Team GB: Women’s hockey team hit back, Burgess misses canoeing bronze

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<span>Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA</span>
Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

Great Britain’s women’s hockey team got the defence of their title from Rio back on track after responding to an opening defeat by Germany with a 4-1 victory over South Africa.

The 2016 gold medallists fell behind to Nicole Walraven’s early goal, but Ellie Rayer inspired a concerted fightback. Rayer scored twice, while there were also goals for Laura Unsworth and Lily Owsley as Britain got their campaign off and running. Their next game is against India on Wednesday.

Related: Tokyo Olympics 2020: Magic Monday for Team GB, volleyball and more – live!

Great Britain’s men’s hockey team recorded a second successive win after defeating South Africa in their first pool game, seeing off Canada 3-1 at the Oi Hockey Stadium.

Sam Ward and Liam Ansell, scorers in the South Africa encounter, were once again on target. Ansell gave his team the lead before Ward struck, then Ansell’s second – it came after Canada had cut the deficit – eased any late nerves.

Meanwhile, there was heartbreak in the canoe slalom for Adam Burgess after the Briton finished 0.16sec off bronze medallist Sideris Tasiadis of Germany in an event won by Slovenia’s Benjamin Savsek.

“It was just a fight from top to bottom,” said Burgess. “I’m proud – I think I did a good job to hold the run together in the final and put something down on what is a really difficult course. I made the mistakes early on and it was getting more and more physical, harder and harder to hold it all together.”

Adam Burgess
Adam Burgess missed a medal by 0.16sec. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

There was disappointment too for Britain’s only fencer at the Games, Marcus Mepstead, who lost in the first round of the men’s individual foil to Egypt’s Mohamed Hamza.

The news was more promising in the boxing where Karriss Artingstall moved into the quarter-finals of the women’s featherweight category at Tokyo 2020 with a comprehensive unanimous decision win over third seed Jucielen Romeu.

The 26-year-old Briton, who overcame Botswana’s Keamogetse Kenosi at the weekend, won all three rounds on four of the five judges’ scorecards and two of the three on the other against her Brazilian opponent. Victory saw the Macclesfield boxer, who won bronze at the 2019 world championship, set up a clash with 2018 Commonwealth champion Skye Nicolson of Australia.

Artingstall said: “Seeds mean absolutely nothing to me, it’s a number. Ones, twos, threes whatever you want to call yourself until you get in that ring with me and beat me, I am not going to say you are better than me or you box better than me.

“I’ve not come across that girl who I just boxed there so for her to be the number three seed in my eyes, that meant absolutely nothing to me. I’m the bronze medallist in the Worlds so that makes me in my eyes number three.”

Galal Yafai started his second Olympics campaign by stopping Koryun Soghomonyan in the third round of their men’s flyweight competition. Yafai revealed he fought and beat the Armenian last month and will next face Zambia’s Patrick Chinyemba in the last-16.

Yafai, who reached the last-16 at the Rio Olympics five years ago, said: “Some days will be better than others, today was a good day for me, I still need to better myself in a few things but I’ll be better in the next one.

“I thought I was controlling it quite comfortably but he was catching me with some silly shots. Maybe I wasn’t as nervous going in because I fought him six weeks ago and beat him comfortably.”

Ireland’s Brendan Irvine was beaten 4-1 by Carlo Paalam of the Philippines in the same weight category, while Belfast’s Michaela Walsh bowed out of the women’s featherweight competition after a unanimous decision loss to Italy’s Irma Testa.

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