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Dublin: 4°C Tuesday 26 January 2021


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WE HAD MORE live updates than you could shake a stick at, drinking in as much Olympic action as we can before it all disappears for another four years.

As always, we’d love to hear from you, so send us your thoughts and comments on all the action.

E-mail us at, tweet us @thescore_ie, post to our Facebook wall or leave a comment below.

Main headlines:

Morning all, are you ready for another whopping great Olympic Saturday. OK, don’t all cheer at once. You might put the 50km walkers off their stride.

That race has been sweeping its way around the streets of London for the past 25 minutes or so. Rob Heffernan is in touch with the leaders. he’s 15th overall and his first 5km split was 22:20.

Ireland’s other interest in this epic race, of course, are Brendan Boyce and Colin Griffin. Boyce was well down the field at the 5km marker, 53rd, while Griffin sat 36th. We’ll bring you more updates from the trio as they come in.

Over at Eton Dorney, Andrzej Jezierski is warmed up and ready to go in the C1 sprint B final. In the k1 sprint, Team GB claimed another gold through Ed McKeever.

Andrzej Jezierski, take a bow. The Ballincollig Pole stormed to victory in the 200m C1 b final, leading from start to finish and holding off the challenge of Vadim Menkov.

Jezierski’s finishing time was 44.041.

In the A final, Ukraine’s Yuri Cheban has blown the field away to take gold. A beast of a man, he crossed the line in 42.291.

Jevgenij Shuklin of Lithuania finished second with the bronze medal going to Russia’s Ivan Shtyl.

Jezierski’s time would have been enough for seventh place in that eight-man Olympic final.

We’re just approaching the 25km halfway point of the men’s race walk with Australian Nathan Deakes leading the way. His time split was 1:49:21. Rob Heffernan is just over a minute behind him in 12th position, 1:50:26 his time over the first half of the race.

This is where it gets interesting folks.

Away from the mean streets around Buckingham Palace. Arthur Lanigan-O’Keefe is in action in the modern pentathlon. Fencing is the first event up in that one and our boy has slipped down to 18th place with 13 victories and 14 defeats.

In the diving pool, Tom Daley is carrying the expectation of Team GB and it seems Clare Balding is as clueless as the rest of us when it comes to the scoring system.

After four dives of the 10m platform semi-final, Daley sits in second place; 14 points behind USA’s David Boudia.

Heffernan  making solid progress as the red flags start waving to the naughty boys who skip a step. The Corkman has pushed his way up to ninth as the leaders show their class. we’re hearing that even Colin Griffin in 21st place has been lapped.

Back to the pentathlon where the fencing portion has ended. Lanigan-O’Keefe is in joint 29th place. He’ll go in heat four of the 200m freestyle swim at around 1.30.

In the race-walk, Heffernan is continuing to finish strong. He’s now eighth after the 40km point less than a minute behind the leader Sergey Kirdyapkin.

Ooh, Colin Griffin has been given the boot. His third strike coming just shy of the 40km point.

Heffernan has reportedly put in the fastest 5km split of the field between the 35 and 40km markers. But still out in front is Kirdyapkin, followed by China’s Si Tianfeng and two more Russians; Bakulin and Erokhin.

Anything a mid-sized Caribbean island can do, the world’s largest nation can do better.

COME ON, ROB! Heffernan now up to 5th place, just 30 seconds outside the medals. He’s gobbling up the ground.

He’s flying, Heffernan has a smile on his face and as he spies on of many tricolours. He raises his hand, urging the crowd to up the volume and he streaks past Sergey Bakulin. He’s fourth.

Australian, Jared Tallent is in second, but he has two warnings to his name. Without wishing ill on an Australian….

Sean has gone to get liquids on board after handing the baton over, so it’s Ben Blake taking you through the afternoon. Heffernan remains in fourth. The leader Sergry Kirdyapkin, has reached the 48km mark, meaning he has one lap to go.

Kirdyapkin crosses the line in 3:35:59 to claim gold…

It’s silver for Australis as Tallent finished 54 seconds later with Si of China taking bronze…

And ROB HEFFERNAN HAS COMPLETED A NEW IRISH RECORD IN THE 50KM! The Cork native shaves a massive 7:36 off the previous best (and eight minutes off his own PB) to comes home in 3:37:54 and take fourth place. Unfortunate that he hasn’t got among the medals but it’s an incredible achievement nonetheless. Welcome done Rob.

IRELAND’S BRENDAN BOYCE FINISHES 29th – 19:02 behind the gold medal spot. It’s also a personal best and a superb performance from the Donegal man. Like with many of the other competitors, the Trojan effort has completely zapped him of energy…

Colin Griffin, who was disqualified from the 50km walk, has just spoken to RTE Sport:

You’re almost home, in the thick of it (when he was disqualified). I tried tactics that were new to me. I picked up the cards when I back off the group and got isolated.

There’s a lot of what could have been so it’s a hard one to take. This isn’t what I trained for.”

Next up, one for the all-rounders – the modern pentathlon. Team Ireland have Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe, who was 29th in the fencing this morning, in Heat 4 of the swimming event.

Want to know more about the 20-year-old? Read this profile we did last month:

Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe was handed a late call-up to become the second ever modern pentathlete to represent Ireland at the Olympics.

The 20-year-old Kilkenny native, who is on an elite athlete scholarship in UCD, joins Natalya Coyle in the event.

Heat 3 has just finished so Lanigan O’Keeffe is minutes away from the entering the pool. He’s in lane 3.

Lanigan O’Keeffe in seventh at the halfway point but very little between that and second.

Nice final turn by Lanigan O’Keeffe puts him in second and maintains that position during the last 50m. It’s a time of 2:02.44 and earns him 1332 points.

Good news for Lanigan O’Keeffe, who has moved up eight positions overall after taking the ninth fastest time in the pool. With an equestrian background, he will be looking to close the gap on the leaders further in the riding at 3.20pm.

GOLD – Julie Bresset of France wins the women’s mountain bike cross country at Hadleigh Farm. At 23, she is is youngest athlete to win a medal in the event, while Sabine Spitz is the oldest to do so, according to stat experts Infostrada.

Our expert Ailis McSweeney believes Robert Heffernan’s sterling performance this afternoon can inspire fellow walker Olive Loughnane, who takes part in the women’s 20km alongside Laura Reynolds at 5pm.

WHAT A PHENOMENAL finish for Robert Heffernan. An excellent, measured and competitive performance brought Rob a fantastic fourth place finish in this morning’s 50k walk.

15th, 13th, 12th, 11th, 10th, 8th, 5th, 4th — that was the progression on the 5k standings for Rob. The most gruelling of events on the athletics spectrum, he bided his time as other ahead of him could not cope with the pressure and were disqualified or dropped out in distress. His race plan was executed to almost perfection.

If you haven’t heard, boxing captain Darren O’Neill will lead Team Ireland out at tomorrow night’s closing ceremony.

We’re are about seven minutes away from the men’s football final, where strong favourites Brazil take on Mexico. Here are the two teams:

Brazil: Gabriel; Rafael, Thiago Silva, Juan, Marcelo, Sandro, Romulo, Alex Sandro, Oscar, Neymar, Leandro Damiao.

Mexico: Corona; Jimenez, Mier, Reyes, Chavez, Enriquez, Salcido, Herrera, Fabian, Aquino, Peralta.

GOAL! BRAZIL 0 MEXICO 1 - We’re off the mark after 28 seconds of play at Wembley Stadium. Manchester United’d Rafael Da Silva plays a sloppy pass to Sandro which is intercepted and Oribe Peralta capitalises with a clinical finish.

Brazil haven’t impressed in the opening 25 minutes of the game, which isn’t flowing at the moment. In the modern pentathlon, meanwhile, Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe will partner Willcox in the riding event. That has just begun so we’ll keep you updated on how he gets on.

Anyone hoping to welcome the Irish Olympic team home on Monday will have to make other plans as the Dublin City Council announced earlier today that a proposed homecoming ceremony won’t take place after the athletes felt they would “like to go home to their families, their communities and their friends”. Read more here.

A half hour in, Brazil manager Mano Menezes has changed things up by withdrawing Alex Sandro for Porto attacker Hulk. Still trailing 1-0.

Hulk has already had a bigger impact on the game than several of his team-mates. Picking the ball up 30 yards out, he cuts in onto his left and has a pop from distance. Jose Corona gets down to push the dipping striker away, however.

Brazil come close again. A pass is played into the feet of Leandro Damiao, who holds his marker at bay before laying off to Marcelo. The Real Madrid full-back can only slice wide though. He picks up a yellow seconds later for a poor challenge on Peralta.

Half-time at Wembley and it remains 1-0 to Mexico.

News has emerged that the BBC are being sued by the International Boxing Association (AIBA):

WITH THE MEN’S Olympic boxing medals to be decided this weekend, the sport’s governing body have announced it is sueing the BBC over repeated allegations of ‘cash for medals’.

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has begun legal action after the broadcaster yesterday repeated that boxing medals could be bought at London 2012.

“It’s just disappointing. It’s disappointing I didn’t win a medal but when I look back at it, I’ll be very happy with the championships. To top it off with a medal would have been unbelievable.” – Rob Heffernan on his fourth place finish.

Those wondering about Lanigan O’Keeffe by the way, he is due out 16th at 4.40pm.

Back underway at Wembley and Brazil really need to step up a gear or two if they are to claim their first Olympic gold.

GOLD – Russia take the two top spots in the rhythmic gymnastics individual all-round event with Evgeniya Kanaeva and Daria Dmitrieva. Liubou Charkashyna of Belarus wins bronze.

Drama at Wembley. A mix-up in the Brazil backline allows Fabian possession ten yards out, albeit with his back to goal. Taking the ball down and slotting home would have been the smart thing to do in my opinion, but he goes for the spectacular and cracks the crossbar with an overhead kick.

Peralta has the ball in the back of the net for Mexico but it’s ruled offside. AC Milan’s Pato has just entered the fray with 20 minutes of football still to be played.

GOAL! BRAZIL 0 MEXICO 2 – Mexico double there lead and it’s that man Peralta again. A free-kick form the right is met by the head of Santos Laguna’s striker. Fine header but what happened to Brazil’s defending?

This would certainly be a bit of an upset.

Hockey fans who have been unable to keep an eye on the bronze medal match between Australia and Team GB, it currently stands to 2-1 to the Australians with 50 minutes gone.

Afternoon all — Niall Kelly here as Ben Blake makes hasty excuses and sprints out of the office. It hasn’t been that bad, has it?

In the third event of the modern pentathlon, the riding, Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe has just finished his round with 80 penalty points. Lanigan O’Keeffe was on course for an excellent round after he brushed a few early fences without knocking them but in the end, his horse Wilcox took down two rails and finished 10 seconds over the allowed time. Still, with 15 riders gone, that’s the 10th best score so not a disaster by any means.

GOAL! Brazil 1-2 Mexico We’re into injury time in Wembley and Hulk has pulled one back for Brazil. What’s the Mexican for “squeaky bum time”?

OH MY WORD, what a miss. Chelsea starlet Oscar has a glorious chance to force extra time with a free header from six yards out but he puts it over the bar. That’s a shocking miss and…

MEXICO WIN MEN’S FOOTBALL GOLD! It’s all over — Mexico win 2-1 and they’ll be dancing on the streets of, emm, Mexico City tonight.

Brazil’s long, long wait for an Olympic football title continues. Ah sure, it’s nicely set up for Rio now. Football’s coming home and all that, innit?

In the battle for men’s hockey bronze, it’s Australia who have done the business against old chums England. They’ve won 3-1 to claim third place.

From the frying pan to the fire, the women’s 20km walk has just started on the Mall. We’ll keep a close eye on Olive Loughnane anLaura Reynoldsd  for you over the next 90 minutes or so.

Olive Loughnane is in 15th place through the first 2km split, 10 seconds behind race leader Olga Kaniskina. Laura Reynolds has dropped off to the back of the field and is in 53rd.

Here’s Rob Heffernan’s message of thanks following this morning’s fourth place finish in the 50km race walk:

At the 4km mark, Olive Loughnane is now up to 11th. There’s an 18-second gap between the leading pair Kaniskina and Liu, who are followed by a group of eight chasers. Olive is next in line then with Laura Reynolds making progress into 50th.

Away from the walking, there are a couple of bronze medal matches being decided at the moment. In the women’s handball, South Korea lead Spain 10-6 and in the first quarter of the women’s basketball, Australia lead Russia 26-22.

Through the 6km mark, Olive Loughnane is in 10th, just 13 seconds off the bronze medal position. Kaniskina and Liu are well out in front though and they have a 30-second lead over the pack. Laura Reynolds is up to 46th.

Here’s the report from that men’s soccer final:

MEXICO STUNNED BRAZIL to win their first gold in the Olympic men’s football tournament as Oribe Peralta’s double clinched a shock 2-1 victory over the five-time world champions.

Peralta struck after just 30 seconds and the Mexican striker sealed one of the all-time great Olympic upsets when he scored again late in the second half.

Hulk got one back in stoppage-time but Mexico, playing in their first Olympic final, were deserved winners as Brazil once again failed to end their long wait for a first football gold.

Read the report in full here >

At the 8km mark, Olive Loughnane has dropped off a little bit. She’s now in 12th but the gap between her and the five-strong pack chasing the leaders is 28 seconds. She could do with a hand closing the gap if she’s going to challenge. Laura Reynolds is still in 46th.

At the 10km mark, Loughnane is just under a minute short of the podium places and about 1m45 behind race leader Olga Kaniskina who is striding away at the head of the field. Laura Reynolds continues to make up ground and is up to 41st at the half way mark.

Let’s quickly check back in with the modern pentathlon, where the riding has just finished. Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe’s 80 penalty points was good enough for 20th place in that event and has moved him up to 18th place overall. He’ll start the combined run/shoot event 1:08 behind leader David Svoboda of the Czech Republic.

The run/shoot kicks off at 6.45pm.

It’s not looking good for Olive Loughnane’s medal chances. Kaniskina’s pace is pretty ferocious at the 12km mark — possibly world record speed? — and it’s stringing out the field behind. Olive is in 13th, 2:15 behind the leader and about 1:30 off the medal places.

Laura Reynolds is making up some serious ground though. She’s up to 33rd now.

As our man Will Downing quips on Twitter, Australia hasn’t got Tallent anymore — Aussie medal hopeful Claire Tallent has been disqualified from the 20km walk.

At 14km, it’s still Kaniskina who leads from Liu and the trio of Lashmanova, Kirdyapkina and Qieyang. Olive Loughnane is back in a growing bunch in 14th now.

While we keep one eye on the progress of Loughnane and Reynolds, we’ve been discussing the merits of the modern pentathlon’s final act — the run/shoot or “combined event” as it’s properly known.

“It’s essentially like a big game of Time Crisis,” is the verdict from HQ.

With 4km to go, it’s Kaniskina-Lashmanova-Qieyang occupying the medal positions. Olive Loughnane is in 12th, desperately trying to make up up some ground on Masumi in 11th. As for Laura Reynolds, she’s flying and up into 25th now.

Barring a remarkable turnaround it’s going to be gold for Olga Kaniskina, completing a brilliant double after Kirdyapkin’s win in the 50km this morning. Lashmanova and Qieyang are fighting it out for the silver — but keep your eyes on that world record time. Going, going…

Hang on a second! Is Lashmanova about to catch Kaniskina down the final stretch? Don’t go anywhere…

LASHMANOVA WINS IN WORLD RECORD TIME! What a brilliant finish and, as George Hamilton tells us, “it’s the taller, younger” Elena Lashmanova who wins in a new world record time of 1:25.02. Kaniskina led the whole way around but her compatriot gained a huge 25 seconds over the final 2km to take the win.

Kaniskina takes silver in 1:25:09, one second outside the old world record time, and Qieyang of China is third with a new Asian Record 1:25:16.

13th for Olive Loughnane — and that’s a season’s best time of 1:29:39.

And 20th for Laura Reynolds. My word, what a race she has walked. It’s a new personal best of 1:31:02, more than a minute insider her previous PB and exactly six minutes behind Lashmanova’s WR-winning time.

Here’s Laura’s progression through the 2km splits: 53rd, 50th, 46th, 46th, 41st, 33rd, 29th, 25th, 22nd, 20th.

If you’re tuning in for news of the modern pentathlon run/shoot finale, I’ve got good news and bad news for you. Bad news first — the event has been rescheduled.

Good news? It has only been put back by 15 minutes and should get started just after 7pm.

We forgot to mention the Irish connection to Australia’s hockey bronze today but we’ll get to it now. Guess that’s another one for Bray to claim?

Thanks Aaron.

If you’re not watching the women’s handball bronze match, you might want to start now. It’s South Korea 28-28 Spain in the second period of extra time. It now has our undivided attention…

AUSTRALIA TAKE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL BRONZE. The Russians tried to mount a late comeback in the North Greenwich Arena but no dice — Australia win 83-74 and they take bronze. Captain Lauren Jackson can take plenty of credit for 25 points, two assists and 11 rebounds.

We took our eye off the handball for a second (I know we promised not to) and now Spain lead 30-29. Five minutes to play.

Ah here, look who John Joe has in his corner tonight*. There’s no way he can lose.

* That’s Bressie (aka Niall Breslin) and Niall Horan of One Direction, for what it’s worth.

SPAIN WIN WOMEN’S HANDBALL BRONZE! It’s over (finally) and Spain have won 31-29 after extra time. Just the 60 goals then today…

Time Crisis (aka the modern pentathlon run/shoot) is underway… and China’s Cao Zhongrong has taken a slight advantage over David Svoboda.

After that second round of shooting, Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe has dropped down to 21st. He took eight shots to hit his five targets the first time around, and nine the second time. A top 20 finish would be superb for him.

Our leader Cao has a two second lead over Svoboda after the third round of shooting. He’s not missing much with the gun; in fact, he’s only needed 18 shots to hit 15 targets so far.

DAVID SVOBODA WINS MODERN PENTATHLON GOLD! The Czech athlete overtakes Cao on the final lap and wins by six seconds. Adam Marosi of Hungary finishes third.

25th for Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe finishes the run/shoot event in 11:08.69 which gives him a total of 5516 points and 25th place overall. An excellent debut Olympics.

Before we get completely sucked into the John Joe Nevin pre-fight hype, there’s a little bit of athletics to attend to. First up is the final of the men’s 5,000m and you know what that means — it’s Mo Farah time.

BREAKING: A stonewash denim jacket has been spotted in Montrose.

(Pic via @MacdaraBueller)

There’s no show like a Mo show… or something like that. The men’s 5,000m final is underway and Mo Farah is bidding to become only the seventh man ever to complete the historic 5,000m/10,000m Olympic double. Can you name the other six?

I’ll help you: Hannes Kolehmainenen, Emil Zatopek, Vladimir Kuts, Lasse Viren (twice), Miruts Yifter and Kenenisa Bekele.

Nothing to choose between the field as we enter the final 2,000m of the men’s 5k. Get yourself to a TV now!

Mo Farah moves up into second place on Gebremeskel’s shoulder. Are we about to see history? Just over two laps to go.

One lap to go. Rupp and Lomong come up to join Farah. This is going to be some finish…

DOUBLE GOLD FOR MO FARAH! For as long as you live, you might never see a better final lap in the 5,000m ever. Mo Farah hit the front and dared every other athlete in the field to try to pass him. Longosiwa tried and failed as Farah executed perfectly to win gold in 13:41.66 ahead of Dejen Gebremeskel (13:41.98). Longosiwa finishes third.

History made — Farah does the 5,000/10,000 double and ensures his place in British sporting history forever more.

“Top that Usain Bolt,” the BBC say. It will take quite something to ever shake the Olympic Stadium like that again.

You thought we were finished? No no no, we’re just getting started. And that’s before we even think about John Joe’s fight at 8.45pm.

First, it’s the women’s 800m final. Can Caster Semenya take gold?

GOLD FOR SAVINOVA OF RUSSIA! A season’s best time for Maria Savinova who wins in 1:56.19. Caster Semenya has to settle for second, also in season’s best time of 1:57.23, but she might wonder if she could have executed her tactics a bit better. Ekaterina Poistogova takes bronze with a personal best in 1:57.23.

Time for a quick breather. Here’s the main schedule for the rest of the evening:

  • 8.25pm: Women’s 4x400m relay final
  • 8.45pm: John Joe Nevin v Luke Campbell
  • 9.00pm: Men’s 4x100m relay final

We also have the women’s basketball final between USA and France at 9pm as well to look forward to.

It’s 20 minutes to John Joe time and in the RTÉ studio, Bernard and Kenny have dug out their best ties especially for the occasion.

Mick Dowling is wearing a tie too but it’s actually not that bad, so we’ll let him off.

The mantle of favouritism doesn’t usually sit well with us Irish folk but it’s a burden John Joe Nevin will have to bear. He’s 3/5 to take home the gold while Campbell is almost 2/1. That’s big.

In the women’s 4x400m relay, America are cruising. Bar a baton drop, this one is over after two legs…

Easy peasy lemon squeezy for Team USA. With the race well won, Sanya Richards Ross sprints for the finish line to try to break the world record but she’s just short. America win in a season’s best 3:16.87 with Russia (3:20.23) and Jamaica (3:20.95) filling out the medal places.

There is a lot of talk in the RTÉ studios about the perils of fighting a British fighter and of hometown judging. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that and that we’ll all be dancing the Mullingar shuffle by nine o’clock.

THIS IS YOUR 10-MINUTE WARNING! The light-flyweight final between Zou and Pongprayo is into its second round. Get ready for the John Joe show…

RTÉ have had a quick word with Nevin’s team-mates Adam Nolan, Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan. The trio have, unsurprisingly, backed their man to take home the gold. He could even be crowned the fighter of the Olympics with a win here tonight.

This was tweeted by team captain Darren O’Neill a few minutes ago. The final prep is well underway…

Ok, it’s time. Paddy Barnes’s conqueror Shiming Zou has beaten Pongprayo of Thailand 13-10 to take light-flyweight gold. Next up is John Joe Nevin v Luke Campbell. Nine minutes from greatness.

“We Will Rock You” rings out around the ExCeL Arena as John Joe Nevin, dressed in red, makes his way to the ring for the fight of his life.

The Irish support isn’t quite as raucous as it was on Thursday afternoon for Katie Taylor’s gold medal fight but they’re making their voice heard against the home crowd.

Ding ding — here we go.

Round 1: An absorbing contest and there’s very little to choose between them. Campbell did have marginally the better of the exchanges though and it’s no real suprise that he leads 5-3 at the end of the first round. Campbell 5-3 Nevin

Round 2: It’s getting fast and furious now and it will all be decided on the final three minute round. John Joe claws back half of his two-point deficit with a few clean shots and now, with one round to go, it’s Campbell 9-8 Nevin.

It’s all over and it looks like this one is Campbell’s, folks. We’ll wait for the decision.

LUKE CAMPBELL WINS! SILVER FOR JOHN JOE NEVIN It was decided on the last round and, without doubt, Luke Campbell deserves the gold medal on that basis. A key moment came when he caught John Joe and sent him to the canvas, forcing a standing count mid-way through the round. From that point on, it was always going to be a tough task and in the end, Campbell takes the final round 5-3.

Campbell wins 14-11 on the scorecards and Team GB has another Olympic gold. ”The better man on the day won,” says Bernard Dunne in the RTÉ Studio. No disagreements from here.

Before we wrap up the liveblog for the night, how about this as a way to bring down the curtain on the Olympic Stadium? In the men’s 4x100m relay, the Jamaican dream team of Bolt, Blake, Carter and Frater has won gold in a world record time of 36.84.

America takes second 37.04 while Trinidad and Tobago are third in 38.12.

And, as if there was any better way to finish it off, Usain Bolt celebrates with Mo Farah’s “Mo-Bot” move as he crosses the line.

(Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)

That’s our lot for tonight. See you back here tomorrow for the 16th and final day of the 30th Olympiad of the Modern Era.

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TheScore Team