Double GB gold in new mixed events

Great Britain kick off a golden Saturday by winning two of the new mixed relay events but there is disappointment for…

Dates: 23 July-8 August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and Sounds; live text and video clips on BBC Sport website and app.

Great Britain kicked off a golden Saturday by winning two of the new mixed relay events but there was disappointment for world champion sprinter Dina Asher-Smith.

Asher-Smith failed to reach the 100m final and later said she would drop out of the 200m because of an injury.

But GB claimed the inaugural Olympic triathlon mixed relay title.

And Britain’s swimmers followed that up by winning the 4x100m mixed medley relay in a world-record time.

Emma Wilson then added a sailing bronze medal in the women’s RS:X windsurfing and boxer Karriss Artingstall collected featherweight bronze after losing her semi-final against Japan’s Sena Irie.

It takes GB’s total medal haul in Tokyo to 28, with eight gold medals, four of those coming in swimming – the first time they have won that many in the pool in 113 years.

Double world medallist Asher-Smith was eliminated from the 100m after finishing third in the semi-final – and 10th fastest overall.

The 25-year-old spoke afterwards about her lack of preparation for the Games after suffering a hamstring tear and, in an emotional interview, said she would not compete in the 200m, an event in which she is the reigning world champion.

“It broke my heart because I am a competitor. It is the Olympics but there are plenty other championships for me to come and kill,” she told BBC Sport.

GB’s Daryll Neita edged through to her first major individual final by one one-thousandth of a second, but finished eighth as Elaine Thompson-Herah took gold in a Jamaican clean sweep.

And there will be three British women in an Olympics 800m final for the first time as Keely Hodgkinson, Alex Bell and Jemma Reekie all progressed to race for a medal on Tuesday, while Zarnel Hughes, Chijindu Ujah and Reece Prescod reached Sunday’s men’s 100m semi-finals.

In the boxing ring, Lauren Price guaranteed herself a podium place by reaching the middleweight semi-finals.

But Great Britain’s women’s rugby sevens team missed out on a medal, losing 26-19 to France in the semi-finals and later beaten 21-12 by Fiji in the bronze-medal match.

Meanwhile, US Gymnastics has announced four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles will not compete in Sunday’s vault and uneven bars gymnastics finals.

The 24-year-old withdrew from the women’s team final and the individual all-around final earlier this week saying she needed to focus on her mental health.

A statement from the governing body said it was “in awe” of Biles, who is yet to decide if she will compete in the floor final on Monday and the balance beam final on Tuesday, and that she “continues to handle this situation with courage and grace”.

‘The Olympics? I’ve completed it’

The first gold came early on Saturday as Jessica Learmonth, Jonny Brownlee, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Alex Yee won the first-ever Olympic triathlon mixed relay.

Learmonth set the platform, Brownlee broke away from the pack and Taylor-Brown and Yee maintained the advantage to secure Britain’s third triathlon medal of the week.

“The Olympics? I’ve completed it,” said 31-year-old Brownlee, who claimed bronze at London 2012 and silver at Rio 2016.

“It feels absolutely amazing. It’s my third Olympics and I finally walk away with gold.”

Britain finished 14 seconds ahead of the United States while France claimed the bronze medal.

“I can’t believe it. I was slightly nervous being in a team of Olympic medallists and I’m just so glad we executed a brilliant race,” said 33-year-old Learmonth.

History-makers in the pool

More success followed in the pool in another event introduced for the Tokyo Olympics, with GB taking a thrilling 4x100m mixed medley relay victory in world-record time.

It was Britain’s fourth swimming gold in Tokyo – their best total since 1908.

A quartet of Kathleen Dawson, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Anna Hopkin won in three minutes 37.58 seconds, with China taking silver and Australia bronze.

“One word has changed the whole British team – belief,” said Peaty, who also won gold in the 100m breaststroke.

“We believe we can win, we believe we can get world records. If you have belief, you can build everything around that and we showed that here.”

Guy was also in the 4x200m freestyle relay that won gold earlier in the week and Tom Dean earned the other in the men’s 200m freestyle.

Caeleb Dressel was part of a USA team that finished fifth in the 4x100m mixed medley relay but earlier claimed his third gold at the Games and set a new 100m butterfly world record in the process.

What are the new mixed events?

Changes to the schedule at Tokyo are the result of the International Olympic Committee pledging to make this the “most gender equal” Games and its president Thomas Bach saying they would be “more youthful, more urban and include more women”.

It means as well as introducing events such as skateboarding, sport climbing and BMX freestyle, nine new mixed-gender disciplines were added to seven current Olympic sports.

After gold medals in triathlon and swimming, the British team will also race in the final of the 4x400m mixed relay on the track on Saturday (13:35).

Other mixed-gender events have been introduced in archery, judo, table tennis and shooting, where San Marino won a first-ever silver medal and Spain took gold.

You can expect to see similar at next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics, with mixed snowboarding, freestyle skiing, short track speed skating and ski jumping in the line up.

Wilson keeps it in the family

Wilson was guaranteed a medal heading into the final race of the women’s windsurfing event and took bronze on her Olympic debut after a tense final leg.

“It’s amazing. I tried so hard in that race – I just kept going and going,” said the 22-year-old, whose mother Penny was world windsurfing champion in 1986, 1990 and 1991 and represented Britain at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics.

“I just want to win, but any medal is amazing. I’m super happy and I just gave it everything I had.”

China’s Lu Yunxiu took the gold medal and Rio 2016 champion Charline Picon of France won the final race to earn silver.

What’s coming up on Saturday?

  • Tennis: Belinda Bencic faces Marketa Vondrousova in the women’s final (time to be confirmed).

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