It’s finally happening: Tokyo will welcome the summer Olympic Games from July 23 to August 8 and will be the “best ever prepared” host city, according to Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee. The competition, originally scheduled for 2020, was postponed due to Covid-19.
As part of the drastic measures taken to curb the spread of the disease, events will take place entirely behind closed doors in the Japanese capital, which has declared a state of emergency over the pandemic. These exceptional Olympic games will also feature new sports such as surfing, karate, skateboarding, rock climbing and baseball/softball.
US star runner Grant Holloway suffers shocking loss in Olympics hurdles race
Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment (L) crosses the finish line to win ahead of second-placed USA’s Grant Holloway (R) and third-placed Jamaica’s Ronald Levy (C) in the men’s 110m hurdles final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic stadium in Tokyo on August 5, 2021 © Jewel Samad / AFP
The USA suffered deep disappointment on the track at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday while Australian teen Keegan Palmer flew to a stunning skateboarding gold medal.
The USA men’s basketball team beat Australia 97-78 thanks to 23 points from Kevin Durant to reach a fourth consecutive final where they will face France, who stunned the Americans in their opening match.
Spain struck double gold in sports making their Olympics debut. Sandra Sanchez Jaime won the inaugural karate title at the spiritual home of martial arts, the Nippon Budokan, while Alberto Gines Lopez took the first sport climbing honours.
The USA’s poor day on the track began with a stunning flop in the men’s 4×100 metres relay heats, and extended to red-hot favourite Grant Holloway’s defeat to 31-year-old Hansle Parchment in the 110m hurdles.
Teens dominate the park as first-ever Olympic skateboarding wraps up
Sakura Yosozumi (right) was the oldest medalist in women’s skateboarding, at 19. British favourite Sky Brown, one of the youngest at 13, took bronze. © Loic Venance,
Teen and tween skaters from Japan and Britain soared to victory in the women’s park competition on Wednesday, while 18-year-old Australian Keegan Palmer claimed gold in the men’s contest on Thursday.
France vow to bring ‘fire’ against US in Tokyo rematch for men’s basketball gold
France coach Vincent Collet says his team will bring “fire and energy” to the men’s Olympic basketball final Saturday as they target a second straight upset of three-time defending champions the United States.
It was the Americans’ first defeat at an Olympics since the 2004 Athens Games and while Collet admits the US have upped their game since, he remains confident.
“I think and I hope we will be ready Saturday,” he said, after his seventh-ranked team scrapped past a valiant Slovenia 90-89 in a breathless semi-final, where captain Nicolas Batum made a game-saving block at the buzzer.
“I know Team USA is favoured, but I hope we will play against them with the same fire and the same energy.
“We know what they are capable of. We will play this final with a lot of confidence.”
make athletics history at Tokyo Games
Karsten Warholm and Elaine Thompson-Herah made history on a memorable day in athletics at the Olympics, the Norwegian destroying his own world record in winning the 400 metres hurdles and the Jamaican completing a historic women’s sprint “double double”.
Freestyle BMX sensation Charlotte Worthington expects the addition of new sports to only heighten the unifying force of the Olympic Games.
Freestyle BMX is one of several new sports, along with sport climbing and skateboarding, added to the Tokyo 2020 slate as the Olympic movement looks to embrace a new ‘urban’ era.
Every four years Great Britain comes together in a collective celebration of sport and Worthington thinks an injection of fresh energy will only help the nation get behind Team GB again.
“I’m really excited to see how the Olympics unifies the country, especially with the addition of new sports and especially with the addition BMX freestyle and skateboarding,” she said.
“They are so inclusive to everyone, they are so inclusive to a lot of young people because they are an outlet to a lot of young people so I’m hoping it’s going to connect to the youth.
“It’s very inspiring to watch athletes at the top of their game and see it go right on the day, it’s amazing to watch and it will definitely be inspiring to the next generation.”
With only a year to go until the world’s biggest sporting event, the 23-year-old from Manchester has the chance to be part of a new dawn for her sport at next year’s Games.
Qualification for Tokyo would complete a remarkable rise for Worthington who has quickly worked her way up the ranks despite only jumping on a BMX three years ago.