A Viking roar, super shoes and fastest track in history: How athletics' Superman Karsten Warholm obliterated world record

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Karsten Warholm of Team Norway reacts after winning the gold medal in the Men's 400m Hurdles Final on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 03, 2021 in Tokyo - GETTY IMAGES
Karsten Warholm of Team Norway reacts after winning the gold medal in the Men's 400m Hurdles Final on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 03, 2021 in Tokyo - GETTY IMAGES

In an attempt to convey the sheer magnitude of the Tokyo Olympics men’s 400 metres hurdles final - perhaps the greatest athletics race in history - consider this: the man who won bronze went quicker than a world record that had stood for 29 years until last month. And he was obliterated; consigned to be little more than an also-ran.

Karsten Warholm’s victory was mind-boggling. As the Norwegian tore apart his shirt in celebration, the message was clear: athletics has its own Superman.

A couple of statistics to try and make sense of it: Warholm’s winning time of 45.94 seconds was a staggering 0.76sec quicker than the world record he set last month. In fact, it was so quick that it would have won him this year’s British 400m title.

Consider that again for a moment. Even if he was the only athlete having to jump over hurdles, he would still win that race.

But this was no one-man show. Rai Benjamin, of America, also shattered the previous world record to claim silver in 46.17sec. Brazil’s Alison dos Santos is now the third-fastest man of all time with 46.72sec. Yet he was a distant bronze.

“I’ve been training like a f------ maniac,” said Warholm. “I struggled to sleep last night because I had this special feeling in my chest.

“It’s like the feeling I had as a six-year-old on Christmas Eve. It’s a feeling you think you’ll never have again as you get older. But I had it last night.

“A lot of the time I am asked about the perfect race. I said it didn’t exist but this is the closest I’ve ever come. I can’t describe how important this is for me.”

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Karsten Warholm obliterates world record in astonishing 400m hurdles race - SHUTTERSTOCK
Tokyo Olympics 2020: Karsten Warholm obliterates world record in astonishing 400m hurdles race - SHUTTERSTOCK

“I was so focused on getting that last medal in my collection and now it’s all complete. I need to set myself new goals, I don’t think I’m done yet.”

Ever the showman, Warholm had produced his customary Viking roar on the startline and then set off at the type of manic pace that has become expected of him. It was fast, obscenely fast, but could he keep it up?

Rounding into the home straight, the challenge was posed. Always a few metres behind, Benjamin began to close on his Norwegian rival and for a few strides it looked as though the gold medal might be heading to the United States. Not a chance.

Somehow, Warholm went again, seemingly getting faster with every step he took. That, of course, is not possible. But neither is breaking a 400m hurdles world record by 0.76sec, and Warholm managed that.

“If you would have told me that I was going to run 46.1 and lose, I would probably beat you up and tell you to get out of my room,” said Benjamin. “Knowing that you want to be the best, this is what it costs. It’s hard. It hurts. But it is what it is.”

Of the race itself, he added: “That was the best race in Olympic history. I don’t even think Usain Bolt’s 9.58 [100m world record] topped that.”

As always with athletics, there are some caveats. Athletes have described Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium track as one of the fastest they have ever run on. In fact, Mondo, who supply it and are able to measure such technological geekery as energy response and shock absorption, deem it to be the quickest in history.

Then there are the ‘super shoes’, which are undoubtedly having an effect on times across all distances. In his press conference afterwards, Warholm said he is not a fan of sprint spikes containing air pods or lots of foam.

"If you put a trampoline there I think it's b******, and I think it takes credibility away from our sport."

"I have a great shoe. It was important to make a shoe that gives credibility to the results. I don't see why you should put anything beneath a sprinting shoe. In middle-distance I understand because you want cushioning."

But a fast track and quick shoes are nothing without a supremely talented athlete to make use of them. Warholm is one of the greatest the sport has ever seen.

Tearful Adam Gemili falls foul of Team GB's sprinting woes

by Ben Bloom, in Tokyo

Britain’s sprinting woes continued at the Olympic Stadium on Tuesday morning when a tear-streaked Adam Gemili was only able to walk his 200 metres heat after injury.

With heavy strapping on his right hamstring, Gemili abruptly pulled up and came to a halt just two steps after coming out of the blocks before walking the remainder of the race as tears ran down his face. To add insult to injury, he was given a time of one minute 58.58 seconds after crossing the finish line.

“The last run, literally the last run before I came into the call room, I felt it go,” he explained. “It’s my hamstring. I had to try but I’m in so much pain right now.

“I said to my physio, just strap it up and let me at least try to push out, but I can tell straight away.

“You don’t just cramp up when you sprint, it was a tear. I can’t believe this has happened.

“This season’s been really up and down and I’d finally put together five weeks of solid work. I was ready to go out there and win, to try and get a medal, at least a PB. I don’t get that chance now. It’s the worst feeling in the world.”

Gemili missed out on Olympic bronze by just 0.03sec at Rio 2016 and had been looking to finally make an individual global podium to add to his European and Commonwealth medals.

Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake also failed to qualify after coming fifth in his heat in 20.56secs.

Deborah Kerr eighth in kayak single 200m final

Great Britain's Deborah Kerr finished eighth in the women's kayak single 200 metres final at Sea Forest Waterway.

The 23-year-old Scot qualified in second place from her semi-final, clocking a personal best time of 39.751 seconds.

It was an impressive achievement, but the final became a procession as New Zealander Lisa Carrington completed a hat-trick of Olympic titles.

Great Britain's Deborah Kerr (finishing eighth) during Women's Kayak Single 200m Final A at the Sea Forest Waterway on the eleventh day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Picture date: Tuesday August 3, 2021 - PA
Great Britain's Deborah Kerr (finishing eighth) during Women's Kayak Single 200m Final A at the Sea Forest Waterway on the eleventh day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Picture date: Tuesday August 3, 2021 - PA

Kerr was drawn next to Carrington in lane six for the final, and she destroyed the field in a new Olympic record time of 38.120secs.

Spain's Teresa Portela took silver and Denmark's Emma Jorgensen finished third.

Three Britons qualify for the men's 1,500m semi-finals

Jake Wightman at least reached the 1500m semi-finals after coming through his heat unscathed.

The 27-year-old finished third in three minutes and 41.18secs at the Olympic Stadium on Tuesday.

Team-mate Josh Kerr came seventh in his heat in three minutes and 36.29secs, with only the top six qualifying automatically, but will progress as one of the next six fastest. Jake Heywood won his heat to also go through.

Wightman said: "It's the most nerve-racking round isn't it, you're worried you're going to be embarrassed. I'm glad I managed to stay on my feet and get through."

Women's 400m runners progress as long-jumpers miss out on medal

Jazmin Sawyers and Abigail Irozuru missed out on the medals in the long jump final as Germany's Malaika Mihambo took gold.

Sawyers finished eighth with a best jump of 6.80m while Irozuru came 11th with 6.51m.

Jodie Williams and Ama Pipi reached the 400m semi-finals but Nicole Yeargin was disqualified for a lane infringement.

Williams added: "It felt great, like I didn't really put a huge amount into any of it really and I felt really smooth in that first 300m and I just tried to put myself in a really good position coming off the top bend."

Medal table latest - where do Team GB now sit?

Day 11 overnight - as it happened:

05:38 AM

Eighth again for Sawyers

05:26 AM

Updated medal table

After that gold for Team GB

05:09 AM

Double gold-winning swimmer Tom Dean celebrates on British soil

Back in Maidenhead, Dean has been celebrating with his family.

Tom Dean, double Olympic Gold medal Winning Swimmer of team GB arrives at his homecoming party on August 02, 2021 in Maidenhead - GETTY IMAGES
Tom Dean, double Olympic Gold medal Winning Swimmer of team GB arrives at his homecoming party on August 02, 2021 in Maidenhead - GETTY IMAGES
Tom Dean, double Olympic Gold medal Winning Swimmer of team GB arrives at his homecoming party on August 02, 2021 in Maidenhead, England - GETTY IMAGES
Tom Dean, double Olympic Gold medal Winning Swimmer of team GB arrives at his homecoming party on August 02, 2021 in Maidenhead, England - GETTY IMAGES

05:02 AM

Breaking!

Team GB have their first medal of the day - and it's gold!

Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell have pipped New Zealand to the post to claim gold in the men's 49er medal race.

Follow the latest reaction here.

04:55 AM

The moment Caroline Dubois found out she'd lost

Caroline Dubois of Great Britain (left) is dejected after losing to Sudaporn Seesondee of Thailand during the Women's Light (57-60kg) Quarter final 2 at the Kokugikan Arena on the eleventh day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan - PA
Caroline Dubois of Great Britain (left) is dejected after losing to Sudaporn Seesondee of Thailand during the Women's Light (57-60kg) Quarter final 2 at the Kokugikan Arena on the eleventh day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan - PA

04:52 AM

Sailing - live now

There's a potential gold on offer for Team GB - the country's first medal of the day - in the men's 49er medal race.

You can follow our dedicated live coverage of that race by clicking here.

04:32 AM

Boxing: Women's featherweight final

Japan's Sena Irie gets the gold on the judges' unanimous decision.

04:27 AM

Boxing: Women's featherweight final

It's all-square heading into the final round between Nesthy Petecio and Sena Irie.

The winner takes gold.

04:14 AM

Boxing: Women's lightweight quarter-final

Winner on points by split decision is... Sudaporn Seesondee of Thailand.

Caroline Dubois looks absolutely gutted. And understandably so - but the 20-year-old fought so hard.

Caroline Dubois of Great Britain (right) and Sudaporn Seesondee of Thailand during the Women's Light (57-60kg) Quarter final 2 at the Kokugikan Arena on the eleventh day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan - PA
Caroline Dubois of Great Britain (right) and Sudaporn Seesondee of Thailand during the Women's Light (57-60kg) Quarter final 2 at the Kokugikan Arena on the eleventh day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan - PA

04:12 AM

Boxing: Women's lightweight quarter-final

Seesondee catches Dubois with a left hand of her own and there is the bell.

Both boxers celebrate, they both think they have done enough... but who has? We will find out imminently.

04:11 AM

Boxing: Women's lightweight quarter-final

Dubois is succeeding in pushing Seesondee back, not allowing the Thai fighter to dictate.

The Briton catches Seesondee with a peach of a left hand.

There's one minute left!

04:09 AM

Boxing: Women's lightweight quarter-final

It was another tight one and the judges made it 3-2 to Dubois in the second, quite surprisingly.

It's all-square heading into the final round: 19-19.

04:08 AM

Boxing: Women's lightweight quarter-final

Seesondee getting into her stride a touch, with her left hand causing Dubois problems.

The Briton advances, looking for a triple jab, landing one.

End of round two - that one was Seesondee's.

04:05 AM

Boxing: Women's lightweight quarter-final

A 3-2 split in favour of Seesondee in that round from the judges.

It's tight!

04:04 AM

Boxing: Women's lightweight quarter-final

Southpaw left from Dubois that connects to Seesondee.

That's the end of the first round. And it's a good one from the Briton.

04:02 AM

Boxing: Women's lightweight quarter-final

Both of these fighters' first Olympics.

Dubois has started well, jabbing beautifully.

04:00 AM

Boxing: Women's lightweight quarter-final

Here we go...

It's Team GB's Caroline Dubois against Thailand's Sudaporn Seesondee in the quarter-final.

03:51 AM

Karsten Warholm speaks to the BBC

You know that cliché that it hasn't sunk in? I don't think it has but I feel ecstatic.

I cannot believe the time - it's so fast! 45 can be possible if you just hit the switch and run perfectly.

I told myself going into the race about all the hard hours and all the hard work I've been putting in.

I cannot describe how important this is to me. This is what I do - I don't have anything else.

03:46 AM

More on Warholm from Ben Bloom, in Tokyo

If you didn’t already know about Karsten Warholm, you will now.

Athletics has been in need of someone to do the impossible and become ‘the new Usain Bolt’. Well, they have the man.

It was at the 2017 London World Championships that the Norwegian smashed his way onto the global stage, roaring at the top of his voice on the startline and then celebrating his victory wildly in a Viking hat. Who was this young upstart? Was he the real deal?

Yes. And more. He retained his world title in 2019 and then last month broke a world record that had stood for 29 years - a mark that he has now improved by an astonishing 0.76sec.

His celebrations in Tokyo were as raucous as we have come to expect, doing his best Clark Kent impression to rip his shirt apart and bellow in unbridled joy.

He is a showman, a performer and an unbelievable runner. He is athletics’ Superman.

03:38 AM

Warholm's win

The 400m hurdles final was a close-run affair, and Warholm, the gold-medal winner, faced a nervous look up to the screen - GETTY IMAGES
The 400m hurdles final was a close-run affair, and Warholm, the gold-medal winner, faced a nervous look up to the screen - GETTY IMAGES
Karsten Warholm of Team Norway reacts after winning the gold medal in the Men's 400m Hurdles Final on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 03, 2021 in Tokyo, - GETTY IMAGES
Karsten Warholm of Team Norway reacts after winning the gold medal in the Men's 400m Hurdles Final on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 03, 2021 in Tokyo, - GETTY IMAGES

03:28 AM

A dispatch from Ben Bloom, in Tokyo, after that ridiculous hurdles race...

Oh. My. Word.

We have just seen the track race of these Olympics in the men's 400m hurdles final. That was bonkers. Utterly bonkers.

Can you imagine going more than half a second inside the world record... and losing. That's what America's Rai Benjamin just did. But Karsten Warholm is a freak; a wonderfully brilliant freak.

The Norwegian's victory came in 45.94 seconds, absolutely shattering the 46.70sec world record he had set earlier this summer. Benjamin's silver came in 46.17sec.

Astonishing. Just astonishing.

03:23 AM

Athletics: Men's 400m hurdles final

It's gold for Norway and Karsten Warholm - and a new world record!

American Rai Benjamin also broke the old world record in finishing narrowly second.

Unbelievable.

03:22 AM

Athletics: Men's 400m hurdles final

It's a two-horse race as predicted!

03:22 AM

Athletics: Men's 400m hurdles final

Warholm is flying - he leads!

03:21 AM

Athletics: Men's 400m hurdles final

It's widely regarded to be a two-horse race between Norwegian world champion Karsten Warholm against American Rai Benjamin.

But who knows what might happen on the big stage?

Here we go!

03:14 AM

Athletics: Women's long jump final

Brittney Reese's final jump can't beat Mihambo and the German has won the gold.

03:13 AM

Gemili's pain

03:12 AM

Athletics: Women's long jump final

Drama!

Mihambo of Germany jumps 7m exactly and takes the lead from the bronze spot.

There are only two jumps remaining.

03:09 AM

Athletics: Women's long jump final

GB are likely to be leaving empty-handed here, as Jazmin Sawyers looks to be finishing in eighth (the best eighth-place score in history). Abigail Irozuru is in 11th.

Reese of USA remains the leader into the final round.

02:54 AM

Men's 200m heats: No Briton will be in the semi-finals

Adam Gemili has pulled up injured after a hamstring tweak, and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake has just finished fifth in his heat.

02:51 AM

A diving dispatch from Pippa Field, in Tokyo

A drastically improved all-round performance from Jack Laugher in that semi-final, qualifying for the final in third.

The Rio 2016 silver medallist scored 69.7 points better across his six-dive set than in his prelims, and twice got into the 90s with his fourth and sixth dives. No wonder the 26-year-old was looking so happy at the end there with his total of 514.75.

And he will be joined in the final by James Heatly who qualified one place further back, on 454.85.

Hard to look past the Chinese pair of Xie Siyi and Wang Zongyuan in the battle for gold though. They scored 543.45 and 540.50 respectively and were streets ahead of the rest. But a British podium is a real possibility.

02:49 AM

A very tearful Adam Gemili speaks to the BBC

I just felt my hamstring go and I'm in so much pain. I strapped it up... I had to try... I can't believe it... I can't believe this has happened.

This season has been really up and down but I finally put four or five weeks of solid work together. I can't really say anything else. It's s---.

02:45 AM

Diving: Men's individual 3m springboard semi-final

Some news from the pool.

Team GB's Jack Laugher and James Heatly have both qualified for the final at 7am today after finishing third and fourth respectively in their semi-final.

Could they be Britain's best chance of a medal today?

02:42 AM

Canoeing - Women's 200m sprint final

That is Carrington's third gold - she has not been beaten in a decade.

Wow.

02:39 AM

Canoeing - Women's 200m sprint final

No medal for Deborah Kerr as Lisa Carrington romps home for gold - a serious performance from the New Zealander.

02:38 AM

Canoeing - Women's 200m sprint final

The start is important - and here they go!

It's a good start from Carrington of New Zealand and Kerr has left herself a lot to do!

02:37 AM

Canoeing - Women's 200m sprint final

Over to the water now, and Deborah Kerr's gold-medal race. Can she do it?

02:33 AM

Athletics: Men's 200m round one, heat four

That's so disappointing for Gemili. His right leg is hugely strapped, but he just couldn't get out of the blocks before pulling up.

02:31 AM

Athletics: Men's 200m round one, heat four

Here comes Adam Gemili, one of Team GB's stars.

And he's pulled up straightaway out the blocks! He's holding his head, but I'm not sure what's happened...

02:28 AM

Athletics: Women's long jump final

We have a new leader!

Brittney Reese also jumps 6.97m - the same as Brume - but the American's back-up jump is better than the Nigerian's.

02:23 AM

Athletics: Men's 200m round one, heats

So far, Rasheed Dwyer, Jereem Richards and Femi Ogunode have won the three heats so far.

02:17 AM

Athletics: Women's long jump final

It's hotting up. Every jumper has beaten their first-round score so far.

Brume of Nigeria still leads, however.

02:09 AM

Diving: Men's individual 3m springboard semi-final

It's all going swimmingly (dubious pun intended) over in the diving for Team GB.

After four dives, both Laugher and Heatly are both sitting pretty near the top of the leaderboard.

02:05 AM

Athletics: Women's long jump final

Sawyers goes for broke and it's a no-jump - nine centimetres over.

But, like her compatriot Irozuru, has given it some real welly. She gets almost to the seven-metre mark.

02:04 AM

Athletics: Women's long jump final

Ese Brume of Nigeria takes the lead with a first jump of 6.97m. It's mightily impressive; I'm not sure I could jump that far in two leaps, let alone one.

Here's comes GB's Sawyers...

02:01 AM

Athletics: Women's long jump final

Irozuru of GB fouls on her opening jump but there was potential for length there - she really got a long way into the pit from the slightest of no-jumps.

Encouraging.

01:56 AM

Athletics: Women's long jump final

Brooke Stratton from Australia marginally oversteps the mark on her first jump, as Ivana Spanovic of Serbia takes the lead with a jump of 6.71m.

Still plenty to come...

01:50 AM

Moving on...

We will keep an eye on proceedings at the diving, but now attention primarily turns towards the women's long jump final, where two Britons, Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers, will compete - although chances of a medal are not high.

01:48 AM

Diving: Men's individual 3m springboard semi-final

A really steady dive from Jack Laugher!

The Briton now leads the field of those who have had three dives. The leader after two dives, Wang of China, is still yet to dive for a third time.

01:37 AM

A diving dispatch from Pippa Field in Tokyo

It's a first trip to the Tokyo Aquatics Centre for me, for the men's 3m springboard competition.

Semi-finals is the first session with the top 12 divers heading through to the final later today.

We've got two Britons trying to progress, Jack Laugher, the silver medallist from Rio, and his team-mate James Heatly and a third of the way through proceedings, they are sitting pretty to do so, in third and sixth respectively.

Obviously a lot can change in this sport - we've already seen a bit of a belly flop from the Colombian diver - and Laugher in particular is still looking for top form after his seventh place finish in the synchro last week. But it appears he is on the right track to rediscover it, already over 20 points better at this stage than in yesterday's prelims.

01:36 AM

Diving: Men's individual 3m springboard semi-final

Jack Laugher has started well in this semi-final. After two dives of six, the Briton sits in third place, with compatriot James Heatly in sixth place.

The top 12 go through.

 Jack Laugher of Britain in action  - REUTERS
Jack Laugher of Britain in action - REUTERS

01:29 AM

Athletics - Women's 400m round one, heat six

Marileidy Paulino triumphs in the final round-one heat in the women's 400m.

That means that Team GB's Ama Pipi will go through as a fastest loser.

01:24 AM

Athletics - Women's 400m round one, heat five

Stephenie Ann McPherson wins the fifth heat.

Meanwhile, Yeargin was disqualified for a lane infringement. Just two steps over the line.

Nicole Yeargin - REUTERS
Nicole Yeargin - REUTERS

01:17 AM

Athletics - Women's 400m round one, heat four

Heartbreak!

Nicole Yeargin has been disqualified despite her third-place finish.

The reason is unknown, but it's likely for a lane infringement.

01:12 AM

Athletics - Women's 400m round one, heat four

Nicole Yeargin of Team GB looks to qualify, next, and she gets off to an excellent start.

A trio overtakes but she fights back superbly to take third and qualify for the semi-finals.

01:10 AM

A dispatch from Ben Bloom, in Tokyo

Morning from the Olympic Stadium. As ever, it's hot and humid here - I can't recall ever seeing the trackside monitor showing a figure lower than 30 degrees. It currently says 35 degrees so I have safely sheltered in the shade.

The highlights of today's morning session are the women's long jump final and men's 400m hurdles.

Britain is doubly represented in the former with Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers. I'm probably not doing them a disservice by saying they aren't expected to make the podium, but you never know. A top-six place would be a great achievement for either of them.

The men's 400m hurdles should be a cracker and do not be surprised if the world record is broken. It should be a two-horse race between Karsten Warholm and Rai Benjamin.

The Norwegian edged it when they faced each other in the semi-final, but neither were going flat out. It will be fascinating to see who prevails.

It's hot again in Toyko - REUTERS
It's hot again in Toyko - REUTERS

01:06 AM

Athletics - Women's 400m round one, heat three

Pipi narrowly misses out - finishing fourth - but she should still qualify as one of the fastest losers.

So, so close.

01:04 AM

Athletics - Women's 400m round one, heat three

The great Allyson Felix of the USA takes on Team GB's Ama Pipi in this one - the latter on her Olympic debut.

Pipi does not start fantastically, but she comes flying through at the end. Top three qualify, remember.

Oh that was close! Felix won, of course, but did Pipi qualify automatically? Everyone waits...

01:01 AM

Athletics - Men's triple jump

Benjamin Williams has been unable to proceed to the final after the qualifying stage.

Disappointing for him.

12:56 AM

Athletics - Women's 400m round one, heat two

Jodie Williams goes through with a really good run, following Quanera Hayes to the finish line and finishing second.

The semi-finals await.

12:55 AM

Athletics - Women's 400m round one, heat two

Jodie Williams of GB up in this heat.

Top three qualify automatically. Here we go...

12:49 AM

Athletics - Women's 400m round one, heat one

Shaunae Miller-Uibo, from The Bahamas, cruises to victory.

12:42 AM

Canoeing - Women's 200m sprint

A superb run from Kerr and she will now compete in the final at 7.30am BST today.

She finished second by four hundredths of a second.

Deborah Kerr celebrates her qualification - REUTERS
Deborah Kerr celebrates her qualification - REUTERS

12:39 AM

Canoeing - Women's 200m sprint semi-final

Kerr has started really well in Lane 1.

The top four qualify for the finals...

And Kerr qualifies! A superb run.

12:38 AM

To canoeing now...

...and Team GB's Deborah Kerr has a serious opportunity in the 200m sprint semi-finals.

Here we go!

12:33 AM

Athletics - Men's 1500m heats

Heyward wins!

And Kerr will qualify, too. That means all three Britons will progress from the heats.

12:32 AM

Athletics - Men's 1500m heats

Heyward is running well as they approach the bell for the final lap.

As it stands, Kerr will be qualifying as a fastest loser.

12:29 AM

Athletics - Men's 1500m heats

Jake Heyward of Team GB in action in the third and final heat.

Josh Kerr will be hoping for slow times all round (Heyward aside).

And they're off.

12:24 AM

Athletics - Men's 1500m heats

Wightman finishes fourth and qualifies safely.

12:22 AM

Athletics - Men's 1500m heats

The bell sounds for the final lap and the pace explodes.

But Wightman is still in contention as Lewandowski - a medal contender - falls!

Wightman is still comfortable, however.

12:21 AM

Athletics - Men's 1500m heats

Wightman, like Kerr before him, looks steady and in a good position, around fifth.

Two laps to go.

12:18 AM

Athletics - Men's 1500m heats

The second of the heats now, with Team GB's Jake Wightman in competition.

As before, it is the top six that qualify automatically.

12:12 AM

Athletics - Men's 1500m heats

Kerr does miss out. A strong finish from Rozmys sees the Briton finish seventh - outside of the automatic qualification spots.

He might still qualify as one of the quickest losers, however.

12:11 AM

Athletics - Men's 1500m heats

It's very tight!

Kerr was in sixth for the majority of the final lap but Rozmys finishes very strongly and might have pipped the Briton to the all-important sixth place.

12:08 AM

Athletics - Men's 1500m heats

Josh Kerr is nicely in the mix, not trailing but not leading, either.

Olive Hoare of Australia currently leads, but there's still a long way to go!

12:07 AM

Athletics - Men's 1500m heats

They are underway with Team GB's Josh Kerr in action.

Top six qualify.

12:02 AM

Athletics - Men's 1500m heats...

... are about to kick off. Josh Kerr is in the first for Team GB; Jake Wightman in the second.

11:56 PM

A weather update from Tokyo

Mega humid, quite rainy, and a bit cooler than usual.

The athletics should be interesting...

11:44 PM

Early Britons in action

Benjamin Williams is in triple jump qualification at 1am, before Josh Kerr and Jake Heyward in the men's 1500m round 1 shortly after. And Deborah Kerr will be in the women's kayak single 200m semi-finals just after 1.37am.

Between 2 and 3am, Jack Laugher and James Heatly will compete in the men's 3m springboard semi-finals - with the final taking place later today - before Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers face off in the women's long jump final.

Follow all that action with us here.

11:38 PM

Magic and masterful: How artistic swimming is taking Tokyo by storm

Looking for some late-night reading?

Have a peruse of this piece from Thom Gibbs in Tokyo where he argues that if you still don't think artistic swimming sounds like sport, then have a day off.

Team Italy perform in the artistic swimming event - GETTY IMAGES
Team Italy perform in the artistic swimming event - GETTY IMAGES

You can read that here.

11:29 PM

Medal table - a reminder

Team GB currently sit in sixth.

11:20 PM

Belarus athlete will fly to Poland after refusing orders to go home

In case you missed it, a Belarusian athlete who took refuge in the Polish embassy in Tokyo after refusing her team's orders to fly home from the Olympic Games will travel to Poland on Wednesday, a group of her supporters said.

Sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was granted a humanitarian visa by the Warsaw government. She had earlier refused to get on a flight home, saying she had been taken to the airport against her will by Belarusian officials because she had criticised her team's coaching staff.

"She will fly from Tokyo, a direct flight to Warsaw on August 4, in two days' time," said Aleksandr Opeykin, chairman of the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation.

"She has accepted the offer issued by the Polish Foreign Ministry to request international help, she has done that and she has received a Polish visa today. We, at the Foundation, helped her to get the ticket to Warsaw," Opeykin told Reuters.

A source at the foundation, which supports athletes jailed or sidelined for their political views, said Tsimanouskaya planned to request asylum in Germany or Austria on Monday.

"She is a young sportswoman, a successful one and obviously she would want to continue her career so she will need help to train and develop,” Opeykin said.

The athlete arrived at the Polish embassy in Tokyo on Monday.

Polish deputy foreign minister Pawel Jablonski said: "I can confirm that we have issued a humanitarian visa. I can confirm that we will provide all necessary support in Poland if she wishes to use it."

Tsimanouskaya, 24, had been due to compete in the women's 200 metre heats on Monday but said that on Sunday she was taken to the airport to board a Turkish Airlines flight.

Tsimanouskaya arriving at the Polish embassy in Tokyo - REUTERS
Tsimanouskaya arriving at the Polish embassy in Tokyo - REUTERS

She refused, telling Reuters: "I will not return to Belarus."

The European Union welcomed Poland's decision to grant a visa and said the repatriation attempt was further evidence of "brutal repression" by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

The US ambassador to Belarus, Julie Fisher, said Lukashenko's government had tried to discredit and humiliate Tsimanouskaya for expressing her views.

The incident has focused attention on Belarus, where police have cracked down on dissent following a wave of protests triggered by an election last year which the opposition says was rigged to keep Lukashenko in power.

The athlete arrived at the Polish embassy in an unmarked silver van about 5pm local time (0900 BST). She stepped out with her official team luggage, and greeted two officials before going inside.

Two women, one carrying the red and white flag seen as the symbol of opposition in Belarus, came to the gates to support her.

Reuters

11:05 PM

Good morning!

Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport's live coverage of day 11 of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Team GB will be going for gold on more than one front today, on land and in the water.

However, it is Simone Biles' return to action which is likely to capture the attention of the world's media.

Early this morning, Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers go head to head in the women's long jump final, although the medals in the 200m will be decided in the absence of world champion Dina Asher-Smith, whose efforts to fight her way back from a torn hamstring ended in bitter disappointment.

We will also have diving coverage as Jack Laugher hopes to atone for the loss of his synchronised 3m springboard Olympic title when he goes in the men's individual 3m springboard semi-final and hopefully the final. The reigning champion and partner Daniel Goodfellow could only finish seventh in last week's final but Laugher, who won in Rio with Chris Mears, has a chance to make amends in an event which saw him claim silver five years ago.

There will also be boxing coverage, as Team GB's Caroline Dubois takes on Supaporn Seesondee of Thailand in the women's lightweight quarter-final at 4:50am BST.

Meanwhile, American superstar Biles' withdrawal from three of the four individual finals for which she had qualified to protect her mental health sent shockwaves through the sport. The 24-year-old had been tipped to equal, if not improve upon, her four golds in Rio, but has not competed since she pulled out of the women's team final last week. However, USA Gymnastics has confirmed she will take part in the beam final.

Later on Tuesday, Team GB's Keely Hodgkinson, Jemma Reekie and Alex Bell will be on the start line together in the women's 800m final, and one or more of the trio could make it onto the podium. Hodgkinson won her semi-final while Reekie finished second in hers and Bell ran the quickest time of the three, 1.58.83, to claim her place.

Britain's cyclists have seen their dominance of major events challenged in recent years, but they have a genuine chance in the men's team sprint. Jack Carlin and Ryan Owens will attempt to help six-time Olympic gold medallist Jason Kenny add to his tally.

The water is likely to be significantly less calm for the sailors - or at least the competitors will hope so after the cancellation of racing on Monday because of a lack of wind in Enoshima - as Britain's Giles Scott and John Gimson and Anna Burnet complete their campaigns. Defending champion Scott in the Finn class and Gimson and Burnet in the mixed Nacra 17 are already guaranteed medals with the former favourite to repeat his heroics in Rio.

PA

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