The GB team won 20 gold medals in Tokyo on Saturday as boxer Galal Yafai and then Joe Choong in the modern pentathlon won their events. He guaranteed that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics would be Britain’s third best gold medal harvest since the 56 gold medals at the 1908 London Games. The team finished with 27 gold medals in Rio in 2016 and 29 at the London Games in 2012.
Yafai, 28, of Birmingham, won the flyweight title and Britain’s first gold in the ring. He defeated Carlo Paalam of the Philippines in the first round and then moved ahead of the split decision.
After spending his 20s working in a Land Rover factory, changing boxes and hating his job, after the fight he said: “Six years ago I started boxing and thank goodness that has worked for me and shows that if you work hard you can reap. the rewards.
Choong’s gold sealed a memorable brace in the modern pentathlon, following Kate French’s victory in the women’s event on Friday. Having swam, fencing and show jumping, Choong’s accuracy and shooting pace in the final 800 meters of the laser race allowed him to withstand a strong late challenge from Egyptian Ahmed Elgendy .
Tom Daley described his semifinal performance as a “dog dinner” about to add a bronze medal to his previous synchro gold medal in diving. The 27-year-old from Plymouth, who racked up social media followers with his poolside knitting exploits while raising money for the Brain Tumor Charity in memory of his father, later said that he wished his father could be there: “He would have jumped – he would probably be in the pool by now!”
Cao Yuan won the individual 10m platform ahead of Daley, earning him seven of eight gold medals in Olympic diving for China.
At the velodrome, Ethan Hayter and Matthew Walls won another silver medal in track cycling for the GB team with a late arrival in the men’s madison of track cycling. The victory in the final sprint propelled them above the France team in second place. However, they were unable to catch up with Danes Lasse Norman Hansen and Michael Mørkøv, who added the Olympic title to their world championship.
An exhausted Hayter then couldn’t help but blurt out an f-word to viewers of the BBC’s Olympic breakfast in his post-race interview.
Josh Kerr was also in the medals on Saturday for the GB team, adding a bronze medal in the men’s 1500m behind Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Kenyan Tim Cheruiyot. Kerr’s late lunge to the line was only four hundredths of a second from the silver medal.
Neeraj Chopra made history by winning the men’s javelin and winning India’s first track and field gold medal.
In the Olympic Stadium, the extraordinary Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands added gold in the 10,000m to his previous gold in the 5,000m and bronze in the 1,500m in his unprecedented assault on the women’s distance races. “I am so happy and cried during the medal ceremony,” she said. “In fact, I realized that I was done, the Games are over. It is not about my strength but about the strength of the women I challenge. Now I’m happy, I’m done, it’s over.
Saturday’s final was seeded with gold medals for the United States, who have dominated the last two track races – the women’s and men’s 4x400m relays. In the process, with her 11th medal, Allyson Felix became the most decorated American track Olympian of all time, eclipsing Carl Lewis. The British finished fifth.
There was a predictable victory for the United States’ men in basketball – however, their 87-82 victory over France was the narrowest margin in any Olympic basketball final since 1972. But There was an upheaval in baseball, where Japan won gold in Yokohama Baseball Stadium with a 2-0 victory over the United States.
After including a Beyoncé medley in one of her routines, Israeli Linoy Ashram won the individual gold medal in rhythmic gymnastics. This broke a winning streak for Russia in the event dating back to 2000. There was, however, no end to the Russian Olympic Committee’s dominance in synchronized swimming. Svetlana Romashina became the most decorated artistic swimmer of all time and said in a touching press conference afterwards: “I can say that the sixth and seventh medals were the most difficult of my life. I became a mother and it was very difficult to be a mother and an athlete at one point.
Sweden won the team show jumping event in equestrian sports, ahead of a team from the United States that included Bruce Springsteen’s daughter, Jessica. But the saga of Saint Boy, the horse who refused to jump for Annika Schleu in the modern pentathlon on Friday, took a darker turn on Saturday as the sport’s governing body UIPM announced that the German coach Kim Raisner had been kicked out of The Hitting The Horse Games, which had been randomly awarded to Schleu for the event.