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Olympic Breakfast: Irish interest takes a back seat as track delivers another all-time classic

Catch up on all you missed overnight from the Olympic Games.

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Catch up on all you need to know from the overnight action in Tokyo. 

The Irish Eye 

leona-maguire-takes-a-tee-shot-on-the-9th-tee Leona Maguire in action in Tokyo. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Irish involvement was sparse across the early hours today, with only Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow in action as the women’s golf competition kicked off. 

Maguire made a steady start, carding an even-par round of 71 to lie five shots from the lead.

Meadow teed off a couple of hours after Maguire, and is three-over through 11 holes.  

You can follow the leaderboard live here. 

Who else is making the headlines? 

Yesterday’s men’s 400m hurdles instantly earned the status of one of the greatest races ever run, and today’s women’s event also delivered in spectacular fashion.

Just as in the men’s race yesterday, the existing world record was smashed: winner Sydney McLaughlin ran nearly half a second within the record she set earlier this year, clocking 51.46.

tokyo-2020-olympic-games-day-twelve Femke Bol and Sydney McLoughlin during the stunning 400m hurdles final. Source: PA

And just like yesterday, the silver medal winner bested the existing world record too, as McLaughlin’s compatriot Dalilah Muhammad finished in 51.58. Femke Bol finished third, and even she was just over a hundredth-of-a-second outside the pre-race record. 

The pace was faintly ridiculous: of the seven athletes who finished, five ran PBs. 

Elsewhere, Laurel Hubbard’s Olympic weightlifting career will be remembered as historic but brief. The first transgender athlete to compete at the Games has announced her retirement, having failed to complete a successful lift in her appearance yesterday. 

Largely by dint of her surname, Jessica Springsteen has been bringing a buzz to the relatively cloistered world of show jumping. She missed out on a place in the final of the individual event, but will be back for the team event on Friday. Just don’t expect to hear much about Bruce and Patti’s influence: journalists have been told she won’t be answering post-competition questions about her famous parents.  

And finally,  19-year-old Sakura Yosozumi of Japan won the women’s skateboarding park competition, ahead of two rivals who would otherwise have become the youngest-ever gold medalists in the history of the Game. 12-year-old Kokona Hiraki won silver, while 13-year-old Sky Brown of GB took bronze. It’s a comeback tale even at the age of 13 for Brown: she fractured her skull in a fall last year. 

Your must-see Olympic schedule for today

Tanya Watson makes history today, as she becomes the first Irish female diver to compete at the Olympic Games. The 10m platform is her event, and she is involved in the preliminaries from 7am Irish time. She will be the third of 30 competitors in action, and needs to be among the top-18 to qualify. 

And then, Irish eyes will narrow on another medal prospect.

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Bertram Allen, Darragh Kenny and Cian O’Connor all qualified for the final of the individual showjumping yesterday, which kicks off at 11am Irish time. Kenny finished second in yesterday’s qualifying, with Allen sixth and O’Connor 25th. 

Away from the Irish interest, the remaining highlight on the track is the men’s 200m final at 1.55pm. 

Other track highlights include the semi-finals of the women’s 400m from 11.30am, the men’s 800m final at 1.05pm, and  you can see the latest leg of Sifan Hassan‘s tilt at an unprecedented middle-distance treble as she runs in the semi-finals of the 1500m at 11.12am. 

Highlight of the night

It’s got to be the 400m hurdles. You’ll find the final tucked away at the end of these highlights from Eurosport. 

Source: Eurosport/YouTube

Some further reading 

The New York Times report out the full, astonishing tale of Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, the unlikely Belarusian dissident whose life has been transformed in the space of a few short Tokyo days.

Quote of the Day

“Chronically indecisive so I’ve adopted two surnames & the heptathlon.” – Okay, we’re cheating slightly, but that’s the Twitter bio of Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who is currently in medal contention in the seven-event heptathlon. 

About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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