Tokyo Olympics Recap: Triumphant Ledecky eyeing more gold in 2024 and 2028, GB triathlon team win

By Sports Desk July 31, 2021

Katie Ledecky is eyeing up the 2024 Paris Olympics and the 2028 Games in Los Angeles after claiming her seventh gold medal with victory in the women's 800 metres freestyle on Saturday.

Ledecky, who holds the world record over the distance, fended off rival Ariarne Titmus for her latest swimming triumph, backing up success in the 1,500m.

The 24-year-old American was clear of Titmus throughout the race and held off the Australian's familiar late push to win in eight minutes and 12.57 seconds. Italy's Simona Quadarella claimed bronze.

Ledecky's victory takes her Olympic medal tally to 10, including the gold haul, and she is targeting more.

“I'm still young, 24 is not that old," Ledecky said. "People are sticking around in this sport into their 30s. I still love this sport, I love it more and more every year. I feel I'm going to give every ounce I have to this sport.

“I love the training, I love the day-to-day. I'm just going to keep doing it until I feel like it's time. Obviously the Olympics in 2028 are in LA so that's kind of out there and appealing also."

USA's Michael Phelps holds the record for most Olympic gold medals with 23, with the next most going to gymnast Larisa Latynina, distance runner Paavo Nurmi, swim great Mark Spitz and athlete Carl Lewis who all claimed nine golds, which Ledecky could plausibly match or eclipse.

Ledecky has already become the first US female swimmer to win three consecutive golds in the same event.

Caeleb Dressel revealed he was not feeling 100 per cent despite breaking his own world record to win the men's 100m butterfly gold medal from Kristof Milak.

American Dressel triumphed in 49.45 seconds, bettering his own mark of 49.50 from July 2019 in Gwangju, to beat Milak, with Switzerland's Noe Ponti taking bronze.

"It was well executed, my body wasn't as good as it could have been, it was the body I was given on this day, I felt better yesterday," Dressel said. "It hurt really bad but it was fine. I knew what my race plan was and stuck to it, got the job done. What a close race. Two of the fastest times in history.

"You don't get that very often so to be a part of that is very special. The event is only going to get faster. I'm aware of that and it's just exciting that it took a world record to win."

Milak also remarked after the race that the pair would push and inspire each other on to future world records.

Australian Kaylee McKeown backed up her 100m backstroke gold with victory in the 200m, ahead of Canada's Kylie Masse and compatriot Emily Seebohm.

Great Britain, powered by Adam Peaty, won the mixed 4x100m medley relay, ahead of China and Australia.

BROWNLEE TRIUMPH AS GB MAKE HISTORY

Great Britain made history by claiming the first-ever gold medal in the mixed triathlon, with victory by 14 seconds ahead of the USA.

Jonny Brownlee, who won individual bronze in 2012 and silver in 2016, opened up a good lead for the British in the second leg which they did not relinquish.

Jessica Learmonth had started off for Team GB, before Brownlee's leg, with Georgia Taylor-Brown and Alex Yee finishing it off.

"Olympics? Completed it," Brownlee said. "It feels absolutely amazing. It's my third Olympics and I've finally got gold."

Great Britain finished in 1:23:41, with France claiming bronze behind the US team.

PERFECT GROUP PHASE FOR HOCKEYROOS

Australia's Hockeyroos completed a perfect group phase after final-quarter goals from Savannah Fitzpatrick and Emily Chalker sealed a 2-0 win over Argentina.

The victory means Australia have topped Pool B with five wins from five games and will play the fourth-ranked nation from Pool A, either Great Britain, India or Ireland.

The Australia hockey team are three-time Olympic gold medallists but have not won a medal since Sydney 2000 and endured tumult in the lead-up to Tokyo 2020 with a change of coach.

China were eliminated despite beating New Zealand 3-2, while Japan also bowed out after a 4-1 loss to Spain, who finish second in Pool B.

Germany and the Netherlands meet on Saturday evening to determine top place from Pool A ahead of the quarter-finals on Monday.

SAN MARINO'S MEDAL RUSH

Tiny European nation San Marino claimed a second-ever Olympic medal, only 48 hours after grabbing their first.

Alessandra Perilli, who won bronze on Thursday in the women's trap shooting, teamed up with Gian Marco Berti to claim silver in the mixed team trap, beaten 41-40 by Spain in the final.

San Marino, which has a population of 33,600, is the least populous country to win an Olympic medal, having competed at the Games since 1960.

USA beat Slovakia 42-42 (3-2) in the bronze medal final.

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    Olivier Giroud was relieved to get back among the goals as Milan fought back to beat Hellas Verona 3-2 at San Siro on Saturday.

    The Rossoneri looked to be heading for a first defeat in 30 home Serie A meetings with Verona when Gianluca Caprari and Antonin Barak put them 2-0 up before half-time.

    Giroud headed in just before the hour mark to spark Milan's revival, with Franck Kessie levelling the scores from the penalty spot before a late decisive own goal from Koray Gunter.

    The result put Stefano Pioli's men top of the table ahead of Napoli's clash with Torino on Sunday.

    In scoring his third goal in his first two Serie A home games, Giroud matched a feat only previous reached by Oliver Bierhoff, Alexandre Pato, Mario Balotelli and Carlos Bacca since 1994-95.

    The former Arsenal and Chelsea striker, who had missed four of Milan's previous five games, admitted it had been a long time coming to be back on the scoresheet.

    "I've waited a long time for this moment. I missed the competition," Giroud, who last scored in the win over Cagliari in August, told DAZN.

    "In the first half, we didn't do well but the reaction was important. I don't feel 100 per cent yet but I am growing and I feel more free.

    "This victory is a joy. I can't wait to go and celebrate with my team-mates. In the first half, there was a lack of nastiness and quality. We could only do better in the second half, and that's what we did."

    Pioli was left delighted with the endeavour shown by his side in the second half as they now prepare for a key Champions League group game with Porto on Tuesday.

    "My team believe in what they do and put their soul into everything," he told DAZN.

    "We tried to play from the back but they were very aggressive in the first half. They took away our space and often left us with just the long ball. We were not very dynamic and we suffered.

    "The best thing about this group is to see everyone involved. The credit doesn't go to me, but it's the air we breathe. The boys put individuality aside to put themselves at the service of the team.

    "We should enjoy this game but prepare for Porto. We've recovered some players and we've lost some. The more rotations there are, the better we can do." 

  • Milan 3-2 Hellas Verona: Gunter own goal decisive as Rossoneri roar back Milan 3-2 Hellas Verona: Gunter own goal decisive as Rossoneri roar back

    Milan roared back from 2-0 down to beat Hellas Verona 3-2 on Saturday and claim top spot in the Serie A table.

    Unbeaten in their opening seven league games of the season, the Rossoneri were 2-0 down at the break against a side previously without an away win against them in 29 attempts.

    Gianluca Caprari and a penalty from Antonin Barak had Verona heading for an unlikely three points before the home side produced a second-half turnaround.

    After Olivier Giroud had headed home a third goal in three league games, Franck Kessie equalised from the penalty spot before Koray Gunter's own goal settled a gripping contest.

    Milan had not conceded two first-half goals in Serie A since last November – against these opponents – but they paid the price for a lifeless start to the contest.

    Ciprian Tatarusanu, in for the injured Mike Maignan, was powerless to keep out Caprari's precise finish seven minutes in after Miguel Veloso had kept Verona's attack alive.

    The lead was doubled 17 minutes later, Barak putting his penalty just out of Tatarusanu's reach after Alessio Romagnoli was judged to have fouled Nikola Kalinic as the former Milan forward darted in front of him to meet a cross.

    This Milan is a resilient side, though – they have only twice taken more points after the first eight matches of the season in the three-point era than they had before this game – and they got a lifeline just before the hour when Giroud nodded in Rafael Leao's expert cross from the left.

    A swift passing move saw Leao backheel the ball to Samu Castillejo, who was caught from behind by Marco Faraoni, allowing Kessie to dispatch a confident penalty and level the scores with 15 minutes left.

    Stefano Pioli introduced Zlatan Ibrahimovic off the bench, and the veteran striker may well have had a tap-in had Gunter not scuffed an attempted clearance beneath the legs of goalkeeper Lorenzo Montipo to give Milan the lead.


    What does it mean? Milan go top – and stay unbeaten

    Milan's comeback saw them leapfrog Napoli, who play Torino on Sunday, and go top of the table by a single point.

    With Inter having lost 3-1 at Lazio earlier, Pioli will be doubly pleased with the manner of their second-half performance as they capitalised on their rivals' first loss of the season.

    Verona are 13th, with eight points from eight games.

    Olivier takes centre stage

    Giroud has made a career out of being a penalty-box menace and it was no surprise to see him drag Milan back into the contest.

    He is the fifth Rossonero since 1994-95 to score three goals in his first two Serie A home games, after Oliver Bierhoff, Alexandre Pato, Mario Balotelli and Carlos Bacca.

    Maldini goes missing

    Daniel Maldini completed just seven passes before being hooked at half-time as Pioli rang the changes to good effect.

    By contrast, replacement Rade Krunic completed twice as many in the opposition half alone while creating four goalscoring chances.

    What's next?

    Milan head to Porto in the Champions League on Tuesday before facing Bologna away on October 23.

  • Mendy deserved a Ballon d'Or nomination, but Tuchel hopes 'it does not bother him' Mendy deserved a Ballon d'Or nomination, but Tuchel hopes 'it does not bother him'

    Edouard Mendy should have been included on the Ballon d'Or shortlist, but Thomas Tuchel hopes it does not bother the Chelsea goalkeeper. 

    Senegal international Mendy kept nine clean sheets during Chelsea's triumphant Champions League campaign last season – more than any other keeper in the competition. His save percentage of 91.2 also led the way among keepers to play at least six games in the 2020-21 edition of Europe's premier club competition. 

    While Chelsea team-mates Cesar Azpilicueta, Jorginho, N'Golo Kante and Mason Mount were named on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or, Mendy was left out. 

    But he produced a display worthy of such recognition during Chelsea's 1-0 victory over Brentford on Saturday, making six saves to earn his 20th clean sheet in his 38th Premier League start. In the competition's history, only Petr Cech (26), Pepe Reina (32), Alisson (36) and Roy Carroll (37) needed fewer starts to hit that milestone. 

    Tuchel believes Mendy should be in the running for the most coveted individual prize in men's football, but he is not overly concerned by his omission and does not think his keeper should be either. 

    Asked if Mendy should have made the shortlist, Tuchel told a news conference: "Yes, but I'm happy and it is more important that he performs like this than he is on any list. 

    "It should not, I hope it does not, bother him because it does not bother me too much and it seems like he is not influenced by that, which is a good thing. 

    "I think that we could be on that list as a whole team because we won that trophy as a team and if we have five names or six names, I feel that we won it as 21 guys and everybody played his role. That's how football works. 

    "Today we relied heavily on him again. He is the guy he is and everybody is so happy for him that he can help us. So everything is good." 

    Mendy's best saves came in the final 20 minutes as Chelsea clung on for maximum points after Ben Chilwell's thunderous strike on the stroke of half-time.

    Antonio Rudiger, who was absent for Chelsea after sustaining an injury while representing Germany during the international break, made his feelings clear about Mendy's Ballon d'Or snub on social media after the Blues' victory. 

    "Someone explain why he's not nominated for the Ballon d'Or," Rudiger tweeted. "What a performance... EDOUARD MENDY." 

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