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    Tokyo 2020: Team GB’s Aimee Willmott fails to secure first Olympic medal with seventh-place finish in individual medley

    AIMEE WILLMOTT’S hopes of crowning her career with an Olympic medal were shattered as she failed to deliver at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.The 28-year-old from Middlesbrough had been the second fastest qualifier for the 400m individual medley final.
    Team GB star Aimee Willmott finished seventh in her 400m individual medley finalCredit: PA
    But the exertions of Sunday night’s sessions too a heavy toll as Willmott faded to finish seventh behind home heroine Yui Ohashi, who became Japan’s second gold medal winner of the Games.
    Willmott’s final time of 4:38.30 was three seconds slower than her qualification swim.
    Americans Emma Weyant and Hali Flickinger took silver and bronze.
    She said: “I shocked myself in the heat but it was always going to be tough toi back that up and I didn’t have the time.
    “It seems to be seventh is where I’m at, after doing the same in Rio. But I’m happy with my career.”
    Her disappointment came after Max Litchfield just missed out on an unlikely medal in a humdinger of a 400m individual medley.
    Yorkshire’s Litchfield, whose younger brother Joe is also on Team GB, waa the slowest qualifier and only seventh after the butterfly leg.
    But as American Chase Kalisz went away from the field on the breaststroke leg to claim gold ahead of compatriot Jay Livingston, Litchfield made his move.

    An excellent freestyle effort saw the 26-year-old close the gap but fall just short of bronze medallist Brendon Smith of Australia.
    Litchfield finished joint fourth in 4:10.59, just two tenths of a second behind Smith.
    Kalisz won in 4:09.42, more than five seconds outside Michael Phelps’ 2008 Olympic and world record.
    There was a major shock in the men’s 400m as Tunisia’s Ahmed Hafnoui, the slowest qualifier, shocked the field with a stunning second half of the race.
    The 18-year-old was still second behind Aussie Jack McLoughlin with 50m to go but finished like a train to take gold in 3:43.36, with Kieran Smith of the USA third.
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    Bryson DeChambeau OUT of Tokyo 2020 golf tournament after testing positive for Covid before leaving USA for the Olympics

    AMERICAN golfer Bryson DeChambeau is OUT of the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for coronavirus.The 27-year-old has been replaced by Patrick Reed for Team USA ahead of the first round in Japan on Thursday.
    Bryson DeChambeau will not be competing for Team USA in Tokyo after testing positive for coronavirusCredit: Reuters
    DeChambeau has contracted Covid back in his homeland as part of the final testing before departing for Asia.
    And he has spoken of his disappointment at missing out on his first Olympic Games.
    He said: “I am deeply disappointed not to be able to compete in the Olympics for Team USA.
    “Representing my country means the world to me and it is was a tremendous honour to make this team.
    “I wish Team USA the best of luck next week in Tokyo.
    “I will now focus on getting healthy, and I look forward to returning to competition once I am cleared to do so.”
    Reed, who finished 11th at Rio 2016, is now undergoing his testing protocol before linking up with Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele.
    Commenting on his call-up, he remarked: “I am so excited to have the opportunity to represent our country and be a part of Team USA in Tokyo.

    “I wish Bryson nothing but the best, and I know how disappointed he is to not be able to compete, and I will do my best to play my best and represent our country.”
    USA Golf Executive Director Andy Levinson added: “We’re obviously disappointed for Bryson, as we know how much he was looking forward to representing the United States in his first Olympics.
    “But we’re thrilled that Patrick Reed is excited to play for his country when he is called upon, even with the strenuous testing protocols and he is set to arrive just in time to compete – on a golf course he will have never seen prior to the start of competition.
    “It really illustrates the importance of the Olympics and the value Patrick places on playing for Team USA and for his country.
    “We’re excited to welcome him to Tokyo soon and know he’ll be a formidable competitor for Team USA.”
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    Tokyo 2020: Team GB’s European 400m champion Matthew Hudson-Smith out of Olympics on ‘medical grounds’ – but NOT Covid

    TEAM GB’s European 400m king Matthew Hudson-Smith is out of the Olympics on medical grounds NOT related to Covid-19.The Wolverhampton sprinter, 26, has been replaced in the 4x400m relay squad by 21-year-old Welshman Joe Brier.
    Matthew Hudson-Smith is coming to terms with his Tokyo 2020 dream ending before it properly started, due to a medical problemCredit: Getty – Contributor
    West-Midlander Matthew Hudson-Smith won gold at the European Championships in 2018 but has pulled out of the OlympicsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    Team GB confirmed Hudson-Smith’s withdrawal from Tokyo 2020 and Brier’s promotion from travelling reserve.
    Hudson-Smith was earmarked for superstardom when he won European 400m silver in 2014 aged 19 and made the Olympic final at Rio two years later.
    He then won gold at the European Championships in Berlin three years ago, plus silver in the 4x400m relay. 
    Just last month he told the BBC Sport was “never plain sailing for anyone”.
    He said: “I don’t want to be one of those athletes who looks back in their career and says they could have done more.

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    “I want to feel I have done everything in my power. That is what drives me.
    “It is never plain sailing for anyone in sport. Everyone goes through it.
    “You almost have to rediscover your passion and goals every day.”
    He had been spending his fourth season training in the USA, with Olympic 400m champions Wayde van Niekerk and Shaunae Miller-Uibo.


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    Tokyo 2020: Youngest Olympics competitor Hend Zaza, 12, loses to table tennis opponent 27 years older

    THE Olympics’ youngest competitor has crashed out of the Tokyo Games in the preliminary round of the women’s table tennis event.Team Syria star Hend Zaza, 12, lost in straight sets against Austrian opponent Liu Jia who is 27 years her senior.
    Syrian star Hend Zaza, 12, is out of the Olympics after losing to Austria’s Liu JiaCredit: Getty
    Veteran table tennis player Jia won 4-0 in straight sets against Zaza in TokyoCredit: Reuters
    Chinese-born athlete Jia, 39, won 11-4, 11-9, 11-3, 11-5 to secure her place in the first round.
    But Zaza, who is the youngest Olympian since Spanish rower Carlos Front in 1992, more than held her own.
    She was even leading 6-2 in the second set, only for the veteran player to show her class.
    Speaking after her Olympics debut, Zaza said: “It was very tough to mentally be prepared for (the Olympics).
    “But I think I somehow managed to overcome this, and this is the part that I think I did the best during the match.
    “The main lesson was the loss of this match, especially in the first match.
    “So next time, I will be working hard to pass the first, second, third round, because I want to play more in this competition.”
    Zaza – the fifth-youngest person to compete in the Olympics in the modern era – secured her entry at Tokyo after winning West Asia Olympic qualification tournament in Jordan last year.

    Her coach Adham Jamaan has stated she has only been able to play up to three external games a year due to the Syrian Civil War.
    Commenting on her upbringing, Zaza remarked: “For the last five years, I’ve been through many different experiences.
    “Especially with the war happening around the country and the postponement of the funding for the Olympics.
    “It was very tough, but I had to fight for it. And this is my message to everyone who is in the same situation — fight for your dream.
    “Try hard regardless of the difficulties that you’re having and you will reach your hope.”
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    First Tokyo 2020 Olympic cancellation due to Covid as women’s beach volleyball game scrapped after player tests positive

    THE opening match of the women’s beach volleyball event at the Tokyo Olympics was cancelled due to coronavirus.Czech Republic star Marketa Slukova tested positive for Covid earlier this year – which knocked her and partner Barbora Hermannova out of the Games.
    Czech Republic women’s beach volleyball pair Marketa Slukova and Barbora Hermannova are out of the Olympics due to coronavirusCredit: Reuters
    Their game on Saturday became the first event of the Tokyo Games to be called off due to Covid.
    As a result, Japan’s pair of Megumi Murakami and Miki Ishii have been handed a 2-0 victory.
    So far there have been six confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Czech Republic Olympic team, including Slukova’s husband and coach Simon Nausch.
    Men’s beach volleyball ace Ondrej Perusic has also tested positive, along with table tennis player Pavel Sirucek and cyclist Michal Schlegel.
    Slukova has spoken of her dismay at being unable to compete in the Olympics as she claimed she was reduced to tears.
    She remarked: “It’s awfully sad for me, that Barbora and me, we had to quit this way.”
    Before adding: “We cried, then we swore, then we cried again.
    “I am just hoping that no other athletes will follow us.
    “Because I think that something like this is a nightmare for any athlete, for any Olympian, who gets this far, this close to the Olympic competition.”

    All of those in the Czech team that tested positive arrived in Tokyo in the same charter plane, prompting the country’s Olympic Committee to launch an investigation.
    The Committee said: “The investigation will focus on whether all safety measures against COVID-19 spread were upheld before, during, and after the flight and whether some individuals have neglected their duties.”
    A total of 14 athletes were on the plane from Prague to Tokyo, with the other people on the flight testing negative on their PCR tests.
    Commenting on the cases, Czech team doctor Martin Doktor declared: “The situation is serious.
    “We have done our best to stop spreading the virus. Unfortunately, we didn’t avoid sport tragedies. I’m deeply sorry.”
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    Tokyo 2020 gold, silver and bronze Olympic medals made entirely from mobile phones and recycled electronics

    TOKYO 2020 medallists will become the first in the history of the Olympics and Paralympics to win medals made out of recycled electrical goods.And the precious prizes have been crafted from more than SIX MILLION reused mobile phone parts.
    Nearly 80,000 tonnes of recycled electrical goods were used to make Tokyo 2020 Olympic medalsCredit: AFP
    The parts of more than six million used mobile phones were also used to make gold, silver and bronze medalsCredit: Getty
    The creation of the environmentally-friendly gold, silver and bronze awards are all part of an effort by organisers to make this year’s competition as eco-conscious as possible. 
    The opening ceremony for the Tokyo Games, which is this year’s biggest sporting event, takes place today. 
    It is the second time the capital city of Japan has hosted the Olympics with the first being back in 1964. 
    It is reported a whopping 79,000 tonnes of small electrical goods – including 6.21million used phones – were reconstructed into medals ahead of the contest. 
    The items – which took two years to gather – have been turned into 5000 gold, silver and bronze medals. 
    And two-time Olympic decathlete champion Ashton Eaton, 33, is among the sports aces backing recycled goods being awarded to athletes. 
    The American, who is the heptathlon indoor world record holder, said: “I have always been a fan of people who do things differently – of those who try to move the needle in a positive way.
    “The weight of a medal around your neck is always a good weight,” 
    “And when an athlete at Tokyo wins a medal, the weight of it will not be from the gold, silver or bronze; it will be the weight of a nation.”
    Yuki Arata, the Tokyo Games director of sustainability added: “We hope that the approach we are taking for these Olympics, for example utilising timber to make benches for public facilities for local areas will remain in (people’s) minds as a good memory of these Olympics to be passed on to the next generation.”
    Other recycled inventions include Olympic uniforms produced entirely from reused plastic bottles. 
    The iconic torch used to light the flame to mark the start of the Tokyo Games is among the items made from reused products. 
    The Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch has been crafted from recycled aluminium used for earthquake sheltersCredit: Alamy

    Aluminium waste from homes built as temporary shelters following a major earthquake in Japan in 2011 was used to construct the torch. 
    And competitors staying in the Athletes Village will be sleeping in recyclable cardboard beds.  
    At least 18,000 of these beds have been provided for athletes staying in the Village located at Tokyo Bay.
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    Tokyo 2020: Russian archer Svetlana Gomboeva COLLAPSES in blistering 33C heat and stretchered out of qualifying

    RUSSIAN archer Svetland Gomboeva lost consciousness during a qualifying Olympic round after collapsing in the brutal Tokyo heat.The 23-year-old was checking her final scores before she fainted in the blistering 33 degrees Celsius sun, with medics and team-mates rushing to her aid.
    Russian archer Svetlana Gomboeva collapsed in the blistering Tokyo heat on FridayCredit: Reuters
    Gomboeva quickly regained consciousness after passing out while checking her final scoresCredit: Getty
    Gomboeva, who qualified 45th of 64 archers in the women’s event on Friday, had to be taken out of the arena on a stretcher.
    Ice bags were given to the female athlete in an attempt to cool her down, with Gomboeva quickly regaining consciousness.
    She is said to now be recovering well, with the 2021 Archery World Cup recurve gold medallist to compete in the individual and team events later in the Games.
    The Tokyo heatwave forced coaches and staff to huddle under trees for shade.
    And Gomboeva’s coach Stanislav Popov declared that the unbearable temperature was too much for her.
    In quotes published by the Russian Olympic Committee, he said: “We hope that she will be okay.
    “It turns out that she couldn’t stand a whole day out in the heat.
    “This is the first time I remember this happening. In Vladivostok, where we were training before this, the weather was similar. But humidity played a role here.”
    🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻Желаем здоровья и скорейшего выздоровления Светлане ГомбоевойВо время олимпийской квалификации в стрельбе из лука нашей спортсменке стало плохо😔#КомандаОКР #ROCTeam #Tokyo2020— Olympic Russia (@Olympic_Russia) July 23, 2021

    Gomboeva’s team-mate Ksenia Perova added: “It’s probably heatstroke.
    “It’s very hot here and the asphalt is really baking. Of course there are also nerves, but the main reason is still the weather.”
    South Korea’s Kang Chae-young, who came third in the individual ranking rounds, said she had not experienced anything like Tokyo’s heatwave conditions in other recent events.
    Meanwhile Australia’s Alice Ingley has offered some simple advice for her fellow competitors on how to beat the heat.
    She told Reuters: “Cooling vest, slushies, fans, umbrellas, just all that, just try to keep out of the heat as much as possible.
    “And drink water as much as possible.” 
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    Why isn’t Usain Bolt competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and who is favourite for the men’s 100m?

    THE Tokyo Olympics is getting underway and no event will be more eagerly anticipated than the men’s 100m sprint.However, it won’t feel quite the same without Usain Bolt competing.
    Usain Bolt will be playing no part in this summer’s OlympicsCredit: Reuters
    Why isn’t Usain Bolt at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics?
    Usain Bolt will not be at the Tokyo Olympic Games because he has retired.
    The Jamaican, who would be competing in Tokyo at the age of 34 if he had continued, last raced at the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London.
    There, he picked up a bronze medal after being beaten by American duo Christian Coleman and Justin Gatlin.
    That marked the first time he had been beaten in a sprint final since the 4x100m relay at the 2007 World Championships.
    And in the 4x100m in London, Bolt pulled his hamstring and was carried over the line in agony by his Jamaican team-mates in his final ever race.
    Trayvon Bromell is favourite to win the men’s 100m in TokyoCredit: AFP
    A year later, Bolt attempted to live a lifelong dream of pursuing a career in football as he signed for Australia’s Central Coast Mariners.
    However, after eight weeks he was unable to agree a contract extension and said: “My sports life is over.”
    He added that it was “fun while it lasted,” saying he “really enjoyed just being in a team and it was [much] different from track and field.”
    Bolt concluded: “I’m just doing many different things … the sports life is over, so I’m now moving into different businesses.
    “I have a lot of things in the pipeline, so as I say, I’m just dabbling in everything and trying to be a businessman now.”

    Who will win the 100m in Tokyo?
    American Trayvon Bromell is the favourite to take up Usain Bolt’s mantle as the fastest man on the planet.
    As of Monday, July 19 the latest odds from Paddy Power are as follows:

    Trayvon Bromell (USA) Evens
    Ronnie Baker (USA) 7/2
    Akani Simbine (RSA) 9/2
    Andre De Graase (CAN) 5/1
    Fred Kerley (USA) 12/1
    Yohan Blake (JAM) 17/1
    Marcell Jacobs (ITA) 17/1
    Zharnel Hughes (GBR) 22/1 More