High-jump bromance, race-walk red cards and Lions series deciders
1) Tokyo eye-candy: Australian swimming coach Dean Boxall loses control entirely after Ariarne Titmus beats Katie Ledecky to 400m freestyle gold. Mutaz Essa Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi are deadlocked in the men’s high jump final, so an official explains what happens next, but nope. Instead: “History, bro” for the rivals and firm friends.
Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands falls on the final lap of her 1500m heat, “leaving her hopes of qualifying in tatters” – you might stupidly think. Meanwhile Peru’s Angelo Caro Narvaez provides a key first in skateboarding’s Games bow.
2) Today and tomorrow it’s race-walkin’ time. In 2000, Australia’s Jane Saville prepares to enter Sydney’s Olympic stadium with a comfortable cushion, and then … not so much.
Four years ago at the world championships in London, China’s Lu Xiuzhi – in the bronze medal position – is shown the red card five seconds before the finish. At Rio 2016, France’s world-record holder Yohann Diniz was a man on a mission. Unfortunately he was also suffering what we’ll tastefully describe as “intestinal problems”. He led at halfway before suddenly stopping at the 33km mark. After some swift, subtle work with a sponge, he continued, only to suffer a shocking collapse. And yet he batted away the attentions of officials to plough on, finishing eighth.
3) More official-swatting to mark Thursday’s men’s 400m final: 29 years ago in Barcelona, Jim Redmond memorably gave his son Derek a helping hand. More one-lap memories from Michael Johnson at Atlanta 1996 (where he did this too), and then again in his Sydney swansong; there’s no dream defence for Wayde van Niekerk this year, but we’ll always have his stunning sneak attack on the world record from lane eight in Rio. Ninety-seven years ago in Paris, Eric Liddell put the hammer down and gave Vangelis a story to soundtrack.
Friday sees the women take centre-stage in the event, but it’ll take some performance to eclipse Cathy Freeman. And, from downtown at Beijing 2008, Christine Ohuruogu. Last time out saw a thriller between Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Allyson Felix.
4) Saturday sees another Lions series decider. In 2017 against the All Blacks, it was all to play for at Eden Park … and honours ended even. Four years earlier, Sydney hosted a markedly less tense final Test, thanks to Leigh Halfpenny and George North.
5) Andreas Pereira, pre-season specialist for Manchester United against Brentford. Joe Willock rues the absence of a beep in the ref’s ear in defeat by Chelsea. Dartford turn on the style against Southend. A fairly regulation equaliser for Wolves at Stoke, but a nice moment as Raúl Jiménez returns to scoring ways.
Meanwhile, just the seven goals in 34 minutes for Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic in an 11-0 victory over amateur side Polisportiva C4 Foligno.
6) Fifty-five years ago today: Garry Sobers clobbered England all over Headingley as West Indies cantered to an innings victory. Forty-nine years ago today: Patrick Ewing was born, so here are 10 big moments from the Knicks mainstay. Sadly, Colin McRae, born on this day in 1968, is no longer with us but ample evidence of his staggering command of a rally car remains.