Image: Plashing Vole / flickr
Image: Plashing Vole / flickr

Tokyo 2020 – Day 9: GB swimmers and Max Whitlock make history

Team GB’s swimmers made history on a thrilling day at the Olympics, which saw the team pick up more medals (expanding the gold count to 10) and a surprise victor in the men’s 100m.

Charlotte Worthington got the day off to a great start with a gold medal win in the women’s BMX park freestyle final. She fell on her first run, but became the first woman to land a 360-degree backflip in competition on the second to score 97.50 and win. She defeated favourite Hannah Roberts of America, who took the silver with a score of 96.10. The BMX medal tally was then increased further by Declan Brooks, who won bronze in the men’s event with a mark of 90.80 – the gold went to Australia’s Martin Logan. Team GB has won four BMX medals at these Games.

In the pool, Great Britain won a record eighth swimming medal after claiming silver in the men’s 4x100m medley relay. Duncan Scott, Adam Peaty, Luke Greenbank and James Guy came second with a time of 3:27.51, defeated by the world-record time of 3:26.78 set by the USA. The Tokyo Games are Britain’s most successful ever in the pool, and saw Scott become the first British athlete ever to win four medals at one Games. Australia’s Emma McKeon also made history, as the first female swimmer to win seven medals at an Olympics.

Max Whitlock took to the pommel horse and defended his Olympic title, winning the gold with a stunning routine and a score of 15.583. He went first and then watched as the other contenders attempted to surpass his target, but none could manage – Chinese Taipei’s Lee Chih Kai came closer, with a silver-medal winning score of 15.400. Whitlock is now the most successful gymnast ever on the pommel horse, with two Olympic golds and three World Championship golds.

In the boxing, Ben Whittaker guaranteed himself at least a silver medal after beating the ROC’s Imam Khataev to reach Tuesday’s 81kg final. Pat McCormack and Frazer Clarke advanced to their respective finals after their opponents suffered an ankle injury and were disqualified respectively. Team GB’s sailing are also guaranteed at least two more medals – John Gimson and Anna Burnet are second overall in the mixed Nacra 17 class with one race to go, while defending champion Giles Scott leads the men’s Finn class and cannot now drop lower than third. The GB’s men’s hockey team, however, will go home empty-handed after losing 3-1 to India in the quarter-finals.

At the Olympic Stadium, it was a night of drama for Italy. In the men’s high jump, after an exhausting two-hour competition in which Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi could not be split, they turned down a jump-off in favour of sharing the title. Then, in the 100m final, Italy’s Lamot Marcell Jacob claimed a shock gold – he won in 9.80 seconds, 0.04 clear of American Fred Kerley, while GB’s Zharnel Hughes was disqualified for a false start.

In the women’s triple jump, Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas won the gold and smashed the existing world record in the process – she leapt 15.67m, 17cm of the previous best. Xander Schauffele of the USA won the men’s golf gold on a dramatic final day, while Alexander Zverev took the men’s tennis gold, beating the ROC’s Karen Khachanov.

Medal table:

  1. China

Gold (24), Silver (14), Bronze (13), Total (51)

  1. USA

Gold (20), Silver (23), Bronze (16), Total (59)

  1. Japan

Gold (17), Silver (5), Bronze (9), Total (31)

  1. Australia

Gold (14), Silver (3), Bronze (14), Total (31)

  1. Russian Olympic Committee

Gold (12), Silver (19), Bronze (13), Total (44)

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