Roger Federer has confirmed he will play at the 2020 Olympic Games, revealing his "heart decided" to compete again.

The Swiss will be aiming to secure a third medal next year in Tokyo; he struck gold playing alongside Stan Wawrinka in the men's doubles in Beijing in 2008, then collected silver in the singles tournament four years later in London, falling in the final to home favourite Andy Murray.

Federer, 38, also represented his country at the Olympics in 2000, losing out in the bronze-medal match to Arnaud Di Pasquale, and 2004, but missed Rio 2016 while recovering from a knee injury.

The 20-time grand slam champion announced his decision to compete again after an exhibition match against John Isner staged in the host city for next year's Games.

"I've been debating with my team for a few weeks now, months actually, what I should do in the summer time [of 2020] after Wimbledon and before the US Open," he said, according to the Olympic Channel website.

"At the end of the day my heart decided I would love to play the Olympic Games again.

"I carried the flag twice for Switzerland in Athens and Beijing, I've got a gold and a silver, and I would love to play again so I'm very excited."

Federer has won three titles on the ATP Tour this season, while he finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon after reaching the last four at the French Open.

Sergio Ramos was hailed as an "incredible" servant to Spain by coach Robert Moreno after becoming the most-capped player in the team's history.

Ramos made his 168th international appearance in a 1-1 Euro 2020 qualifier away to Norway on Saturday, edging ahead of his former Real Madrid and international team-mate Iker Casillas.

The defender has won two European Championship titles and a World Cup with Spain and has indicated he wants to play at next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo, while he previously set reaching 200 caps as a target.

While the Olympics starts less than two weeks after Euro 2020 ends, complicating Ramos' potential schedule for next year, Moreno praised the Spain skipper for his continued desire.

"Ramos' record is incredible," Moreno told a news conference. "And he still wants to compete, win titles.

"I want to congratulate him publicly and hopefully he can give us joy for much longer."

Among the celebrations for Ramos there was disappointment for Spain at Ullevaal Stadion, though, as Joshua King's second-half stoppage-time penalty prevented La Roja from sealing a spot at the finals with three games still to play.

Bournemouth striker King struck from the spot after Kepa Arrizabalaga's clumsy challenge on Omar Elabdellaoui saw referee Michael Oliver point to the spot.

"I'm left with a bad feeling because when you concede an equaliser at the end it is not good," Moreno added. "We tried to have the ball and control, and in the last minutes we had to kill the game.

"I liked the attitude of the team, but not the first half. In the second half we have tightened up more, we generated opportunities to score the second goal ... but in the end the control has been lost."

Spain will have another chance to secure qualification when they travel to play Sweden on Tuesday.

Moreno said: "We are going to try to win in Sweden, and we are going to try to score 28 points [in the group campaign] since we will not be able to get 30. Norway have been very strong, and played with the ambition of a team that still has options [to qualify].

"They go crazy when there is a team that has nothing to lose, and that's what happened to Norway."

Spain's line-up to face Norway included players from 11 different clubs, with Moreno accepting it might be beneficial were clubs such as LaLiga giants Barcelona or Real Madrid providing more talent to his squad.

"We have many players from many teams," he added. "I would love to have seven players from the same team, who will play together every week ... but that is not the case.

"It is a statistic that I did not know, but it means we have many good players in many good teams."

Sergio Ramos says he would not turn down the chance to play for Spain at the 2020 Olympic Games.

Reports this week suggested Spain's skipper, who has already won the World Cup and European Championship titles, was keen to represent his country in Tokyo.

Taking part in the tournament could be complicated for Ramos given the Olympics begin less than two weeks after the Euro 2020 final is played at Wembley.

Real Madrid defender Ramos, however, indicated he is willing to balance a busy schedule for the chance to add another international honour to his record.

"It is early to talk about the Olympic Games," he said on Saturday. "But anyone who had the chance and was called to play in the Games would not say no.

"It is something you cannot refuse. There is a lot of the season left and it is a very nice idea."

Ramos was speaking after Spain's 1-1 draw away to Norway in a Euro 2020 qualifier, the captain making his 168th international appearance.

That moved him above former club and country team-mate Iker Casillas as Spain's most-capped player but Ramos said he would have swapped the milestone for a victory, which would have secured La Roja's place at Euro 2020.

"The personal is secondary," he added. "I would have changed the record for the victory.

"It is a pride to be the Spaniard who has worn this shirt more times, which I still hope to wear much more.

"It was a shame we drew. Norway have taken advantage of the last minutes, and in one play they tied us.

"I'm sad, because we would have liked to achieve the qualification."

Sergio Ramos has impressed Spain boss Robert Moreno with his desire to play for his country at next year's Olympic Games.

A source close to Ramos this week apparently leaked the news that the Real Madrid and Spain defender, who is set to become his country's most-capped player this weekend, wants to go for gold in Tokyo.

According to Spanish newspaper Marca, the team that travels to Japan was expected to be based around the players who won the European Under-21 Championship in June.

There is scope to include a number of more senior players, however, which could open the door for Ramos.

However, the 33-year-old is also expected to play for Spain at Euro 2020, meaning he would face a heavy workload given the tournaments take place almost back to back, with a brief gap in mid-July.

Moreno will be spared having to make a decision on Ramos over the Olympics, as responsibility for that team is set to fall on Spain Under-21 boss Luis de la Fuente.

"I haven't talked about the Olympic Games with him," Moreno said of Ramos.

"That desire defines him as a footballer. He has one more motivation to add to his career. It is difficult, when you have won everything, to stay motivated."

Moreno says Ramos, who will make a record 168th appearance for Spain when La Roja play Norway on Saturday, will need to demonstrate the team would benefit from his presence at the Olympics.

"It would be unfair for everyone to pick someone just because of their name," said Moreno.

"The fair thing is for everyone to maintain a high performance, but Sergio, who I see training every day, will maintain his level.

"When it comes to the time, Luis de la Fuente will have to decide who to take to the Games."

Spain, as hosts, won gold in the 1992 Olympic men's football tournament with a team including Luis Enrique and Pep Guardiola.

They were silver medallists in Sydney eight years later when Xavi and Carles Puyol were in their ranks.

Stephen Curry plans to make his Olympics debut for the United States in Tokyo next year.

The Golden State Warriors star revealed he had designs on the 2020 Games, which is good news for the USA after the nation's seventh-placed finish at the recent FIBA World Cup. 

"That is the plan, for sure," Curry said in an interview with ESPN. "You know, obviously knock on wood, you don't want any injuries or things like that to interfere."

Curry played for Team USA in the 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Cup tournaments, winning the title both times, but this would be his first Olympics appearance.

"[I] definitely want to go," said Curry. "I've never been on the Olympic team. I've been on two World Cup championship gold-medal teams. But the Olympics is the experience that I want. And next year will hopefully be it."

While Curry is the first NBA star to commit to the squad, Warriors team-mate Draymond Green told CNBC last week that he also hopes to play. Meanwhile, LeBron James told The Athletic in April that playing for Team USA in 2020 could happen.

A USA squad shorn of their best talents due to a plethora of withdrawals produced their worst showing at a World Cup.

Curry, though, is understandably confident USA can reassert their dominance at the Olympics if their big names do decide to play.

"We're still the best," said the 31-year-old. "If we get the guys that are supposed to be there, in terms of, you know, representing us on the Olympic stage and the commitment's been there, and I think it'll be there next year."

Great Britain duo Jess Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown's unselfishness backfired when they were disqualified from a World Triathlon Olympic qualification event in Tokyo for crossing the line together.

Learmonth and Taylor-Brown came away from the rest of the field and finished a race, which was shortened due to the heat, hand-in-hand with broad smiles on their faces on Thursday.

Their joy was short-lived, though, as they were punished for causing a deliberate tie in the Tokyo 2020 test event.

Flora Duffy of Bermuda was subsequently awarded an unexpected victory, with Alice Betto taking silver for Italy and Vicky Holland ensuring there was one Brit on the podium.

Holland is quoted by BBC Sport as saying: "I really feel for Jess and Georgia because they raced exceptionally well today and I feel like they absolutely smashed it and deserved the first and second finish.

"I don't know how British Triathlon will choose things now. I wouldn't want to be a selector."

British Triathlon national performance director Mike Cavendish said: "It's obviously disappointing to have Jess and Georgia disqualified but it's a testament to the depth of our female squad that we still have another athlete on the podium."

Australian star Sally Pearson has announced her shock retirement from athletics, less than a year before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Pearson – the gold medallist in the 100-metre hurdles at the 2012 London Olympics – cited injuries as she ended her glittering career on Tuesday.

A two-time World Championships gold medallist with two golds at the Commonwealth Games, the 32-year-old revealed she had battled quad, calf, hamstring, knee and Achilles injuries in 2019 alone.

"The first day I was deciding this with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat," Pearson, who won silver at the 2008 Olympics, told reporters. "That was really hard to take. I knew it was the right decision. Making a decision about something that has been a part of my life for 20 years was hard to understand in a way.

"I would love to have been a three-time Olympian. That disappoints me a little as well. At the same time, I am happy now. I'm relieved now that my career is over and there will be no more injuries and no more vomit sessions.

"The last few days have been really sad because today has been coming quicker than I would have liked. There have been a few tears the last few evenings which have been hard but that's just part of it."

Pearson, who was forced to miss the 2015 World Championships, 2016 Olympic Games and 2018 Commonwealth Games through injury, said a statement earlier on Tuesday: "I have prided myself on always being on the start line ready to win.

"I no longer believe I can achieve this. It is therefore with much regret that I have come to the conclusion that it is time to retire from this phase of my life and move on to the next.

"I love my sport and the friends I have made through it. I have had wonderful support from my family, my team, Athletics Australia, the AOC, my sponsors, the media and the fans – to them all I say thank you."

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is scheduled to get underway on July 24 next year.

Caster Semenya has been denied the chance to defend her 800 metres World Athletics Championships title following a ruling by a Swiss court that has been welcomed by the IAAF.

The double Olympic champion had been given permission to race without restriction after lodging an appeal with the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland (SFT) against the Court of Arbitration for Sport's (CAS) verdict in her case against the IAAF.

CAS ruled the IAAF could implement a regulation that would require Semenya to take medication to lower her testosterone levels to take part in women's track events ranging from 400m to a mile.

But on Tuesday a judge with the Swiss Federal Tribunal overturned the SFT's decision to allow Semenya to compete while it assessed the case in a move praised by the governing body of international athletics.

"The IAAF welcomes the Swiss Federal Tribunal's decision to revoke its Super-Provisional Order of 31 May 2019 after hearing the IAAF's arguments," a statement read.

"This decision creates much-needed parity and clarity for all athletes as they prepare for the World Championships in Doha this September.

"In the remainder of the proceedings before the SFT, the IAAF will maintain its position that there are some contexts, sport being one of them, where biology has to trump gender identity."

In her own response to the latest ruling, Semenya remained defiant.

"I am very disappointed to be kept from defending my hard-earned title, but this will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all of the female athletes concerned," she said.

Caster Semenya will not be able to defend her 800 metres title at the World Athletics Championships after a Swiss court reversed prior rulings that allowed her to compete while she appealed against controversial IAAF regulations.

The double Olympic champion was granted permission to race without restriction after lodging an appeal with the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland (SFT) against the Court of Arbitration for Sport's (CAS) verdict in her case against the IAAF.

CAS ruled the IAAF could implement a regulation that would require Semenya to take medication to lower her testosterone levels to take part in women's track events ranging from 400m to a mile.

A judge has now overturned the SFT's decision to allow Semenya to compete while it assessed the case, and Semenya will consequently be unable to take to the track in Qatar.

A statement issued from the South African's camp on Tuesday read: "Caster remains steadfast in her defiance of the highly controversial IAAF regulations that require female athletes with naturally elevated testosterone levels to undergo hormonal drug intervention in order to compete in international competitions.

"Yesterday, a single judge of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court reversed prior rulings that had temporarily suspended the IAAF regulations pending the outcome of Caster's appeal against the CAS award.

"In this latest decision, the Supreme Court emphasised the strict requirements and high thresholds for the interim suspension of CAS awards and found that these were not fulfilled.

"This ruling will prevent Caster from defending her title at the World Championships in September 2019."

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics under a year away, Semenya will continue to appeal against the regulations.

"I am very disappointed to be kept from defending my hard-earned title, but this will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all of the female athletes concerned," Semenya said.

Just 12 months out from the 2020 Olympic Games, sport fans can look forward to seeing the world's top established athletes in action in Tokyo.

But stars will also be born when eyes are trained on Japan this time next year.

And a number of young prospects who will still be teenagers when the Olympics rolls around can already have their sights set on making a mark.

We look at five such talents to watch in Tokyo.

 

ARIARNE TITMUS

Titmus will only be 19 when the Games get under way, but she made waves at this year's World Aquatics Championships, beating the great Katie Ledecky in the 400 metre freestyle in Gwangju.

The Australian holds the short-course world record for the 400m freestyle and won four medals, three of them gold, at last year's Commonwealth Games.

With such pedigree at such a young age, Titmus should be firmly in contention for multiple medals in the pool.

SHAN LIN

China could have another diving superstar in their midst in the form of Lin, who starred at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games with victories in the 10m platform and 3m springboard.

She won world championship gold in the mixed team event in Gwangju this year and if she continues in this vein then plenty more medals will be coming the 17-year-old's way in Tokyo.

 

TOMOKAZU HARIMOTO

The hopes of the home nation in table tennis may rest on the young shoulders of Harimoto.

That should not daunt the 16-year-old, however, with Harimoto having already established himself as one of the world's best.

Ranked fourth in the world, Harimoto won gold at the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals last year and may take some stopping in his pursuit of Olympic glory with the home crowd behind him.

 

TAKEFUSA KUBO

Another who will be able to rely on the support of the home fans is Real Madrid's Japan international footballer Kubo.

The winger was previously on Barcelona's books, predictably encouraging comparisons to Lionel Messi, but he joined their great rivals Madrid from FC Tokyo in June.

Although he is likely to play for their second string, Kubo starred for Japan at the Copa America and then featured for Madrid's first team in the International Champions Cup.

With the Samurai Blue preparing a serious assault on the Olympics, Kubo - 19 this time next year - is set to be a key figure.

JAGGER EATON

Skateboarding will make its Olympic bow next year, and America's Eaton will have his sights set on making history with a medal in Tokyo.

The youngest ever X Games competitor having made his debut at 11, Eaton won silver in the street event in Minneapolis and Oslo in 2018 and is a genuine contender to go one better in Japan and become one of the first Olympic skateboarding champions.

With just a year to go until the Olympics gets under way in Tokyo, athletes from all over the world already have gold medals in their sights.

Many are well on course to mount a strong challenge for glory, while others may consider themselves a long way from where they need to be.

With 12 months to go until the opening ceremony, excitement is building and over 3.2 million tickets have been sold.

We take a form check on five of the stars who could prove the big draws in Japan.

 

SIMONE BILES

Superstar Biles will retire from gymnastics after attempting to add to her medal tally in Tokyo.

Fitness permitting, it would be a surprise if the 22-year-old does not increase her haul of four Olympic golds and one bronze medal.

The American declared she will quit as "I feel like my body is kind of falling apart".

Biles put on another masterclass to win the women’s all-around title at the GK U.S. Classic last Saturday and eyebrows will be raised if she does not achieve more podium-topping success in her swan-song Games.

ADAM PEATY

Exceptional British swimmer Peaty continues to hit new heights, shattering world records and winning gold medals galore.

It was mission accomplished in the 24-year-old's quest to achieve 'Project 56' at the World Championships in Gwangju this month when he became the first person to dip under the 57-second barrier for the 100 metres breaststroke.

That record swim of 56.88secs ticked off one of Peaty's biggest goals and he has by no means finished yet.

The Englishman has raised his total of World Championships titles to six and the Olympic 100m breaststroke champion will be expected to be on the top step of the podium at least once in Tokyo.

 

CASTER SEMENYA

The Olympics might not be at the forefront of all-conquering South African athlete Semenya's mind at the moment.

Semenya has endured a complicated, drawn-out saga in a case involving world governing body the IAAF which has raised worries for her career.

The double Olympic 800 metres champion is awaiting a Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland verdict over whether she can continue to run against women over two laps of the track.

Semenya has long been challenging the IAAF's decision to impose restrictions on testosterone levels in women competing at distances ranging from 400m to one mile. The Swiss court has suspended that restriction for now.

Semenya's testosterone count is high but naturally occurring. It could see her sidelined if she refuses to take medication to reduce her level, unless the courts come down on her side.

The 28-year-old has not let the ongoing case affect her performances, setting the fastest 800m time by a woman on American soil of one minute and 55.70 seconds at the Diamond League meeting in Stanford last month.

 

CHRISTIAN COLEMAN

What is certain at the Games next year is that the men's 100m athletics gold is up for grabs, in the absence of Usain Bolt.

Bolt retired after the World Championships in London two years ago with eight Olympic gold medals to his name.

It is not the Jamaican legend's old rival Justin Gatlin - Olympic champion in 2004 - who is rated as the favourite to take Bolt's crown next year.

World champion Gatlin's fellow American Christian Coleman appears to be the man to beat, leading the way in the Diamond League and establishing himself as the top-ranked male sprinter on the planet.

 

RORY MCILROY

McIlroy was criticised for stating he would not watch the return of golf to the Olympic calendar three years ago in Rio, after opting out of the competition.

The four-time major champion cited the Zika virus as his reason for not teeing off in Brazil, where Justin Rose won the first Olympic golf event for 112 years.

However, Northern Irishman McIlroy stated he could not pass up the opportunity to be an Olympian next time around.

The former world number one will be hoping it is a case of 'what a difference a year makes' in terms of his summer form, having failed to make the cut at The Open in his homeland at Royal Portrush last week.

Rory McIlroy admits the fear of regret fuelled his change of heart over competing at the Olympics.

The Northern Irishman is on home soil for this week's 148th Open Championship, having caused a stir with comments he made at the same major three years ago.

At Royal Troon, ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio, McIlroy suggested he would not even bother to watch the golf competition, which ended up being won by Ryder Cup team-mate Justin Rose.

Despite his dismissive tone then, McIlroy - who initially cited the Zika virus as the reason for his absence from Brazil - had clearly shifted his stance when he addressed the issue at Royal Portrush on Wednesday as he now has Tokyo 2020 firmly in his sights.

"I think personally I needed to do a lot of inner thought and ask, 'Is this important to me? Why do I want to play it? Who do I want to represent?' All that sort of stuff," he said, with his decision apparently complicated by whether he would turn out for Ireland or Great Britain.

"At the start whenever I was thinking of playing the Olympics, I think I let other people's opinions of me weigh on that decision. And at the end of the day, it's my decision. I can't please everyone. 

"The only people that really care about who I play for, who I represent, don't mean anything to me. I don't care about them.

"So at the end of the day, I think with where golf is, with it being part of the Olympic movement, I think if I had to look back on my career and not played in one, I probably would have regretted it. 

"So that was part of the reason I wanted to go, for the experience, as well. It's going to be - it's a wonderful experience. I've never done anything like that before.

"And it's in Japan. I enjoy Japan. I enjoy the people. I enjoy the food. So it will be a nice week."

The 30-year-old is going in search of a second Claret Jug and fifth major, having not won one of golf's four landmark events since 2014.

Naparima College head coach Angus Eve is not a happy man and intends to take his grouches all the way to the Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs in the hope that he can still get approximately 24 Trinidad and Tobago footballers into the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers. 

SportsMax will provide wire to wire coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.  Today officially marks 500 games to the big event. 

To kick things off we take a look at the historic exploits of the Jamaica duo of Authur Wint and Herb McKenley along with T&T javelin thrower Keshorn Walcott.

Members of the SportsMax Team link up at the home of champions for a weekly, lively discussion surrounding the latest happenings in the world of sports.  This week's topics included the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the Caribbean stars expected to shine and our favourite Olympic moments.  Join us for SportsMax MidWeek Live, streaming live on Facebook, this and every week. 

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