Olympic Games: Highs, Lows, Records, Inspirations and Controversies

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics came to an end in August after two weeks of fantastic action as close to 12,000 athletes competed for world glory. There were no spectators allowed, which was a shame, but despite this, there were many moments that will live long in memory of sports fans around the world. In the following article, we are going to look at the highs and lows of the Olympic Games as well as some inspirations and controversies.

Olympic Games: Highs, Lows, Records, Inspirations and Controversies

The Highs

When it comes to the medal table, the United States finished at the top of the pile with 39 gold medals to their name. They, in all honesty, probably expected a few more, but they can be pleased with finishing at the top of the table once more. China gave them a good fight and finished in second with 38 golds, while Japan, to everyone’s delight, did a lot better than expected and came in third with 27 gold medals. A special mention must be given to Great Britain, who impressed once again and came in fourth with 22 golds.

If you asked people at the start of the Olympics to guess the winner of the 100 meters, we are pretty certain that not many of them would have told you Lamont Marcell Jacobs. In winning gold for Italy, he became the first person other than Usain Bolt to win the 100 meters gold at the Olympics since 2004. His time of 9.80 seconds was also a European record. There would have not been many online sports betting sites that would have had to pay out on him winning the gold medal, that is for sure. Jacobs also picked up another gold in the 4×100-meter relay, taking Italy’s track gold tally to five, which is the most they have ever won.

Elaine Thompson-Herah became the first ever woman sprinter to win a “double-double”. She did this by winning the 100 meters and 200 meters to retain the two golds that she won at the same events in 2016.

Allyson Felix, meanwhile, won her 11th Olympic medal, which makes her the most decorated female track and field athlete ever. She achieved this remarkable feat by winning the gold in the 4×400-meter relay.

Neeraj Chopra, an Indian javelin thrower, made history by winning India’s first ever track and field gold medal.

The Tunisian Ahmed Hafnaoui, who is just 18 years of age, shocked everyone at the 2021 Olympic Games by winning gold in the 400 meters freestyle. He entered the final with the slowest qualifying time. This was only the fifth time that Tunisia had won an Olympic medal.

Skateboarding featured at the Olympics for the very first time, and Momiji Nishiya, a 13-year-old from Japan, clinched the gold to become their youngest ever gold medal winner.

The Lows

Mourad Aliev was disqualified from his fight for a head butt, but the French boxer refused to leave the ring for more than an hour. He believed that he was treated unfairly and that they had decided to disqualify him before the fight even started. Talk about sour grapes.

The US men’s relay team did not qualify for the 4×100-meter final, and this was declared as a total embarrassment by their critics. Their team was made up of three of the world’s quickest runners and they still somehow managed to come sixth in their semi-final.

Tennis star Ashleigh Barty entered the Olympics as the number one female player in the world, but she lost her first match in straight sets to Sara Sorribes Tormo from Spain. Big things were also expected of Japan’s Naomi Osaka, but she also crashed out early when she lost 6-4 6-1 in the third round.

Olympic Games: Highs, Lows, Records, Inspirations and Controversies

The Inspirations

Simone Biles, considered by many to be one of the best gymnasts ever, dropped out of a number of competitions to focus on mental health. She was due to take part in six events, but she pulled out of five of them because she did not feel like she was in the right mental frame of mind. While there were some who criticized her decision on social media platforms, she got a lot of praise and support for making such a difficult decision and helping mental health get the recognition it needs.

A very touching moment of the games came when Australian and Brazilian skaters rushed to console Misugu Okamoto, who entered the final with a lead, but failed to land a trick. Nerves clearly got the better of the 15-year-old, but her fellow competitors lifted her on their shoulders to remind her how well she did to make it to the final.

In the high jump, Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi and Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim chose to share the gold medal since neither could make it over the bar, which was set at an Olympic record of 2.39 meters. Facing a jump-off to see who would claim the gold, Barshim decided to ask if the gold could be shared, and the authorities agreed that it could. This has been hailed by many as one of the Olympics’ best moments.

The Controversies

The issue with Belarussian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya renewed the focus on the continuous political discord in Belarus. The controversy came about when she refused to get on a plane home, subsequently asking Japanese police for protection. She claimed that her team were trying to force her to leave Japan after she criticized a few decisions that they made. She flew to Poland after they gave her a temporary visa.

Karate made its debut at the Olympics, but the final bout ended in uproar when Tareg Hamedi of Saudi Arabia was disqualified after a high kick that left his opponent, Sajad Ganjzadeh from Iran, unconscious. The latter was eventually awarded the gold medal even though he had been completely outclassed in the final.

Meanwhile the current pandemic meant that the 2021 Olympics was shrouded in protests and controversies. There were around 100 cases that were linked to the Olympics before the opening ceremony, and there were more than 400 infections among those involved as the competition progressed. There was a big surge of infections in Tokyo, but to their credit, it does seem that the organizers have managed to prevent the games from being the super-spreader than many feared it could be.

World Records That Were Shattered at the Tokyo Olympics

On August 1st, Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas jumped 15.67 meters to break the previous record of 15.50, which had been in place since 1995.

In July, Norway’s Karsten Warholm set a new world record of 46.70 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles, and then on the 3rd of August at the Olympics, he managed to break his own record by finishing with a time of 45.94 seconds.

Italy had a really good Olympics and they set a record in the men’s team cycling pursuit final by winning gold with a time of 3.42.032. They had previously set the world record in their qualifying race.

Tatjana Schoenmaker from South Africa won the 200-meter breastroke in a time of 2.18.95, breaking the world record that was held by Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen since 2013.

The United States swimming team have never lost a 4×100 medley relay final and Michael Andrew, Ryan Murphy, Zach Apple, and Caeleb Dressel made sure that this was kept intact by winning the race in world record time.

Speed climbing was a new event at the Olympics, and Poland’s Aleksandra Miroslaw climbed the 15-meter-high wall in just 6.84 seconds, beating the previous world record by 0.12 seconds.

The Paralympics

If you are looking for more sporting inspiration this summer, then we highly recommend that you watch some of the Paralympics that is taking place in Japan from the 24th of August until the 5th of September. It is so inspirational to watch athletes with disabilities, some with extremely severe ones, show of their amazing skills. For example, we bet you never knew that there was a guy who plays table tennis with the bat in his mouth because he has no arms.

Many people believe that the Paralympics is a lesser competition than the Olympics, but we do not believe that this is the case. In fact, we would argue that is a superior competition because everyone who is taking part has had to overcome some sort of adversity in their life. So, if you have some spare time, we really do recommend that you sit down and give it a watch.

2021 Great Voltigeur Stakes: Leading Contenders and Top Betting Favourites at York

2021 Great Voltigeur Stakes: Leading Contenders and Top Betting Favourites at York The 2021 Ebor Festival will open on Wednesday (Aug. 18), with a large portion of the horse-racing public sure to have their attention fixed on who shines brightest in the Great Voltigeur Stakes.

Serving as a trial to September’s St. Leger, the Group 2 meet will assemble a crop of the best talent aged three and above currently gleaming on the flat circuit.


And a number of trainers with history winning this race will be back in the saddle attempting to add to their collection this week, including Aidan O’Brien, William Haggas and Charlie Appleby.

The final list of runners is yet to be certified as a few entries look likely to be cut before the race gets underway, but the leading picks to take top spot at York are well and truly established.

Alenquer sits at the head of that queue as betting odds 5/2 favourite days out from the horse race Great Voltigeur Stakes, and horse betting apps in the UK consider which colt and gelding talents might rise up to steal the £85,000 prize.


Alenquer (5/2)

A busy summer of activity continues for Alenquer following a not-so-successful expedition to Longchamp in mid-July, when he placed third in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris.

Alenquer was well beaten by Appleby’s Hurricane Lane on the very soft conditions in France, but a likely return to better grounding promises a bounce back to winnings ways at York.


One factor that may influence that resurgence is the expected return of jockey Tom Marquand, who was unable to ride Alenquer in France because he wasn’t fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

The colt has won three times and finished runner-up once with Marquand aboard, most recently winning the King George VII Stakes in June:



Trainer Haggas won the Great Voltigeur Stakes in 2015 with Storm the Stars, but he’s relying on the more grounded Alenquer—named after the region in Portugal—to bring him more success in this race.


Kemari (4/1)

Inspired by the football-esque sport that originated in Japan, Kemari has kicked up a major fuss in his first season of racing and is looking to make it three wins in a row when he comes to York this week.

The BBC broke down the Godolphin-owned starlet’s victory in the Queen’s Vase at Ascot in June, when he defeated the O’Brien-trained Wordsworth, whom he’ll meet here once again in York:



The 4/1 shot is yet to finish outside the top two in any of his three expeditions having only made his racing debut this past May, with Appleby stumbling upon a potent partnership between him and jockey William Buick.

Kemari ran a closer victory at Ascot when he edged Wordsworth by just over a length over one mile and six furlongs, but the one mile and three furlong distance here suggests he can challenge.


High Definition (5/1)

High Definition won’t be able to stand the sight of Hurricane Lane after being bested by the Appleby charge in each of his last two outings, most recently losing by 29 lengths in June’s Irish Derby.

O’Brien’s lowest-priced pick for the Great Voltigeur Stakes finished 10th out of 11 that day as he just failed to get going on the day, a far cry from when he sealed back-to-back wins at the Curragh around this time last year:


It could be the case that Ryan Moore is taken off jockey duties by O’Brien in a bid to bring about some change, with undoubted potential to be tapped in the son of Galileo.


2021 Great Voltigeur Stakes – Odds Leaders

Team Odds
Alenquer 5/2
Kemari 4/1
High Definition 5/1
Lone Eagle 5/1
Third Realm 6/1
Wordsworth 7/1
Mojo Star 8/1
Sir Lamorak 10/1
Yibir 10/1
Youth Spirit 12/1


Which football team has been relegated from the Premier League most often?

Which football team has been relegated from the Premier League most often? The Premier League was founded, as the ‘FA Premier League’, on May 27, 1992, replacing the old First Division as the top flight of English football. Since the very first Premier League campaign in 1992/93, four teams – namely Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough, Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion – have suffered relegation on four separate occasions. However, the team that has been relegated from the Premier League most often is Norwich City which, in 2019/20, achieved the dubious distinction of being demoted for the fifth.

If we were talking games of chance we’d soon start thinking that it’s time for ‘our luck to change’. How many times with we seen a player at the roulette wheel betting against a certain colour (red for instance) coming up because ‘surely’ it’s about time for the other colour to come in (black). This applies in bricks and mortar situations as well as real money online casino games. Of course in gambling though these are entirely separate events, not more likely dependent on the previous results. This is known as the gamblers fallacy and is understandable on account that the brain looks for patterns.

Which football team has been relegated from the Premier League most often? I can’t help feeling that Norwich, although at least somewhat in control of their own destiny when compared to a game of chance, must be wondering if lady luck has left the building considering their fortunes when in the relegation zone in decent years. Will the 2021 – 2022 season for different for them? We’ll soon get a feel of how it’s going.

Ironically, in the inaugural season of the Premier League the Canaries achieved their highest-ever league finish, third, behind Manchester United and Aston Villa, with 72 points. However, two seasons later, in 1994/95, they won just one of their last twenty matches, finished twentieth and were relegated to the Football League First Division, where they would spend the next nine seasons.

Norwich City were promoted, as champions, in 2003/04, but made an immediate return to the First Division, albeit rebranded as the ‘Championship’, in 2004/05. After another four years in the second tier, the club was further demoted to the third tier, League One, for the first time since being promoted from the old Football League Third Division in 1959/60, in 2008/09. Nevertheless, after successive promotions under Paul Lambert, appointed manager in August 2009, the Canaries regained Premier League in 2011/12. Thereafter, they have yo-yoed back and forth between the Premier League and the Championship, being relegated from the top flight again in 2013/14, 2015/16 and 2019/20.

At time of writing, in the 2021-22 Premier League, Norwich City have played just one game, and unfortunately for them it was a 3-0 trouncing away to Manchester City. Granted Man City are potential title winners but it’s hard to escape the fact that Norwich are once again on the back foot and near the bottom of the table. They will be hoping for a little more success in their upcoming games. They next play Bournemouth, then Leicester City, the Arsenal. Not the easiest starting selection of games, so they will be hoping to at least get ‘something’ from one or two of these games. Fingers crossed for them.

Which England strikers have scored hat-tricks at the World Cup Finals?

Which England strikers have scored hat-tricks at the World Cup Finals? It would be fair to say that England strikers who have scored hat-tricks at the World Cup Finals are few and far between. Of course, the ‘granddaddy of them all’ is Sir Geoff Hurst, who remains the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup Final. On July 30, 1966, at Wembley Stadium, Hurst levelled the scores at 1-1 against West Germany after 18 minutes and scored twice more in extra time to secure a 4-2 victory. His second goal, confirmed by the infamous ‘Russian linesman’ Tofiq Bahramov, has remained controversial ever since. There was no doubting his third, though, which caused commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme to exclaim, ‘They think it’s all over. It is now!’

Of course scoring a hat-trick in any game is far from a formality. It’s often seen as an aspiration by footballers due to how difficult it is to achieve. Sometimes footballers find their way into a rich vein of form though, so a potential hat-trick can occasionally be on the cards. For those of you looking for big money sports betting payouts betting on one coming up will typically get you generous odds. That will also be true in the World Cup as there are a finite number of games in the competition.

Interestingly Bruno Fernandes’ Odds for the 2021 – 2022 Premier League golden boot tumbles when he scores a hat-trick in the Manchester United vs Leeds United game (his odds fell from 25-1 to 6-1 – partially on account of his current goal tally, and partly the potential it displayed). There are typically 10+ hat-tricks in the Premier League each year. Broad analysis suggests a little over a 3% chance of a hat-trick being scores in any individual game, so the odds would be reflective of that fact (with more likelihood of course in less competitive games).


In any case, I digress.

Which England strikers have scored hat-tricks at the World Cup Finals? Next up is Gary Lineker who, on June 11, 1986, scored three times in the first 34 minutes of England’s third and final group game against Poland at the Estadio Tecnológico in Monterrey, Mexico. Following a 1-0 defeat by Portugal and a goalless draw against Morocco, England needed to beat Poland to progress to the knockout stages from Group F – dubbed the ‘Group of Sleep’ by locals, due to the lack of goals – but did so comfortably.

Last, but by no means least, on the list is Harry Kane who, with Lineker, jointly holds the record for the most goals scored at major tournaments. On June 24, 2018, Kane completed an unusual hat-trick in a 6-1 thrashing of Panama in a group game at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Russia. Kane scored his first two goals from the penalty spot, but his third came when a shot by Ruben Loftus-Cheek deflected off his heel and wrong-footed the goalkeeper.

The next big tournament in terms of worldwide attention will be the World Cup (held in Qatar in 2022). It will be interesting to see if any of the world class players in attendance (preferably England players!)  will manage to achieve this uncommon accolade. At the odds you’re likely to get for it, it might be worth a punt.

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