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Frazer Clarke wins super-heavyweight bronze, while Ben Whittaker claims light-heavyweight silver
Climbing: Team GB's Shauna Coxsey narrowly fails to qualify for place in final
The heir to Usain Bolt? Canada's Andre De Grasse wins men's 200m gold medal
For the second time in successive Olympic Games, Great Britain has the champion showjumper. Ben Maher did what Nick Skelton did in Rio and kept his nerve in the most nail-biting of circumstances to win Britain’s fourth individual showjumping gold. His was riding of faultless precision and speed, conducted under stomach-churning pressure. In the past he has described riding his horse Explosion W as being like driving a Ferrari. Against the clock, required to ride fast and accurately, it was clear what he meant: the horse appeared to have come straight from Silverstone.
“He grew wings for me out there,” he said. “I have had many good horses in my career but I won’t ride another one like him.”
For Maher it was a particularly sweet success. In January 2020 he had elective surgery to solve a problem in his spine that had long been troubling him. And the operation left him far from his athletic peak.
“I was unable to walk properly, put shoes on, do normal everyday things,” he said. “But the team I had around me got me fit. I was in the gym for nearly 12 weeks with a guy called Ed in America, because of Covid doing it on Zoom calls, really trying to retrain the muscles.”
The surgery was planned, to give him time to recover for the Games scheduled for the summer of 2020. But when they were postponed, he was able to benefit, ensuring he had returned to full fitness. And he needed to be. It was a most challenging course laid out in the broiling Tokyo heat. The fences, boldly decorated in local themes - all cherry blossom and sushi - hid real challenge behind their quaintness. Not least the model sumo wrestler squatting alongside one fence that had apparently scared a number of horses in qualification. Particularly as they had to approach him from behind.
Never mind the comic nature of the obstacles, the riders were required to go round without incurring any penalties if they wished to qualify for the podium shootout. Few managed it. Indeed it was too much for the first Brit round the course. Harry Charles was obliged to abandon his round after colliding with a fence, scattering poles across the sawdust. Scott Brash fared better, getting round without knocking anything over, but incurring a time penalty for being a little sedate. A penalty which precluded him from progressing.
It meant when Maher went out as the last rider, he was the only Brit still left in contention. He arrived in the arena on his twelve year old chestnut gelding and carefully, systematically investigated the course. He looked the master of all he surveyed. And when he set off, he went over every obstacle placed in front of him serenely, in time and without striking any.
Five other riders did the same. And it was now a simple process to determine the medals: each rider went round again and the one who did it quickest and with the fewest errors would take home gold. It was an equine penalty shoot out. One conducted on a foreshortened course, with half the fences removed and the turns tightened to increase the jeopardy. It was an absolute sprint. Japan’s Daisuke Fukushima, was the first rider out, heading round cleanly in just 43.76 seconds. His lead didn’t last long, however, Malin Barnyard-Johnsson of Sweden swishing round even quicker. She in turn was overtaken by her compatriot Peder Fredericson, who had won the silver medal behind Skelton in Rio. No-one was making a mistake out there. This was quality showjumping.
It meant Maher had to go for it. And he did. Explosion W lived up to his name, exploding over the fences, cleanly and effortlessly. Sprinting round the course in 37.85 seconds, he took the gold medal position, pushing Fredericson once more into second. Now he had to wait as first Henrik von Eckermann went for Sweden and Mikkel van der Vleuten for the Netherlands. But neither man could better Maher’s turbo-charged time. The gold was his.
It will match the one he won in London nine years ago, when he was part of the triumphant GB foursome that took the team title. That night the quartet were carried shoulder high by the delighted home crowd to the pub over the way from the Greenwich Park arena, where the celebrations went on for some time. For so long, in fact, they temporarily changed the name of the place to The Golden Saddle. Knowing that wasn’t going to happen in state-of-emergency Tokyo, Maher has plans for a return visit.
“I’ll go back to the pub when I get back home. I’ll go back for sure.”
Before that, however, is a more pressing appointment: he is getting married in two weeks to his fiancee, the American equestrian Sophie Gracida. He revealed he had spent much of his downtime in Tokyo sorting out arrangements, finalising the eve-of-wedding dinner only the day before he won gold.
“It crossed my mind that it will be a very good party if something went right this week,” he said of his nuptials. “We can look forward to that now.”
The wedding party will take place in Maher’s yard in Hertfordshire.
"Yeah, he’ll be there,” he said when asked if Explosion W would be attending. “But he’ll be in his stable, about fifty metres away.”
After what he delivered in the Tokyo Equestrian Centre frankly the horse deserves to be best man.
That's all for now
... but, if you're looking for more Olympics coverage, why not read about Andre De Grasse staking his claim as the heir to Usain Bolt?
Climbing finalists confirmed
... and, unfortunately for Team GB, Coxsey misses out after finishing 10th overall.
Janja Garnbret, Seo Chae-hyun, Miho Nonaka, Akiyo Noguchi, Brooke Raboutou, Jessica Pilz, Aleksandra Miroslaw and a reprieved Anouck Jaubert will compete for medals, with Jaubert swapping places with Viktoria Meshkova once more.
Japan's Akiyo Noguchi progresses
... as does Poland's Aleksandra Miroslaw. Joubert is bumped down the leaderboard, leaving Viktoria Meshkova in the qualification spots.
Coxsey gets 21+ moves
... and it may not be enough to take her through.
It was a good climb, but she lost her footing at a vital moment. She flashes a rueful smile at the camera as she makes her descent.
France's Anouck Jaubert looks set to reach final
... with Team GB's Shauna Coxsey up next. She needs a decent showing here to join the other finalists.
Japan's Miho Nonaka goes through
... after making 30+ moves, joining Seo, Raboutou and Pilz in the main event.
Three climbers through to final
It's been confirmed that Seo, Raboutou and Pilz have all done enough to put themselves in medal contention.
There are five qualification spots still up for grabs. Team GB fans will hope that Shauna Coxsey gets one of them.
Canada's Andre De Grasse has won the men's 200m final, with the USA's Kenny Bednarek and Noah Lyles coming second and third respectively.
Austria's Jessica Pilz goes second
... with 33+ moves, putting her just behind Seo.
South Korea's Seo Chae-hyun goes top of the leaderboard
... after showing ridiculous endurance and dexterity to get 40+ moves. She could have gone further, but just lost her grip.
... the basic point of the Lead event is to climb as high as possible within six minutes.
The more moves a climber makes, the better. Here's a quick refresher on the rules.
Mia Krampl into second place
... with the Slovenian climber making 26+ moves.
Kaplina gets 14+ moves
... and blows a kiss to the camera, because she won't be taking part in the final.
Meshkova currently top
Italy's Laura Rogora goes second on the Lead qualification board after an absolutely brutal climb, behind only Viktoria Meshkova of the Russian Olympic Committee.
Coxsey is yet to climb. The ROC's Yulia Kaplina is up next.
Over to the climbing
... where the Lead qualifier is about to commence.
Can Shauna Coxsey make it through to the final? Let's find out.
Heartbreak for Johnson-Thompson
... who pulled up injured in the 200m, effectively ending her heptathlon medal hopes.
Maher wins gold!
... with Van der Vleuten and Beauville Z only doing enough to claim bronze.
Fredricson and All In win silver, but were knocked off top spot by the exceptional Maher and Explosion W. They claim Team GB's 14th gold medal of the Games so far.
Von Eckermann in third place
... with a time of 39.71, knocking compatriot Baryard-Johnsson off the podium.
Fantastic ride from Maher!
Explosion W finishes with a time of 37.85, putting Maher ahead of Fredricson by the finest of margins.
Fredricson goes ahead
... with a time of 38.02, which is hugely impressive. Could that ride win him gold?
Baryard-Johnsson into gold medal position
... after registering a time of 40.76 with no penalties. That could well earn her a medal.
The jump-off begins
... and Japan's Daisuke Fukushima puts down a marker with a time of 43.76.
Shauna Coxsey did well in the bouldering, ending up fourth behind Slovenia's Janja Garnbret, the USA's Brooke Raboutou and Japan's Akiyo Noguchi.
That leaves her eighth overall and in the last qualification spot for the final. The Lead event is next up, so it's all to climb for.
Maher's done it!
Explosion W clears the final fence and it's a flawless round, meaning Maher will be in contention for a medal.
Maher up next
... can he secure a place in the jump-off atop Explosion W? It's nail-biting stuff.
Fifth rider with a clear round
The Netherlands' Maikel van der Vleuten is the latest to go through to the jump-off.
Scott Brash let down by time penalty
... the only thing which spoils an otherwise excellent ride.
That's another British rider out of contention.
Another rider in the jump-off
... and it's a Swedish competitor once again, this time Peder Fredricson.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson has dropped to fifth in the heptathlon standings after the shot put, but it's one of her weaker events and she now has the chance to make up ground on her rivals in the 200m.
Meanwhile, Team GB's Jodie Williams has qualified for the women's 400m final after running a personal best of 49.97secs.
Harry Charles forced into a retirement
... after Romeo 88 was thrown off by an early mistake.
Team GB's hopes now rest on the shoulders of Maher and Brash.
Malin Baryard-Johnsson in the jump-off
... after a flawless ride, giving Sweden another medal prospect.
Another clear round
... with Japan's Daisuke Fukushima securing a spot in the jump-off after an excellent ride.
Jim White with some extra perspective:
If you want an indication of how high these fences are, here's one of me giving them scale (I'm 5 ft 10 in).
Clear round for Henrik von Eckermann
... with the Swedish rider going straight to the top of the leaderboard. Masterful.
Jim White on novelty fences:
I walked round the course earlier, taking the chance to check out the fences at close quarters. I'm worried this one is going to scare many a horse into a refusal.
Japan's Koki Saito has just gone second with five penalties, behind O'Connor at the top.
Egypt's Mouda Zeyada is currently third on eight, while compatriot Nayel Nassar is fourth on 13 and Japan's Eiken Sato is down in fifth.
Laura Muir is through to the 1,500m final, but Katie Snowden has missed out.
... for Cian O'Connor, who clears all the fences and gets a single time penalty.
It's showjumping time
... with Japan's Eiken Sato picking up 16 penalties.
Team GB's Harry Charles, Ben Maher and Scott Brash are still to ride.
Can Snowden and Muir reach women's 1,500m final?
The semi-finals are now imminent, with the first five in each race qualifying along with the two fastest losers.
David Cosgrove is presiding over our dedicated athletics live blog, which can be found here.
Mills on sailing gold
Asked how it feels to be the most successful Olympic female sailor of all time, Hannah Mills tells the BBC: "Yeah, it's mad, it's absolutely mad. Growing up, I, like a lot of Olympians, dreamed of being here one day and standing on top of the podium.
"To do it twice, with Saskia [Clark] before and Eilidh this time, I've had two incredible crews to sail with and I just feel really lucky. The team around us here have been phenomenal."
Coxsey does well in qualifying
... just watching this is making us feel feeble. The strength and stamina involved is incredible.
Drama in the track cycling
... where Italy have just won an Olympic team pursuit title.
Thom Gibbs on Ben Whittaker's silver medal misery
When the dust settles and the small cut on his upper lip heals, Ben Whittaker may reflect on a creditable performance here at the Ryogoku Sumo Hall. Arlen Lopez won at middleweight at Rio 2016 and has classily sailed through three bouts en route to this final, winning unanimous points decisions in each.
A split decision, albeit by four judges to one, represents a small victory for Whittaker, a Wolverhampton native who moonlights as a musician under the name B£NZO. He hopes to turn professional after these Olympics and certainly has the charisma required, mugging for the camera during his walk to the ring then looking reassuringly calm and loose before the first bell.
His approach appeared to be containment. Lopez was kept at a respectful distance with Whittaker appearing vulnerable every time they tangled. The Brit grew more expansive in the final round, when patently needing a big finish. One huge uppercut missed narrowly and felt like the revelation of his secret weapon, perhaps designed to catch Lopez's tendency to sit low after attacks.
"I didn't have the right gameplan, he was a lot better than I thought," said Whittaker. "He's two-time gold medallist for a reason.
"I never thought I'd get the chance to fight him and it was a pleasure. Idols turn to rivals. I wouldn't say I was in awe of him but I really respected him. It was a weird one but he's a fantastic boxer, hopefully one day I get to see him again and right that wrong."
Still, it was the heartbreak of missing out on gold which was in the forefront of Whittaker's mind. "I truly woke up this morning and believed it was my time.
"I had the whole of the West Midlands behind me, Great Britain, and I just felt like a failure. I couldn't celebrate the silver at that time and I don't think I can just yet, but when I look back in a few years it'll probably be a great achievement, but I'm just so upset, I wanted that gold."
Among those consoling Whittaker was GB Boxing's captain Frazer Clarke, who won bronze before Whittaker's fight and was altogether happier with his day's work.
Clarke came out worst in the opening round of his super-heavyweight semi against Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov but rocked his opponent with a fierce straight left in the second round, leading to a standing eight count. Unfortunately Clarke sustained a cut above his right eye in the third, which a medic attempted to patch up twice before the fight was stopped.
"I'm an Olympic bronze medallist, I never saw that happening for me," said Clarke. "It's not the fairytale that I wanted but I'm proud of myself, it's a great effort.
"To get in there with one of the best, it's a pleasure and an honour for me. I'm proud of myself and the whole team.” Those words may ring hollow for one team-mate in particular.
The speed climbing is underway
Shauna Coxsey should be in action shortly.
Fair to say Ben Whittaker wasn't overjoyed with silver
One of this Games' most vocal fans
Frazer Clarke kept his bronze
"I'm gutted I couldn't do a bit more. Maybe, with the gameplan, I could have carried it out a bit better. But I'm proud of myself, proud of the whole team and I'm an Olympic bronze medallist... I gave my best and I'll be able to sleep at night."
Ben Whittaker on taking off his silver medal
Whittaker told BBC Sport: "I don't want to look like a baby or a spoilt brat, but I'm just so upset that I've not won gold. I feel like I've lost gold. I can't celebrate silver just yet.
"Wolverhampton's mayor, bless him, did a little video for me wishing me luck. He said that if I get the gold, I get the chain – I didn't get the gold so he can keep it for a bit. When I do go pro and I get a championship belt, hopefully, we can talk about this again."
Thom Gibbs on the boxing:
If Clarke looked chuffed with bronze earlier, Whittaker appeared devastated with silver. Tears of joy, maybe?
I'm off to find out in the mixed zone. Even forcing a split decision has to go down as a decent performance, though. That's the first time the judges have been anything but unanimous for Lopez in this competition.
Mills and McIntyre in the water
... and enjoying their aquatic celebrations.
Team GB now have 13 golds in total, with 18 silver and 15 bronze medals. That's not a bad haul.
Gold for Mills and McIntyre!
Team GB are now top of the sailing medals table at Tokyo 2020, with Mills and McIntyre winning the women's 470 class.
Poland claim silver, while France have to settle for bronze. What a race.
Meanwhile, in the sailing
... Team GB's Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre are still in an excellent position to win gold.
Poland and France are battling it out for silver and bronze. It's exciting, this.
Whittaker is continuing with the same strategy, boxing at distance and landing smart jabs.
It won't be enough over three rounds, unfortunately, with Lopez getting straight shots in and fighting more on the front foot. Lopez wins on points by split decision, meaning he takes gold and Whittaker takes silver.
Lopez's punching power is absolutely brutal, but Whittaker still looks agile and is boxing deftly at range.
Whittaker lands a beautiful left hook, jarring his opponent. Lopez is still ahead on the scorecard, however. Over to Thom Gibbs:
There's a reasonable amount of noise in here, several Cubans with loud voices and a smattering of quieter but still enthusiastic Brits.
Whittaker is hanging in there but looks to be playing a containment game. Will need something substantial in this final round.
Lopez hits Whittaker with a couple of body shots, but the British fighter uses his superior range to land several fast jabs.
Whittaker's quick feet are bamboozling his opponent, but Lopez is a constant danger and far more aggressive. The bell goes and it's close, but Lopez takes the round.
Whittaker up next
... and he's boxing for Olympic gold against Cuba's Arlen Lopez.
Both men shimmy smoothly into the ring, looking extremely self-assured. We're about to get underway here, but here's Thom Gibbs with his first impressions:
Whittaker has real presence. Definitely has one eye on his forthcoming professional career with his ringwalk, mugging for the camera and looking loose and relaxed in the ring.
Let's see how long it lasts against the favourite Lopez.
Clarke says contest was 'an honour'
"It's not the fairytale that I wanted but I'm proud of myself, I gave a great effort," Clarke tells the BBC after the fight.
"The last six months of my life, I've made more sacrifices than I've made in the last 18 years for boxing. To get in there with one of the best was a pleasure for me, an honour for me... I'm an Olympic bronze medallist, never could I see that for myself. Congratulations to Jalolov, he's a great fighter."
Clarke congratulates Jalolov
... with the two boxers hugging it out after the bout.
Clarke leaves the ring with a smile, even though his Olympics hasn't ended as he would have liked. Nonetheless, he's a deserved bronze medallist and fought bravely despite what was, in the end, a bad facial injury.
Clarke's cut has become a nasty gash and his face is covered in blood, but the referee is allowing it to continue.
He goes for the knockout but Jalolov dances away from him. The fight is stopped for a third time and it's all over. Jalolov wins and progresses to the gold medal bout, while Clarke wins bronze.
Here's Thom Gibbs' verdict:
No joy for Frazer Clarke in the men's super-heavyweight semis, he's been stopped by Uzbek Jalolov with a big cut above his right eye. It was a left hook which did the damage.
A shame, as he looked to be growing into the fight after a quiet first round. One combo early in the second visibly had Jalolov rocking.
Clarke doesn't look too crushed, bowing respectfully to the judges and embracing his opponent. He's been on the fringes of the Olympic boxing team since 2012, so will see bronze as a decent return.
It's cagey, but Jalolov catches Clarke with several counter strikes.
Clarke then lands a big punch and there's a standing count! Jalolov is okay to continue, but that should give Clarke some belief. He has Jalolov on the ropes before the bell, but, as expected, the cut on his eye has reopened.
Clarke is put on the back foot early on, fighting his way out of the corner but taking a few punches in the process.
Clarke comes back into it, forcing Jalolov back towards the ropes and catching him with a big right hand before the bell goes.
Jalolov enters the ring
... and he looks, frankly, terrifying.
Clarke walks out next, throwing shadow punches and smiling confidently. Good luck, Frazer.
An update from our man on the ground Thom Gibbs:
Good morning from what is comfortably the best sumo arena I've ever visited, Tokyo's Ryogoku Sumo Hall. Also, predictably, the only sumo arena I've ever visited.
Still, it's exciting to be here among the mix of traditional theatre style seats upstairs and enormous square viewing platforms down, presumably built to allow sumo wrestlers to watch their own sport.
Sumo sadly not taking place at this Games, but I can offer you some boxing. Two Brits in action this morning, first it's Frazer Clarke vs Bakhodir Jalolov in a super-heavyweight semi due just after seven UK time.
Then about 35 minutes later we have a guaranteed GB medal. Ben Whittaker faces Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light-heavyweight gold medal fight. Perhaps best to set your expectations to silver though, because Lopez is yet to lose a round on his route to the final.
Clarke caught a headbutt from Mourad Aliev in the last round
Clarke, who sustained a cut around his left eye, said: "I felt there was a couple of heads going in but whether it's intentional or not I don't know.
"I'm not going to stand here and say he did it on purpose because I'm sure he wouldn't have wanted his Olympics to end in the way they have.
"I told him to calm down because I've been in those situations before. The last thing I want him to do is damage his reputation or be rude to the judges and officials, because they are only doing their job."
An early boxing result
Morning all and welcome to the afternoon and evening session coverage on day 12. After 13-year-old Sky Brown became Britain's youngest ever Olympic medallist with bronze in the skateboarding, there are further medals up for grabs today.
In boxing, Ben Whittaker takes on Arlen Lopez of Cuba in the light-heavyweight gold medal match, while Frazer Clarke is guaranteed at least a bronze as he heads into a super-heavyweight semi-final against Bakhodir Jalolov of Uzbekistan.
After great success on the water on Tuesday, sailors Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre are guaranteed a medal in the 470 class when it concludes today. Luke Patience and Chris Grube are also in contention in the men's equivalent and sit fifth in the standings.
On the track, Katarina Johnson-Thompson will continue her heptathlon campaign which got underway this morning.
The world champion has battled back from the ruptured Achilles she suffered in December and had downplayed her chances. But she opened with a strong 100 metres hurdles, winning her heat in 13.27 seconds – her second fastest time ever.
In the high jump she cleared 1.86m – 12cm off her personal best – but was pictured having treatment between jumps and failed at 1.89m to leave her with 2138 points after two events, ahead of the 200m and shot put on Wednesday afternoon.
Defending champion Nafi Thiam jumped 1.92m to move 38 points ahead of Johnson-Thompson and 19 points in front of second-placed Erica Bougard of the USA.
Over in the velodrome, Katy Marchant is in the women's keirin first round while the men's individual sprint gets under way with Jason Kenny going in search of a record-breaking ninth Olympic medal for Britain.
In equestrian, Harry Charles will line up alongside Great Britain team-mates Ben Maher and Scott Brash in Wednesday's individual showjumping final after they all delivered qualification clear rounds.
The women's golf, meanwhile has got underway today with Mel Reid and Jodi Ewart Shadoff carrying British hopes in the individual strokeplay.