By Keith Miler
Bronze for Lydia Ko in the Golf, as she tied for second in the penultimate day of Tokyo 2021 2020. After a striking a fine 65 on the final day (which only suffered from a minor weather delay), Ko managed to finish one shot behind Gold Medallist They Nelly Korda from the USA. Tied for the Silver Medal with the host nation’s Mone Inami, a one-hole playoff ensued – Inami managed a par, whilst Lydia Ko bogeyed the hole after putting her tee shot in the bunker and had to settle for third place. It was a nice come from behind performance from Ko, who added to her Silver Medal from Rio. To be fair, a lot of the attention also fell onto Hannah Green (below), whose Australian bucket hat was absolutely glorious.
In the Women’s K4 500, hopes were high that Lisa Carrington could add to her record medal haul. Those hopes were extinguished early in the race, as the New Zealand crew never really looked in it – they had to settle for fourth, in behind the strong Hungarian crew, the Belarusians and the Polish team. It did nothing to detract from Carrington’s overall performance at these Games.
Ellesse Andrews had the misfortune to come up against Canadian World Record Holder Kelsey Mitchell in the 1/8 finals of the Women’s Sprint at the velodrome. However, the gutsy New Zealander pushed Mitchell hard, and finished only 0.005 of a second behind her. Andrews went into the repechage needing a win to qualify, and was again unlucky, this time finishing just 0.007 of a second behind the Ukraine’s Olena Starikova.
In the first round of the Keirin, Sam Webster finished half a second behind in fifth, leaving him with an opportunity to progress via a repechage should he finish in the top two. However, it wasn’t to be, as he finished in third place and was out of contention. It was a hard-fought finish that required a photo to separate Webster from Suriname’s Jair Tjon En Fa in second.
In the football, Brazil won Gold in the Men’s event, beating Spain 2-1 in extra time. The real surprise came in the Women’s match, where Canada beat the favoured Swedish side on penalties after a tense battle.
The only interesting thing to come out of the Equestrian (sorry horsey people) was the fact that Jessica Springsteen (Born in the USA) managed to grab a Silver Medal. Yes, that is indeed Bruce & Patty’s daughter.
In the last night at the Olympic Stadium, there were surprises, shocks and incredible performances. Germany’s Johannes Vetter was the red-hot favourite to win the Men’s Javelin event, but when he could finish no higher than ninth, he missed out on the final. History was made when Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian athlete to win a Gold Medal in Athletics, and remarkably, only the second ever Indian athlete to win individual Gold. Not bad for your first Olympic Games.
The Women’s High Jump went down to the wire, with the ROC’s Mariya Lasitskene reaching 2.04m, just 2cm higher than Australian Nicola McDermott, with a further 2cm back to the Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh in third.
The Men’s 1500m final was taken out, a little surprisingly, by Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen, with the 20-year-old running an Olympic Record of 3.28.32 in stifling conditions. Favourite Timothy Cheruiyot was second for Kenya, with Josh Kerr (GBR) running the race of his life to come home strongly for the Bronze Medal.
In a remarkable feat of endurance, Sifan Hassan (Netherlands) stormed home to win the Women’s 10000m race from Bahrain’s Kalkidan Gezahegne and Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey. In doing so, Hassan (below) added to her 5000m Gold Medal and her 1500m Bronze medal (after falling in her heat and getting up to win no less) in a truly memorable performance.
The USA track team finally capped off a poor Olympic Games by winning both the Men’s and Women’s 4 x 400m Relay. Whilst that was a good result, look for the knives to come out for the track team when they get home.
That wrapped up the Track & Field events, and we’re almost done for Tokyo. Check in again tomorrow for the final instalment of The Tokyo Diaries.
Follow Keith on Twitter.
You can find more on the Tokyo Diaries, here.