David Haye will return to the ring to face his "overconfident billionaire buddy" Joe Fournier at Staples Center on September 11.

Former world cruiserweight and heavyweight champion Haye retired from boxing after losing a rematch with Tony Bellew in May 2018.

The 40-year-old has been tempted to lace the gloves up again for a fight with former WBA light heavyweight international champion Fournier in Los Angeles, but the Brit says he is not making a "traditional comeback".

Haye said: "This whole fight between us came into existence when at dinner with a group in Mykonos we were asked who would win in a fight between us.

"I laughed, but out of respect for Joe's ego suggested it would be close, maybe a draw – whilst winking to Joe.

"Joe's straight-faced response was very different, he was deadly serious stating he would win in a fight today – I assumed it was just the tequila talking.

"And that's exactly where it started. A boozy night in Mykonos, two alpha males peacocking with a crowd of girls. Fast forward two weeks, I remain happily retired from boxing, with no intentions to make a traditional comeback to challenge the monsters of the division but am fit and ready to prove my point against my overconfident billionaire buddy.

"I would've been more than happy to prove this point behind closed doors, I suggested a four-round spar in my Hayemaker Gym in London, which would have been more than enough to shut him up.

"But for Fournier, the 'Ric Flair' of the boxing world, this would have done nothing for his 'legacy'. Joe asked what it would cost to get me through the ropes one last time for an official fight, on a real stage. I told him it would have to be a package rivalling my last PPV blockbusters. A few calls with the lawyers, and here we are."

The fight is on the undercard for the return of the 48-year-old Oscar De La Hoya, who comes up against Vitor Belfort, 44.

Errol Spence Jr has been ruled out of his fight with Manny Pacquiao on August 21 due to an eye injury.

Welterweight Spence had been due to defend his IBF and WBC titles against the 42-year-old Pacquiao, who has not fought since beating Keith Thurman to become WBA champion in July 2019.

That victory made 'Pac-Man' the first four-time champion at the weight limit, though he was knocked down to champion in recess by the WBA due to inactivity.

While Pacquiao will not be fighting his planned opponent later this month, he will still be in action on the Las Vegas bill.

The Filipino will instead take on Yordenis Ugas, who had originally been scheduled to defend his WBA belt against Fabian Maidana as part of the undercard.

Spence marked his comeback following injuries sustained in a car crash with an impressive victory over Danny Garcia last year, but his career is once again on hold.

The 31-year-old - nicknamed 'The Truth' - has suffered a retinal tear in his left eye, forcing him to pull out of the much-anticipated showdown.

"Went to three different doctors all said the same thing I'll be back for the winner for sure," Spence tweeted.

He followed up with "I came back from worse" in a further post, appearing to reference the vehicle accident in October 2019 that left him in intensive care.

Spence made clear on Twitter he is already planning to take on the Pacquiao-Ugas winner once he is cleared to return to action.

"I pray for a full and complete recovery for Errol Spence Jr," Pacquiao tweeted following the change.

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge successfully defended his men's marathon title and the United States added three more golds to their tally on the final day of Tokyo Olympics action.

Kipchoge crossed the line one minute and 20 seconds ahead of runner-up Abdi Nageeye to become the third athlete to win the event at back-to-back Games.

In doing so, the 36-year-old – who previously took 5,000 metre silver in 2008 and bronze in London four years later – believes he has inspired a generation of runners.

"It means a lot to me, especially at this hard time," he said. "Last year was postponed, and now it has happened.

"I think I fulfilled the legacy by winning the marathon for the second time. That's my total happiness, my inspiration for the next generation."

The final day of action at the 2020 Games ultimately belonged to the United States, though, as they collected three golds to finish above China at the top of the medal table.

 

USA TRUMP CHINA

Team USA trailed China by two gold medals heading into Sunday's events, but triumphs in basketball, volleyball and track cycling saw them top the standings.

USA's victory in the women's basketball would have come as little surprise given it is their seventh straight success in the competition.

Brittney Griner racked up 30 points and Breanna Stewart also impressed in the 90-75 win over Japan with 14 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks.

Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi each picked up their fifth gold medals, while for Japan the silver was their first medal of any sort in the sport.

"The only thing about getting older, you know all the bad stuff that can happen," Bird said. "We lost in the 2006 World Cup. We tasted that and that's always been the driver. 

"So, when we actually have the medal around our necks, it just feels so good. It's a sense of relief in a lot of ways."

While success in the women's basketball is par for the course, overcoming Brazil in the volleyball final provided USA with their first gold medal in the event.

After finishing runners-up to Brazil in the 2008 and 2012 Games, USA exacted some revenge with a 25-21 25-20 25-14 victory in Sunday's final.

Jennifer Valente completed the hat-trick for the Americans in the women's cycling omnium, the 26-year-old delivering her country's first track cycling gold since 2000.

She led from start to finish, despite crashing in the final points race, with home favourite Yumi Kajihara taking silver.

"There were some bumps. It was actually quite a short day as far as omnium goes," Valente said. "That was something that was very much on my mind, that we played into.

"Crashing in the point races is never ideal. I was just trying to get back on my bike, make sure I was okay, and get back in the race as soon as possible."


BRITAIN RULE THE TRACK

Kelsey Mitchell won the women's sprint for Canada by beating Ukraine's Olena Starikova 2-0 in the best-of-three final.

But it was a familiar outcome in the men's keirin as Jason Kenny finished 0.763 seconds ahead of Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia to win his seventh Olympic gold medal.

That makes Kenny Great Britain's most decorated Olympian and ensured Team GB finished top of the cycling medals table with six golds, four silver and two bronze.

"It's a bit of shock, I think," Kenny said of his latest medal success. "I really wanted to cross the finish line. I am absolutely buzzing. 

"Going into the final I didn't expect anything other than a five, really. I was hoping to kind of get stuck in, and hopefully come away with some silverware. 

"To win at the corner on my own like that is absolutely buzzing."

AMERICA'S BOXING WAIT GOES ON

The final four boxing gold medals were up for grabs on Sunday and plenty of focus was on the super-heavyweight bout between Bakhodir Jalolov and the USA's Richard Torrez. 

Twenty-two-year-old Torrez started strongly with a ferocious assault in the first round, but Uzbekistani boxer Jalolov recovered and won unanimously.

Torrez's compatriot Keyshawn Davis earlier lost his men's lightweight clash with Cuba's Andy Cruz, meaning USA's wait for an Olympic men's boxing gold will reach 20 years come Paris 2024.

"I've never felt this much pressure in fights a day in my life," Davis said. "I'm glad I got to experience this because it did make me a better fighter.

"I'm not cool with winning silver, but it's something I've got to live with and I'm okay with that. I'm gonna live with it and we're just gonna take it to the next level."

In the female categories, Kellie Anne Harrington beat Brazil's Beatriz Ferreira in the lightweight final to earn Ireland their second gold of the Games, while GB's Lauren Price outclassed Li Qian to win the middleweight final on points.

Keyshawn Davis and Richard Torrez Jr could not end the USA's long wait for a men's Olympic boxing gold medallist, meaning the drought will reach 20 years by the time Paris 2024 rolls around.

On the final day of Tokyo 2020, there were high hopes that lightweight Davis and super heavyweight Torrez Jr could top the podium at the Kokugikan Arena.

Yet Davis lost on a split decision to Cuba's Andy Cruz in his final, and Torrez Jr was thwarted by Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov.

The two silver medals mean Andre Ward's light heavyweight gold at Athens in 2004 remains the last time an American man landed boxing glory in the Games. 

A devastated Torrez Jr said: "I feel like I had the world in my hands, and it slipped. And I watched it fall and break, and I'm trying to pick up the pieces.

"I've been on the medal podium before, and it's one of the best and worst feelings to ever feel. To not have that flag raised, to not have that anthem played, to sit there and one guy is crying tears of the joy, the other sadness. When you are in that position it's really tough. So maybe one day I'll look back and say I did a good job, because I do believe I did a good job, but it's tough.

"This is one of the most bittersweet moments I've ever felt."

The 22-year-old said the US men "fought their heart out" in Tokyo, with each man mindful and perhaps burdened by the unusually long wait for a place on the top step of the podium.

"I think overall as a team, we are putting boxing back into the USA. I do believe that we are giving it a surge again," Torrez Jr added. "I believe it's coming, I really do. I'm sorry I couldn't be the one to do it, but I have pride and I have belief in my country."

Davis was somewhat less lyrical in reflecting on his loss, saying of his experience in Japan: "It was something I never experienced before. Putting my professional career on hold to complete something, this is the hardest in the world to complete. I came up a little short, but leaving this tournament I'm a completely different fighter.

"I'm glad I got to experience what I experienced at this Olympics, and it's something I will remember for the rest of my life."


HOLMES WHERE THE HEART IS FOR PRICE

Great Britain's Lauren Price is a former international footballer and kickboxer who can now call herself an Olympic boxing champion.

The Welsh middleweight beat China's Li Qian on a unanimous verdict, even winning all three rounds with four of the five judges, and the 27-year-old revealed her inspiration came from the Athens Olympics.

British track star Kelly Holmes won 800 metres and 1,500m gold medals in the Greek capital, delivering on years of promise and effort at the highest level in athletics, and a watching Price was inspired.

"I've got to say today tops anything I've ever done in my career. It's been a dream of mine since I was eight years old watching Kelly Holmes win that gold," Price said.

"I've always said I didn't know how I was going to get here and what sport I was going to do, but the dream has always been to get to the Olympic Games.

"To win gold is just the icing on the cake and I can't really put into words what it means to me right now."


HARRINGTON CLEANS UP

Irish lightweight Kellie Anne Harrington fended off Brazilian Beatriz Ferreira to land gold in the first fight of the day, then promised she would soon be back to her cleaning job at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin.

The 31-year-old said: "I’m an Olympic champion but it doesn't define me as a person. At home, I'd say it will be a bit mental, but I will be going back to work in two or three weeks. I'll be back at work, back doing my normal thing, that's what keeps me grounded.

"My circle [of friends] is very small and it will be staying very small. I'm going to just keep doing what I do. Nothing will change. I won't start thinking I'm something that I'm not. This is me. I will continue to be this way - except I'll have my gold medal.

"I'll get home, have a break, eat loads of pizza. I'm sure there will be a little party in work for me and I'll be bringing my medal there."

World record holder Eliud Kipchoge vowed to enjoy the moment before setting his next goal after successfully defending his Olympic men's marathon title at Tokyo 2020 on Sunday.

The 36-year-old Kenyan won by over a minute in a time of two hours, eight minutes and 38 seconds, with Dutchman Abdi Nageeye and Belgium's Bashir Abdi taking silver and bronze respectively.

The triumph was a coronation for Kipchoge who won gold at Rio 2016, while he claimed bronze and silver Olympic medals in the 5,000m in Athens and Beijing respectively.

Kipchoge, who is widely regarded as the greatest marathon runner in the modern era, refused to look ahead after his latest win.

"I am a believer of the philosophy that you should only chase one rabbit," Kipchoge said. "If you chase two, then you cannot get all of them.

"For the last two years I have been focusing on the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, so I will only plan the next thing when there is a big job ahead of me.

"What was in my bucket list was Tokyo 2020. So I will go back now, talk to my coach, and see what the opportunities are and then I will come back to you people. But, for now, I want to enjoy winning here in Tokyo."

Nageeye and Abdi claimed second and third with an enthralling final sprint, edging out Kenyan Lawrence Cherono for the medals. The Dutchman willed on training partner Abdi in the dying stages.

"I was just telling him to stay with us, stay with us the last one (kilometre)," Nageeye said. "I felt good as that is what I was doing. I wasn't volunteering, but I knew if he stayed until the end, the last 200 metres, close your eyes and just sprint."

KENNY CLAIMS HISTORIC SEVENTH OLYMPIC GOLD

British cyclist Jason Kenny secured his seventh career Olympic gold medal, winning the men's keirin final on the final day of the Games after a remarkable race where he stormed ahead unopposed.

Kenny claimed his historic gold by 0.763 seconds from Malaysia's Mohd Azizulhasni Awang who edged Harrie Lavreysen of the Netherlands on the line to claim silver and bronze respectively.

In a bizarre race, the 33-year-old Kenny pulled clear with two laps to go, with second-placed Matthew Glaetzer not following him, powering ahead and eventually crossing the line on his own.

"It was such a long way," Kenny said. "I felt like the last lap took me about half an hour. But I got there in the end. I still can’t believe I crossed the line on my own."

He first won gold in the team sprint at Beijing 2008, following with two triumphs at London 2012 and three at Rio 2016, including the keirin title which he successfully defended.

Kenny's gold medal means he is the most successful British athlete in Olympic history, pulling clear of cyclist Chris Hoy.

Jason's wife Laura Kenny was involved in a huge crash in the opening round of the women's omnium and missed out on the medals, with gold won by USA's Jennifer Valente. Japan's Yumi Kajihara won the host country's first medal in cycling at Tokyo 2020 with silver.

Canada's Kelsey Mitchell won the gold medal from Ukraine's Olena Starikova in the women's sprint, with Hong Kong's Lee Wai Sze taking bronze.

USA CONTINUE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL DYNASTY

The United States women's basketball team claimed their seventh consecutive gold medal with a 90-75 victory over hosts Japan.

Brittney Griner top-scored with 30 points for USA, along with five rebounds and two assists.

Team USA opened up a nine-point lead at the first change and they were never headed, with a strong display headed by Griner.

USA only hit four three-pointers for the game compared to Japan's eight, but the favourites played to their strengths with strong offensive and defensive contributions from A'ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart.

Wilson added 19 points, seven rebounds, five blocks and five assists, while Stewart was exceptional with 14 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks and five assists.

USA veteran Sue Bird signed off on her Olympic career with a fifth gold medal.

USA MOVE CLEAR WITH VOLLEYBALL TRIUMPH

The United States moved into the outright lead on the gold medal table after clinching their first-ever women's volleyball victory.

USA triumphed 3-0 over Brazil, winning 25-21 25-20 25-14 in a dominant final display.

The gold medal took USA's tally to 39 golds, moving ahead of China with 38 as the final day continued to unfold.

The United States cut into China's lead in the medal table, leaving them just two ahead at the end of the penultimate day of the Tokyo Olympics.

China came into Saturday with a five-gold lead but double 4x400m relay success provided the platform for USA to make up ground.

Allyson Felix became the only American athlete to win 11 track medals as the women cruised to relay gold, while the men coasted to an 18th success as they finished well ahead, the Netherlands a distant second.

Team USA recorded their fourth successive gold in the men’s basketball final, plus there was success for Nelly Korda in the women's golf.

China picked up two golds to take their tally to 38, with Cao Yuan, who became the first athlete to win three different Olympic diving events, and Yang Jian securing a Chinese one-two in the 10m platform. Their other victory came in the women's canoe double 500m sprint.

Early leaders Japan collected a trio of triumphs, the first of which came in softball, while the Russian Olympic Committee also secured three golds, Abdulrashid Sadulaev dominating the men's heavyweight freestyle wrestling.

Galal Yafai captured Great Britain's 19th gold with a 4-1 points decision in the men's flyweight boxing final before Joe Choong added another by replicating Kate French's achievement in the men's version of the modern pentathlon.

Australia, who equalled their record medal haul at the Games on Thursday, remain in sixth place, Nicola McDermott's silver making history in the women's high jump with her country's first medal in the event since 1964.

 

Galal Yafai secured a first Olympic gold for his family with a points win in the men's flyweight final on Saturday.

Four of the judges scored the bout against Carlo Paalam narrowly in Yafai's favour at Kokugikan Arena to bring the Great Britain star Games joy at Tokyo 2020.

Yafai lost in the round of 16 at Rio 2016, while brother Kal fell at the same stage at Beijing 2008 and then failed to make weight for a box-off ahead of London 2012. Gamal, a third brother, is also a boxer.

It was a victory long in the making then, as Yafai said: "Whenever I do anything good it impacts [his brothers].

"We're a close-knit family, close-knit brothers and hopefully they can celebrate this with me too."

Yafai said winning a world title was "a million per cent" an aspiration, but he would not immediately commit to turning professional.

"I'll have a rest now," he said. "Obviously everyone wants to turn pro. I've been amateur for a long time, been to two Olympic Games, I'm Olympic champion now.

"I think it's a big thing that everyone wants to do, but I'm just going to have a rest at the minute and spend time with family and friends and just soak it all in."

BRUTAL END TO STUNNING UNBEATEN RUN

Hebert Sousa became the second Brazilian to win an Olympic gold in boxing after ending Oleksandr Khyzhniak's sensational undefeated streak in style.

Khyzhniak, one of the favourites in the middleweight event, had not lost in 62 amateur bouts going back to 2016.

But the Ukrainian was knocked out in the third round by Sousa, having been in control of the fight to that point.

"It was very difficult and I had to confront my opponent," Sousa said. "He's very, very powerful. I believed in our possibility and I trained to get the medal. I trained and trained."

MIXED FORTUNES IN TURKEY'S MEDAL FIGHTS

Saturday's two women's finals both brought unanimous decisions, with Turkey's Busenaz Surmeneli winning the welterweight gold but compatriot Buse Naz Cakiroglu having to settle for silver in the fly.

Cakiroglu, in action first, had missed out on becoming Turkey's first boxing gold medallist as Stoyka Zhelyazkova Krasteva of Bulgaria triumphed.

That honour instead went to Surmeneli following her victory over China's Hong Gu.

Surmeneli said of the achievement: "I am really happy to get that. I am just a pioneer and this medal is for all Turkey. I hope to win more medals.

"This is hope for the Turkish girls and it is a sign that you should run for your dreams, you should do your best for your dreams."

Peres Jepchirchir and Brigid Kosgei set the pace for most of Saturday's women's marathon, and the only question entering the final five kilometres was which Kenyan would cross the line first. 

Jepchirchir finally broke from her countrywoman with a little over two kilometres to go and pulled away to win by 16 seconds.

Kosgei's second-place finish made Kenya the first nation to claim gold and silver in the event at the same Olympic Games.

“I pushed on the pace [and when I opened the gap] it was like, 'Wow, I’m going to make it. I’m going to win,'" Jepchirchir said. 

"It feels good. I’m so, so happy because we win as Kenya. First and second. I thank my god so much. I'm happy for my family. I'm happy for my country, Kenya."

Ten seconds behind Kosgei, Molly Seidel of the USA shouted "Yes! Yes!" as she crossed the line for a stunning bronze medal in only her third competitive marathon.

Seidel is the third US woman to medal in the marathon, following Joan Benoit Samuelson's gold at the inaugural women's race in Los Angeles in 1984 and Deena Kastor's bronze at Athens 2004.

She said she took inspiration from her friend Courtney Frerichs' aggressive approach that led to a silver medal in the 3,000m steeplechase this week.

"Seeing her do that and race aggressively was truthfully what gave me the strength to not be afraid to stick my nose in it," Seidel said.

"It is just to go out, stick your nose where it doesn’t belong and try and make some people angry. My goal today was just to go in and for people to think, 'Who the hell is this girl?'."

ANOTHER GOLD FOR MCGEE FAMILY

JaVale McGee was a late addition to the USA basketball squad, but Saturday's victory over France made him a part of history.

McGee's mother Pam won gold with the USA in basketball at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, and she and JaVale are now the first American mother-son combo to win gold in any sport.

“It's an amazing feeling man," McGee said. "I got a gold medal, my mother's got a gold medal. You can't really explain it, just knowing you're the best in the world.

“If that don't add to the resume, I don't know what will. It's a family resume. That's what it’s all about, in the end, is family.”

YAFAI WINS BOXING GOLD FOR BRITAIN

Galal Yafai became the first British man to win boxing gold since London 2012, defeating Carlo Paalam of the Philippines for the flyweight title Saturday.

Yafai knocked down Paalam in the opening round and never looked back, winning 4-1.

The 28-year-old Birmingham native competed in Rio as a light flyweight but lost in the second round.

He is the first Brit to medal in the men's fly since 1956.

Paalam is the first man from the Philippines to medal in any sport since boxer Mansueto Velasco took silver in the light fly at Atlanta 1996.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL NEWCOMERS TAKE MEDALS

A sport traditionally dominated by Brazil and the USA saw three newcomers on the podium on Saturday.

The Norway duo of Anders Mol and Christian Sorum defeated Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy, representing the Russian Olympic Committee, to take home the gold medal.

In the bronze-medal match, Ahmed Tijan and Cherif Younousse of Qatar downed Edgar Tocs and 2012 bronze medallist Martins Plavins of Latvia.

None of the podium nations had won a medal of any kind in men's or women's beach volleyball before, though the winners do have an Olympic legacy of sorts.

Mol's mother, Merita Berntsen, placed ninth with partner Ragni Hestad in the first beach volleyball competition at the 1996 Atlanta Games, then retired when Anders was born the next year.

"My mum thought it was going to be really hard to travel around with two kids, because my brother was born in 1994. She had me and then quit," Mol said. "I always dreamed of beating my mum in the Olympics. She got a ninth [place[. I was actually really happy when we made it to the quarter-finals because we became historical by achieving [at least] a fifth place.

"It has been a journey for a long time and our parents and families are very proud of us right now."

SIXTH KAYAK GOLD FOR HUNGARY'S KOZAK

Danuta Kozak claimed her sixth Olympic gold medal as Hungary won the women's sprint kayak four 500 metres.

The 34-year-old teamed with Tamara Csipes, Anna Karasz and Dora Bodonyi to hold off Belarus and Poland.

It was Kozak's third consecutive gold in the fours after taking silver in the event in her Olympic debut in Beijing.

She also won gold in the K1 500m in London and Rio, and in the K2 in Rio. She took bronze in the K2 earlier this week, so Saturday's win gives her eight Olympic medals overall.

In other sprint kayak finals, Germany won the men's kayak four 500m, China took the women's canoe double 500m and Isaquias Queiroz dos Santos of Brazil won the canoe single 1000m.

Julio Cesar La Cruz set his sights on winning a third Olympic boxing gold medal in Paris after landing heavyweight glory at Tokyo 2020 on Friday.

The powerful Cuban, who was shot in the hip during an attempted robbery in January 2014, added to the light heavyweight title he won in Rio five years ago

The 31-year-old now believes he can stay at the top until the 2024 Olympics.

La Cruz beat the Russian Olympic Committee's reigning world champion Muslim Gadzhimagomedov, who took silver, by unanimous verdict.

Two judges scored the gold medal bout 30-27 in favour of La Cruz and the other three settled on 29-28 decisions.

The success means Cuba have won three boxing golds in Tokyo, with La Cruz proud of his performance at the Kokugikan Arena.

"There was a lot of attention on the fight as he is the current world champion, but my team and trainers gave me a lot of confidence that I could win the fight, and they were right," La Cruz said. "They said that I had to believe in myself."

There appears to be no lack of self-belief with La Cruz, who added: "I've got two Games gold medals now but Paris is only three years away. I'll go to the next Olympics and try to win a third gold medal for my country."

Having won four world titles at light heavyweight, La Cruz is new to the higher weight category and seizing his opportunity to be a dual weight master.

After surviving the shooting seven years ago, La Cruz is keen to grasp every chance he gets to succeed.

"First of all when that happened it was tough," he said, "but I never lost hope.

"I had to heal for some time, but the Cuban doctors did a marvellous job and thanks to my hope and faith, my family and my mother, the Cuban people and Cuban doctors, the psychologists that helped me, I'm here today and was able to notch those two [gold medal] victories and I thought I deserved it."

The bullet that struck his hip remains in the family, La Cruz confirmed.

"My mother has it, as a token of remembrance of what happened there," he said.


USA STAR DAVIS PREDICTS 'EASY' FINAL

Cuban Andy Cruz awaits Keyshawn Davis in the lightweight final, which will take place on Sunday.

Ask American Davis how he sees that going and the 22-year-old professional boxer will fire back a confident answer, despite losing to Cruz in the World Championship final two years ago.

"I feel like that's going to be an easy fight, man," Davis said on Friday. "I feel like it's going to be easier for me. Like I said, I'm bigger, stronger, faster, smarter."

He made that declaration after beating Armenia's Hovhannes Bachkov in Friday's semi-final.

The United States remain without a men's Olympics boxing gold medal since the Athens 2004 Games.

The United States cut China's lead at the top of the medal table to five as they collected four golds on day 13 of the Games.

Coming into Thursday's events, China boasted a seven-gold buffer as leaders but that was reduced by the USA's Katie Nageotte in the women's pole vault and Ryan Crouser in the men's shot put – the latter of which became a back-to-back Olympic champion.

More golds followed for the USA, with Nevin Harrison winning the women's single canoe 200m sprint – her country's first medal in either canoe or kayak sprint since 1992 – and David Taylor succeeding in the men's 86kg freestyle wrestling in the last second.

After shooting a blank the previous day, China ensured a five-gold gap going into Friday as the women's table tennis team continued their dominance, overcoming Japan to secure their fourth gold in four consecutive Games.

The table-toppers have now won all four of the women's diving events in Tokyo, too, as 14-year-old Quan Hongchan set a world record in the 10m platform, making it a China one-two with fellow teenager Chen Yuxi.

Defending Olympic champion Risako Kawai, who is also a three-time world champion, triumphed once more in the women's 57kg wrestling freestyle, meaning early leaders Japan remain in third with a gold count of 22.

Australia suffered shoot-out heartbreak in the men's hockey final but climbed up to fourth with men's kayak double 1000m sprint success and their first-ever Olympic gold medal in skateboarding, courtesy of Keegan Palmer's park win.

Their 17 gold medals at the Games with three days to go equalled Australia's best-ever haul, matching the total they collected at Athens in 2004. 

The Russian Olympic Committee leaped up a spot to fifth as Zaur Uguev was crowned champion in the men's 57kg wrestling freestyle and Albert Batyrgaziev fought to gold in the men's featherweight boxing.

Great Britain, who now boast 16 medals after winning just the one event on Thursday, slipped back down to sixth position with Matthew Walls' omnium gold ending Team GB's frustrating unsuccessful spell in the cycling track events.

 

Duke Ragan missed out on ending the USA's 17-year gold drought in men's boxing as Albert Batyrgaziev became the first professional to triumph in the Olympic ring.

The wait for a Games gold for the United States men continued on Thursday as a split decision went against Ragan in the featherweight final at the Kokugikan Arena, in a battle of two fighters who have recently left the amateur ranks behind.

Ragan edged it 29-28 on the scorecards of two judges, but it went against him by the same margin with two others, and a fifth, from Indonesia, scored it 30-27 in favour of Russian Olympic Committee fighter Batyrgaziev.

Their next meeting could be in a paid contest, given both are making their way in the professional game, and each man said the idea held plenty of appeal.

"That would be an additional motivation, to meet again as two professionals with my opponent in this final," Batyrgaziev said.

Ragan agreed, saying: "If that was to happen I really look forward to getting revenge and stuff like that, especially me and him, both being in the final of this Olympics.

"It would be a big headline and I'm pretty sure that everyone that tuned into the Olympics would want to see that again, especially on a bigger level."

Dagestan-born Batyrgaziev said of his gold: "This has been my dream since I started training for boxing when I was a child. This has made all the hard work and effort and the discipline I've shown since worth it. It has paid off.

"I am proud of my home. It deserves to be the home of an Olympic champion and I'll take the gold medal home to my people as I promised them."

Ragan regretted being unable to be the man to break the US gold drought, with no men's champion since Andre Ward's success at the Athens Olympics, but said silver still gave him some pleasure.

"Coming from the USA, I was the first professional boxer to compete in the Olympics. I take that and run with it. It was a blessing to be here," he said.

"I'm glad that I was a professional. A little bit more experience even though I didn't get the gold, but it's all good.

"I'm happy to be going home with the silver medal. It's not a happy ending for me but I'll take the silver medal over not getting on the podium at all."

 

FORMER 'SKIVVY' YAFAI REACHES GOLD FIGHT

Britain's Galal Yafai battled through to the men's flyweight final and explained how he has gone from a "skivvy" job to living out his dream.

Yafai earned a majority verdict over Saken Bibossinov of Kazakhstan, taking the verdict on three of the five judges' cards, and will face Carlo Paalam of the Philippines for gold on Saturday.

"It's the Olympic gold isn't it, man? Olympic gold is crazy. Just imagine being the Olympic champion," Yafai said.

"It's something I've dreamed about, but could never see happening. To be in an Olympic final, that's something I never thought I could do. Now I'm in it, it just goes to show that if you put in the hard work you reap the rewards."

The 28-year-old explained how he previously worked in a car factory in the English town of Solihull, near Birmingham, and reflected on how far he has come since those days.

"I was grafting, picking up boxes, dreaming of being at an Olympic Games," Yafai said. "I got to Rio [for the 2016 Olympics] a year later where it didn't work out for me. I've waited five years and it's paid off.

"I was doing the rubbish, picking up boxes, delivering parts. Just a skivvy job really. But now I'm on the verge of becoming Olympic champion.

"I hated working there, I'm not going to lie. I'd wanted to be a boxer for years, as I hate being told what to do. Now I'm my own boss and hopefully I can be the Olympic champion."

Great Britain's Ben Whittaker was left in tears after Arlen Lopez denied him a gold medal in the men's light heavyweight final.

A bronze medallist at the 2019 World Championship, Whittaker went one better in Tokyo. However, his gold medal hopes were dashed after a 4-1 defeat to the Cuban, who claimed his second Olympic gold in the process.

The 24-year-old looked dejected as he took to the podium, while opting not to wear the silver medal and placing it in his tracksuit pocket.

"Every boxer does not go in there to receive a silver medal. Every boxer in my weight class wanted the gold and I was one of those," he said.

"I truly woke up this morning and believed it was my time. 

"I had the whole of the west Midlands behind me, Great Britain, and I just felt like a failure, so I couldn't celebrate the silver at that time.

"I still can't just yet. When I look back in a few years it will probably be a great achievement, but I was just so upset as I wanted that gold, not the silver."


NO COMPLAINTS FROM WHITTAKER

Despite his disappointment, Whittaker was full of praise for his opponent.

Lopez became the eighth boxer to win Olympic gold medals in two events, having also won when competing at middleweight in Rio five years ago.

"The right man won. I didn't have the right gameplan and he was a lot better than I thought," Whittaker admitted.

"He's a two-time gold medallist for a reason. It showed what level he is at.

"He is a fantastic boxer and hopefully I get to see him again and try and right that wrong."
 

CLARKE BID CUT SHORT

A cut above his right eye denied Frazer Clarke a place in the men's super-heavyweight final.

The Team GB boxing captain sustained the blow during his bout with top seed Bakhodir Jalolov, who subsequently advanced through to fight for the gold medal.

But despite his disappointment, Clarke was thrilled to secure a bronze medal.

"It's not the fairy tale that I wanted, but I'm proud of myself," Clarke told BBC Sport.

"The last six months of my life, I've made more sacrifices than I've made in the last 18 years when it comes to boxing. 

"To get in there with one of the best, it's a pleasure for me, an honour for me. I'm an Olympic bronze medallist; never could I see that for myself."


TORREZ THROUGH

Jalolov will face America's Richard Torrez Jr in the battle to claim gold.

Torrez impressively stopped Kamshybek Kunkabayev of Kazakhstan in round two of their semi-final bout and the 22-year-old believes that winning a gold medal is his destiny.

"I feel like I'm supposed to be here. I feel like it's meant to be," he said. "I'm just going to keep doing all I can to be on that gold medal podium."

No American has fought in the final at the weight limit since Riddick Bowe back in 1988. He lost out to Lennox Lewis, who was representing Canada.

China added three more golds to their tally at Tokyo 2020 as they continue to lead the Olympic medal table.

It was a dominant final day of artistic gymnastics competition for China, with victory for Zou Jingyuan in the men's parallel bars and for Guan Chenchen in the women's beam final as she beat compatriot Tang Xijing and the returning Simone Biles.

China also took gold and silver in the men's 3m springboard final, which saw Xie Siyi claim the title ahead of Wang Zongyuan.

The United States are eight gold medals behind China, the American team winning two on Tuesday.

Athing Mu earned a stunning victory in the women's 800m, the 19-year-old prevailing in an outstanding final in which seven of the eight runners finished under one minute and 58 seconds.

The other USA gold on day 11 came from Tamyra Mensah-Stock in the women's 68kg freestyle wrestling.

After drawing a blank on Monday, Japan had athletes back on the top of the podium with two more gold medals, taking their total to 19.

Daiki Hashimoto claimed his second gold of the Games by winning the horizontal bar final and Sena Irie took the Olympic women's featherweight boxing title.

Japan have a five-gold buffer to Australia, who are fourth in the medal table with 14, while the Russian Olympic Committee and Great Britain are tied on 13 apiece.

Great Britain's performance on their water allowed them to move level with the Russian Olympic Committee, as they won two of the four sailing golds on offer on the day.

 

Simone Biles provided further inspiration when she returned to action on Tuesday and secured a bronze medal on the balance beam.

China enjoyed success with a Guan Chenchen and Tang Xijing one-two, but the American gymnast stole the headlines on her first appearance back after withdrawing from the team final last week.

Mental health concerns were cited as the reason for Biles stepping away from the team events and other individual disciplines, though the 24-year-old excelled in her sole event on the beam.

The four-time Rio Olympics gold medallist reminded the world of her quality with a 14.000 score, and, despite Chenchen's last-ditch 14.633, she produced an emphatic return for the United States.

"I was just happy to be able to perform, regardless of the outcome," Biles explained after Tuesday's event. "I did it for me, and I was just proud of myself for being able to compete one more time.

"Just to have the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games meant the world, because training for five years and then coming here, then kind of being triggered and not being able to do anything, it wasn't fun.

"To go out there and compete one more time and have everyone's support meant the world."

To add to Biles' memorable comeback, the USA's basketball stars nudged past Spain 95-81 to reach the Olympic semi-finals, with Kevin Durrant netting a team-high 29 points to drive his side towards victory.

It was a far from convincing performance from the USA, however, as they trailed 39-25 at one point in the second quarter before rallying impressively to level at 43-43 at the halfway stage.

THOMPSON-HERAH COMPLETES DOUBLE-DOUBLE

Elaine Thompson-Herah motored to sprinting history as she won the 200 metres women's final to complete the sprint double-double.

The Jamaican set a new national record with 21.53 seconds, the second-fastest time in the history of the event, making herself just the second athlete ever, after Usain Bolt, to win both titles at consecutive Games.

Thompson-Herah, who claimed 100-metre gold on Saturday after doubling up for the first time at Rio 2016, just missed out on Florence Griffith-Joyner's 1988 world record by 0.19s.

"Oh my god, it's amazing that I have ever seen this day. That I could complete another double. I can't believe it," the 29-year-old said after the 200 metres final.

"I really had to pull it out to win the 200m. It's a new PB [personal best] and a national record. I am so, so happy.

"Honestly I am so tired, my legs just need some rest. I've done so many races in the last few days, but I am very grateful."

WARHOLM'S WORLD

Karsten Warholm demolished the world record with a remarkable 400 metres hurdles triumph, smashing the previous record run for a second time in five weeks.

At the start of July in Oslo, Warholm cut 0.08 seconds off Kevin Young's longstanding record that was set at the Barcelona Games in 1992, though the 25-year-old slashed even more off in Tuesday's final.

The Norwegian star powered through in 45.94s, hacking an astounding 0.76s off the global mark to secure a memorable victory.

"It's just so big. It's almost like history here. It was the only thing missing from my collection," the 25-year-old said after his win. "I had a World Championships [gold medal]. I had European Championships, I had the world record, the European record.

"The Olympic gold medal is what everybody talks about. I knew this race was going to be the toughest of my life, but I was ready."

The top three finishers all beat the previous Olympic record, with American silver medallist Rai Benjamin running 46.17, yet the performance of Benjamin's life was simply no match for Warholm.

 

BRAZIL PREPARE TO DEFEND TITLE

Brazil inflicted shoot-out heartbreak on Mexico after a 0-0 stalemate in 120 minutes to set up a final showpiece with Spain.

Reinier converted the crucial spot-kick and, with Eduardo Aguirre and Johan Vasquez missing, the defending Olympic champions ran out 4-1 victors.

"Playing the final match in the Olympics is a dream," said Brazil's head coach Andre Jardine. "The film I saw was the film of life. Everything we’ve gone through. Although we didn’t win in the 90 minutes, we took more risks."

Japan suffered extra-time agony in their semi-final against Spain as Marco Asensio's late winner sunk the host nation to tee up a mouth-watering prospect for Saturday's final.

Despite footballing disappointment, women's boxer Sena Irie provided the host nation reason to celebrate as she edged past the Philippines' 2019 world champion Nesthy Petecio to achieve gold.

Irie's win in the women’s featherweight class final means she is Japan’s first female boxing champion at the Olympics.

CYCLING CHAOS

Germany twice recorded world record rides to earn their first gold – and, in fact, their first ever medal – in the women's team pursuit cycling track event.

A strong Great Britain side, including Laura Kenny, awaited Germany in the final but the team of Mieke Kroeger, Franziska Brausse, Lisa Brennauer and Lisa Klein produced the ride of their lives to finish in 4:06.159, almost two seconds quicker than the previous record.

In a dramatic day of cycling, the reigning world champions Netherlands won their first gold since 1936 in the men's team sprint as Team GB again had to settle for silver inside the velodrome.

That silver for Jason Kenny meant he became the first athlete to win eight Olympic medals in cycling track events and also equalled the total medal haul of Britain's most successful Olympian Sir Bradley Wiggins.

More controversy filled Tuesday's track events, with Denmark's Frederik Madsen crashing into the back of Team GB's Charlie Tanfield inside the closing kilometre of the men's team pursuit heats.

The UCI later deemed the Danes, who were near two seconds ahead of their opponents, to have completed a successful catch to make it through to Thursday's final against Italy, despite the incident.

Japan's Sena Irie won the first boxing gold medal of Tokyo 2020 and then admitted: It's time I found a proper job.

The mild-mannered 20-year-old became an Olympic hero at her home Games by beating Nesthy Petecio of the Philippines in the final of the women's featherweight division.

Petecio won the second round on four of the five judges' cards, but it was otherwise a fight that Irie edged, taking a unanimous verdict.

She jumped for joy at the declaration before leaving the ring in tears, having made rapid progress in her boxing career since taking silver in the Asian and Oceanian Olympic qualifying event 18 months ago.

Irie also finished fifth at the 2019 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships and admitted she wants a world title before hanging up her gloves.

Irie does not look to be in boxing for the long run, despite her pride at landing the gold.

"I just want to win the gold medal again at the World Championships," she said. "I have to start job hunting too, so I want to work on that.

"I want to end my career with success, so I will retire [from boxing] after graduation from college. I want to work for a gaming company.

"It's honourable for me to win the first gold medal for Japan in women's boxing. I'm not a talented athlete, I can't even do a back-hip circle on the [gymnastics] bar. I think I was able to show Japanese women that if we keep putting the work in, we can achieve something."

She expressed the hope that women's boxing would grow in Japan as a result of her success, saying: "People may think women who box are violent and have a rough temper, but I think I proved today that is not the case."


IGLESIAS ON SONG

Unlike Irie, Cuba's Roniel Iglesias is a lifer in the boxing ring. He landed the second gold medal of his Olympic career with a brilliant performance to fend off Britain's Pat McCormack, and then targeted a third in Paris.

His London 2012 title came at light welterweight, as did a bronze four years previously in Beijing, but Iglesias now fights at welterweight 

McCormack was not entirely outboxed, with two judges giving him a round apiece, but the class of 32-year-old Iglesias at this level was telling.

"I think it tells you a lot about me being the top athlete," Iglesias said. "I made a lot of sacrifices for this. Winning the gold medal was so important to me.

"Having a medal in London first, then I had a lot of difficulties, I was injured for a while. Boxing is a very tough sport but I was able to overcome these difficulties. This title is so important to me.

"I'm known as an athlete for training a lot, training strong, and doing 50 fights to win. I always train very hard because that's what you have to do.

"My biggest motivation was those who doubted me for competing at the Olympics again, it became the ultimate push for me to get up in the morning and put in that extra bit of effort.

"I'm confident that I can fight at the 2024 Paris Games too because I continue to train. I definitely plan to continue fighting, being a boxer, and training. Let's see if I can make it to Paris."

McCormack said: "I was up against a top fighter from Cuba. I have got no complaints. I lost to a very, very good fighter."

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