin topped the podium.

Dressel was part of a Team USA quartet who were fifth.

St. Lucian Swimmer, Mikaili Charlemagne, has set a new national record in the women’s 50m freestyle.

Despite failing to advance to the semifinal round, Charlemagne who competed earlier today swimming out of lane 5, in heat 5, finished 2nd with a time of 26.99, lowering the previous national record of 27.27 which she had set in 2019.

The heat was won by Cameroon’s Norah Elizabeth Milanesi who was clocked a time of 26.41 and Fiji’s Cheynne Rova rounded out the top three finishers with a time of 27.11.

Also competing in the heat was Antigua’s Samantha Roberts, who finished 6th, touching home with a time of 27.63, her fastest time since 2016.

This was the first time Charlemagne has competed in the Women’s 50m Freestyle at a major senior competition since 2017 when she participated at the World Championships held in Budapest, Hungary.

Charlemagne, who recently turned 18-years-old, is a student-athlete at Springfield College in the United States. She is the second St. Lucian swimmer to compete at this year’s Olympics, her teammate Jean-Luc Zephir competed yesterday in the Men’s 100m Freestyle, finishing his heat in 6th place.

 

 

China bounced clear of Japan at the top of the medal table at the Tokyo Olympics thanks in part to a gold medal in trampolining.

Xueying Zhu edged out compatriot Lingling Liu to win the women’s final, maintaining the country's dominance in the event. Only at the Sydney Games in 2000 has China ever failed to have a competitor make it onto the podium.

There was also an all-China final in table tennis, Ma Long defeating compatriot Fan Zhendong in the men's singles final.

Add in further success in the mixed doubles final in badminton and China now has 19 golds at these Games, two more than the host nation.

The United States sit third in the standings with 14 golds, while Great Britain remain in sixth place thanks to Beth Schriever riding away with a gold in the women’s BMX final.

New Zealand improved on their previous solitary gold with not one but two victories in the water on Friday. Emma Twigg's win in the women's single sculls final was followed by glory for the men's eight. The women's team in the same discipline claimed silver, finishing second to Canada.

Ethiopia celebrated a first medal of any colour on Japanese soil, Selemon Barega triumphant in the men's 10,000 metres final as the athletics began, a fast finish seeing him cross the line ahead of Ugandan duo Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo.

 

Russia came out firing on Friday as they condemned any suggestion of drug cheats within their ranks at the Olympic Games, saying God would be the judge of critics.

Competing as the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) in Tokyo, due to recent state-sponsored doping scandals that mean their national flag and anthem are absent from the Games, the team comprising Russian athletes are flying high in the medals table.

They believe insinuation of cheating continues to plague their competitors, who they are adamant are clean.

A post on the ROC Twitter page read: "How unnerving our victories are for some of our colleagues. Yes, we are here at the Olympics. Absolutely rightfully. Whether someone likes it or not. But you have to be able to lose.

"The old hurdy-gurdy again started the song about Russian doping. Someone is turning the handle diligently.

"English-language propaganda, oozing verbal sweat in the Tokyo heat. Through the mouths of athletes offended by defeats. We will not console you.

"Forgive those who are weaker. God is their judge. And for us – an assistant."

That was posted alongside photographs of two swimmers – American Ryan Murphy and Great Britain's Luke Greenbank – plus United States rower Megan Kalmoe.

Murphy and Greenbank both questioned whether their race was clean after taking silver and bronze respectively in the 200 metres backstroke final, which was won by Russian Evgeny Rylov.

"I've got about 15 thoughts, 13 of them would get me into a lot of trouble," Murphy said in a news conference when asked if he felt the race was fair.

"I try not to get caught up in that. It is a huge mental drain on me to go throughout the year that I'm swimming in a race that's probably not clean, and that is what it is."

Greenbank joined in, adding: "It's obviously a very difficult situation, not knowing who you race against is clean."

Rylov, who has also won the 100m at the Games, insisted he does not dope, telling the same news conference: "I have always been for clean competition, I am always tested, I also fill out all the forms so from the bottom of my heart I'm for clean sports."

Kalmoe said on Thursday it had been "a nasty feeling" to see the Russian Olympic Committee win silver in the women's pair rowing event.

The World Anti-Doping Agency's then-president Craig Reedie declared in December 2019 that "for too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport", condemning a "stance of deception and denial" within the country's anti-doping authorities.

An independent Compliance Review Committee said at the time that Russian athletes who could demonstrate a commitment to clean sport would continue to be allowed to compete at the highest level, electing not to impose a blanket ban on competitors from the country.

That has allowed the Russian Olympic Committee to bring over 300 athletes to Tokyo.

Reigning champion Connor Fields is "awake and awaiting further medical evaluation" after a sickening crash in the semi-finals of the men's BMX racing at the Tokyo Olympics.

The American 2016 gold medallist was stretchered off the course and taken to hospital after the major crash with Twan van Gendt of the Netherlands and Sylvain Andre of France in the third run of the semi-final heats.

"We can confirm that Connor Fields is awake and awaiting further medical evaluation. We will share additional updates as they become available," a USA team doctor said.

Fields, appearing in his third Olympics, had already qualified for the final but was unable to take his place, given the injuries sustained, with Niek Kimmann from the Netherlands taking out the gold.

Great Britain's Kye Whyte claimed silver with Colombia's Carlos Alberto Ramirez Yepes winning the bronze.

Another gold medal contender, Australia's Saya Sakakibara, also crashed out in the women's BMX racing.

Sakakibara, whose brother Kai suffered life-changing head injuries from a crash in the sport 15 months ago, was carried off the course on a stretcher but later able to perform media interviews.

The Australian had been leading the pack ahead of the last turn in the third run of the semi-finals, before a clash of wheels with USA's Alise Willoughby brought the pair down.

Australia's Olympic team tweeted that Sakakibara had "sustained a few bumps and bruises and will continue to be monitored over the next 24 hours as a precaution".

Sakakibara told Channel 7: "This is so disappointing. I feel like I have let everyone down. I let everyone down, especially my brother."

Great Britain's Bethany Shriever went on to win the gold medal, ahead of Colombia's Mariana Pajon and the Netherlands' Merel Smulders.

 

SCHOENMAKER SMASHES WORLD RECORD

South African Tatjana Schoenmaker improved on her 100 metres women's breaststroke silver medal with a gold in Friday's 200m, as well as smashing the world record.

Schoenmaker finished in two minutes and 18.95 seconds, breaking Rikke Moller Pedersen's pre-existing mark of 2:19.11, as she beat USA pair Lilly King and Annie Lazor.

"I wasn't expecting that at all," Schoenmaker said about her world record, having appeared visibly stunned upon realising her time. "I was really trying to focus on my own race. [King] definitely pushed me, knowing that her first 100 is so good."

Russia Olympic Committee's Evgeny Rylov swam an Olympic record time to win the men's 200m backstroke, having won gold in the 100m earlier this week.

Rylov, who swam 1:53:27, beat USA's Ryan Murphy and Great Britain's Luke Greenbank.

Australian Emma McKeon also marked an Olympic record as she won gold in the women's 100m freestyle ahead of Hong Kong's Siobhan Haughey and countrywoman Cate Campbell.

China's Wang Shun won the men's 200m individual medley from Britain's Duncan Scott and Switzerland's Jeremy Desplanches.

 

KIWIS DOMINATE THE ROWING

New Zealand picked up a handsome share of the rowing medals at the Sea Forest Waterway, with two golds and a silver from the four events on Friday.

Emma Twigg triumphed with an Olympic-best time of 7:13.97 in the women's single sculls, finishing ahead of Russia Olympic Committee's Hanna Prakatsen and Austria's Magdalena Lobnig.

New Zealand also won in a thrilling finish from Germany and Great Britain in the men's eight final, edging out the Germans by less than a second.

Hamish Bond was part of the New Zealand eight, having won golds in 2012 and 2016 in the coxless pair, before focusing on cycling in 2017, only to revert back to rowing for Tokyo.

Bond said: "The thing about an eight is it doesn't matter what you do as individuals, it's how you can collectively harness that potential."

Canada won the women's equivalent, pipping New Zealand across the line by 0.91 seconds, with China in third.

Greece won their first medal of the Games in style, with Stefanos Ntouskos claiming gold in the men's single sculls from Norway's Kjetil Borch and Croatia's Damir Martin.

 

WOMEN'S 100M HEATS UP

The track events got under way, with the women's 100m heats the main attraction at the Olympic Stadium, headlined by Ivory Coast's Marie-Josee Ta Lou with the joint fourth quickest legal time ever seen at the Games.

Two-time World Championship silver medallist Ta Lou ran a personal best time of 10.78 seconds.

Jamaican duo Elaine Thompson-Herah – the reigning Olympic champion – and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce were the next fastest, with 10:82 and 10:84 respectively.

With the field stacked with quality, Fraser-Pryce said: "There's rivalry with everybody. All female athletes are showing up and you're competing so I don't focus on just one individual."

Men's 200m backstroke gold medalist Evgeny Rylov says he is committed to clean competition after comments from silver medalist Ryan Murphy that the race "was probably not clean".

The Russia Olympic Committee's Rylov edged out American Murphy for the gold medal by 0.88 seconds in a new Olympic record time in Friday's men's 200m backstroke final, with Great Britain's Luke Greenbank taking bronze.

In the men's 100m backstroke final on Tuesday, Rylov had also beaten Murphy, who had won both the 100m and 200m in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

"I’ve got about 15 thoughts, 13 of them would get me into a lot of trouble," Murphy said when asked if he felt the race was fair.

"I try not to get caught up in that. It is a huge mental drain on me to go throughout the year that I’m swimming in a race that’s probably not clean, and that is what it is."

Murphy reiterated he was not identifying anyone specifically or making an allegations about any national team.

"To be clear, my intention is not to make any allegations here," he said. "Congratulations to Evgeny and congratulations to Luke, I think they did an incredible job. They're both incredible swimmers. At the end of the day, I do believe there's doping in swimming."

Rylov was asked directly about the allegations and whether he swims clean.

"I have always been for clean competition, I am always tested, I also fill out all the forms so from the bottom of my heart I'm for clean sports," Rylov said.

"I am devoting my whole life to this sport, right, so I don't even know how to react to that. Ryan didn't accuse me of anything, therefore I'd rather not react."

He added: "Honestly, I'm not aware of these comments so I cannot react to something I have not heard, so let me refrain from commenting on this, thank you. I'm not in a position to comment because I didn't hear that."

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Murphy revealed he had met with new FINA Executive Director Brent Nowicki where they had discussed doping in the sport but was told it would be a long battle.

"When you hear that from the top, it's tough to hear," Murphy said.

"I think the thing that's frustrating is you can't answer that question with 100 per cent certainty [that the race was clean].

"I think over the years, that's going to come out. I can't answer that question. I don’t know if it was 100 per cent clean and that's because of things that have happened over the past."

Tatjana Schoenmaker broke the 200m women's breaststroke Olympic record on Wednesday but says she never expected to topple the world record in her gold medal swim on Friday.

The South African swimmer won the gold medal ahead of USA's Lilly King and Annie Lazor in the final, setting a world record 2:18:95 in the process.

King went out fast, but at the final turn Schoenmaker was marginally ahead before motoring clear.

Schoenmaker had broken the Olympic record on Wednesday with a time of 2:19:16 in her heat before surpassing the mark held by Denmark's Rikke Moller Pedersen of 2:19:11 from August 2013 in Barcelona.

"It'll kick in when I get home probably," Schoenmaker said. "I wasn’t expecting that at all.

"I was really trying to focus on my own race. [King] definitely pushed me, knowing that her first 100 is so good.

"It was so amazing to be able to race today. It was such a tough race. We were all racing to do well. It just still hasn’t sunk in, maybe one day."

Schoenmaker was visibly emotional post race, celebrating with shock after realizing she had broken the world record, with Lazor embracing her in the pool as the South African came to tears.

"I feel like it really hasn’t sunk in yet," Schoenmaker. "The whole process went really quick. I feel I was very excited to also finish my individual races.

"I was excited to go home and see my family. I don’t know if it should be kicking in now. If I was crying that much then, I can't imagine."

Schoenmaker becomes the third woman to win an Olympic gold medal for South Africa in swimming, after Penelope Heyns (two in 1996) and Joan Harrison (1952).

She also becomes the fourth South Africa woman to swim a world record, behind Ann Fairlie (100m backstroke), Karen Muir (100m and 200m backstroke) ad Heyns (50m, 100m, 200m backstroke).

"Penny [Heyns] was amazing on her own," Schoenmaker said. "She's created such an amazing name in the swimming environment. To even be close to her is so amazing."

Tatjana Schoenmaker smashed the world record to win gold in the women's 200m breaststroke, while Emma McKeon and Evgeny Rylov were top of the podium in Friday's action in the pool.

There was also glory for Wang Shun in a closely fought men's 200m individual medley at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

Here's a round-up of the best action from another action-packed session at Tokyo 2020.

SIZZLING SCHOENMAKER TAKES OUT WR

Schoenmaker lived up to her billing as the favourite in the women's 200m breaststroke, winning South Africa's first gold medal of the Games in sensational style.

The 24-year-old, who took silver in the 100m, shattered the world record in a time of 2:18.95 with Lilly King of the United States in second.

After touching the wall, Schoenmaker screamed in delight at seeing her time before sobbing in the pool as the emotion of her achievement hit home.

OLYMPIC BESTS FROM MCKEON AND RYLOV

McKeon won Australia's ninth gold medal of the Games and sixth of a memorable week in the pool for the nation by dominating the women's 100m freestyle.

The 27-year-old led from start to finish and stormed home in a time of 51.96, a new Olympic benchmark. Team-mate Cate Campbell was third behind Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong.

"Honestly, my emotions are a bit all over the place right now," McKeon told Channel 7. "I know all of my family back home are watching and I felt them with me in my race. 

"I know all the support they've given me over all the years of me swimming. They're part of it all."

Another Olympic record was broken in a men's 200m backstroke event won by Rylov, who doubled up with the gold he won in the 100m race for the Russian Olympic Committee.

Having won that shorter race, Rylov was fancied as somewhat of a shoo-in over his favoured four-lap distance and so it proved as he set a time of 1:53.27.

SCOTT PIPPED AGAIN AS WANG HOLDS FIRM

Duncan Scott brought home gold as part of TeamGB's 4x200m freestyle relay team – but he was just edged in the 200m individual free by team-mate Tom Dean and was beaten in the 200m individual medley by a narrow margin too.

This time it was China's Wang Shun who came out on top, the Rio 2016 bronze medallist produced a fine performance to win in a time of 1:55.00, just 0.28 seconds faster than Scott.

China returned to the top of the medal table thanks to swimming and table tennis success at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.

Host nation Japan slipped into second place on another successful day for China, who have racked up 31 medals in total so far at these Games.

Zhang Yufei won the women's 200m butterfly title ahead of American duo Regan Smith and Hali Flickinger at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

The women's 4x200m freestyle relay team also struck gold for China in the pool.

There was table tennis glory for China too, with Chen Meng beating compatriot Sun Yingsha 4-2 in the final at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

China and Japan both have 15 golds so far, the host nation sitting second as they have 25 medals in total.

The United States have the most medals with a haul of 38, as well as sitting just one adrift of China and Japan's tally of golds.

The Russian Olympic Committee and Australia both have eight apiece, the latter benefiting from success for Jessica Fox in the women's C-1 canoe slalom, plus Izaac Stubblety-Cook winning the 200m breaststroke title.

 

Friday sees the start of the Olympic athletics schedule and the first tennis medals will be won in Tokyo.

The men's 10,000 metres final will be staged on the first day of track and field action at the Olympic Stadium.

There will be an all-Croatia men's doubles gold medal match at the Ariake Tennis Park, plus no doubt more drama to come in the pool.

Stats Perform picks out some of the standout events to look forward to.


CHEPTEGEI FAVOURITE FOR FIRST TRACK GOLD

Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo both have the chance to become the first athlete from Uganda to win an Olympic gold medal in the men's 10,000m final.

Cheptegei, the 2019 world champion, is well fancied in the last event on the track on Friday, while his compatriot Kiplimo could become the youngest man to be crowned champion at the distance at the age of 20 years and 258 days.

Yomif Kejelcha of Ethiopia and Canadian Mohammed Ahmed also have high hopes of making it onto the podium. 

Other events to look out for are the start of the women's 100m, men's 400m hurdles and men's high jump, along with the women's 800m and women's triple jump.

CROATIA GUARANTEED DOUBLES GOLD

One guarantee on Friday is that Croatia will add a gold and silver medal to their tally at the Tokyo Games.

Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig will face compatriots Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in the gold medal match in the men's doubles final.

The men's singles semi-finals will also take place, with Novak Djokovic, chasing a Golden Slam this year, up against Germany's Alexander Zverev.

Karen Khachanov of the Russian Olympic Committee will do battle with Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta to find out who will make it through from the other half of the draw.


HIGH HOPES FOR AUSTRALIAN DUO

Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell could make it an Australia one-two in the women's 100m freestyle final.

McKeon set a new Olympic record of 52.13 seconds on Wednesday and will go out in lane four next to her dangerous compatriot Campbell.

That is one of four finals on Friday, with Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa expected to take some stopping in the 200m breaststroke final after clocking an Olympic record time of 2:19.16 this week.

Medals will also be up for grabs in the men's 200m backstroke final and the men's 200m individual medley.

Caeleb Dressel makes no apologies for being "a little bit of a weirdo", with the American swimming sensation determined to tackle his Olympic mountain on his own terms.

A first individual gold for Dressel arrived on Thursday when he edged out Australian rival Kyle Chalmers in a rollicking final of the 100 metres freestyle.

After the race, Dressel was left tearful when he was connected to family at home on a video link provided by a US broadcaster, with his parents and wife Meghan back in Florida celebrating the victory.

Dressel believes he has to cut down such contact to a minimum in Games time. He is a four-time gold medallist now, after two relay triumphs in Rio five years ago and another in Tokyo preceded his solo swim to glory.

For the 24-year-old, what matters most at these times is finding and maintaining race focus.

 

"I don't talk to many people at these meets. I'm kind of a loner, a little bit of a weirdo," Dressel said.

And that's why Meghan has to get by without a guaranteed daily call home from Japan.

"You have to manage your emotions. I can't be calling them every night because I cry a lot," Dressel said. "I'm an emotional person. I can't be calling them and exerting that energy. It's got to be put into my swimming."

It seems to be so far, so good on that front, with an Olympic record of 47.02 seconds bagged on Thursday and the prospect of more medals to come.

Dressel was widely expected to be a major star of Tokyo 2020 and is handling the stress of that situation, albeit if beneath the surface there is a constant battle to direct his energy.

"I'm pretty good at putting a face on," Dressel said. "Pressure's fine; it's when you turn it into stress, that's when it becomes a problem.

"My first couple of swims, I was turning the pressure into stress. I feel like the semi-final of the 100m free and that final there, I was starting to find my groove a little bit, and it's about time to be honest.

"I know my name's thrown out there and i understand it. I could care less about it, it's just something that comes with the sport when you're on top of the podium."

Dressel has gone silent on Instagram, deliberately staying away from social media, again saying that is "energy I don't need to be exerting".

And he was thrilled by how he swam against Chalmers, saying he "wouldn't have changed a thing about that race", even though it was practically a photo finish.

Chalmers, sharing a news conference podium with Dressel, said: "There's nothing I could have done more.

"It's been talked up as more than a swimming race for a while now. Caeleb and I have a fairly fierce rivalry.

"We do enjoy racing against each other and bring the best out in each other, so it's almost a relief to get it done now."

Everyone expected Caeleb Dressel to be one of the swimming stars of the Tokyo Games, and the American lived up to the hype on Thursday. 

Dressel started strongly and held off rival Kyle Chalmers of Australia at the end to win the 100m freestyle, the 24-year-old's first individual Olympic gold after taking two relay wins in Rio and one earlier this week.

The Floridian swam the 100m free three times in Rio and his time got worse from the preliminaries to the semi-finals to the final, ultimately leaving him sixth overall at 48.02 while Chalmers won gold with a 47.58.

This time, Dressel was at his best when it mattered most, posting a 47.02 to break an Olympic record that had stood since Beijing 2008.

Afterward, he described winning his first individual gold as a weight off his shoulders.

"It is different," Dressel said. "I didn't want to admit it but now that I did it, I can.

"It's a lot different – you can't rely on anyone else. It's just you and the water, there's no one there to bail you out. It's tough."

Winning the gold in a head-to-head showdown with the reigning champion made victory even sweeter.

"It's so fun going with Kyle – I mean, every time we make it good," Dressel said. "It's really fun to watch when we go head-to-head.

"I've got nothing but respect for him."

CROATIA'S ROWING BROTHERS GOLDEN AGAIN

Brothers Valent and Martin Sinkovic have teamed up to win a rowing medal for the third consecutive Olympics. 

The Croatians took gold in the men's coxless pair event at Sea Forest Waterway, leading throughout the race and winning by 1.29 seconds over Romania's Marius Cozmiuc and Ciprian Tudosa.

The Sinkovic siblings won gold in the double sculls five years ago in Rio after making up half of Croatia's quadruple sculls team that took the silver medal in London in 2012.

They are the first rowers to win gold in both the pair and double sculls since Canada's Kathleen Heddle and Marnie McBean did it in 1992 and 1996.

"It's an unbelievable feeling, hard to describe," said Valent, the older of the pair at 32. "This is like a new gold medal for us because it's in a second discipline, so we celebrate it like it's the first one for us.

"We couldn't be happier. Everything went as planned, we executed the race perfectly."

As for looking toward a potential fourth medal at Paris 2024, Martin Sinkovic said the brothers were done with pairs competitions but might look to row the four in three years' time. 

RIO POLE VAULT BRONZE MEDALLIST OUT WITH COVID

Sam Kendricks of the USA, the 2016 bronze medallist and 2017 world champion in the pole vault, has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not compete in Tokyo, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee announced.

The USOPC said Kendricks has been transferred to a hotel and been placed in isolation in accordance with protocols.

"Sam is an incredible and accomplished member of Team USA and his presence will be missed," the USOPC said. "Out of respect for his privacy, we cannot provide more information at this time."

Earlier on Thursday in its daily media briefing, the International Olympic Committee said three athletes were among the 24 people who had come back positive for COVID-19 in the most recent round of testing.

STRAKA HAS CLUBHOUSE LEAD AS GOLF GETS UNDER WAY

Austria's Sepp Straka went out with the first grouping in the opening round of the men's golf tournament and set the pace for everyone who teed off behind him, taking the clubhouse lead with a 63 on Thursday morning.

Ranked 161st in the world this week after missing the cut at six of his last seven PGA Tour events, Straka turned in a bogey-free round at the Kasumigaseki Country Club, carding four birdies on the front nine and four more on the back.

Thomas Pieters of Belgium and Carlos Ortiz of Mexico finished with six-under-par 65s among the early starters to sit two back of the lead.

Several major winners including Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama and Collin Morikawa were still on the course.

AUSTRALIA OPEN RUGBY SEVENS DEFENCE WITH ROUT

Defending women's rugby sevens gold medallists Australia made a statement as they opened pool play with a crushing 48-0 defeat of hosts Japan after leading 24-0 at half-time.

Emma Tonegato got three tries while Demi Hayes and debutant Maddison Levi had two each for Australia, who face China later on Thursday.

"I definitely was concerned about this game," said Australia's head coach John Manenti. "Japan, playing at home, it would be very emotional for them and the pressures and expectations could have built on us.

"But I was really pleased with that clinical first half. We could relax at the end of the game and give a few of the girls debuts."

New Zealand, beaten finalists at Rio 2016, began their Tokyo campaign with a 29-7 win over Kenya.

REIGNING BMX GOLD MEDALLISTS ADVANCE TO SEMIS

BMX racers opened competition at Ariake Urban Sports Park, with defending gold medallist Connor Fields of the USA and current world number one Sylvain Andre of France among those booking their spots in the semi-finals.

Andre's countryman Joris Daudet had the top time of the day in his last run to make Friday's semis along with Rio 2016 bronze medallist Carlos Ramirez of Colombia.

On the women's side, world number one and Rio 2016 gold medallist Mariana Pajon of Colombia won all three of her preliminary races to advance, along with 2016 silver medallist Alise Willoughby of the USA.

Willoughby's team-mate Felecia Stancil turned in the best overall time of the day on her first run and also is one of the 16 semi-finalists.

Caeleb Dressel triumphed over rival Kyle Chalmers in one of the best races of Tokyo 2020, while China pulled off an upset to win an incredible women's 4x200m freestyle race in a world-record time.

Dressel was one of three competitors to set new Olympic benchmarks in the individual races at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Thursday, with Zhang Yufei and Zac Stubblety-Cook also doing so en route to winning gold.

There was glory for Dressel's United States team-mate in the men's 800m freestyle, too, where Bobby Finke topped the podium.

Here is a recap of all the goings-on from another enthralling session at the pool.

DRESSEL EDGES CHALMERS IN THRILLERS

Earlier this week, it was Australia beating the US in one of the races of the meet when Ariarne Titmus held off Katie Ledecky in the 400m free. 

This time it was glory for Team USA as Dressel won his second gold of the Games in an awesome 100m free final, with Australia's defending champion Chalmers just 0.10 seconds behind.

These two had battled before, with Chalmers entering the Games with two victories to one over the past five years, and the duo delivered an enthralling battle down the stretch.

But it was Dressel, part of the US team that won the 4x100m free relay earlier this week, who touched home in an Olympic record of 47.02 seconds.


TITMUS, LEDECKY BEATEN AS CHINA PULL OFF WR

Titmus has been one of the stars of these Games, pulling off a 200m and 400m free double. She and her previous record-holding Australia team-mates were favourites for gold in the 4x200m relay but had to settle for third in a race where each of the top three went under the previous world record time.

It was the foursome from China that pulled off the big win, leading from the first leg and holding on despite a frantic finish in which Ledecky so nearly anchored the United States to first place.

Ledecky fell narrowly short, though, as the US quartet took silver.


FINKE'S FINAL FLURRY

The opening race of the day produced a thrilling finish in the first men's 800m freestyle Olympics final, with Finke taking gold after turning on the jets late on.

Finke was seemingly not in contention after turning for the final 100m down in fifth and was still behind Germany's Florian Wellbrock, Italy's Gregorio Paltrinieri and Ukraine's Mykhailo Romanchuk on the turn for home.

But a sensational 26.39 split down the final stretch completed a stunning comeback to take gold for the United States ahead of Paltrinieri and Romanchuk.


NEW OLYMPIC RECORDS FOR ZHANG AND STUBBLETY-COOK

China's Zhang swam the third fastest time ever to take a dominant gold for China in the women's 200m butterfly.

Zhang hit the front early and never looked troubled en route to touching home first in a time of 2:03.86, a new Olympic record.

American duo Regan Smith and Hali Flickinger were second and third. Since 2012, the United States had landed a medal in every pool event bar the women's 200m butterfly, with this ending the longest medal drought in US swimming.

Stubblety-Cook took out the men's 200m breaststroke final thanks to a barnstorming last 50m.

The Australian moved into the top three at the 150m mark and powered home in a time of 2:06.38, beating Arno Kamminga and Matti Mattsson to top spot.

Japan remained top of the medal table at the Tokyo Olympics as they collected another three golds on day five.

Daiki Hashimoto, 19, was the standout performer as he secured a last-minute win in the men's all-around gymnastic final, with China's Ruoteng Xiao and the Russian Olympic Committee's pre-event favourite Nikita Nagornyy settling for silver and bronze.

That win took the host nation to 13 golds, with Chizuru Arai in the women's 70kg judo – their eighth medal in the sport at the Games so far – and Yui Ohashi in the women's 200m individual medley the other victors.

China pulled one clear of the United States as they also collected three golds on Wednesday. Shi Zhiyong broke his own world record to win the men's weightlifting 73kg event, while Wang Zongyuan and Xie Siyi brought China's third diving gold at the Games with victory in the men's synchronised 3m springboard final.

The USA had to settle for silver in China's diving win, though they did pick up gold in the debut 3-on-3 women's basketball event by defeating the Russian Olympic Committee.

Katie Ledecky and Erica Sullivan captured an American one-two in the women's 1500m freestyle meaning only Michael Phelps (13) has more individual Olympic success than Ledecky.

The Russian Olympic Committee remain fourth despite not winning gold on a frustrating day that saw them finish runners-up in both 3x3 basketball events and the men's 4x200m freestyle relay.

Australia enjoyed a memorable day in rowing as they battled to back-to-back golds in both the male and female coxless four, with Ariane Titmus setting a Games record in the women's 200m freestyle to move the Australians up to six golds.

Due to Australia's success on the water, Great Britain's dominant five-gold run in the men's coxless four that stretched back to Sydney 2000 came to an end, though they did collect a first silver medal in men's quad sculls.

Tom Dean, who won gold on Tuesday, was part of the men's 4x200m freestyle team that picked up Team GB's only gold of the day as they moved down to sixth place.

 

Page 3 of 7
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.