Tokyo 2020 Olympics: heptathlon glory for Thiam, Belgium win hockey – live! | Sport
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I really like this. Paul Haynes has suggested a new multi-sport event comprised of events that featured at past Olympics but are no longer included.
A showcase of Olympics past (individual and team):
Tug of war
Jeu de paume
It might also take the pressure off the Olympics committee for getting rid of sports, knowing that they can include them in a future version of the showcase discipline.
Not only has Paul come up with a great idea there, but he’s also worked out how to persuade the IOC. Brilliant.
It’s the perfect place to hear about the day’s action – with sections devoted to Team GB, USA, Australia and the hosts – and it also serves as a great preview for what’s happening next in Tokyo.
Martin has included this great story in his email today:
Having finished second in their semi-final at the 1900 Olympics, Dutch rowers François Brandt and Roelof Klein figured the only advantage they could get for the final would be to ditch their adult cox for a smaller one, and recruited a random French kid to steer their boat in the final. They won, and that child is now believed to be the youngest Olympic champion ever – with a photo of the three of them together suggesting he may potentially have been as young as seven. Nobody ever recorded who he was, and the medals are now credited to the “mixed Olympic team” rather than the Dutch.
Read the email to see the picture of the seven-year-old champion.
Ralph Silva has emailed to suggest his own multi-sport event. He even has a name for it: the Urban Pentathlon
How about a 21st-century update to the modern pentathlon? Comprised of skateboarding, BMX freestyle, parkour, bouldering and an e-sport (though I doubt the IOC would welcome the last one).
I think there’s something in this. Thanks Ralph.
How does it feel to win an Olympic medal? Noah Lyles, bronze medallist in the 200 metres, has an answer.
Does the Olympics need a new multi-sport event?
Matthew Pinsent – who, it should be said, only even won medals in one event – has had a brainwave. He wants a more varied event that would test athletes in all sorts of ways. He has suggested his own “weird octathon” – a name I like.
Pinsent has a point. The decathlon and heptathlon are variations on a few themes, and the triathlon only has three disciplines. So, which disciplines should be included in our new multi-sport Olympic event? Drop me an email and I’ll do all I can to ensure your suggestions are included at Paris 2024.
Who would want to learn life lessons from people who are both younger and more talented than you? Not me. But even I enjoyed this. And it’s true; this has been a spectacular summer for sport and its broader impact.
My colleague Tumaini Carayol was at the Budokan arena today to watch the karate. It sounds fascinating.
Tucked away in the heart of Kitanomaru park, built on ancient Edo period castle grounds and a leisurely walk from the Imperial Palace, the Nippon Budokan sits handsomely. The Budokan, as it is known, has had so many uses over the years, from Led Zeppelin concerts to Muhammad Ali’s famed hybrid rules fight with Antonio Inoki, that it is often difficult to keep track.
But in a world of failed Olympic legacies and discarded stadiums, its initial reason for existence remains relevant as ever. The arena was built just in time for the 1964 Olympics, when it was the first site of judo’s enduring presence in the Games. It has, in its time, become an iconic venue for martial arts. On Wednesday, it assumed a similar role as in 1964 by welcoming karate into the Olympic Games.
The island of Okinawa in Japan is where karate’s heart resides and its first Olympic showcase is a consequence of its popularity here. Over the final days of the Olympics two distinctive styles are on show. In the kata, as demonstrated in the early rounds of the women’s competition on Thursday morning, the karatekas choose from 102 predetermined series of techniques and then perform them with as much precision and dynamism as they can.
What seems difficult to follow in theory is relatively easy. The two outstanding performers were instantly clear, with the precision and speed of Japan’s Kiyou Shimizu instantly distinguishing her in her pool. She was joined in the final by the dominant power of Sandra Sánchez, the 39-year-old undisputed number one who is widely considered the greatest of all time in her category and who duly clinched the gold medal.
I meant to mention this fact about Kirani James – who won a bronze medal in the 400 metres today – but totally forgot about it amid all the excitement. Thankfully, Rakesh Nag has emailed and reminded me:
Kirani James won gold in London 2012, silver in Rio 2016 and bronze in Tokyo 2020. These are the only medals won by Grenada in the Olympics so far.
Alessandra Perilli has achieved a similar feat in this Olympics (winning all two of San Marino’s medals), but she won the silver in a mixed event – so does not have the 100% claim! San Marino now has the highest number of medals per capita – although being the country with smallest population to win a medal and then winning a second two days later, it was inevitable!
Thanks for that, Rakesh. Perilli won the team medal alongside her countryman Gian Marco Berti, who is a lawyer as well as a shooter. When asked about how his colleagues would react to his silver medal, Berti replied: “Lawyers are jealous people so they will probably not say anything about it.”
Some news that you might have missed earlier. The women’s football final between Sweden and Canada, which was meant to be played at 11am local time tomorrow, has been pushed back to 9pm local time. That’s 1pm in the UK.
The last line in our story is one of the most interesting: It is believed the 11am kick-off was picked at the behest of broadcasters in the US who were keen to show the final on prime time TV were the nation’s world champions to have reached the gold-medal match.
Argh. Him again. The loser of the US presidential election has attacked the team who won bronze at the Olympics.
Donald Trump, who spent significant portions of his presidency criticising athletes, has been strangely quiet during the Tokyo Olympics. But on Thursday he popped up to take aim at one of his favourite targets: the US women’s national soccer team.
“If our soccer team, headed by a radical group of Leftist Maniacs, wasn’t woke, they would have won the Gold Medal instead of the Bronze,” Trump said in a statement that failed to explain why Canada, whose team have spent much of the last week showing support for their non-binary and trans midfielder Quinn, are in the gold medal match.
This story is proving to be very popular on our website. USA did not qualify for the 4x100m relay final and Carl Lewis did not sympathise.
The USA team did everything wrong in the men’s relay. The passing system is wrong, athletes running the wrong legs, and it was clear that there was no leadership. It was a total embarrassment.
This was a football coach taking a team to the Super Bowl and losing 99-0 because they were completely ill-prepared. It’s unacceptable. It’s so disheartening to see this because it’s people’s lives. We’re just playing games with people’s lives. That’s why I’m so upset. It’s totally avoidable. And America is sitting there rooting for the United States and then they have this clown show. I can’t take it anymore. It’s just unacceptable. It is not hard to do the relay.
An email from Nicholas Tilson, on a rare achievement for France.
France have managed to qualify teams in the men’s handball, basketball and volleyball finals. This is the first time this has happened since the Soviet Union did it in 1988. To add to that, the women’s handball and basketball teams play their semi-finals tomorrow.
A great spot from Nicholas. France will playing Denmark in the handball final, USA in the basketball final, and the ROC in the volleyball final. Chapeau!
Volleyball: Here are some results from the various volleyball events at the Games.
France will play the ROC in the final of the men’s indoor event. France beat Argentina in straight sets today after the ROC had knocked out the defending champions Brazil. The final (and the bronze-medal match between Argentina and Brazil) will be held on Saturday.
The semi-finals of the women’s event will take place tomorrow: Brazil v South Korea and Serbia v USA.
The semi-finals of the men’s beach volleyball were played today. Norway beat Latvia, and the ROC beat Qatar. So, the final on Saturday pits Norway against the ROC, leaving Latvia and Qatar to battle it out for bronze.
It has been a very good day for Australia, who are currently winning the battle for the top four in the medal table.
Your friend and mine, Gary Naylor, has been in touch about the toughest sports for commentators:
Hi Paul. Commentating on the Points Race in the velodrome can’t be easy – I’m not sure the competitors are entirely on top of what’s going on.
Congratulations to Australia, who have equalled their best ever performance at the Olympics with three days of competition still to come.
They’ve won 17 gold medals so far, the same as their total at the Athens Games in 2004. They’re now fourth on the medal table behind China (34 golds), USA (29 golds) and Japan (22 golds).
I’ll let you into a secret. I’m writing a big Olympics quiz, which we will publish early next week. One of the questions will be about the age difference between the youngest and oldest medallists at these Games. If you read this article by Martin Belam, you’ll probably get the answer right.
Want to contribute to my quiz? Send me an email with your best Tokyo 2020 trivia.
We were having a debate on the liveblog earlier this week about the toughest events at the Olympics. How about a slightly different question today: which event do you think would be the most difficult to commentate on?
I bring this up as I’m currently watching some Kata – one of the two types of karate at the Games – and it’s not easy to work out who is doing it well and who is doing it badly. They all look very impressive so I’m just going to assume they’re as incredible as each other.
Commentating on the swimming marathon must be tricky too. Not only because it’s hard to work out who is who in the water, but also because the swimmers are in the water for a long time without much changing. It has the drinks breaks to break up the action but, other than that, the commentator has to talk around the subject for extended periods. At one point during the women’s race the other night, one commentator segued into a discussion about his favourite sushi restaurants.
Have an opinion? Drop me an email at Paul.Campbell@theguardian.com
An exhausted, emotional and victorious Nafi Thiam has been describing how she feels after winning gold in the heptathlon.
I’m still in shock. it’s been two difficult years with a lot of up and downs and physical problems and in my head I wasn’t always in the right place. I’m happy, it’s paid off in the end and now I want to enjoy my holidays I think I need some time off. I’m just exhausted. I don’t really have the words right now.
Here’s a little trivia about Thiam: she studied geography at the University of Liège. This is what she said about her choice of subject: “I like climatology, I like geomorphology, I like a lot of subjects – like a heptathlon. Maybe that’s why I love it.”
Dallas Oberholzer is a 46-year-old Olympic skateboarder who previously worked as Janet Jackson’s chauffeur and was once nearly eaten by a jaguar in the Amazon. If that doesn’t suck you in, we’re done here.
Basketball: USA will play France in the final of the men’s basketball.
France have beaten Slovenia 90-89 to set up a final against USA on Saturday. They are now guaranteed at least a silver medal.
USA overcame Australia 97-78 earlier today, although it wasn’t as simple as it sounds. They were 15 points behind in the second quarter before storming back thanks to fine performances from Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. Slovenia will play Australia for a bronze medal on Saturday.
Our reporter Kieran Pender watched USA win earlier:
Holly Bradshaw – who has gone from beans to bronze – has been talking to the BBC about winning an Olympic medal in the pole vault.
This is what I’ve worked for my whole career. I’ve had so many ups and downs. It’s something that I’ve wanted so bad and it’s finally happened. It’s not sunk in. I don’t know what to say. I’m almost emotionless because I don’t know what emotion this is that I’m feeling. It’s relief, pure enjoyment and excitement. I’m proud of myself for sticking with it. I knew I could get there one day and I just can’t express how grateful I am to be involved in this sport and to finally get an Olympic medal, I can’t believe it.”
I absolutely love this line: “I’m almost emotionless because I don’t know what emotion this is that I’m feeling.” That sounds like a great song lyric.
Risako Kawai has won another gold for Japan!
Risako Kawai, the defending Olympic champion and three-time world champion, has beaten Iryna Kurachkina of Belarus 5-0 in the 57kg wrestling final. She becomes just the third female wrestler to have won multiple Olympic gold medals. Her sister, Yukako Kawai, won gold in the 62kg division yesterday.
Holly Bradshaw won an Olympic medal for her country today in Tokyo. A year ago she was training at home during lockdown with what looks like a tin of beans attached to a pole.
I don’t know who is laughing at the decathletes – not me – but Thomas Atkins – has emailed to defend them:
Everyone likes to laugh at the big lummoxes lumbering round the 1,500m at the end of the decathlon, but these people are running 1,500m at 3km/min pace (the max setting on most treadmills – a speed I can just about manage for about 30 seconds at a flat-out sprint) after having done nine other events to elite standard. It’s an absolutely astonishing piece of athleticism, endurance and sheer will.
I agree Thomas, 100%.
Damian Warner wins gold for Canada in the men’s decathlon!
That was brilliant from Damian Warner. Not only has he won gold but he has also set a new Olympic record and broken the 9,000-point barrier! 9,018 points!
This gold medal has been some time coming after winning bronze at the Olympics in Rio in 2016, as well as bronze (2013), silver (2015), and bronze (2019) in the World Championships.
In case you were hoping to see Katarina Johnson-Thompson on the podium in the heptathlon, she had to pull out of the event yesterday due to injury.
Women’s heptathlon: Nafissatou Thiam retains her gold medal!
Thiam has won gold for Belgium (6791 points), with Anouk Vetter (6689) and Emma Oosterwegel (6590) – both from the Netherlands – reaching the podium.
Noor Vidts (6571) missed out on a bronze medal by just 19 points. Argh. That’s gutting for the Belgian.
Athletics: We’ve also reached the last event of the women’s heptathlon. For the record, here are the seven disciplines.
With only the 800m to go, Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium is the lead.
Men’s decathlon: It looks as if Damian Warner will be winning gold in the decathlon. With nine of the 10 events gone, the Canadian has a handsome lead.
The last event – the 1,500m – is coming up in 15 minutes or so. In case you were wondering – I always forget during the Olympic cycle – the 10 events are…
110 metres hurdles
While we’ve been enjoying the men’s 400 metres, a few big events have been taking place elsewhere in Tokyo.
Beach volleyball: the first of the men’s semi-finals has begun at Shiokaze Park. Norway are a set up against Latvia. The second semi-final, between Qatar and ROC, will be coming up straight after as the teams compete for a place in the final on Saturday.
Handball: Spain and Denmark are currently competing for a place in the men’s handball final. Denmark have taken an early lead in that match. France beat Egypt 27-23 earlier in the other semi-final.
Indoor volleyball: the second semi-final in the men’s indoor volleyball has also begun. France are playing Argentina for the chance to face ROC in the final. They beat the favourites, Brazil, three sets to one in the other semi-final earlier today.
Wrestling: Kawai Risako of Japan and Iryna Kurachkina of Belarus are fighting it out for a gold medal in the 57kg women’s wrestling. The hosts will be hoping for another gold medal there.
It’s all go in Tokyo.
Men’s 400m: Here are the full results:
Steven Gardiner 43.85
Anthony José Zambrano 44.08
Kirani James 44.19
Michael Cherry 44.21
Michael Norman 44.31
Christopher Taylor 44.79
Isaac Makwala 44.94
Liemarvin Bonevacia 45.07
Just in case you were wondering, Wayde van Niekerk, who set a world record of 43.03 in the 400m final in Rio five years ago, was not in the final. He has struggled with a series of injuries since tearing his anterior cruciate knee ligament in 2017. He finished fourth in his semi-final, which wasn’t enough to reach today’s final.
Steven Gardiner, the reigning world champion, took gold. With Shaunae Miller-Uibo hoping to retain her women’s 400m title from Rio five years ago, the Bahamas could be on course for a spectacular double.
Kirani James had been the quickest semi-finalists with a very fast time of 43.88 – which would have been enough for a silver medal in the final – but he had to settle for bronze behind Anthony José Zambrano of Colombia.
The two Americans – Michael Cherry and Michael Norman – finished just outside of the medals.
Sayōnara everybody: After a fairly hectic few hours, it’s time for me to plunge myself into an ice bath. Thanks for your company and I’ll leave you in the very capable hands of Paul Campbell, who tells me he is feeling very Olympic today.
Men’s hockey: Australia suffered shoot-out heartbreak in their gold medal match against Belgium at the Oi Stadium. Kieran Pender was there for the Guardian.
Athletics: Steven Gardiner adds the Olympic 400m gold to his world title. Michael Norman made all the early running for the USA but faded on the run-in to finish fifth. His compatriot Michael Cherry ran a personal best in fourth place.
Athletics: The man from the Bahamas looked in trouble in the home straight but pulled a little extra out of the bag to win in a time of 43.85sec.
Athletics: There’s barely a pause for breath as the competitors for the men’s 400m final are introduced and get on their marks.
Philippe speaks the truth. While Sidorova was preparing for her only attempt at 4.95m, Nageotte joined in the rhythmic clapping to help send her on her way up the runway.
Athletics: With two faults to her name from earlier rounds, Sidorova fails with her only attempt at 4.95m. She has to settle for silver, while AMerican Katie Nageotte wins the gold medal.
Athletics: Bradshaw will take the bronze. She’s failed with her third attempt at 4.90m but looks delighted with her day’s work. Sidorova and Nageotte will contest gold and silver with the bar raised to 4.95cm.
Athletics: Bradshaw fails to clear 4.90m with her second attempt. America’s Katie Nageotte clears it to vault into the lead. Holly Bradshaw has been demoted to bronze for the time being. ROC’s Anzhelika Sidorova is the other athlete in the medal mix.
Athletics: Great Britain’s Holly Bradshaw is currently in second place in the women’s pole vault, while Greek reigning champion Katerina Stefanidi has just gone out. Bradshaw is guaranteed a medal … but what colour will it be? 4.90m is the height.
Jake Whetton misses his shot at redemption and the Autralians have been beaten. Belgium win the gold medal, Australia have to make do with silver. That was very exciting.
Jake Whetton gets to retake his penalty for an unintentional foul by Vincent Vanasch, who looks gutted.
Or do they? The European side beat their Antipodean rivals in the shoot-out … but what’s this? There’s some dispute over Australia’s final missed “penalty”. Did Belgium goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch foul Jake Whetton?
Men’s hockey: Belgium mniss with their thirtd attempt, with Aussie goalkeeper Andrew Charter pulling off a save. Australia fail to capitalise, with Joshua Simmons missing their fourth pen.
Men’s hockey: Belgium have the upper hand in the shootout against Australia, who missed with their first attempt. Belgium have scored their first two.
Skateboarding: A few minutes after he had finished skating in the Olympics, Dallas Oberholzer, 46, from Durban, South Africa, launched into a story about the time he was nearly eaten by a jaguar while he was travelling in the Amazon, writes Andy Bull. Read on … because you have to really after an opening paragraph like that.
Men’s hockey: It’s all square between Australia and Belgium at the full-time hooter. Having scored one goal apiece, the gold medal match will be decided by a shoot-out. Five players from each team will have eight seconds to score against the opposition goalkeeper from a starting position on the 23 metre line.
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