Elaine Thompson-Herah made sprint history and hurdler Karsten Warholm smashed a world record on the day Simone Biles won bronze on an emotional return to Olympic competition.
Jamaica’s Thompson-Herah became the first woman to retain both the 100m and 200m Olympic titles.
She ran the second-fastest time in history – 21.53 seconds – as she won the 200m final comfortably.
Norway’s Warholm won men’s 400m hurdles gold in an extraordinary 45.94 seconds.
His performance won a final described as “truly unbelievable” by British former hurdler Colin Jackson.
American gymnast Biles, a four-time Olympic champion, had pulled out of four events at Tokyo 2020 to prioritise her mental health.
She was third in the women’s beam final as China’s Guan Chenchen, 16, won gold.
New Zealand’s Lisa Carrington, meanwhile, showed her class with two quick golds in the canoe sprint.
The 32-year-old from Auckland claimed her third consecutive K1 200m sprint Olympic title, then teamed up with Caitlin Regal to win the K2 500m event.
Two 19-year-olds led the way in the women’s 800m final, with rising US star Athing Mu taking gold and Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson winning silver.
Germany’s world champion Malaika Mihambo produced a huge final jump of 7.00m to take women’s long jump gold.
Thompson-Herah races away
The women’s 200m final looked set to be one of the highlights of these Olympics, with a stellar field that included defending 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo, two-time 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and US sprinter Gabby Thomas – the fastest woman over 200m this year.
Thompson-Herah, the 100m and 200m champion at Rio 2016, left them all trailing with a performance to place her among the all-time sprinting greats.
She ran the second-fast time in history, surging to victory in 21.53 seconds, just 0.19secs outside the world record set by Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988.
The silver medal went to Namibian teenager Christine Mboma, who was barred from her favoured 400m two weeks before the Games because her natural testosterone levels were judged to be too high.
Thomas, the American champion, took bronze in 21.87.
Biles is back
When Biles announced last Tuesday that she was taking time out of competition, it was unclear whether she would be seen in action again at Tokyo 2020.
She made her decision during the women’s team final, leaving the arena – and then returning to support her team-mates – after struggling during the vault.
After suffering with the ‘twisties’, which gymnasts describe as a kind of mental block, Biles pulled out of the all-around, vault, floor and uneven bars.
But the 24-year-old felt able to return for her final event, jumping up and down and hugging her rivals after scoring 14.000 with a solid routine that ended with a double backward somersault and double pike on to the mat.
China took the gold and silver, with teenager Guan, the national champion, scoring 14.633 to beat compatriot Tang Xijing, who scored 14.233.
‘Warholm is Superman’
Norway’s Warholm ran a stunning men’s 400m hurdles race to slash more than 0.7 seconds off his old world record – then celebrated by tearing open his shirt.
Former 1500m Olympic silver medallist Steve Cram, watching Warholm’s celebration, said: “No wonder he rips his shirt apart – he is Superman in this event!”
Warholm, who now holds the European, world and Olympic titles, told BBC Sport: “You know the cliche that it hasn’t sunk in yet? I don’t think it has but I feel ecstatic.”
In the women’s long jump, Germany’s Mihambo trailed to American Brittney Reese for much of the event.
But with her final jump, the reigning world champion hit the 7.00m mark to leave Reese, the 2012 Olympic champion, with a silver – the same medal she won at Rio 2016. Nigeria’s Ese Brume was third.
Carrington dominates on water
New Zealand sprint canoeist Carrington maintained her fine Olympic record by claiming two golds on Tuesday.
She continued her dominance of the K1 200m sprint, setting a new Olympic best to beat Spain’s Teresa Portela by 0.763 seconds, before joining up with Regal to take K2 500m gold.
Carrington starts her bid for another gold on Wednesday in the K1 500m.
While Carrington is a familiar face on the Olympic podium, Daiki Hashimoto is emerging as a new star.
Hashimoto has cemented his status as the new king of Japanese gymnastics with his second Olympic title at Tokyo 2020 – adding horizontal bar gold to his all-around title and team silver.
The 19-year-old has taken the mantle from Japan great Kohei Uchimura, Olympic all-around champion in 2012 and 2016, who chose not to defend his titles in Tokyo.
Hashimoto finished the horizontal bar final with a score of 15.066 to beat Croat Tin Srbic (14.900), with Russian team gold medallist Nikita Nagornyy in bronze with 14.533.
China’s Xie Siyi won his second diving gold of Tokyo 2020 by taking the 3m springboard title – seven years after being told by a doctor he would never dive again because of a broken ankle.
World champion Xie, 25, took gold with a final score of 558.75, finishing ahead of compatriot Wang Zongyuan, with whom he won the 3m synchro gold last Wednesday.
Elsewhere, boxer Sena Irie created history by becoming the first Japanese woman to win Olympic boxing gold, beating Nesthy Petecio, the 2019 world champion, of the Philippines.
The USA remain on course for success in the men’s basketball, although they had to come from 11 points down to beat Spain 95-81 in their quarter-final, with wins too for Slovenia, France and Australia.
But India’s hopes of reaching a first hockey final since 1980 were ended as their men were beaten 5-2 by Belgium in their semi-final. Belgium will face Australia, who beat Germany 3-1.
Defending champions Brazil will play Spain in Saturday’s men’s football final, having beaten Mexico 4-1 on penalties after a 0-0 draw. Spain beat hosts Japan 1-0 in extra time.