Tokyo Games Day One Recap

Here's a look at the 2020 Tokyo Games after first full day of competition.

Posted: Jul 24, 2021 8:19 PM

The Americans rebounded from their opening loss with a 6-1 rout of New Zealand on Saturday in the women’s soccer tournament at the Tokyo Olympics.

With the United States leading 2-0 at the break, first lady Jill Biden arrived in time to watch the team put the game away in the second half at Saitama Stadium.

The United States was stunned by Sweden in the first match, losing 3-0. It was the team’s first loss since January 2019 and snapped a 44-game unbeaten streak. The Americans had not been held scoreless since 2017.

Also Saturday, Britain beat Japan 1-0, Sweden had a 4-2 win over Australia and Brazil and the Netherlands had a 3-3 draw.

Elsewhere at the Olympics:

- Cat Osterman pitched shutout ball for the second time in four days, Ali Aguilar hit a tiebreaking, two-run single and the top-ranked United States beat No. 5 Mexico 2-0 at the Olympic softball tournament. The U.S. pitched its third straight one-hitter and has not allowed a run while improving to 3-0 in softball’s return to the Olympics for the first time since 2008. Osterman pitched six innings for her second win and Monica Abbott got her second save to go with a win. In other games, Japan shut out Italy 5-0 and Canada topped Australia 7-1.

- After a long wait to get on the court, the U.S. men’s volleyball team made quick work of France in its Olympic opener. The U.S. didn’t take the court until 11 p.m. local time in the final match of the opening day of pool play but set the tone early by scoring the first five points of the match. The Americans won the match 25-18, 25-18, 25-22, as they try to build on their bronze medal performance in 2016. The other winners on the opening day of men’s competition were defending champion Brazil, Italy, the Russians, Japan and Iran.

- U.S. beach volleyball player Phil Dalhausser has had a rough start to the Tokyo Games. The four-time Olympian and 2008 gold medalist has been in modified quarantine because he is considered a close contact of another player who withdrew after testing positive for COVID-19. On Saturday he and teammate Nick Lucena lost to defending bronze medalists Robert Meeuwsen and Alexander Brouwer of the Netherlands. Earlier, the very first match of the beach volleyball tournament was canceled because a Czech player tested positive for COVID-19. That allowed Japan to win by default. The other men’s and women’s games were played as scheduled.

- The U.S. men’s basketball team is finally together. Devin Booker, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, the three Olympians who played in the NBA Finals, arrived in Japan Saturday, less than 24 hours before the Americans are scheduled to open against France. How much they play on Sunday remains unclear. U.S. coach Gregg Popovich has said he would gauge their role based on how they were feeling after the flights.

- The 3-on-3 version of half-court basketball has made its Olympic debut, with a DJ spinning records and games lasting less than 15 minutes. The sport sells itself as streetball, and it shares some resemblance to the playground game it is based on. In other ways, it’s like a completely different sport. Referees oversee the action and TV timeouts interrupt play twice a game. The U.S., where the game was born and perfected, did not qualify a men’s team for the Games. But the U.S. women did make the tournament, and when they played France on Saturday night they had first lady Jill Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron watching from the nearly empty stands. The Americans won, 7-10.

- Japanese swimming star Daiya Seto surprisingly failed to qualify for the 400-meter individual medley final on the opening night of swimming at the Tokyo Olympics. Seto, the bronze medalist five years ago in Rio and a three-time world champion in the event, finished ninth. Only the top eight advanced to tomorrow’s final. Seto was a favorite to win the grueling event, along with American Chase Kalisz. The eight-lap race requires endurance, technique and strategy while fighting off weary legs and arms churning through all four strokes - butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle.

- Japan surged to the lead in Olympic men’s gymnastics qualifying, but the host country will spend the rest of the Games without star Kohei Uchimura. The 32-year-old two-time Olympic champion fell on high bar and failed to qualify for the event finals. Japan’s team total of 262.510 points was just enough to pull ahead of China and the Russian team. Japan’s Daiki Hashimoto topped qualifying through two subdivisions with an all-around score of 88.531. The United States, Great Britain, Switzerland, Germany and Ukraine also advanced to Monday night’s final.

- Heat and humidity became a major issue when the Olympic tennis tournament opened Saturday. The temperature soared to 93 degrees and the heat index made it feel more than 100. French Open finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova grasped for an air tube during a medical timeout and grew frustrated at the lack of ice in a court-side container. She still managed to rout Sara Errani of Italy. Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev called it “some of the worst” heat he has played in after eliminating Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan. Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic’s bid for a Golden Slam is alive and well following a routine 6-2, 6-2 win over 139th-ranked Hugo Dellien of Bolivia.

- China’s Qian Yang won the first gold medal of the Tokyo Games in women’s 10-meter air rifle. Yang had a 9.8 on her final shot and finished with an Olympic record 251.8.

- Naohisa Takato won Japan’s first gold medal at its home Olympics, beating Taiwan’s Yang Yung-wei in the men’s 60-kilogram judo final.

- Distria Krasniqi of Kosovo won her nation’s second-ever Olympic medal by beating Japan’s Funa Tonaki in the women’s 48-kilogram judo final. Tonaki fell agonizingly short of claiming gold in Japan’s beloved, homegrown martial art.

- Sun Yiwen of China beat five-time Olympian Ana Maria Popescu of Romania 11-10 in overtime to win gold in the women’s épée fencing competition.

- Aron Szilagyi of Hungary became the first Olympic fencer to win three individual sabre gold medals after beating Luigi Samele 15-7 in the men’s final.

- Panipak Wongpattanakit of Thailand and Vito Dell’Aquila of Italy have won the first two gold medals of the Olympic taekwondo competition

- An San and teenager Kim Je Deok have paired up to lead South Korea to a gold medal in the Olympic debut of archery’s mixed team event. It was the 24th Olympic gold medal for South Korea’s archery program.

- Ecuador won its first cycling medal as Richard Carapaz took gold in the Olympic road race.

- China’s Hou Zhihui won gold with a commanding showing in the women’s 49-kilogram weightlifting category.

- Javad Foroughi became the oldest Iranian athlete to win an Olympic medal, earning gold in men’s 10-meter air pistol. He set an Olympic record with 244.8 points.

- The youngest table tennis player in Olympics history is out of the Tokyo Games. Twelve-year-old Hend Zaza of Syria lost in straight sets to Liu Jia, a 39-year-old from Austria in a preliminary match.

- The International Surfing Association confirmed a last-minute alternate: Carlos Munoz will surf for Costa Rica as the sport makes its Olympic debut. Munoz replaces Frederico Morais of Portugal, who announced Friday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and would not travel to Japan while he quarantines at home.

- Tokyo organizers said the total of Olympics-related COVID-19 cases in Japan rose to 127, with one athlete added to the tally. German cyclist Simon Geschke’s positive test was announced Friday, one day ahead before the men’s road race. Athletes account for 14 of the 127 cases in Japan since July 1. Dutch team officials said Saturday that rower Finn Florijn tested positive for COVID-19 and is out of the Games. Two other Dutch athletes previously tested positive. Florijn’s positive test won’t show up in the official tally of cases until Sunday.

- An Algerian judo athlete is being sent home after withdrawing to avoid potentially facing an Israeli opponent. The athlete and his coach face punishment from Olympic officials following his withdrawal. He could have faced an Israeli athlete in the second round.

- Two Georgian tennis players have been barred from the Games after officials in their home country told them they were entered but never actually sent the paperwork. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that it had to turn away the doubles players.

- Russian weightlifting leader Maxim Agapitov won back his right to attend the Tokyo Olympics despite his own doping ban 27 years ago. The Court of Arbitration for Sport says it upheld Agapitov’s appeal to regain his games accreditation, which the International Olympic Committee took away this month.

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Today's high temperature of 87° was our warmest in a week and a half - we last climbed that high on the afternoon of September 18th when we tipped the scales at 88°. The remainder of the evening will remain quite mild under clear skies; expect temperatures to first fall to 83° by dinnertime before dropping to 73° by 10PM. The clear skies and weak southerly wind flow will help keep temperatures relatively stable during the overnight and predawn hours - we'll wake up to a morning low of just 62° early Wednesday morning.
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