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Olympic Breakfast: McIlroy and Lowry keep themselves right in medal picture

Here’s what you missed while you were sleeping…

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IT HAS BEEN one of Ireland’s quieter days in Tokyo so far, but on the golf course, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry have given anyone who was awake in the early hours plenty to get excited about.

And there’s lots more still to come later today, including a must-win hockey match and an Olympic final on the track.

Here’s what you missed while you were sleeping…

The Irish Eye

It was a good morning for both Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry, who are eyeing up a Sunday medal charge after their third rounds in the Olympic golf tournament.

McIlroy shot a four-under par 67 to move to 11-under par, while Lowry drained a big par putt at the last to sign for a three-under par 68 which leaves him on 10-under.

America’s Xander Schauffele leads on 14-under par. You can see the tournament leaderboard here >

rory-mcilroy-and-shane-lowry-on-the-18th-hole McIlroy is three shots off the overnight lead after three rounds, with Lowry a further shot back. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

On the track, there was disappointment for Donegal’s Mark English who finished fourth in his 800m heat and missed out on a place in the semi-finals.

Sarah Lavin matched the second-best time of her career in the heats of the 100m hurdles, but her seventh-place finish wasn’t enough to see her through.

Sarah Ennis and Woodcourt Garrison were the final Irish competitors in the dressage phase of the eventing competition, scoring 38.10 to leave Team Ireland in 13th place.

After light winds saw the start of the final day of sailing in the 49er class delayed, Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove finished third in Race 10 to move up to 12th overall. There are two more races scheduled for today with the Irish crew hoping to break into the top 10 and the medal race.

And in Pool A of the women’s hockey tournament, India dug deep for a 4-3 win against South Africa — a result which means that Ireland now need to beat Great Britain later today to progress to the quarter-finals.

sarah-lavin Sarah Lavin was disappointed not to make it out of the 100m hurdles heats. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Who else is making headlines?

On the penultimate day of action in the pool, Katie Ledecky finally got one over on Ariarne Titmus as she sealed a hat-trick of 800m freestyle golds, while Caeleb Dressel smashed his own world record to win the 100m butterfly. 

There was mixed relay success on the double for Great Britain as they won the 4x100m medley in swimming while their mixed relay triathlon team — featuring London bronze medallist and Rio silver medallist Jonathan Brownlee — took gold.

tokyo-2020-olympic-games-day-eight Caeleb Dressel celebrates his third gold medal of the Games after winning the 100m butterfly. Source: PA

Simone Biles will not compete in the vault or the uneven bars individual final on Sunday, and is being evaluated on a daily basis with two more individual finals to follow early next week.

In the first major doping scandal of the Tokyo Games, Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare has been banned after failing an out-of-competition drugs test earlier this month.

Your must-see Olympic schedule for today

As mentioned above, all eyes will be on Oi Hockey Stadium at 12.45pm as Ireland take on Great Britain in their final Pool A game. Win and Ireland will go through to the quarter-finals; lose and they’ll be going home.

And then at 1.35pm, Ireland will contest an Olympic final on the track in the 4x400m mixed relay. After the chaos of Friday’s heats, nine teams will run in the final, with Ireland’s quartet racing from lane one.

Elsewhere, after two smashing semi-finals overnight, you could do a lot worse than make an appointment to watch New Zealand versus France in the gold medal match of the women’s rugby sevens tournament at 10am.

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The women’s 100m final at 1.50pm promises to be absolutely unmissable. Jamaica’s star duo Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah will bid to book their respective places when the semi-finals begin at 11.15am.

And it’s gold medal day in the women’s singles tennis tournament as Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic takes on Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic later today.

Highlight of the night

If you can find footage of the extra-time thriller between New Zealand and Fiji in the semi-finals of the women’s rugby sevens, you won’t regret making time in your morning for it.

In the meantime, enjoy Caeleb Dressel breaking his own world record in the final of the men’s 100m butterfly.

Source: Eurosport/YouTube

Some further reading

After a week in which both women made headlines, Keith Duggan’s always-excellent Saturday column in the Irish Times looks at Simone Biles, Mona McSharry and the extremes of the Olympic experience.

Quote of the day

“Pressure is an illusion” 

400m hurdles favourite Sydney McLaughlin wasn’t entertaining any talk of nerves as she breezed through her heat this morning.

About the author:

Niall Kelly

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