Here are some highlights of the first Monday of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (in 2021).
Big surprises and setbacks:
In the performance of a lifetime, Austria’s Anna Kiesenhofer won gold in cycling, having run so far ahead that she was out of sight of other cyclists. She only started the sport in 2014 and does not have a professional contract at the moment.
Tunisian Ahmed Hafnaoui shocked the swimming world by winning gold in the 400m freestyle. In the preliminary round he qualified in 8th place with the slowest qualifying time of all the finalists.
The United States’ men’s basketball team, flush with the NBA’s stars, lost their first game to France. The French used the size of three-time NBA defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert and a magnificent performance from fellow NBAer Evan Fournier to shock the Americans, who couldn’t capitalize on multiple attempts to close the game.
Anastasija Zolotic became the first American woman to win Olympic gold in taekwondo and fencer Lee Kiefer is the first American woman to win gold in individual foil.
At just 13 years old, the Japanese Nishiya Momiji is today one of the youngest gold medalists in Olympic history, having won the women’s street skateboarding event. She is only a few months older than the current record holder, American diver Marjorie Gestring, who was 13 years and 267 days old when she won gold at the Berlin Games in 1936.
What is on offer today in Japan:
- Swimming: Britain’s Adam Peaty won gold in the 100m breaststroke, while Ariarne Titmus defeated great American Katie Ledecky in the women’s 400m freestyle final.
- Rugby Sevens: Rio 2016 winners Fiji beat Japan 24-19 in the morning, while another favorite New Zealand did business against South Korea 50-5. A second round of matches will take place from 4.30 p.m. in Japan.
The Covid-19 continues to weigh heavily:
The Games were extremely unpopular among Japanese audiences, according to polls. But the mood seems to be changing as Japan brings home gold medals.
Meanwhile, Tokyo continues to report a growing number of new cases of the coronavirus daily, with at least 153 cases linked to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, organizers said on Monday.
The full program is available on the Olympic Games website here.
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