1 Aug 2021

Today's sports news: What you need to know

6:33 am on 1 August 2021

Latest - Defending champion Elaine Thompson-Herah delivered the first seminal moment of the Olympic athletics programme when she became the second-fastest woman in history by leading a scorching Jamaican clean sweep of the 100 metres final.

Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah poses with the scoreboard as she celebrates after winning the women's 100m final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on July 31, 2021.

Photo: AFP

Jamaica may have fallen away in the men's 100 metres with the retirement of Usain Bolt, but they rule supreme on the women's side, repeating their clean sweep of 2008 and bagging gold for the fourth Games in a row.

Thomson-Herah's Olympic record time of 10.61 seconds has been bettered only by the late Florence Griffith-Joyner's 1988 world record of 10.49 - though the American also ran a 10.61.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who had been seeking a third gold in the event a the age of 34 after taking time out to have a baby, took silver in 10.74 with Shericka Jackson third in 10.76.

"I couldn't find the words. I screamed so loud because I was so happy," said Thompson-Herah, who will also attempt to retain her 200m title in Tokyo.

"Last month I didn't think I would stand here to retain my title. I've struggled with my (Achilles) injury for five years and for me to stay focused, hold my composure...there's nothing more to prove."

Britain's 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith, expected to be one of the main challengers in that race, failed to make the 100m final before announcing she had withdrawn from the Games due to a hamstring injury.

- Reuters

Poland surprise in first mixed relay on the track

Poland scored an upset win in the inaugural Olympic 4x400 metres mixed relay, with Dominican Republic picking up silver and the United States taking bronze.

(FromL)  Poland's Karol Zalewski, Poland's Justyna Swiety-Ersetic, Poland's Kajetan Duszynski and Poland's Natalia Kacmarek celebrate after winning the mixed 4x400m relay final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on July 31, 2021.

Photo: AFP

The Polish team, comprised of Karol Zalewski, Natalia Kaczmarek, Justyna Swiety-Ersetic and Kajetan Duszynski, put on a gutsy performance inside the fan-free Olympic Stadium after posting the fastest time in Friday's heats.

It was the first Olympic medal for all four team mates, who cheered and embraced as anchor leg runner Duszynski crossed the finish line in a time of three minutes and 9.87 seconds.

"I can't believe it. It is a dream since childhood. It has come true," Duszynski, 26, said after picking up Poland's first gold medal of the Tokyo Games.

The U.S. were the favourites after winning the event at the 2019 World Championships. But they almost did not make the final after they were disqualified for exchanging the baton outside the changeover zone in Friday's first round. Organisers later reinstated them, citing an official's error.

- Reuters

Nigerian sprinter thrown out of the Olympics for doping

Nigerian sprinter and 2008 Olympics long jump silver medallist Blessing Okagbare's Tokyo Games ended abruptly after she was provisionally suspended following a positive test for human growth hormone.

Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare reacts after winning her race in the women's 100m heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. -

Photo: AFP

The 32-year-old, who has also won world championship medals in the 200m and long jump and is competing in her fourth Olympics, had comfortably won her 100m heat in Tokyo with a time of 11.05 seconds, qualifying for Saturday's semi-finals.

She was also due to compete in the 200m as well as the 4X100m relay.

"The athlete was notified of the adverse analytical finding and of her provisional suspension this morning in Tokyo," the Athletics Integrity Unit said.

The unit said she tested positive in an out-of-competition test on July 19 and was informed of her suspension on Saturday.

- Reuters

Bencic claims tennis gold, while Djokovic leaves empty-handed

Belinda Bencic became the first Swiss woman to win a tennis gold medal at the Olympics with a victory in the singles final, while Novak Djokovic went home empty-handed for the third successive Games.

Gold medallist Switzerland's Belinda Bencic poses with her medal during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games women's singles tennis medal ceremony at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo on July 31, 2021.

Photo: AFP

Djokovic withdrew from his mixed doubles contest with a shoulder injury shortly after being beaten 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3 by Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta in the singles bronze-medal match.

World number 12 Bencic outlasted Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 7-5 2-6 6-3 in a nervy final to become the first Swiss to win an Olympic singles title since Marc Rosset won the men's event in 1992.

Bencic dedicated her win to former Swiss number ones Roger Federer and Martina Hingis as neither player ever won a singles gold at the Olympics.

"I think I accomplished it for them (Federer and Hingis)," she told reporters.

Bencic could claim another gold in Tokyo as she and Viktorija Golubic will take on Czech top seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova in the women's doubles final on Sunday.

- Reuters

American golfer clings to lead in Tokyo

Xander Schauffele shot a third-round 68 to hold onto a one-stroke lead heading into the final round at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics tournament at Kasumigaseki Country Club.

USA's Xander Schauffele reacts after finishing round 3 of the men's golf individual stroke play during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe on July 31, 2021.

Photo: AFP

Home favorite Hideki Matsuyama is hot on his heels in second place after finishing the weather-delayed second round at 7-under 64 and then shooting a 67 in the third round.

Matsuyama, who won the Masters in April despite a challenge from Schauffele, expects a tough final round on Sunday.

"I played with Xander in the third and fourth day together at the Masters," Matsuyama said. "I'm sure Xander will come out determined to win the gold medal tomorrow, so hopefully on my end too I'm going to come out strong on the mental side."

New Zealand's Ryan Fox is tied for 55th place at two-over par.

- Reuters

37-year-old wins Olympic weightlifting gold

China's Lyu Xiaojun became the oldest man to win an Olympic gold medal in weightlifting when he claimed the 81kg title although he failed to break his own world record.

China's Lyu Xiaojun competes in the men's 81kg weightlifting competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo International Forum in Tokyo on July 31, 2021.

Photo: AFP

The 37-year-old lifted a combined 374kg, falling short of the 378kg he set to win gold at the 2019 world championships in Pattaya, Thailand, but did set an Olympic record for all three categories of snatch, clean & jerk and thus also the total.

Lyu won gold in the men's 77kg category at the 2012 London Games and silver in the same class at Rio 2016.

Dominican Republic's Zacarias Bonnat Michel, lifted 367kg in total, to claim silver with Italy's Antonino Pizzolato taking the bronze with a 365kg total.

New Zealand's Cameron McTaggart finished 11th with a total of 315kg.

- Reuters

Hamilton secures pole in Hungary despite boos

Seven times Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton said booing from the crowd only fuelled his determination after he took pole position in qualifying for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton.


The Mercedes driver is locked in a fierce battle with Red Bull's world championship leader Max Verstappen, with passions running high after their collision at the previous race.

Plenty of Verstappen fans have made their way to Hungary for Sunday's showdown, the last before the August break, and social media posts showed one orange banner hanging from a stand declaring "Sir Cheat: Karma is on its way"

Hamilton was recently knighted in Britain.

"I appreciate the great support I have here," said the sport's most successful driver of all time, smiling.

"Honestly, I've never actually felt so great with the booing. If anything, it just fuels me. So I don't really mind."

Hamilton will start alongside his Mercedes teammates Valtteri Bottas on the front row of the grid, with Verstappen qualifying third.

- Reuters