Olympic Daily News: 4 July 2020

Get your daily update of Olympic news: Trivia, trends, and talking points.

By Ken Browne

Happy 4th of July everyone. Today we've had some huge news that double Olympic badminton champ Lin Dan is hanging up his racket.

You can read why and a tribute from his great friend and rival Lee Chong Wei here.

In other news, Kiara the volleyball dog is back! What a set for that final point.

Wonder if will we ever see Kiara at the Olympic Games...

Lyles and Gatlin face off in Florida

Guess who else is back?

World 200m champion Noah Lyles and 2004 Olympic 100m gold medallist Justin Gatlin are among the stars gracing the 'Showdown in Otown' at Clermont in Florida today.

The pair have been drawn in the same heat next to each other although, to satisfy social distancing requirements, runners will be two lanes apart in all races.

This will be Lyles' first competition in 2020 and he is raring to go...

Also in the 100m heats are Canada's Andre De Grasse, who won three medals at Rio 2016, Britain's former sprint relay World Championship gold medallist Adam Gemili, France's European record holder Jimmy Vicaut, and double Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor.

Taylor is the sole competitor in the triple jump in which he won a fourth world title last year.

Rio 2016 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo will be making her seasonal debut over a lap having taken silver at last year's World Championships behind the provisionally-suspended Salwa Eid Naser.

Now 34, three-time Olympic gold medallist LaShawn Merritt runs in the 400m with Nigeria's sub-20s 200m man Divine Oduduru stepping up to the one-lap distance.

Sadulaev recovers from coronavirus

Wrestling star Abdulrashid Sadulaev looks like he's made a full recovery from COVID-19 in this latest video posted by United World Wrestling.

'The Russian Tank' is seen sprinting up a hill in Dagestan, none the worse for his ordeal.

Back in May, the reigning 86kg Olympic champion announced on Instagram to his one million-strong following that he had coronavirus and admitted not taking the virus seriously before catching it himself.

He said, "I admit like most of my countrymen, I too did not attach importance to the coronavirus, We really underestimated the disease."

But the man thought by many to be the best freestyle wrestler in the world is back on track and training hard.

Tiki-Take: Takefusa Kubo lights up La Liga

Japanese starlet Takefusa Kubo hit the headlines when he signed for Spanish football superpower Real Madrid - despite playing in Barcelona's La Masia Academy as a youth - and now he's sparkling in Spain's Primera Division.

At Barca's football school, his style saw some call him 'The Japanese Messi' and 'the future of Japanese football'.

Now he's on loan at Real Mallorca from Real Madrid, shining and scoring and adding to his showreel.

With some valuable experience for Japan at the 2019 Copa America under his belt, the 19-year-old could be one of the big breakout stars at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, playing in front of an adoring home crowd.

We can't wait!


And here's the inspiring story of Tre Lawson.

Bound for track glory as a top high school athete, Tre had a car accident in 2017 that doctors said would leave him paralysed for life.

"Today makes 3 years!" he posted three weeks ago. "A life changing accident that changed my life for the better. I’m happy to say in three years I’ve come back from completely paralyzed to only using walker to move around!"

Tre has goals set:

"2019 was get rid of the wheelchair, so 2020 is get rid of the walker!!"

Doctors said he'd never walk again, but here he is, back on the track on the 4th of July with just a walker. Tre is an inspiration to us all. Whatever adversity has in store for you, you can be greater.


And finally, here's your brain workout of the day.

Yesterday we asked why Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Games and the creator of the five Olympic rings symbol, used the colours blue, yellow, black, green, red, and white in his iconic design.

The answer was No. 3, to incorporate at least one colour from the flag of each competing country.

In 1931 M. de Coubertin said: "The design is symbolic, the five colours are those that appear on at least one of all the national flags of the world at the present time united by Olympism."

Today's brain melter:

Right now world record-breaking vaulter Mondo Duplantis is bringing a lot of excitement to the sport, but at the 1936 Berlin Games two Japanese pole-vaulters tied for second place, jumping exactly the same height. What happened next?

  1. A jump-off
  2. A silver medal each
  3. Rock paper scissors
  4. They cut the silver and bronze medals in half and fused the two different halves together so that each athlete received a half-silver and half-bronze medal.

Don't know? Guess! And get your answer to us here in all the places: @Olympicchannel