Tokyo 2020 digest: Harrington takes Ireland’s medal count to four

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Ireland’s Kellie Harrington celebrates defeating Imane Khelif of Algeria and guaranteeing a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Ireland’s Kellie Harrington celebrates defeating Imane Khelif of Algeria and guaranteeing a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

 

The Tokyo 2020 Games are on course to be one of Ireland’s most successful ever after Kellie Harrington guaranteed a fourth medal in the early hours of this morning with her lightweight quarter-final win over Imane Khelfi. Only in 1956 and 2012 have Irish athletes returned with more than four medals and that number could well increase as this week progresses. As for Harrington, the only question now is what colour it’ll be. With her quarter-final win she now steps it up a mark with Thailand’s Sudaporn Seesondee coming up in the semi-finals on Thursday at 6am. The Dubluin boxer never looked in trouble this morning and was emotional after her bout. Elsewhere there was some success on the track for Ireland as Andrew Coscoran reached the semi-finals of the 1,500m while Leon Reid did the same in the 200m. Marcus Lawler and Phil Healy both failed to progress in their heats but it was a historic morning at the Olympic Stadium as Karsten Warholm of Norway smashed the men’s 400m hurdles record, running an incredible 45.94.

We have plenty more Olympic coverage this morning with Ian O’Riordan writing about the mixed emotions of Ciara Mageean, Thomas Barr and Mark English in the mixed zone yesterday after their exits. “Who would fancy being confronted by a small group of masked journalists with invariably one question on their mind: so what happened out there?” he writes. In his letter from Tokyo, Johnny Watterson writes that the IOC made sure they remain the lord of the five rings with just one podium protest - that of Raven Saunders - proving a successful hit rate for them. Don’t forget you can keep up to date with all of the action from Tokyo on our Olympics website.

Moving on to rugby and Gerry Thornley writes in his column this morning that this was an ugly week for rugby but it’s not always like this. “Erasmus is primarily culpable but neither he nor the Springboks will give a damn at what cost to the game. Almost as an aside, his rant also further polarised opinion between South Africans and Lions’ supporters,” he writes. It took a while but last night World Rugby did eventually open disciplinary proceedings against Rassie Erasmus in the latest twist to this fraught series. Writing in his column this morning about the fallout, Owen Doyle says that violence is making rugby more dream than nightmare.

To GAA and Kevin McStay is questioning in his column this morning whether Kildare, as a county, want real success? “They’ve won only two Leinster titles in the last 60 years, after all. Is the county really the dormant giant many think they are?” he writes. In hurling, Seán Moran writes that Waterford’s win over Tipperary may have marked a turning point while, in soccer, Bohemians will tonight face PAOK in what is set to be a big step-up in their European journey this year.

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