Image: WorldSeriesBoxing / flickr
Image: WorldSeriesBoxing / flickr

Tokyo 2020 – Day 15: golds for Great Britain in pentathlon and boxing

On the penultimate day of the Tokyo Games, Great Britain saw its gold count hit 20 after success in the pentathlon and the boxing. There were also medals in the diving and cycling, putting the nation in a good place to potentially finish in fourth overall.

Galal Yafai floored opponent Carlo Paalam in a points victory to claim an Olympic gold medal for Team GB in the flyweight final. The Briton defeated the Filipino, sending him toppling to the canvas at the start of the bout and asserting his dominance throughout the match to take the medal. Yafai dropped Paalam with a huge left hand, and then followed up with fierce combinations – although Paalam fought back and claimed the third round, Yafai gained a 29-28 victory on four of the cards, with the other one in favour of his opponent by the same margin.

A second gold came courtesy of Joe Choong, completing Britain’s clean sweep of the modern pentathlon after winning the men’s event. The Briton won with a total of 1482 – Egypt’s Ahmed Elgendy burst through the pack to take silver with 1477, while South Korea’s Jun Woong-tae took the bronze with 1470. Choong topped the table in fencing and finished third in the swimming, and success in the showjumping saw him secure a 12-second lead over his closest rival in the final event. Despite pressure by Elgendy in the final run, Choong pulled clear and won.

Matt Walls claimed a second Tokyo medal after winning silver in the men’s madison with Ethan Hayter. The British pair held a solid lead after the first 10 sprints, but started to fade – a breathless final sprint wasn’t enough to surpass the reigning world champions Denmark, but it did secure the silver.

Two more medals, where Tom Daley and Josh Kerr won bronze in the 10m platform diving and 1500m events respectively. In the 10m final, there was a three-way battle for the gold medal. However, the Chinese divers Cao Yuan and Yang Jian were in impressive form, and won the gold and silver respectively with scores of 582.35 and 580.4. Daley got off to a brilliant start in the event and led after three rounds, but a small mistake in his fourth dive would ultimately prove costly, and he finished with a score of 548.25. Kerr was only four-hundredths of a second behind second-placed Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya, while Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigsten took gold.

On the track, the Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan became the second woman to do the 5,000-10,000m Olympic double after beating world record-holder Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia over the longer distance. After the USA won the women’s 4x400m gold for the seventh successive time, Allyson Felix became the most decorated US track and field athlete of all time with 11 medals. There was also success for the USA in the women’s golf, where Nelly Korda won gold, and their basketball team beat France 87-82 to secure a fourth straight gold in the sport. Brazil beat Spain 2-1 in the men’s football after going to extra time, Norway took the beach volleyball gold, and Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir beat world record-holder Brigid Kosgei in the women’s marathon.

Medal table:

  1. China

Gold (38), Silver (31), Bronze (18), Total (87)

  1. USA

Gold (36), Silver (39), Bronze (33), Total (108)

  1. Japan

Gold (27), Silver (12), Bronze (17), Total (56)

  1. Russian Olympic Committee

Gold (20), Silver (25), Bronze (23), Total (68)

  1. Great Britain

Gold (20), Silver (21), Bronze (22), Total (63)

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