Double sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah collected a third gold of the Tokyo Olympics when she helped Jamaica to win the 4x100m relay on Friday, while British cyclist Laura Kenny made history with the fifth gold of her career.
The all-conquering US women’s basketball team outclassed Serbia to reach their seventh consecutive Olympic final and American sprint great Allyson Felix became the most decorated woman track and field athlete in the history of the Games.
After blazing to an individual sprint double earlier in the Games, Thompson-Herah thundered down the back straight in the sprint relay to pass the baton to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce whose fast bend gave Shericka Jackson a lead that she held onto, crossing the line in a national record of 41.02sec.
The US quartet were second, reversing the positions from Rio 2016, and Britain took the bronze medal.
Italy, with surprise 100m winner Marcell Lamont Jacobs in their ranks, won the men’s sprint relay for the first time in their history.
Felix produced a gutsy run to land the bronze medal in the 400m behind runaway winner Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas, who retained her title from Rio with a brilliant tactical race.
At the age of 35, Felix collected the tenth medal of an Olympic career that began in Athens in 2004.
“This one is very different and very special,” Felix said.
Dutch distance runner Sifan Hassan, already the 5,000m champion, saw her hopes of an audacious treble vanish when she was beaten into third by defending champion Faith Kipyegon of Kenya in the women’s 1500m. Laura Muir got a gutsy silver medal for Britain.
Kenny joins the greats
In the Izu Velodrome, Kenny became the first British woman to win five Olympic golds, joining fellow cyclist Bradley Wiggins and rower Steve Redgrave on the all-time list.
After powering to victory alongside Katie Archibald in the first women’s madison at a Games, an emotional Kenny — one half of Britain’s golden cycling couple with husband Jason — said she had considered quitting during her pregnancy with son Albie, who was born in 2017.
“When I fell pregnant, there was a moment two months into the pregnancy where I woke up and said to Jason, ‘I can’t do this, I’m not going to be able to carry on (with cycling), there’s just no way’. And here we are,” she said.
Dutch riders Harrie Lavreysen and Jeffrey Hoogland had claimed the team sprint gold as a duo earlier in the Games, but Lavreysen won their individual duel in the men’s sprint.
With two days of action left, China top the medals table with 36 golds, five ahead of the United States. Host nation Japan are third on 24 while Britain moved to 18 in fourth.
The US will be banking on a gold in Sunday’s women’s basketball final after double-doubles from Breanna Stewart and Brittney Griner led the six-time defending champions to a 79-59 win against Serbia. They will meet Japan in the final after the host nation defeated France 87-71.
Canada won the women’s football crown with a nailbiting 3-2 penalty shootout win over Australia in Yokohama, a match moved from its initial 11:00am kickoff because of the heat.
Slovenian spiderwoman Janja Garnbret gave a climbing masterclass to win the inaugural women’s Olympic gold medal.
Cuban boxer Julio la Cruz, who was shot during a robbery just a few years ago, won his second Olympic gold with victory in the heavyweight boxing final.
The 31-year-old defeated Russia’s Muslim Gadzhimagomedov on unanimous points to add the Tokyo title to his Rio 2016 light-heavyweight crown.
World number one Nelly Korda of the United States holds a three-stroke lead over India’s Aditi Ashok going into Saturday’s final round of the women’s golf tournament.
Away from the action, two Belarusian coaches have been kicked out of the Games over an alleged attempt to force a sprinter to fly home.
The International Olympic Committee said it had removed the accreditations of Artur Shimak and Yury Maisevich.
The body said this week that it was investigating the pair over their role in the case of Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who sought protection at a Tokyo airport to avoid being put on a plane home.