About the Games
From national records to the return of a legend, this weekend saw athletes take great strides forward on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics that will take place in 2021. Here are the highlights from a weekend of nonstop action.
Hidilyn Diaz qualifies for the Olympics
The Asian Weighlifting Championships took place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan this weekend and the Philippines' Hidilyn Diaz was among the star names to book their ticket to Tokyo 2020. Diaz finished 4th overall in the competition, lifting a 94kg snatch and 118kg clean and jerk to confirm her qualification for a fourth Olympic Games. The Filipina weightlifter and Rio 2016 silver medallist is on a mission to secure her country's first-ever Olympic gold medal this summer.
People's Republic of China took gold and silver, with Liao Quiyun lifting 98kg/124kg and Li Yajun 101 kg/120kg, while third place went to Uzbekistan's Muattar Nabieva who lifted 99kg/114kg.
Eliud Kipchoge returns with a win in the NN Mission Marathon
Kenya's world record holder and the only person to run a sub-two-hour marathon, Eliud Kipchoge, returned to winning ways at the NN Mission Marathon in the Netherlands this weekend. The reigning Olympic champion finished a surprise eighth in last October's London marathon but dominated Sunday's proceedings before sealing the win in an impressive 2:04:30 - the fastest time in the world this year.
The race, which took place on an unorthodox looped course around Twente Airport in Enschede, will be the Kenyan's final competitive test before the Olympic Games marathon event takes place in August.
In the women's event, 10 athletes ran the Olympic qualifying time of 2:29:30, with the winner Katharina Steinrück breaking her personal best with a time of 2:25:58.
Nicola McDermott breaks Australian high jump record
Over a crucial weekend of athletics in Sydney, Australia that saw a slew of athletes book their tickets to the Olympic Games, Nicola McDermott put in the performance of a lifetime to break the 2m high jump barrier and with it the Australian national record. McDermott cleared exactly 2.0m to beat the former record of 1.99m set by Eleanor Patterson in 2020.
Saturday's action saw Kathryn Mitchell beat world champion Kelsey-Lee Barber in the women's javelin event, with Mitchell throwing 63.34m, just 66cm short of the Olympic qualifying standard. Both Mitchell and Barber will still need to throw farther if they are to make the flight to Tokyo.
Bendere Oboya celebrated her 21st birthday in style by winning the 400m in 52.20 to book her spot at Tokyo 2020. She was followed by Ellie Beer and Anneliese Rubie.
On the men's side, highlights from the weekend include the performance of Peter Bol, who made short work of the 800m, running home in 1:49.27. The Sudanese-born athlete will still need to run faster if he is to confirm his spot in Tokyo, with the Olympic qualifying time being 1:45.20.
Duncan Scott breaks national 200m freestyle record
The final day of the 2021 British Olympic Selection Trials ended with fireworks, as Duncan Scott swam 1:44.47 to break the national 200m freestyle record. The 23-year-old double Olympic relay silver medallist is now expected to compete in the 100m and 200m freestyle and 200m IM, in addition to relays at the Tokyo Olympics.
On Saturday, 2017 50m fly world champion Benjamin Proud clocked the second-fastest time in the world this year en route to victory. His time of 21.42 was faster than USA’s Ryan Held (21.62) and just one-hundredth of a second off Vlad Morozov’s world-leading time.
Freya Anderson also impressed in the women’s 100m freestyle, winning the race in 53.40. She is now expected to race in the 100 and 200m freestyle events in Tokyo, having met the Olympic qualifying standard for both.
Alina Harnasko impresses at rhythmic gymnastics Tashkent World Cup
Belarus's Alina Harnasko claimed a world cup title on Sunday, with victory in the ribbon final. Earlier in the tournament, the Averina twins - Dina and Averina - had put in a dominant display as Dina won Saturday's all-around competition and Averina took the titles in the ball and clubs.
The twins were one event away from a clean sweep before Dina finished third in the ribbon event. It left Harnasko in a position to win her second-ever world cup with a score of 22.75, four years after her last victory in May 2017.
Lasha Bekauri shines at European Judo Championships
One of the highlights of the European Judo Championships was the men’s -90 kg final that saw Georgia's Lasha Bekauri win gold against compatriot Beka Gviniashvili in Lisbon, Portugal. The victory was the judoka's first European title and the fourth Georgian medal on the final day of the competition.
In the women's competition, Slovenia's Tina Trstenjak added to the gold medal she won at Rio 2016 by beating Russian Olympic Committee's Daria Davydova in the women's -63 kg final.
Turkey also performed well during the championships, winning a brace of golds courtesy of Kayra Sayit in the women's 78 kg category and Vedat Albayrak in the men's 81 kg final.