Italians were elated and not a little stunned on Sunday as compatriots Lamont Marcell Jacobs and Gianmarco Tamberi claimed upset victories in sprint and high jump events at the Olympics. Jacobs won the men's 100 metres final to become the first Italian to take the most coveted title in athletics, while Tamberi shared the men's high jump gold. Until the Tokyo Olympics few Italians had even heard of Jacobs, who has made impressive progress over recent years and broke the European record twice on Sunday en route to victory.
Atsushi Oyanagi, 18, and a few other volunteers inside the Olympic baseball and softball stadium need sharp eyes, quick fingers and resilient ears for a job unlike any known outside of Japan. "I prefer they wouldn't put it in front of my head," quipped World Baseball Softball Confederation President Riccardo Fraccari after walking past the wrong spot at the wrong time on Sunday. It is just that at the spectator-less Olympics, the only ones to protect are Fraccari and no more than three dozen others, including journalists and fellow volunteers.
Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, the Greek brothers who helped the Milawaukee Bucks to their first NBA championship in 50 years last month, promised to take their trophy back to Sepolia, the run-down Athens neighbourhood where they grew up. Born in Greece to Nigerian immigrant parents, the Antetokounmpo brothers had to sell trinkets on the street to get by. "I am very, very happy that one of the biggest trophies in the world is in Greece right now," Giannis told a news conference during a visit to Athens with his brother alongside him.
Kenya's Ferguson Rotich cruised into the 800 metres final with the fastest run of the semi-final on Sunday, setting himself up as a strong contender to succeed compatriot David Rudisha as the new king of the event. Rotich, the 2019 world bronze medallist, clocked 1:44.04 and was so confident as he approached the end of his race that he looked behind to encourage those trailing him to keep up as he crossed the line. Another Kenyan, Emmanuel Korir, who came to Japan boasting this year's second-fastest run, also went through.
Defending Olympic champions Denmark finished as Group B winners despite crashing to a shock 33-30 loss to Sweden in the men's handball competition at the Yoyogi National Stadium on Sunday and will face Norway in the quarter-finals. In a rematch of their world championship final this year which the Danes won for their second straight title, it was Sweden who dictated terms as Jonathan Carlsbogard and Lukas Sandell scored six goals each to earn a measure of revenge.
You wonder whether in his more measured moments the Rassie Erasmus ever stops to consider all the sacrifice, cooperation and hard work that went into staging this Lions tour in South Africa, which has now descended into such acrimony. You wonder too whether the Springboks director of rugby remembers the name, Levan Maisashvili. The Georgian head coach remains in a Johannesburg hospital having contracted Covid-19 following the warm-up match against South Africa on July 2. On July 17 it was report
Lamont Marcell Jacobs became the first men's Olympic 100 metres champion of the post-Usain Bolt era on Sunday as high jumper Gianmarco Tamberi made it a double gold night for Italy with an emotional - and unusual - high jump victory. In a 20-minute stretch to remember, Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela also jumped a world record 15.67m to win the women's triple jump. The absence of three-times Olympic champion Bolt, who retired in 2017, meant the field was wide open for the coronation of a new fastest man on the planet, and long-shot Jacobs grabbed it with both hands.
At 43, New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard is nearly twice the average age of her Tokyo 2020 competitors. On Monday she will become the first openly transgender athlete to compete in an Olympics, and her participation has been as divisive an issue as whether the Games should have even gone ahead during a global pandemic. Hubbard was born male but changed her name eight years ago name and underwent hormone therapy to transition before resuming weightlifting, a sport she abandoned more than a decade ago.
Celtic’s dysfunctional state points to a club that has completely lost its wayAnge Postecoglou is not gregarious by nature but looks quietly troubled by what continues to transpire in front of him Celtic’s Tom Rogic and Carl Starfelt after their 2-1 defeat against Hearts at Tynecastle. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA
However, the two games were certainly not given equal billing by Arsenal when it came to the off-field messaging. The match day programme was largely focused on the men’s sides and its front cover referred to the women as ‘also playing today’, rather than labelling it as a double-header. That will frustrate many in the wider women’s game, who strive for more respect rather than being included as something of a token add-on. Nonetheless, it was a positive step for the women’s side to play at the