Sparkling gold distracts from Tokyo’s Olympic woes

Qian Yang of Team China wins the gold medal during the 10m Air Rifle Women’s event on day one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Asaka shooting range on July 24, 2021 in Asaka, Saitama, Japan.

Kevin C. Cox | . Sport | .

Sport stretched out over Tokyo on Saturday and it’s raining gold medals down as the Olympic Games came to life, finally setting some aside of the shadow of Covid-19 and the controversies that have plagued the global Strong piece.

China made an instant statement of intent when Yang Qian grabbed the Games’ first gold and the Japanese judoka Naohisa Takato raised home hearts with gold on the carpet one day after that of the nation global superstar, tennis player Naomi Osaka, had lit the cauldron to officially open the Olympics delayed by the pandemic.

Iran was also cheering immediately after Javad Foroughi won the mendi 10 m air gun evente the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz won the menla cycle road of race like unexpected nations featured in top of the medal table.

But fans, banned from all offices according to the Covid-19 protocols, an early reminder was received of the potential impact of the pandemic when two US archers claimed they were competing unvaccinated by personal choice and organizers said another athlete had tested positive for the virus.

The choice of Osaka a light the cauldron on A shaved opening ceremony ended on Friday of pomp and mass in scene in a strangely silent stadium.

But while the ceremony had been like none before, day one of sport has offered a lot more family atmosphere despite the absence of spectators, as world elite athletes ran, rode, fought and swam like a craving-for business-as usual atmosphere built.

The sight of an athlete, eyes sparkling with joy, would always be welcome one for organizers, and 21-year-Old Chinese shooter Yang provided it first, holding his nerve in the women’s 10-meter rifle competition to review Anastasiia Galashina.

Crumpled under pressure

The Russian collapsed under pressure on her final shot, shot 8.9, by far his worst of the day, and the worst score any of the finalists entered. “I got too nervous, restrained on too long, “he said.

Yang was thrilled and mentioned her prime motivation. “It’s the hundredth birthday of the Communist Party of China, “he said.” I’m so glad this gold medal is a … gift in my country”.

The hosts were desperate for Japanese success he too and, after some near misses, Takato won gold in the men60kg of judo, defeating the Taiwanese Yang Yung-wei.

“It was frustrating in Rio, “Takato said, recalling the previous Games in which it was over up with bronze. “It’s been a long way to get here.”

The organizers hope that the sport will distract from the flow of embarrassing gaffes and coronavirus woes that marked the event, postponed of a year.

But there was no need to ignore it global pandemic, like one more the athlete tested positive for COVID, carrying the total number of virus cases disclosed to 123.

Later, American archers Brady Ellison and Mackenzie Brown said they were free to choose whether to get vaccinated or not. against Covid-19, after an Olympic gold medal prospect in swimming in the United States who I had declined the vaccine has been widely criticized on social media.

“His one hundred percent a personal choice, e anyone That says otherwise it is carrying via people’s freedom, “Ellison, the world is number 1, said on the competition margins.

He and Brown crashed out in the first round of the mixed event, which is doing its Olympics debut.

Preparing for the typhoon

The organizers are also Preparation for a typhoon, having already reworked on Monday rowing competitions integrate them into the into schedule for Saturday and Sunday.

But while the rowers look forward to the sky, the surfers … who start their competitions on Sunday — should benefit from bigger waves.

3×3 basketball tournament made his debut and United States First Lady Jill Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron led the cheering like the American women beat France.

At 12, Syrian Hend Zaza was the youngest athlete in race in Tokyo but its table tennis tournament was over in a flash as he lost to Austrian Liu Jia, before taking a selfie with its conqueror.

Liu, who has a 10year-old daughter, he had struggled to sleep on Eve of the event. “Yesterday I asked mine daughter, ‘Do know your mother is playing against someone two years older than you? ‘ Her first the answer was: ‘Then you better not lose!’ “

Perhaps the “King Kohei” Uchimura of Japan could have done that with similar advice, but the kingdom of the all-round Olympic champion e holder of seven Olympic medals, he had an abrupt end when he failed for qualify for the apparatus final, closing his historic Olympic career.

“I could not perform what I practiced. That is how I just think, “he said.

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