Image: Wikimedia Commons / Erik van Leeuwen
Image: Wikimedia Commons / Erik van Leeuwen

Tokyo 2020 – Day 8: gold in mixed relay events, Dina Asher-Smith exits

A pair of mixed relay events kickstarted a golden Saturday for Team GB, but there was disappointment in the athletics after poster-girl Dina Asher-Smith announced she would withdraw because of an injury.

The first gold came in the triathlon mixed relay, after Jonny Brownlee, Jessica Learmonth, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Alex Yee produced a superb performance to finish 14 seconds ahead of silver medallists the USA. There was a scare on the final leg, after French athlete Vincent Luis overtook Yee on the cycling stage (France finished third), but the team recovered and dominated for the medal. For Brownlee, this result is particularly exciting – he finishes his final Olympics with a gold, added to his London 2012 bronze and Rio 2016 silver.

After that, Team GB won its fourth swimming gold, after Kathleen Dawson, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Anna Hopkin won the inaugural 4x100m mixed medley relay. Their time of 3:37.58 smashed the previous world record of 3:38.41 after incredible performances by all four members of the team, and saw the amount of Team GB swimming medals increase to seven. 

Emma Wilson added a sailing bronze in the women’s windsurfing, taking second-place in the double-point medal race but being nudged down the rankings by China’s Lu Yunxio and France’s Charline Picon, who won gold and silver respectively. Another medal came in the boxing, as Harriss Artingstall collected the featherweight bronze after losing her semi-final against Japan’s Sena Irie. Lauren Price guaranteed herself a podium place after reaching the middleweight semi-finals, but there was disappointment for the women’s rugby sevens, who lost 26-19 to France in the semi-finals and were then beaten 21-12 by Fiji in the bronze-medal match.

In the athletics, gold-medal hope Dina Asher-Smith struggled in the 100m semi-final – she finished third, and was 10th fastest overall. Her time saw her eliminated, and she then revealed she’d suffered a hamstring tear and would not compete in the 200m either. GB’s Daryll Neita edged through to the final, but it was all about Jamaica. Elaine Thompson-Herah won in 10.61 seconds, the second fastest time ever recorded, to retain her Olympic title – her compatriots Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson rounded out the podium.

In tennis, Belinda Bencic became the first Swiss woman to win an Olympic gold, beating giantkiller Marketa Vondrousova of Czechoslovakia 7-5 2-6 6-3 in the singles. She was made to work for the win in a match lasting two and a half hours, and she broke back after trailing in the third set to serve for the win. In the men’s bronze medal match, Novak Djokovic lost 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 to Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta, and smashed his racquet in frustration. His medal chances are now gone after he withdrew from his mixed doubles bronze-medal match with a shoulder injury.

Brazil beat Egypt 1-0 in the football to set up a semi-final match with Mexico on Tuesday. Japan will meet Spain in the other semi-final after a set of tense matches – the hosts beat New Zealand 4-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw, while Spain came back from the brink of elimination to beat the Ivory Coast 5-2 after extra time.

Medal table:

  1. China

Gold (21), Silver (13), Bronze (12), Total (46)

  1. Japan

Gold (17), Silver (5), Bronze (8), Total (30)

  1. USA

Gold (16), Silver (17), Bronze (13), Total (46)

  1. Russian Olympic Committee

Gold (11), Silver (15), Bronze (11), Total (37)

  1. Australia

Gold (10), Silver (3), Bronze (14), Total (27)

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