Equestian: It’s the gold medal for the Individual Jumping at the moment. We’ve had five competitors finish, one eliminated, and two retired. Cian O’Connor of Ireland is in top spot just now, then two riders each from Japan and Egypt. The Brits haven’t gone around yet.
1500 metres: Interesting here, Hassan hangs right at the back as she did in the heat. I guess she figures that if she can gobble up the rest of a field after a fall, she can do it when she starts upright.
And she does, 50 metres after the bell on the last lap, just comes up past the field like they’re not there. Has a bit of resistance from Linden Hall of Australia, who has led the whole race, but Hassan eventually breaks her and goes past. What a runner. Hall finishes third and qualifies.
Marta Perez of Spain, Winnie Nanyondo of Uganda, and Laura Muir of Great Britain are the other qualifiers on placings. I’ll post up who else qualified on time if I can work it out later.
1500 metres: All eyes on Sifan Hassan after the Dutch runner’s extraordinary heat, when she fell hard, hit the track, and got back up to win. She’s in the other semifinal about to start.
Hockey: Early goal for India in the women’s semi! They go up 1-0 thanks to Gurjit Kaur after two minutes. They’re irresistible at the moment.
Jessica Hull breaks the Australian 1500m record
Qualifies for the women’s 1500 final on the track in fourth position, and blows away the national record in the process. A great tactical run. Faith Kipyegon blew everyone away down the home straight. There was a fall, as well, Cory Ann McGee of the USA got tripped up and hit the deck, running 11th out of 13. Here are the five qualifiers.
Kenya – Faith KIPYEGON 3:56.80 Ethiopia -Freweyni GEBREEZIBEHER 3:57.54 Canada – Gabriela DEBUES-STAFFORD 3:58.28 Australia – Jessica HULL 3:58.81 Japan – Nozomi TANAKA 3:59.19
Japan make the women’s basketball semis in a thriller
Basketball: A time out as both teams talk tactics. Back on court. Belgium’s ball, in defence. Transition up. Cross-court pass. Drives inside…
and misses the basket! Kim Mestdagh’s shot goes in and out. Japan win. They’ll play Spain or France in the semis.
Basketball: Two free throws in for Belgium. Down the other end…
Japan hit a three!
Takes the lead with 15 seconds left.
Basketball: 83-83 with 40 seconds left. Belgium miss the shot, but get a lucky foul called! Ran into the defender, I’d say.
Basketball: Just under two minutes left, and Japan close it to 79-81 with a free throw. Then draw level! An open charge to the basket for two, and it’s 81-81.
Sport climbing: Laura Rogova for Italy gets a top hold on Boulder 3, and goes to second place ahead of Australia’s Oceania Mackenzie, who had one top and two zones. I think she failed to score on the other boulders, so she’ll slip further down the rankings as more climbers compete.
We’ve got 10 who haven’t started on the course yet, and half a dozen in the current lot who have at least one boulder yet to go.
Basketball: The Belgians strip the ball and score a two-pointer to lead 77-80. Japan miss a three from the top of the arc to tie it up. Both teams look exhausted. Time out.
Sport climbing: Meshkova has completed all four boulders with four tops, two zones. The Russian nearly got the top on her final boulder as well: she reached it with one hand, then fell. The rules are that you need a controlled hold, which means both hands on the hold, and hanging onto it for long enough to satisfy a judge.
Basketball: Japan have drawn level! It’s 72-72 with five minutes to play, then duelling three-pointers takes it to 75-75.
Oh, this is gorgeous. Check out our gallery of images from the Games.
Sport climbing: Viktoriia Meshkova is having a blinder in the bouldering phase. Basically how this works is this: there are four different boulder courses, of different configurations. A range of protuberances on a wall that you have to climb, not in a logical straight line but requiring dexterity, sideways movement, sometimes upside down, all kinds of stuff. If you reach a hold halfway through the course, that’s called a zone. You score a zone by reaching it. If you reach the end of the course, that’s called a top.
Then you move onto the next boulder course. You get ranked by how many tops and how many zones you’ve achieved over all the courses, and then if equal there, ranked by how many attempts you hadto reach them.
Basketball: The wily Belgians have blown it back out to 59-68, but the Japanese sink a couple of free throws right before the buzzer to make it 61-68 at the three-quarter-time break.
Sailing: A bit more on the protest earlier, from reader Lance Miller.
“Hi Geoff, there is some confusion about why the Polish boat got in front of the British boat at that final mark. Looking at the video, you can see that they arrived nearly together at the mark, but the Polish boat had right of way as it was on starboard tack, so Hannah had to let the Polish boat round the mark ahead of them. They also couldn’t risk trying to squeeze between the Polish boat and the mark because they did not have rights to do that, there could have been a collision or touching the mark, which would have incurred a penalty.”
Basketball: Another women’s quarter-final at the Saitama Super Arena, with the home team just hanging in there: Japan trailing Belgium 55-60, but they’ve brought that margin back from about 10 points. Only in the third quarter, some clock to run in that match.
Handball: Close to the end for the Korean women’s team, who are being pushed around by Sweden 39-29 at the moment with only a few minutes left. That’s also a quarter-final, meaning the Swedes will take on either the French or the Dutch in a semi, depending on the match later tonight.
Volleyball: Not so great for Italy in the quarters for the women’s comp, where Serbia produced the miracle of a short match. Straight sets, including a 25-14 demolition in the second. A whole volleyball match over in less then an hour and a quarter.
Serbia will play the USA in the semis, playing off for a shot at gold.
Italy get a world record and gold
Cycling: The men’s team pursuit finishes with a bang. A searing contest, a desperately tight finish, and the Italians get home. They set a world record in qualifying yesterday. Denmark beat that world record today. But so did the Italians, by more. The final times are 3:42:032 versus 3:42:203.
As close as that.
Italy’s wonderful Olympic Games continues. Six golds, 30 medals in all.
Bronze medal for Australia in the men’s team pursuit
Cycling: Germany beat Canada for fifth spot, and then it’s time for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy contest for third: Australia and New Zealand. The Australians out well and have the lead up to the 1500 metre point, then New Zealand take it back by 1.4 seconds. They stretch that out to 2 seconds… then there’s a crash!
New Zealand lose their fourth rider. And the rest of their pack splits. They have two and one, and the Australians are catching up to the one. They pass him without crashing into the back of him, and Australia win bronze.
Seeing that on replay, I think it was Campbell Stewart who crashed? Can’t confirm that, correct me if wrong. Clipped the back wheel of the third rider while going into a turn, and ate pavement.
Sport climbing: More info from my Readerpedia, via Jerry Spring, who says there is a time limit of six minutes on the Lead event, but it doesn’t matter how long you take within that.
“Bouldering is usually 5 minutes for each problem (in qualifications) or 4 minutes if they had an observation period before (finals). It’s a pity they’re not showing the observations – you’ll see at the height of this competition all the climbers work together to work out the best moves and will then be chatting again back in observation. It’s a nice cooperative side of climbing.”
Just like the women’s skateboarding this morning, after Misugu Okamoto fell during her run.
Cycling: The British men’s pursuit team that got crashed out by Denmark yesterday is back out on the track. They ride for seventh place against Switzerland and beat them comfortably, three seconds outside the world record. They were losing heavily to Denmark when the crash happened, but were annoyed that they lost the chance to lodge a time that might have qualified them for the bronze ride.
If you didn’t catch up on that:
“Will these Olympics be remembered as the greatest Olympics of all time?” emails Kurt Perleberg.
Aside from linking to the wiki entry on recency bias, I’d say let’s wait until we get through the next five days without a covid outbreak before we consider that.
Diving: The women’s 10-metre platform qualification has been completed, with 18 divers going through to a semi-final. For Australian enthusiasts, Melissa Wu qualified fourth, while Nikita Hains missed out on a reserve spot by one placing. Great Britain has two qualifiers in Andrea Spendolini Siriex (10th) and Lois Toulson (7th). Chinese pair Chen Yuxi and Hongchan Quan went one and two, surprise surprise. So strong in this sport. Delaney Schnell, who would have been a sprinter had she been German, is instead from the USA and thus came in third.
Sport climbing: A knowledgeable reader, Tim Cross, sends in this. “Thought you might be interested why we’re seeing so many PBs in speed.”
“It’s down to the slightly awkward competition format that mixes the three disciplines. Speed has historically had its own very different sub-culture compared to lead and boulder, without much cross-over. So many of the climbers we’re watching will have only been training speed for a couple of years and they still have room for ‘newbie gains’. That’s why Miroslaw, the world speed champion, hasn’t put up a PB, but lots of the boulder or lead specialists have.”
Sport climbing: Miroslaw finishes top after the two speed rounds, with Anouck Jaubert of France second, and Song Yiling of China third. There’s no qualification threshold though: this sport is decided by combining these results with the bouldering (sorta climbing obstacle course) and the lead (one chance to climb as high as possible, without being timed).
Cycling: Australia’s Kaarle McCulloch has progressed to the next round of the keirin – that’s a race she’s targeting, but she looked shaky failing to automatically progress in qualifying. She pulled through in the repechage.
Sport climbing: A big result in that heat. Ilullia Kaplina, the Russian who owns that world record, tries to respond. She’s on course to tag a sub-7 time… but she falls. On the very last hold, as she leaps to tag the clock, her foothold gives way and she can’t touch the button. She flails her limbs and shouts, and she’s in tears by the time she hits the ground, distraught.
She’s fifth overall on time, from her first heat, but speed is her best event and she wanted to be in the top couple here to give herself the best chance.
She was racing with Great Britain’s Shauna Coxsey, who tags 9.65 and is sitting 16th.
Sport climbing: Nonaka Miho has lit up this event as well, the Japanese home favourite. Apparently she’s not foremost a speed climber, and will dominate in other disciplines. Could have fooled me, because she’s just blitzed her first lane time by hitting 7.55.
Even better in the next race when Miroslaw comes back. Clubhouse leader with 7.01, and she flies up second time around with 6.97. That’s her first time under 7 seconds, and she was one hundredth of a second away from the world record.
Sport climbing: I am starting to get the hang of this sport a bit. It still looks like they’re just levitating up the wall, it’s extraordinary as a sight. But there are tiny little footholds that they use as well as the big handholds. So that’s where they get the leverage to push off with their toes, while with the camera behind them it looks like they’re just walking on air. A side-on view would be useful as something to switch to.
Sport climbing: Perfect name for an Australian athlete: here’s Oceania Mackenzie. Has a really good run against Jessica Pilz, the Australian, but just slips on her last hold. It pushes her time out to 9.38 when it would have been comfortably 8 something.
Sport climbing: Erin Sterkenburg of South Africa was the one climber to fall on her first lane, so she goes steadily on her second attempt to make sure she logs a time, any time. Gets up in 11.10. Seo Chaehyun of Korea clocks a PB of 10.01.
Cycling: If I could ever fulfil a dream of being at the Olympics, I’d like to be the pace-setting rider at the velodrome who sits at the front and makes everyone go slowly. He’s all in black, wearing some Olympic rings, and he’s just chilling. Having a nice little ride around with all these super-pumped athletes. Telling them to calm down, man. Look around you. Appreciate the moment. Then when things get hectic he just rides off for a cuppa. The dream.
Sport climbing: We’ve got the speed round wrapping up for the women on the first lane, and they’ve been flying. Lots of personal bests, lots of fast times, although world No1 Janja Garnbret slipped and had a slow climb for her of 10.32.
Aleksandra Miroslaw of Poland has the best time so far, 7.01, and she was celebrating delightfully on her way down on the rope afterwards. Just beaming. She must have nailed the route that she’s been planning.
So now, everyone has attempted the wall once. But because there are two climbers at a time, in different lanes, they now swap lanes and everyone tries again.
Let’s get ready to sport climb! The new hit sport, all the kids are doing it. Around the world they’re just going up walls like there’s no tomorrow.
Here’s another good-news boxing story for Great Britain, despite falling short in the final bout.
Sailing: An update by email from Alexandre Chesneau: “Just wanted to report what L’équipe says on the French contestation in the sailing race.It’s not to get gold – it’s to get silver. Apparently just near the end of the race the Polish boat got in front of the British one. Finishing above the British boat meant the Polish boat gets silver instead of the French one. And the French suspect the Brits let the Poles go in front of them on purpose. Personally I think it’s probably more a case of the Brits no longer caring since the gold was wrapped up for them, but being at work I haven’t seen the race.”
Got an email in from Rakesh Nag. “I was waiting for the ‘inevitable’ Golden slam by Novak Djokovic. But then I saw him lose three matches inside 24 hours (and give a walkover for the bronze match of the mixed doubles). Now I find myself calculating Djoker’s sufferings: 9 matches, 20 sets and 2 broken racquets! Did Djokovic have the highest workload for any athlete in a single Olympics, which has not resulted in any medal?”
It’s an interesting question! There would have be athletes who run or swim a lot of races in heats and so on for a range of events without qualifying, but in terms of time on court it’s hard to beat tennis. Then again, a lot of tennis is resting and waiting. Anyone who runs the marathon has an argument for having worked harder. How about volleyball matches? They seem to take about five hours apiece.
From a purely personal perspective, after Novak’s pandemic-era contributions to humanity, can’t say I was sad to see him miss out. Also, playing the singles but pulling out of the doubles, rather than vice versa, didn’t seem great. Denied his teammate a chance at a medal.
Here’s our report about the Opals and the USA. Not a surprising result, per se, but deflating after that mad last-second result over Puerto Rico.
Cycling: Scott mentioned a few minutes ago the GB rider Jack Carlin’s Olympic record in the sprints – the 200 metre flying start. He got through in 9.306. But as has been habit here, the record lasted all of a few minutes. Two Dutchmen have taken it with a tied best: Jeffrey Hoogland and Harrie Lavreysen in 9.215.
Here’s our report on the women’s 470 sailing.
What’s on today?
Here’s what I’ll be looking at over the next five hours. Times are Tokyo time: add one hour for Australia, perform the requisite witchcraft or burnt offerings for other timezones.
Now: lot’s of cycling at the velodrome, with heats and qualifying for men’s sprint and women’s keiren,then just before 6pm the team pursuit medals for the men.
At 5pm, the women’s handball quarters with Sweden and Korea, and volleyball quarters with Italy Serbia.
Also from 5pm, the women’ssports climbing event starts with the speed climbing round. This is the sport about which I received more emails in a shorter time than any previous Guardian blog in history.
5:20, the women’s baseketball quarters with Japan amd Belgium
6:20pm the men’s water polo quarters with Italy and Serbia
7pm the women’s 1500m semifinals, as well as the equestrian individual jumps gold with three Brits competing, and the women’s hockey semi-final between Argentina and India, which will attract huge interest in the latter team. Oh, and the small matter of a baseball semi between Korea and Japan.
7:30pm the artistic swimming duet gold
7:30pm the 400m semi finals for the women
7:50pm the big boys of weightlfting, in the 109+ kg catergory