Brazil’s first football Olympics gold and Neymar’s subsequent stepping down as the team’s captain, as well as Mo Farah’s historic double double, were the highlights of Saturday’s action at the Rio Olympics.
The fierce hopes of 200 million Brazilians rested squarely on the shoulders of favourite son Neymar and the Barcelona star delivered, scoring with a superb free kick in regulation time before converting the decisive penalty kick to hand Brazil a 5-4 penalty shootout win over Germany after the match ended 1-1 in regulation time.
The win gave Brazil some measure of redemption after a different German squad crushed them 7-1 in the semifinal of the 2014 World Cup at home. It was a loss that rankles among Brazilians to this day.
In athletics, meanwhile, Great Britain’s Mo Farah has completed the double double of winning the 5,000 and 10,000m in successive Olympics, becoming only the second person to do so. Great Britain have now equalled their tally of 65 gold medals won in London 2012.
The US men’s and women’s relay team both won gold in the 4x400m relay, while Matthew Centrowitz gave the United States its first gold in the men’s 1500m since 1908.
Earlier in the day, golfer Aditi Ashok finished her maiden appearance at the Olympics at the 41st spot, a commendable performance from an 18-year-old who turned pro just six months ago.
8.45 AM (IST): China defeat Serbia in four sets to win the women’s volleyball gold. And with that, Saturday’s action in Rio comes to an end.
7.10 AM (IST): USA complete the 4x400m relay double, winning the men’s event as well. Jamaica win silver while the Bahamas take bronze.
6.50 AM (IST): Team USA win the women’s 4x400m relay, with Jamaica coming in second and Great Britain third.
6.45 AM (IST): After leading Brazil to its first football Olympic gold, Neymar steps down as captain, reports AFP.
6.30 AM (IST): Mo Farah can’t quite digest the weight of the feat he’s accomplished.
6.24 AM (IST): Mo Farah wins the men’s 5,000m gold to successfully complete the double double of the 5,000 and 10,000m. He becomes only the second man to win the two events in successive Olympics. Finland’s Lasse Viren (1972 and 1976) was the first.
5:58 AM (IST): South Africa’s Caster Semenya has won the women’s 800m gold.
5:55 AM (IST): Earlier, Park In-Bee won the women’s golf competition.
4:55 AM (IST): That awkward moment when Neymar copies your iconic pose.
4:43 AM (IST): You cannot make this up! Neymar scores the winning penalty as Brazil win their first Olympic gold.
4:32 AM (IST): Penalties! 120 minutes couldn’t separate the two teams!
4:13 AM (IST): 15 minutes of extra time remain. Or it’s down to penalties!
4:01 AM (IST): Look who’s in the house! Usain Bolt soaking in the action.
3:56 AM (IST): Frantic action comes to a break! 90 mins can’t separate the two teams! We are headed to extra-time!
3:19 AM (IST): Germany have drawn level in the 60th minute! Max Meyer with a superb finish! 1-1!
3:03 AM (IST): Germany have come out flying! They’ve already gone close multiple times. An equaliser around the corner?
2:55 AM (IST): Witness the Maracana go wild!
2:50 AM (IST): What a half! Brazil lead 1-0 courtesy Neymar’s superb freekick but Germany have hit the woodwork thrice and are well in the game.
2:33 AM (IST): Germany almost equalise within three minutes. Multiple shots deflected and cleared!
2:29 AM (IST): Neymar gives Brazil the lead through a superb freekick! Hosts 1-0 up and looking good.
2:12 AM (IST): Germany’s Brandt hits the crossbar from 20-yards out. This game has been frantic.
2:07 AM (IST): The game has been ridiculously open in the early minutes. Expect a lot of goals if the two teams persist at this pace.
2:05 AM (IST): Britain’s Nicola Adams made history...again.
2:00 AM (IST): And we’re underway! Brazil looking to win their first football gold while Germany look to sweep the two medals, having already won the women’s competition.
1:42 AM (IST): We’re not too far away from the men’s football final. Shake off the grogginess and revisit the 2014 World Cup with this thumping number starring Neymar.
8:43 PM (IST): China’s Chen Long inflicted more Olympic heartache on Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei with a straight games win for gold in the men’s badminton singles final on Saturday.
8:12 PM (IST): That’s the end of the medal hopes for Aditi Ashok in women’s golf.
7:44 PM (IST):
7:03 PM (IST): A good start for Chen Long against Lee Chong Wei in the men’s badminton singles final.
6: 18 PM (IST): Denmark’s Victor Axelsen wins the Bronze medal match 15-21 21-10 21-17 against China’s Lin Dan.
6:04 PM (IST): Aditi Ashok drops to tied 40th in the 4th round.
5:48 PM (IST): Great fightback by Axelsen as he takes the second game 21-10 to force a decider.
5:27 PM (IST): China’s Lin Dan wins the first game 21-15 against Denmark’s Victor Axelsen in the men’s badminton singles bronze medal match.
5:10 PM (IST): It is not looking good for Aditi Ashok in the 4th round.
4:43 PM (IST):
4:39 PM (IST): Medal hopes look quite slim for Aditi Ashok as she is tied at 33rd.
4:35 PM (IST): In other news, more than 41,000 tickets have been sold for the closing ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games.
4:27 PM (IST): Not a good start for Indian golfer Aditi Ashok.
4:17 PM (IST): Usain Bolt thinks his ‘treble-treble’ record is nearly unbeatable!