Tokyo 2020 Olympics briefing: the skateboarding kids are alright

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<span>Photograph: Lisi Niesner/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

Today in a nutshell: There was another world-record 400m hurdles, Kenya retained the men’s 800m, Andre De Grasse won the men’s 200m, Team GB won gold on horses and in boats, and at 13 Sky Brown became Britain’s youngest medallist of all time – but still wasn’t the youngest person on the skateboarding medal podium.

Tomorrow’s key moments: There’s the men’s hockey final, the men’s 10km swimming marathon, more skateboarding and sport climbing, and the conclusion of the heptathlon and decathlon in the athletics – but without Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Niklas Kaul, who both picked up injuries.

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Sydney McLaughlin wins the women&#x002019;s 400m hurdles final.
Sydney McLaughlin wins the women’s 400m hurdles final. Photograph: David J Phillip/AP

It was a one-two on the track in the women’s 400m hurdles for the US. Defending champion Dalilah Muhammad broke the world record … and finished second behind Sydney McLaughlin. Femke Bol of the Netherlands won bronze. Sean Ingle was there for us, and called it: the greatest race ever – part II.

Andre De Grasse of Canada outclassed the American sprinters in the men’s 200m, though. Kenny Bednarek and Noah Lyles had to content themselves with silver and bronze, respectively. The 26-year-old Canadian adds gold to the bronze he won in the 100m at the weekend, having run the eighth-fastest 200m in history at 19.62 seconds.

Andre De Grasse wins the men&#x002019;s 200m.
Andre De Grasse wins the men’s 200m. Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA

Countryman Damian Warner also had a great day, and is leading the decathlon at the halfway stage, tying his own world best in the 100 metres and bettering the Games’ previous best decathlon long jump with a leap that would have earned him bronze in the real thing. World champion Niklas Kaul of Germany left the track in a wheelchair, however, after sustaining an injury in the 400m.

Ben Maher won another gold for the British equestrian team on Explosion W as the individual jumping went to a six-rider jump-off. There were three Swedes involved, but only Peder Fredricson on All In ended up with a medal – the silver one. Maikel van der Vleuten of the Netherlands took bronze on Beauville Z. “He grew wings for me … He’s a real athlete, he’s not a normal horse,” said Maher. It’s surely not within the rules to field a flying horse?

Great Britain&#x002019;s Ben Maher riding Explosion W in the individual jumping.
Great Britain’s Ben Maher riding Explosion W in the individual jumping. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

There was also more gold for Britain in the sailing, as Hannah Mills became the most successful female Olympic sailor ever after the reigning champion and Eilidh McIntrye clinched the final sailing gold of the regatta in the women’s 470. Thirty-three-year-old Mills had said she and McIntyre were “feeling sick with nerves” as the final race approached. They finished fifth, but that was still enough to extend their lead. The Polish pair clinched silver with their finish, and France finished third.

Eilidh McIntyre (right) and Hannah Mills celebrate winning.
Eilidh McIntyre (right) and Hannah Mills celebrate winning. Photograph: Cj Gunther/EPA

Britain’s 13-year-old Sky Brown claimed a bronze medal in the women’s park skateboarding, and she wasn’t even the youngest person on the podium. There was a one-two for the hosts as the event was won by 19-year-old Sakura Yosozumi, with 12-year-old Kokona Hiraki in silver. Brown said: “I’m so stoked. I can’t believe it. It’s unbelievable. It’s like a dream.”

From left, silver medallist Kokona Hiraki, gold medallist Sakura Yosozumi, and bronze medallist Sky Brown of Britain.
From left, silver medallist Kokona Hiraki, gold medallist Sakura Yosozumi, and bronze medallist Sky Brown of Britain. Photograph: Ben Curtis/AP

Away from the sport, a plane carrying Belarusian Olympic sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who is seeking refuge from authorities in her home country, has landed in Austria. She is expected to travel on to Poland, which has issued her a humanitarian visa. The IOC says it will question two Belarus team officials who were allegedly involved in trying to remove a sprinter from the Games.

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The briefing’s picture of the day

It is an endurance event where you have to keep feeding and hydrating the athletes otherwise they risk collapsing. But in the sea. The women’s swimming marathon made for a spectacular early start to the day’s events in Tokyo. Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil took gold, defending champion Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands finished less than a second behind in silver. Australia’s Kareena Lee was third. “I didn’t plan it to happen this way, but I’m extremely happy,” said Cunha. Tom Dart was at Odaiba Marine Park for us and sent in this entertaining behind-the-scenes report.

The feeding pontoon during the women&#x002019;s 10km marathon swimming.
The feeding pontoon during the women’s 10km marathon swimming. Photograph: Patrick B Kraemer/EPA

You can see more of the best pictures from day 12 in our gallery.

🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧 Team GB update

In the boxing ring Ben Whittaker won an Olympic silver after losing a split decision to Cuba’s Arlen López in the men’s light-heavyweight final. López became a back-to-back Olympic champion – in two different weight categories.

Ben Whittaker (left) and Arlen L&#xf3;pez react to the judge&#x002019;s decision in the gold-medal bout.
Ben Whittaker (left) and Arlen López react to the judge’s decision in the gold-medal bout. Photograph: Buda Mendes/Reuters

Frazer Clarke’s bid to become the third successive Briton to reach the men’s super-heavyweight final was ended by defeat to Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalolov. He’ll have to settle for a bronze. Also with a guaranteed bronze in the bag, Galal Yafai will fight Kazakhstan’s Saken Bibossinov in the men’s flyweight semi-final tomorrow at 2.48pm in Japan.

Laura Muir is safely through to Friday’s women’s 1500m final, but Katarina Johnson-Thompson’s heptathlon bid is over in the cruellest way after she injured her right calf during the 200m. She hobbled home, but was then DQ’d for rolling out of her lane. The Netherlands’ Anouk Vetter led through the first day of competition, with Belgium’s Noor Vidts second and her compatriot, defending champion Nafissatou Thiam, third.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson of Britain after her injury.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson of Britain after her injury. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

It was also the end of the gold dream for the British women’s hockey team. They suffered a bruising 5-1 defeat to the Netherlands in the semi-final. They will now play India for bronze on Friday morning. Argentina defeated India to reach the final.

Hollie Pearne-Webb of Team GB sustains an injury during the women&#x002019;s semi-final of the hockey.
Hollie Pearne-Webb of Team GB sustains an injury during the women’s semi-final of the hockey. Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock

🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺 Australia update

Australia is edging towards its best ever Olympic performance, with a gold medal for Mathew Belcher and William Ryan in the men’s 470 class sailing taking the nation’s tally to 15 – just two short of the 17 collected at Athens in 2004.

Mathew Belcher (right) and Will Ryan celebrate after winning.
Mathew Belcher (right) and Will Ryan celebrate after winning. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

The cycling team rebounded from Alex Porter’s crash to win bronze in the men’s team pursuit.

However, the US have drawn first blood in the first of three encounters with Australia across two sports this week. Their historic unbeaten streak in women’s basketball continued, as the Americans eased past the Opals in their quarter-final. The men’s basketball teams will meet on Thursday afternoon in the semi-finals, and then Australia will face the USA for the bronze in the women’s football at 5pm.

🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 Team USA update

The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee rewards gold medal-winning Olympic athletes with a prize of $37,500. Tamyra Mensah-Stock already knows how she intends to spend her money after winning a wrestling gold medal with victory in the 68kg freestyle category on Tuesday. “I wanted to give my mom $30,000 so she can get a food truck. It’s her dream,” she said. “My mom’s getting her food truck! She’s going to have a little cooking business.”

🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵 The hosts and beyond

After day one of the women’s golf, Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom holds a surprise one-stroke lead after a five-under-par 66. She’s ranked 75 in the world. After the round she said: “I am very excited with the layouts, with my eye. And the greens are rolling phenomenally, which works with my putting too. It’s hot. I’m not going to lie. It’s very hot, but it’s manageable.” America’s world No 1 Nelly Korda is right behind her on four under, alongside India’s Aditi Ashok.

Madelene Sagstrom hits a tee shot on the 16th hole.
Madelene Sagstrom hits a tee shot on the 16th hole. Photograph: Andy Wong/AP

Uganda earned their first gold of the Games as Peruth Chemutai won the women’s 3000m steeplechase, adding to the silver and bronze her teammates had earned in the men’s 10,000m. Courtney Frerichs of the US ran a brave race trying to stretch the field from the front in the last three laps, but ended up with silver. Kenya’s Hyvin Kiyeng was third.

It was a Kenyan one-two in the men’s 800m, meanwhile. Australia’s Peter Bol made the big move to lead the pack, but couldn’t stop being overwhelmed on the final straight as Emmanuel Korir took gold and Ferguson Rotich silver. It’s the fourth straight Olympics that a Kenyan has won at the distance. Patryk Dobek, who only recently converted from being a 400m hurdler, secured Poland’s first individual running event medal since 1980 with his bronze. That Kenya kit still absolutely rocks.

The 800m finish.
The 800m finish. Photograph: Christian Bruna/EPA

Poland also enjoyed success in the men’s hammer. Rio bronze medallist Wojciech Nowicki traded up for gold. His compatriot and four-time world champion Pawel Fajdek was in bronze. Eivind Henriksen of Norway took silver.

There was a first medal for Syria at these Games, as Man Asaad won bronze in the men’s +109kg weightlifting. Georgia’s Lasha Talakhadze earned his country’s second gold of Tokyo, and Iran’s Ali Davoudi took silver.

People say artistic swimming isn’t a sport, but I’d like to see you pull this off in the local leisure centre. The medals today went to Svetlana Romashina and Svetlana Kolesnichenko of Not Russia in gold, with China in silver and Ukraine in bronze in the duet free routine.

Vasilina Khandoshka and Daria Kulagina of Belarus during their artistic swimming performance.
Vasilina Khandoshka and Daria Kulagina of Belarus during their artistic swimming performance. Photograph: Antonio Bronić/Reuters

We don’t get to the medal bit of the sport climbing until tomorrow, but it has certainly made an impact. Martin Farrer writes for us today that social media lit up and Google searches soared when it got started.

Jessica Pilz of Austria in action during qualification.
Jessica Pilz of Austria in action during qualification. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Did you know?

The modern pentathlon starts tomorrow with the ranking rounds for the fencing at 1pm for women and 4.30pm for men. It first appeared in the Games in 1912. It is meant to be based on the tradition of a contest in the ancient Olympics that consisted of running the length of the stadium, jumping, throwing the spear, throwing the discus and wrestling. Founder of the modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, said the modern pentathlon “tested a man’s moral qualities as much as his physical resources and skills, producing thereby the ideal, complete athlete”.

Key events for Thursday 5 August

Related: Tokyo 2020 Olympics: complete event schedule

All events are listed here in local Tokyo time. Add an hour for Sydney, subtract eight hours for Aberystwyth, 13 hours for New York and 16 hours for San Francisco.

🌟If you only watch one thing: 7pm Hockey – Australia and Belgium are going to battle it out in the final for gold. Australia last won it in 2004. Belgium have never won, but will be aiming to go one step better than their silver in Rio 🏑🥇

  • 6.30am Marathon swimming – it’s 10km of open water for the men, and I’m still tired from watching the women swim it late last night/early this morning 🥇

  • 7.30am Golf – day two of the women’s competition.

  • 9am-10.50am and 9pm-10.50pm Beach Volleyball – the women’s semi-finals are in the morning, the men’s semi-finals are the late night session.

  • 9am-3.05pm and 7pm-9.45pm Athletics – the main attractions in the stadium include the men’s triple jump final and men’s shot put final in the morning, when we also get the men’s 110m hurdles final at 11.55am. In the evening session, it is the women’s pole vault final and the men’s 400m final is at 9pm. Throughout the day there’s more heptathlon and decathlon, and those conclude with the women’s 800m heats and the men’s 1500m which round off the day 🥇

  • 9am-12.30 Skateboarding – the men go in the park event 🥇

  • 9.30am-1.05pm Canoe sprint – there are finals in the men’s kayak single at 11.42am, the women’s canoe single 200m at 11.57am, the women’s kayak single 500m at 12.29pm and the last race of the day is the men’s kayak double 1000m at 12.55pm 🥇

  • 1.15pm and 8pm Basketball – the men’s semi-finals. Team USA v Australia to start with, then the evening game is Slovenia v France.

  • 3pm Diving – the final of the women’s 10m platform 🥇

  • 3.30pm-6.50pm Track cycling – Thursday’s action features the women’s keirin final at 5.45pm and the conclusion of the men’s omnium at 5.55pm 🥇

  • 4.30pm Race walking – it’s the one where you end up shouting at the television: “Just run! Or walk! But not this! What even is this?” It’s in Sapporo to try to make it cooler for the men, who go over the 20km distance 🥇

  • 5pm Football – USA v Australia for the women’s bronze medal 🥉

  • 5pm and 9pm Handball – the men’s competition is at the semi-final stage: France v Egypt first then Spain v Denmark. It’s dead good. You should give watching it a go.

  • 5.30pm, 6.30pm and 9.10pm Sport climbing – it is medal time for the men 🥇

You can find our full interactive events schedule here. As well as letting you find out what is coming up, it also gives you the currents scores of the sports currently in action.

As it stands

With five medals today for Team GB and three for Australia, you imagine that officials at both national Olympic committees must be pinching themselves to be above Not Russia in the emoji table this deep into the Games. Here’s how it stood at 10.50pm Tokyo time:

1 🇨🇳 China 🥇 32 🥈 22 🥉 16 total: 70
2 🇺🇸 USA 🥇 25 🥈 31 🥉 23 total: 79
3 🇯🇵 Japan 🥇 21 🥈 7 🥉 12 total: 40
4 🇬🇧 Great Britain 🥇 15 🥈 18 🥉 15 total: 48
5 🇦🇺 Australia 🥇 15 🥈 4 🥉 17 total: 36
6 ◽️ Not Russia 🥇 14 🥈 21 🥉 18 total: 53
7 🇩🇪 Germany 🥇 8 🥈 8 🥉 16 total: 32
8 🇫🇷 France 🥇 6 🥈 10 🥉 9 total: 25
9 🇮🇹 Italy 🥇 6 🥈 9 🥉 15 total: 30
10 🇳🇱 Netherlands 🥇 6 🥈 8 🥉 9 total: 23

Get in touch

I had a question from Chris Heathcote, asking with all the new events, what had been dropped. The answer is not much. There was a re-jig in the canoeing to give parity to the women, introducing the C1 class for them and dropping one of the men’s competition, but the Olympics motto of “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together” also seems to always mean more.

In Tokyo there are 339 events in 50 sports in 20 disciplines, with surfing, skateboarding, karate and sport climbing added in. That’s up from Rio’s 302 events in 42 sports in 16 disciplines. It marks four decades of constant growth. The first time there were more than 200 events was Moscow in 1980. Paris 2024 is planned to be a similar size to Tokyo, though they will drop karate, and introduce competitive breakdancing in its place. It’s all a far cry from the 43 events in 1896 with everyone wearing cravats.

If you do have Olympics questions, you can get in touch with me at, and I’ll do my best to answer. I am a bit of an Olympics nerd, you may have noticed.

The last word

Alice Dearing after finishing the women&#x002019;s 10km swimming.
Alice Dearing after finishing the women’s 10km swimming. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

I’m pretty broken. It was really hard, a really tough race. I had a lot more to give than that, I’m better than that. It’s bittersweet. It’s incredible to race at the Olympics but I’m really disappointed with the result. I know I can do better. I want to go to Paris and have a better race, perform better than this. – Alice Dearing, who made history today as Britain’s first female black Olympic swimmer, finishing 19th in the 10km open water marathon.

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