Jamaica’s national champion, Daniel Thomas-Dodd, could not throw her way into the finals of the Women’s Shot Put, and unfortunately failed to advance from the group stages.

The Indoor World Champion silver medalist threw a distance of 18.37m, in group B action of the qualifying round, but it was only good enough for sixth in her group.

Despite not achieving the qualifying mark, however, the athlete is delighted she was able to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games any at all.

For the 28-year-old a major goal had already been ticked off just by making it to the Games to showcase her talent, and she hopes it will pave the way for other young aspiring Jamaican athletes.

“I came to the 2020 Olympic Games to showcase my talent and also show the younger Jamaicans that they can do it too, they can do whatever they believe in. Unfortunately, I was unable to advance to the finals of the women's shot put. I have so much to be thankful for,” Thomas-Dodd shared via social media.

The second time Olympian reflected that she was close to stepping away from the circle for good a few years ago, but because of the strong support of her husband, now coach, she decided to stay with the sport. She revealed that the season was particularly challenging but that she has taken away a lot from it and it would only make her stronger.

"At this time a few years ago, I was so ready to hang up my throwing shoes but with the nudge and support of my husband now coach I continued and to this day he is my biggest support and motivation.

It has definitely been an up and down and unpredictable season which I have learned so much from. I am no doubt disappointed, however, I am also very grateful for this experience a second time around and If you know me you know that this will only make me stronger.”

The Commonwealth Champion ended by saying that her performance at the Games is not the best of what she can do and that she is not done yet.

China’s Lijiao Gong won the finals of the Women’s Shot Put with a distance of 20.58m, a new personal best. She was the only athlete that went over the 19m mark, Raven Saunders of the United States of America and Valerie Adams of New Zealand were second and third respectively.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many athletes have expressed their joy after competing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. They have done so through their social media pages and interviews.

 Antigua’s Joella Lloyd is one such athlete. She competed in the women’s 100 metres where she comfortably won heat 3 of the preliminary round in a time of 11.55 seconds. She then went on to finish 7th in heat1 with a slightly improved time of 11.54 seconds. That heat was won by the USA’s Teahna Daniels while Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith came second and Murielle Ahoure from the Ivory Coast finished third.

 Via her Instagram account, she posted a photo of herself waving at the start of her race with the caption, “Walking out and lining up for the 100m at the Tokyo Olympics was everything I dreamt it would be.”

 She then expressed gratitude to all those who supported her throughout the season.

 The caption ended, “All the love and encouragement has not gone unnoticed and I’m extremely grateful for it. It was a pleasure representing Antigua and the Vols on the big stage. Antigua, I love y’all plenty plenty and we’ll be back at it next year!”    

Decorated sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce insists she has plenty more left to give, despite heading toward an age that most runners are already retired.

Fraser-Pryce, now 34, entered the Tokyo Olympics as favourite for the 100m title but had to settle for second behind compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah.  In the 200m event, she finished just outside the medals in the fourth position behind Thompson-Herah, Namibia’s Christine Mboma, and the United States’ Gabrielle Thomas.

Despite admitting to some amount of disappointment, Fraser-Pryce who turns 35 at the end of the year expects to press on, for now.

“A lot of persons believe that you’ve reached a certain age, you’ve achieved so much, why do more?” Fraser Pryce said.

In Tokyo, the athlete won her fifth Olympic individual medal, two of which have been gold.  In addition, she has five individual World Championship gold medals.

“I believe there’s more to give.  As you can see, I ran 21.9, I ran 21.7 earlier at the Jamaica National Champions.  I ran 10.6, I’m still running 10.7s.  It just shows the power of God and the gift and the talent that I have been given.  When I’m ready when it’s time I’m hoping that someone along the way has been inspired."

The athlete has repeatedly said that she expects next year’s IAAF World Championships in Oregon to be her final major Games appearance.

World-record holders Florence Griffith-Joyner and Usain may have something to do with Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson Herah shattering the former's 33-year-old Olympic record over the 100m and becoming the world's fastest woman over the 200m.

Kevin Durant believes the United States are starting to become more comfortable as a team with the Olympic gold medal in their sights after surviving a stern test from Spain.

Durant was instrumental for Team USA, scoring 29 points as they claimed a 95-81 quarter-final victory at Tokyo 2020.

Gregg Popovich's team trailed narrowly after the first quarter and were then 10 points down in the second before finding their rhythm to go into the half tied.

They pulled away in the final two quarters to set up a last-four meeting with Australia, with Durant seemingly growing more confident Team USA will live up to expectations and seal the gold medal.


"WE'RE IN A GOOD SPOT"

Team USA were in a 39-29 hole with under three and a half minutes left in the second quarter, but then went on a 14-4 run to level matters at 43-43.

Durant felt avoiding going into the second half with a big deficit was critical and, according to the two-time NBA Finals MVP, a roster stacked with elite talent is gelling at the right time.

"We didn't want to go into the half down double digits. This team [Spain] runs their sets with precision, they run it with pace and then on the defensive side of the ball they do a good job of running and jumping and playing together on the defence," said Durant.

"So we knew we didn't want to get down big against this team.

"We're in a good spot right now. Guys are starting to understand their roles and just get more comfortable within the team.

"In this setting, it's always hard to get your footing as an individual player because you don't want to step on toes.

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

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

 

BOOMERS TO SPOIL THE PARTY?

An uneven exhibition schedule prior to the Games saw the USA lose to both Nigeria and Australia.

Australia were 91-83 victors last month and they have continued to impress since getting to Tokyo.

The Boomers set up a rematch with the gold medal favourites in fine style on Tuesday, sweeping aside Argentina 97-59 to secure their place in the semis.

Five Australia players reached double figures, Patty Mills leading the way with 18 points as he went three of four from beyond the arc.

SLOVENIA'S 'UNBELIEVABLE' ACHIEVEMENT

Slovenia were similarly dominant in seeing off Germany in their last-eight clash, easing to a 94-70 victory.

It means a battle between Durant and Co. and Slovenia superstar Luka Doncic for the gold medal is still very much a possibility.

Zoran Dragic was the star of the show against Germany, top-scoring with 27 points on 11 of 13 shooting, while Doncic added 20 of his own.

"It's unbelievable, a country of two million being top four in the world," Doncic said of Slovenia reaching the semis. "We already achieved a lot by just going to the Olympics, it was our first time in history."

Slovenia have never lost a competitive game in which Doncic has featured, if that run continues for two more games, they will be Olympic champions.

"It's going to be very, very hard," he added. "We've got some tough opponents but we're going to be ready, we've got nothing to lose and I hope we win two more."

France stand between Slovenia and a place in the final, having overcome Italy 84-75.

Rudy Gobert tallied 22 points and nine rebounds for France and Evan Fournier put up 21 to keep their hopes of repeating their preliminary round win over the USA in the final intact.

Jamaica’s Shadae Lawrence expressed satisfaction with her performance, despite not making it to the medal podium in the final of the Women’s Discus on Monday.

Lawrence made history by becoming the first-ever Jamaican woman to make an Olympic discus final.

She threw a distance of 62.27 metres in group A of the qualifying round to finish third and advance to the final. During the final, Lawrence fell just below her qualifying mark to throw 62.12 metres. That throw landed her a top-eight spot as she finished 7th.

The 25-year-old took to Instagram to share her gratitude and emotion. She posted a photo of her in the throwing circle along with a caption saying, “I want to thank God for bringing me this far. The journey was rough but he didn’t give me more than I could bear. The aim for this season was to make a top 8 finish at the Olympic Games. On the journey I found out I could do much more. A 7th place finish is what I’m blessed with and I am grateful”.

The second time Olympian went on to thank her coach, Julian Robison, whom she said believed in her from the start and never doubted her talent. She also thanked the University of South Florida where she attends school, for their support along her journey. Lawrence ended her caption by thanking her family for their support over the years and sent a special shout-out to her sister and mother.

The women’s discus was won by the USA’s Valarie Allman with a throw of 68.98. Silver went to Germany’s Kristen Pudenz and Cuba’s Yaime Perez gained bronze.

 

 

  

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.

The Belarusian sprinter who refused to board a flight home from Japan after allegedly being taken to the airport against her will is "safe" and being protected at a hotel, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, 24, was in Tokyo to contest the women's 200 metres and 4x400m relay events but was told to pack her things after publicly criticising her team's organisation on social media.

She claimed a Belarusian coach entered her for the relay despite her never racing in the event before, which she suggested was a result of members of the team being considered ineligible due to not completing enough doping tests.

The Belarus National Olympic Committee (NOC) said her withdrawal from competition was due to her "emotional, psychological state", but Tsimanouskaya insisted she was being forced to leave Tokyo "without my consent".

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 NOC.

Last December, IOC president Thomas Bach banned both men from attending the Games, declaring: "The IOC has come to the conclusion that it appears that the current leadership has not appropriately protected the Belarusian athletes from political discrimination within the NOC, their member federations or the sports movement."

Tsimanouskaya managed to alert police at the airport, and IOC spokesman Mark Adams later said at a news conference: "She assured us and has assured us that she feels safe and secure. She spent the night at an airport hotel in a safe and secure environment.

"The IOC and Tokyo 2020 will continue their conversations with her and the Japanese authorities to determine the next step in the upcoming days."

Tsimanouskaya has already been offered a visa by Poland.

Jamaica’s bold ambitions of chasing a double sprint sweep evaporated in unexpected fashion after 100m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson failed to advance from the heats.

It was, however, the way in which Jackson saw her bid for another individual medal slip away that left onlookers slack-jawed.  Competing in heat 5, the athlete, one of the fastest women in the event this year, seemed well in control of the race early on but began to cruise closer to the line.

The Jamaican was passed by Portugal’s Lorène Bazolo and also Italy’s Dalia Kaddari at the finish.  Kaddari finished third in 23.26, the same time as Jackson but advanced when the times were rounded down further.  With the heat being one of the slower events Jackson was also unable to advance as one of the fastest losers.  Jackson’s heat was won by the Bahamas’ Anthonique Strachan.

There was no such trouble for Jackson’s compatriot, defending Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah who advanced from heat 6 after finishing in third position.  The heat was won by Canada’s Crystal Emmanuel with Great Britain’s Beth Dobbin second.

100m silver medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce also advanced in comfortable fashion after winning heat 2 in 22.22.  Namibia’s Beatrice Masilingi was second in 22.63, with the Netherland’s Dafne Schippers also securing qualification with her third-place finish of 23.13.

The women’s semi-finals will take place on Monday at 5:25 am.

 

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."

After the high of winning three straight titles, Jamaica did not contest the final of the Olympic men’s 100m for the first time in two decades, as the event culminated on Sunday.

In the end, history was made as the title went to Italy’s Marcell Jacobs, which was the first time that country was winning the title.  At the starter blocks, however, the famous black, green, and gold gear, which has become synonymous with speed, particularly over the last decade, was nowhere to be seen.

The country’s two representatives in the event Yohan Blake and Oblique Seville exited the competition at the semi-final stage.  Seville failed to advance after finishing fourth in semi-final two, with a time of 10.09.  Blake saw his bid come to an end after finishing a disappointing 6th in semi-final 1, with a time of 10.14.  The country’s other entrant Tyquendo Tracey, Jamaica's national champion, pulled out of the competition before the heats after sustaining an injury.

It was a particularly disappointing end for Blake, likely to be in his final Olympics. For several years he was considered the heir apparent to compatriot Usain Bolt, who dominated the event for the last three editions, the first man in history to do so.  Blake has the second-fastest time ever run over the event (9.69) and finished just behind the great sprinter at the 2012 edition of the Games in London.

Since sustaining devastating hamstring injuries in 2013 and 2014, however, Blake has not come close to rediscovering his best form.  At the previous edition of the event in Rio 2016, he finished just outside the medals behind Canada's Andre De Grasse, the USA’s Justin Gatlin, and Bolt.

 

Decorated track and field icon Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce called being a part of a Jamaican clean sweep of the medals, for the second time at the Olympics, a blessing.

The two-time Olympic Champion released a statement on Instagram after winning the silver medal behind teammate Elaine Thompson-Herah in the Women’s 100 Metres at the Tokyo Olympics.

“I’m so grateful to be a part of this historic moment. Gracing the podium in a 1-2-3 sweep for Jamaica on two separate occasions is a tremendous blessing,” Fraser-Pryce said.

The trio of Fraser-Pryce, Thompson-Herah, and Shericka Jackson repeated the feat of herself, Sherone Simpson, and Kerron Stewart in Beijing 13 years ago, the only difference being on that occasion Simpson and Stewart shared the silver medal.

After thanking her friends, family, coach, and sponsors, Fraser-Pryce assured her fans that the job is not yet complete.

“I continue to keep my head in the game because there is still work to do.”

The multiple-time World Champion also offered some perspective on what legacy means to her.

“Legacy isn’t just about winning, it’s also about gracefully watching others shine too.”

Fraser-Pryce ended her statement by encouraging her fans to keep their spirits high for the 200 metres.

The heats of the women’s 200 metres begin on Sunday.

 

 

Rafa Mir believes he would fit in well at Atletico Madrid but will wait until after the Tokyo Olympics to discuss his future with Wolves.

The 24-year-old has failed to settle since moving to Molineux from Valencia in 2018 and has spent the last three seasons on loan with Las Palmas, Nottingham Forest and Huesca.

Mir has less than a year to run on his contract and has been touted as a target for LaLiga champions Atletico, who are seeking further back-up for first-choice striker Luis Suarez.

Reports in Spain on Sunday, meanwhile, suggest the former Barcelona youth product has been offered to the Catalan giants by agent Jorge Mendes.

And with his stock high after scoring a hat-trick for Spain in their Olympic quarter-final win against the Ivory Coast on Saturday, Mir is not ruling out a transfer before the window closes.

"Things are happening. I have not asked to know much until the Games are over," he told AS.

"We will see how things progress. I still have one more year at Wolverhampton and calmly we will decide what is best for me.

"I want to be at a place I'm happy, as I was at Huesca. I want to feel loved by the people and the club. With those ingredients I can play at my best.

"I arrived in England during a difficult situation and then I was injured for a couple of months. My level of English also isn't good, but it's been improving.

"English football is a style I like and that's why I chose to go there after Valencia. Things have not gone as I wanted but I think I can do well there. 

"I'm still young and have many more years of my career to go, so we'll see what happens."

Asked about the links with Atletico in particular, Mir added: "They are a great club. I think the way they play suits me very well because of my characteristics. We'll have to see.

"Right now I'm focused on the Games. When they come to an end then we will see."

 

Mir was brought on as a substitute against the Ivory Coast and forced extra time just 58 seconds after being introduced from the bench, netting from his first touch of the ball.

He added two more goals in the additional period to earn Spain a 5-2 win and set up a semi-final with competition hosts Japan in Saitama on Tuesday.

That made the Murcia-born forward the first player to score a hat-trick in a knockout-round game in the tournament since Beijing 2008.

"I'm very happy with those goals and to help the team progress," Mir said. "You wake up with the same desire and enthusiasm which we cam with, which is to get a medal. 

"I've had the matchball signed by all my colleagues. I have a space at home for all my football possessions, such as shirts and balls from other hat-tricks I've scored."

Mir scored 13 goals in 38 LaLiga appearances last season – only seven players netted more – but he could not prevent Huesca from suffering relegation to the second tier.

Those 13 goals came from 120 shots, including blocks, which was the third highest tally in the Spanish top flight last season after Karim Benzema (123) and Lionel Messi (196).

Kevin Durant believes Jayson Tatum will eventually claim the Team USA points record he just took from Carmelo Anthony.

In scoring 23 points in the United States' 119-84 win over the Czech Republic – a victory that secured their progression to the quarter-finals at Tokyo 2020 – Durant reached 354 in Olympic play.

He is now past Anthony (336) and will expect to stretch his advantage in pursuit of a third Games gold.

The three-pointer that took Durant to new heights gave Team USA their first lead midway through the second quarter, with the Brooklyn Nets forward leading his country's recovery from a slow start.

Tatum took control thereafter, though, finishing on a game-high 27 points.

The 23-year-old is appearing at his first Games but has 50 points through three appearances, prompting Durant to make a bold claim.

Appearing alongside Tatum in a post-game interview, Durant said: "This guy to the left, I think he's going to be the next one to break that record."

 

Tatum boosted his total with five-for-10 three-point shooting, as the United States made 20 shots from deep – tied for their third-most in an Olympic game.

Coach Gregg Popovich said of Tatum: "Obviously he's more confident but he makes better choices, decision-making wise.

"He attacks for himself and for a team-mate at the same time, and he didn't do that in the very beginning in the league; he was just a scorer.

"But now he's valuable because he does the other things. He's starting to rebound better. We're telling him that it's important, we're not that big and we do need him on the boards."

In the same news conference, Durant was asked again about his achievement in surpassing Anthony.

"You just think about all the players that played in this programme and [it is] pretty cool to be among names like that," he said.

"Carmelo is a guy that I played on two Olympic teams with and I've seen his approach to these games and I try to steal some of his techniques and approach.

"It's still pretty weird for me to do stuff like this because I play a team sport and I try my hardest to make it about the group.

"But it is special to do something like that and scoring is something that I've worked on my whole career and something that I've expanded my whole career, and to consistently do it is pretty cool."

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