Preamble: Team events for the Olympics officially began on Wednesday July 21 with individual competitions starting three days later. We’ll keep you up to date with all the big sporting stories from the Games with our daily updates that will go right through to the closing ceremony on August 8. Team Japan has 27 gold medals so far including nine in judo as well as two each from swimmer Yui Ohashi and gymnast Daiki Hashimoto. That’s already 11 more than the country had achieved in any previous Olympics. They lie third in the medal table behind America and China.
August 8: Evening
The Closing Ceremony began with a ‘World of Applause,” a video looking back at the 17 days of action. That was followed by some fireworks and a Takarazuka Revue performance. They sang “Kimi ga yo,” the national anthem with the shortest lyrics. Other national anthems included the Greek one, representing the first hosts and the Kenyan anthem was played twice as marathon winners Eliud Kipchoge and Peres Jepchirchir received their gold medals. Then when the baton was passed over to Paris to do their bit and we got to enjoy La Marseillaise being played in space with a saxophone.
Other musical performances included Milet covering “Hymn to Love” by Edith Piaf alongside a Japanese ska band and a version of Kyu Sakamoto’s classic “Ue o muite arukou” (Sukiyaki Song). Another highlight was the the swirling lights that turned into the five Olympic rings. Of course, the Olympics is all about the athletes and so is the Closing Ceremony. Many had already flown home, but those still in the city made their way into the stadium en masse. Though wearing masks and trying to maintain distance, they looked like they were having fun. Karate gold-medalist Ryo Kiyuna was given the honor of carrying the Japan flag. The Olympic flag was passed from Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike to IOC President Thomas Bach and then on to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. Not long after, Bach declared the end of the Games. Next up is the Paralympics which begin on August 24.
August 8: Morning- Afternoon
The final day of the Olympics and it began with a tremendous performance from Eliud Kipchoge in the men’s marathon. The Kenyan defended his crown from Rio with the biggest winning margin in the race since 1972. Japan’s 57th and 58th medals of the Games came in basketball and cycling. The women’s basketball team have done brilliantly in Tokyo, but America proved a bridge too far. It was a comprehensive 90-75 victory for the US who earned their seventh consecutive gold in the sport. In the women’s omnium race, Yumi Kajihara survived a late crash to claim silver. America’s Jennifer Valente won gold. There was disappointment for Japan’s Yuta Wakimoto who was eliminated at the semi-final stage of the Keirin race. The final was won by Jason Kenny who claimed his seventh gold, securing his status as the most successful British Olympian in history. Canada’s Kelsey Mitchell won the women’s sprint.
Ireland’s second gold of the Games came in women’s lightweight boxing as Kellie Harrington defeated Brazil’s Beatriz Ferreira. Lauren Price won Britain’s its 22nd gold of the Games. Cuba’s Andy Cruz beat America’s Keyshawn Davis to land the men’s lightweight crown while Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalolov got the better of Richard Torrez from the States in the men’s super heavyweight division. There was better news for the US in the women’s volleyball as they defeated Brazil 3-0 in the final. That was the country’s 39th gold of the Olympics putting them one ahead of China. In the women’s handball France beat ROC 30-25. The final gold of the Games went to Serbia in the men’s water polo final as they defeated Greece 13-10.
August 7: Evening
There were three more golds for Japan on Saturday to make it 27 in total. The first two of the evening came in wrestling. Takuto Otoguro defeated Azerbaijan’s Haji Aliyev to take home the men’s 65kg freestyle title. That was followed by Yui Susaki’s triumph in the women’s 50kg freestyle final. In the men’s 97kg category ROC’s Abdul Rashid Sadulaev beat America’s Kyle Snyder in the final. In baseball, Japan won its first ever Olympic gold, defeating America 2-0. Munetaka Murakami, the youngest player in the team, got the ball rolling with a home-run in the third innings. When it comes to karate, Japan has been largely disappointing in kumite, though Ryutaro Araga did claim a bronze in the 75kg division. Iran’s Sajad Ganjzadeh won the gold. The women’s +61kg category was won by Egypt’s Feryal Abdelaziz.
On the track, the Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan won her second gold of the Games in the women’s 10,000m. Norway’s fine Olympics in the athletics continued with Jakob Ingebrigtsen winning the men’s 1,500m. Neeraj Chopra won India’s first-ever track and field gold in the men’s javelin. ROC’s Maria Lasitskene, meanwhile, took the women’s high jump crown. Both the men’s and women’s 4x400m relays were won by the US. Brazil defended their 2016 men’s football title with a 2-1 win over Spain. France, meanwhile, are the new Olympic champions in men’s volleyball and handball. They defeated ROC 3-2 in the former and Denmark in the latter. The team equestrian was won by Sweden while ROC took home the women’s team title in artistic swimming. Joseph Choong followed up Katie French’s success in the women’s modern pentathlon to win gold for Britain in the men’s competition.
August 7: Morning – Afternoon
Mone Inami won Japan’s first-ever golf medal. She finished one shot behind America’s Nelly Korda and level with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko before beating the latter in a play-off. 14-year-old Rikuto Tamai finished seventh in the men’s 10m diving platform final. It was no surprise to see China battle it out for the top prize. Cao Yuan became the first man in Olympic history to win three golds in different disciplines as he just edged out his countryman Yang Jian. Britain’s Tom Daley picked up the bronze.
The penultimate day of the Games began with the marathon. It was a one-two for Kenya with Peres Jepchirchir finishing ahead of Brigid Kosgei. In canoe sprint, Chinese pair Xu Shixiao and Sun Mengya won the women’s C2 500m while Brazil’s Isaquias Queiroz Dos Santos took gold in the men’s C1 1,000m. Hungary topped the podium in the women’s K4 500m. Germany won the men’s event. Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sørum won gold in the men’s beach volleyball. The US defeated France to secure their fourth consecutive men’s basketball gold. In boxing, Britain’s Galal Yafai won his country its 19th gold in the men’s flyweight final. Ukraine’s led after the first two rounds in the men’s middleweight final but was then knocked out in the third by Brazil’s Hebert Sousa. Bulgaria’s Stoyka Petrova won the women’s flyweight final while Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli triumphed in the women’s welterweight division.
August 6: Evening
Gold medal number 23 for Japan and the first ever for Okinawa came from Karate star Ryo Kiyuna who proved too strong for his old adversary Damian Quintero from Spain in the kata final. That was soon followed by the 24th. Wrestler Mayu Mukaida came from 4-0 down to beat China’s Pang Qianyu 5-4 in the final of the women’s 53kg category. Takuto Otoguro booked his place in the final of the men’s 65kg freestyle after a narrow win over ROC’s Gadshimurad Rashidov. Yui Susaki also made the final of the women’s 50kg freestyle following her victory over Azerbaijan’s Mariya Stadnik. It was a silver and bronze for Japan in the women’s climbing. Miho Nonoka finished second with Akiyo Noguchi third. The gold was won by Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret. Japan’s women, meanwhile, reached the basketball final with an impressive 87-71 win over France. America is up next.
There was a disappointing end for Japan’s men’s football team as they lost their bronze medal match 3-1 to Mexico. Canada won gold in women’s football after a penalty-shootout victory over Sweden. The Netherlands defeated Argentina in the women’s hockey final. Another gold for the Dutch came in cycling as Harrie Lavreysen edged out teammate Jeffrey Hoogland in the men’s sprint. On the track, Shaunae Miller-Uibo from the Bahamas defended her crown from 2016 in the women’s 400m. As did Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon in the women’s 1,500m. After a silver in the 10,000m, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei took home gold in the 10,000m. Jamaica blew the opposition away in the women’s 4x100m relay. In the men’s race, Italy came from behind to beat Britain by a hundredth of a second. Liu Shiying won China its 36th gold in the women’s javelin. Kate French triumphed in the women’s modern pentathlon.
August 6: Morning – Afternoon
Japan edged closer to the 50-medal mark with the men’s table tennis team claiming a bronze. They defeated Korea in the battle for third. In karate, there was no surprise in the men’s kata event as Okinawan Ryo Kiyuna and Damian Quintero of Spain booked their places in the final. In wrestling, Yui Susaki (women’s 50kg freestyle) and Takuto Otoguro (men’s 65kg freestyle) both reached their respective semi-finals. The first gold of the day came from Poland’s Dawid Tomala in the men’s 50km walk. Italy’s Antonella Palmisano won the women’s 20km race.
There was another gold for Cuba in boxing as Julio Cesar La Cruz defeated ROC’s Muslim Gadzhimagomedov in the heavyweight final for his second Olympic gold. Five years ago, he triumphed in Rio in the light-heavyweight division. America and Serbia met in two semi-finals: women’s volleyball and basketball. The US convincingly won both. There was also joy for the States in the women’s beach volleyball final as Alix Klineman and April Ross beat Australia’s Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy 2-0. In cycling, Britain’s Laura Kenny and Kate Archibald topped the podium in the women’s Madison race. Kenny became the first British woman to win gold at three Olympics. She has won five in total.
August 5: Evening
After watching her sister triumph yesterday, tonight was Risako Kawai’s turn and she didn’t disappoint. Five years ago she won the 63kg category, now she’s the 57kg champion. In the women’s 53kg category, Japan’s Mayu Mukaida booked her place in tomorrow’s final with a 3-1 win over Mongolia’s Bolortuya Bat-Ochir. ROC’s Zavur Uguev won gold in the men’s 57kg freestyle while America’s David Taylor triumphed in the 86kg final. There was disappointment in the women’s team table tennis final as China, unsurprisingly, proved too strong for Japan. Kiyou Shimizu won another medal for the hosts in Karate but it wasn’t the color she was hoping for as she lost to Spain’s Jamie Sanchez in the women’s kata final. It was also a disappointing night for Tomoa Narasaki. A slip in the speed event cost him a climbing medal. Spain’s Alberto Gines Lopez topped the podium.
On the track Steven Gardiner won Bahamas its first medal of the Games as he took gold in the men’s 400m. America’s Katie Nageotte cleared 4.90m which was enough to win a very exciting women’s pole vault competition. The ultimate track and field event is arguably the decathlon which was won by Canada’s Damian Warner. The remarkable Nafi Thiam from Belgium defended her crown from Rio in the heptathlon. There was more joy for Belgium in the hockey as the men’s team defeated Australia in the final in a penalty shoot-out. In cycling, Shanne Braspennincx from the Netherlands won the women’s Keirin race while Britain’s Matt Walls was crowned the men’s Omnium king. In kumite, France’s Steven Da Costa topped the podium in the -67kg category. Bulgaria’s Ivet Goranova won the women’s -55kg division.
August 5: Morning – Afternoon
Japan have now won more medals at this Olympics than in any other previous Summer Games. 41 was the magic number in Rio. Koki Ikeda and Toshikazu Yamanishi made it numbers 42 and 43 for Tokyo. The former took the silver while the latter settled for bronze in the men’s 20km race walk. Neither could catch underdog Massimo Stano from Italy. Japan’s 41st medal came in boxing from Ryomei Tanaka who lost his semi-final bout to Carlo Paalam of the Philippines. There was no fourth gold for Japan in skateboarding. Ayumi Hirano, two-time silver medalist at the Winter Olympics, failed to qualify for the final of the men’s park competition. A phenomenal performance from Keegan Palmer earned the Australian the gold. The winning performance in the women’s 10m diving platform final was arguably even more impressive. China’s 14-year-old Quan Hongchan won gold with three dives that scored perfect 10s.
The first gold of the day went to Germany with Florian Wellbrock powering home in the men’s marathon swimming. On the track, Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment pipped American favorite Grant Holloway to top the podium in the men’s 110m hurdles. The men’s triple jump was won by Portugal’s Pedro Pichardo ahead of China’s Zhu Yaming. Hugues Fabrice Zango’s third place finish gave Burkina Faso its first-ever Olympic medal. America’s Ryan Crouser twice broke the Olympic record to take home gold in the men’s shot put. With compatriot Joe Kovacs in second and New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh finishing third, it was the exact same podium as five years ago. Hungary’s Sandor Totka took gold in the men’s kayak single 200m final. New Zealand’s Lisa Carrington won the women’s K1 500m canoe sprint while Australia’s Jean van der Westhuyzen and Thomas Green took gold in the men’s K2 1,000m.
August 4: Evening
Five years ago Yukako Kawai watched from the stands in Rio as her sister Risako took gold in the 63kg category. Tonight, she joined her as an Olympic champion after terrific performance in the 62kg final against Kyrgyzstan’s Aisuluu Tynybekova. Risako, who was in tears in the crowd, will compete in the women’s 57kg final tomorrow. In the men’s 67kg Greco-Roman wrestling final Iran’s Mohammad Reza Geraei defeated Ukraine’s Parviz Nasibov. There was joy for Ukraine in the men’s 87kg category, though, as Zhan Belenyuk beat Hungary’s Viktor Lörincz. Japan’s baseball team booked their place in the final with 5-2 victory over Korea. A three-pointer from Saki Hayashi with 15.2 seconds left gave Japan’s women’s basketball team a dramatic 86-85 win over Belgium, booking their place in the semi-final. There was disappointment in table tennis, though, as Japan lost their best four clash with Germany.
The night’s big race was the men’s 200m. Canada’s Andre de Grasse finally got his hand on an Olympic gold medal as he proved too fast for America’s Kenny Bednarek and Noah Lyles. It was a Kenya one-two in the men’s 800m with Emmanuel Korir finishing ahead of compatriot Ferguson Rotich. Peruth Chemutai became the first Ugandan woman to win a gold at the Olympics with her victory in the 3,000m steeplechase. It was first and third for Poland in the men’s hammer with Wojciech Nowicki claiming the gold. In cycling, Italy defeated Denmark in a thrilling team pursuit final for their first gold in the race since 1960. Ben Maher won gold for Britain in the men’s showjumping individual final. Georgia’s Lasha Talakhadze took the gold in the men’s +109kg weightlifting. ROC’s Svetlana Kolesnichenko and Svetlana Romashina won the artistic swimming women’s duet. Japan’s Yukiko Inui and Megumu Yoshida finished fourth.
August 4: Morning – Afternoon
Positions one to four in the women’s skateboarding final were all occupied by boarders born in Japan. Sakura Yosozumi took the gold ahead of 12-year-old Kokona Hiraki, Japan’s youngest-ever Summer Olympian. Miyazaki-born Sky Brown, representing her father’s country of Britain, secured the bronze with Misugu Okamoto just falling short. In women’s boxing, Tsukimi Namiki lost to Bulgaria’s Stoyka Petrova in the semi-final of the women’s flyweight. In the final of the men’s light heavyweight, Cuba’s Arlen Lopez Cardona defeated Britain’s Ben Whittaker. Risako Kawai (women’s 57kg freestyle) and Yuki Takahashi (men’s 57kg freestyle) are safely through the semi-finals in wrestling.
Another day another World record in the 400m hurdles. This time it came in the women’s race as America’s Sydney McLaughlin held off the challenge of her compatriot Dalilah Muhammad to top the podium. The first gold of the day went to Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha in the women’s 10km open water swimming. Australia won its 15th gold of the Games with Mathew Belcher and William Ryan taking the men’s 470 sailing title. The women’s race was won by British pair Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre.
August 3: Evening
Gymnast Daiki Hashimoto may have overtaken Yui Ohashi as Japan’s athlete of the Games. The all-around champion and silver medalist in the team event now has a gold in the men’s horizontal bar. What an Olympics he’s having. All the focus was on Simone Biles going into the women’s beam final. It was China’s 16-year-old Chenchen Guan who stole the show, though with a stunning performance to take home the gold. Teammate Xijing Tang won silver while Biles claimed the bronze. She now ties the record for the most Olympic medals won by a US gymnast. The host’s 11th bronze came in Greco-Roman wrestling from Shohei Yabiku in the men’s 77kg category. Hungary’s Tamás Lörincz won gold. ROC’s Musa Evloev triumphed in the men’s 97kg match while America’s Tamyra Mensah won gold in the women’s freestyle 68kg division. Sara Dosho lost her bronze medal match.
There was better news in the women’s 62kg category as Yukako Kawai defeated Bulgaria’s Taybe Yusein to reach the final. The women’s table tennis team also reached the final after defeating Hong Kong 3-0. There was heartbreak for the football team, though, as they lost their semi-final to a late goal from Spain. On the track, Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah added the 200m title to her 100m crown. America’s Athing Mu edged out Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson in the women’s 800m. Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk triumphed in the women’s hammer throw while Sweden’s Armand Duplantis took gold in the men’s pole vault. In cycling, Britain lost the women’s team pursuit final to Germany and the men’s team sprint to the Netherlands. Then British boxer Pat McCormack got beat by Cuba’s Roniel Iglesias for the welterweight crown. Uzbekistan’s second gold of the Games came in weightlifting as Akbar Djuraev won the men’s 109kg class.
August 3: Morning – Afternoon
After three days being stuck on 17, Japan finally got hold of its 18th gold of the Olympics. It came in women’s boxing as Sena Irie defeated the Philippines’ Nesthy Petecio in the featherweight category. In the men’s flyweight division Ryomei Tanaka booked his place in the semi-final with a 4-1 victory over Colombia’s Yuberjen Martinez Rivas. The Japanese men’s table tennis team also reached the last four, defeating Sweden 3-1. 40-year-old diver Ken Terauchi was given a warm round of applause by all the other divers and coaches after his final dive in his sixth Olympics. The man who turns 41 this week made his debut in Atlanta in 1996. Unsurprisingly, the competition was dominated by China with Xie Siyi proving too strong for fellow countryman Wang Zongyuan. Another gold for China followed in gymnastics as Zou Jingyuan won the men’s parallel bars final with a score of 16.233.
An exciting morning on the track concluded with a brilliant men’s 400m hurdles race. Rai Benjamin smashed the old world record with a time of 46.17. Unfortunately for the American, so did world champion Karsten Warholm and it was the super-human Norwegian who took home the gold in a stunning time of 45.94. Germany’s Malaika Mihambo won the women’s long jump with a leap of 7.00m. The first medals of the day came in the canoe sprint. New Zealand’s Lisa Carrington won the women’s K1 200m event while Cuban pair Serguey Torres and Fernando Jorge triumphed in the men’s C2 1,000m. In sailing, the women’s 49er FX was won by Brazilian duo Kahena Kunze and Martine Grael. The men’s 49er race, meanwhile, was won by Britain’s Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell. Italian pair Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti took home gold in the mixed Nacra 17.
August 2: Evening
Mai Murakami became first Japanese female gymnast to make the podium in an individual event after tying for third place with ROC’s Angelina Melnikova. America’s Jade Carey took home the gold while Italy’s Vanessa Ferrari finished second. In the men’s vault Korea’s Shin Jeahwan won gold despite finishing on the same score as ROC’s Denis Abliazin. In track cycling, Chinese duo Bao Shanju and Zhong Tianshi won the team sprint. There was another gold for China from Li Wenwen in the women’s +87kg weightlifting division. Build up to the event was dominated by the appearance of transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard who couldn’t complete any of her first three lifts. Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen took home the men’s singles badminton title. Britain’s eventing team, meanwhile, topped the podium with a dominant display at Tokyo Equestrian Park.
There was lots of excitement at the Yokohama Stadium as Japan defeated America 7-6 in the baseball. Takuya Kai’s single won it for the hosts in the 10th. Japan’s 33rd medal of the Games came from Kenichiro Fumita, but it wasn’t the color he was hoping for. He lost the men’s 60kg Greco-Roman wrestling final to Cuba’s Luis Alberto Orta. The two-time World Champion was inconsolable at the end. Hiroe Minagawa lost her bronze medal match to China’s Zhou Qia in the women’s 76kg category. Germany’s Aline Focken took home the gold. In the men’s 3,000m steeplechase Soufiane El Bakkali won Morocco’s first Olympic gold since 2004 while also ending Kenya’s domination in the race. Sifan Hassan from the Netherlands won the women’s 5,000m. She will attempt an unprecedented triple in Tokyo as she hopes to add the 1,500m and 10,000m titles to her 5,000m crown.
August 2: Morning and Afternoon
Jasmine Camacho-Quinn won Puerto Rico its second-ever Olympic gold medal with a brilliant run in the women’s 100m hurdles. The first came in 2016 from tennis player Monica Puig. With his final leap of 8.41m Greece’s Miltiadis Tentoglou took home gold in the men’s long jump ahead of Cuba’s Juan Miguel Echevarria and Maykel Masso. One of the biggest shocks in the Olympics so far came in the women’s doubles badminton as unseeded Indonesian pair Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu defeated China’s Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan. In shooting France’s Jean Quiquampoix won the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol.
There was disappointment for Japan in wrestling as reigning Olympic champion Sara Dosho was knocked out in the first round by America’s Tamyra-Mensah Stock in the women’s 68kg category. Shohei Yabiku, meanwhile, was defeated in the semi-final of the men’s 77kg division by world number one Tamás Lörincz. Saki Hayashi scored 23 points for Japan’s women’s basketball team as they booked a place in the last eight with a 102-83 win over Nigeria. In gymnastics, it was a one-two for China on the rings with Liu Yang finishing ahead of You Hao. Another gold for China came in the weightlifting as Wang Zhouyu won the women’s 87kg category.
August 1: Evening
This year they’ve already won the Euros and the Eurovision contest, now Italy can say they have the fastest man on the planet. Lamont Marcell Jacobs caused a big upset in the men’s 100m, winning the race in at time of 9.80. He celebrated by hugging high jumper Gianmarco Tamberi who had just won gold in what truly was a Super Sunday for Italy. Tamberi shared the gold medal with Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim. The two men cleared 2.37m but couldn’t go over 2.39m. As a result they are both champions. Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas won the women’s triple jump with a huge leap of 15.67m, setting a new world record in the process.
Japan’s 31st medal of Tokyo 2020 came in gymnastics as Kazuma Kaya finished third behind Britain’s Max Whitlock and Chinese Taipei’s Lee Chih Kai on the pommel horse. The women’s event was won by Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade, who finished runner-up in the all-around event. Belgium’s Nina Derwael won the women’s uneven bars with all-around champion Sunisa Lee finishing third. In men’s wrestling, Kenichro Fumita is guaranteed at least a silver as he advanced to the final of the 60kg category. Hiroe Minagawa, however, lost her semi-final to Germany’s Aline Focken in the women’s 76kg division. In fencing, Japan lost to America in the men’s team foil bronze medal match. Alexander Zverev became the first German tennis player to win gold since Steffi Graf in 1988.
August 1: Morning – Afternoon
Final day in the pool and Caeleb Dressel’s remarkable Olympics continued. The American easily won the men’s 50m freestyle for his fourth title of the Games. Australia’s Emma McKeon won her third in the women’s race in an Olympic record time. The men’s 1,500m was a thrilling contest. Three swimmers were in contention going into the final straight. In the end, America’s Robert Finke came through for his second gold of the Games. The women’s 4x100m relay medley was even more exciting with Australia just edging out America. It was a fourth gold and seventh medal for McKeon and what a swim from Cate Campbell on the last leg. Japan finished eighth. In the men’s race, it was gold medal number five for Dressel as America held off the challenge from Britain in a world record time. Japan finished sixth.
America’s Xander Schauffele held his nerve to finish one shot ahead of Slovakia’s Rory Sabbatini in the golf. Hideki Matsuyama was one of seven players in a play-off for the bronze medal which eventually went to Chinese Taipei’s Pan Cheng-tsung. Oh my God!” was the Japanese commentator’s reaction to Charlotte Worthington’s performance in the women’s BMX freestyle final. She won Britain its ninth gold of the Olympics while Logan Martin won Australia its 13th in the men’s competition. Matthew Wearn then added a 14th in the men’s laser sailing. Denmark’s Anne-Marie Rindom won the women’s event. China still lead the medal table. Lijiao Gong added to their tally with a gold in the women’s shot put. In tennis, Belinda Bencic failed to make it two golds in as many days. She and her partner Viktorija Golubic lost the doubles final to the Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.
July 31: Evening
No golds for Japan today but plenty of excitement. In women’s boxing, Sena Irie qualified for the final in the featherweight division. She defeated Britain’s Karriss Artingstall in a split decision. Waiting for her in the final on Tuesday is Nesthy Petecio from the Philippines. Japan’s men’s football team struggled to break down a stubborn New Zealand side with the game going to penalties. The “OlyWhites” failed to convert two of the spot-kicks, sending Japan through to a semi-final clash with Spain. There was a shock in the mixed team judo event. Having secured so many individual golds in the sport, Japan were strong favorites, but in the end were defeated convincingly by France 4-1. It was the first time a team judo event has featured at the Olympics. There was further disappointment in the women’s volleyball as Japan were defeated 3-2 by Korea.
The much-anticipated women’s 100m final was a clean sweep for Jamaica. Elaine Thompson-Herah topped the podium with the second fastest time by a female athlete in history. Florence Griffith-Joyner’s world record remains in-tact. Poland won the first-ever 4x400m mixed relay at the Olympics. It was a one-two for Sweden in the men’s discuss as Daniel Ståhl finished ahead of compatriot Simon Pettersson. New Zealand defeated France to take home the women’s rugby sevens title. ROC won their 11th gold of the Games in the fencing women’s team sabre. Qatar’s first gold of the Olympics came from Fares Ibrahim Elbakh in the men’s 96kg weightlifting division. Taiwanese stars Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin made sure there would be no China clean sweep in badminton as they defeated Liu Yuchen and Li Junhui for the gold. Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic beat the Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova in the women’s singles tennis final.
July 31: Morning – Afternoon
Alex Yee and and Georgia Taylor-Brown added to their medals in the individual triathlon events by helping Britain win gold in the mixed relay. There was lots of drama in the pool. America’s Caeleb Dressel set a new world record in the men’s 100m butterfly to earn the fifth Olympic gold of his career. Australia’s Kaylee McKeown followed up her 100m backstroke win with another gold in the 200m. The rivalry between America’s Katie Ledecky and Australia’s Ariarne Titmus continued. This time it was the former who won the battle in the women’s 800m freestyle. That’s her seventh Olympic gold in total. Great Britain, meanwhile, won the mixed medley 4x100m relay in a world record time. Australia’s third place finish earned McKeown her fifth medal of the Games. Dressel’s America finished fifth.
Takaharu Furukawa won Japan’s eighth bronze medal of the Games in men’s archery. In a result that will surprise nobody, Japan reached the final of the mixed team event in judo while the baseball side finished top of Group A. The women’s rugby sevens final will be between France and New Zealand after they defeated Britain and Fiji. Spain won the the mixed team trap shooting ahead of San Marino who picked up their first silver at the Olympics. They previously became the least populated nation to win an Olympic medal thanks to Alessandra Perilli’s bronze. This time she was partnered by Gian Marco Bertiare. China’s gold rush continued with Lu Yunxiu topping the podium in the women’s sailing RS:X. The men’s race was won by Dutch sailor Kiran Badloe. Ivan Litvinovich won Belarus their first gold of the Games in the men’s individual trampoline.
July 30: Evening
The gold rush continues. For the 17th time in this Olympics Japan topped the podium, with the latest success coming in fencing. Koki Kano, Kazuyasu Minobe, Satoru Uyama and Masaru Yamada were the heroes for the hosts in the team epee. They comprehensively defeated ROC in the final 45-36. It is the country’s first ever gold in fencing. Just one week into the Games and Japan have already secured the most gold medals in the country’s history. There was disappointment in the women’s football as Nadeshiko Japan were knocked out at the quarterfinal stage by a very strong Sweden side. The first track and field gold was won by Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega in the 10,000m. Japan’s Akira Aizawa finished 17th. Back in the pool, Japan’s men and women’s 4x100m medley relay teams qualified for Sunday’s finals. In men’s table tennis, an all-China final was won by defending champion Ma Long.
Earlier in the evening there was another judo gold for the hosts. This time it came in the women’s 78kg class via 21-year-old Akira Sone after Cuba’s Idalys Ortiz was given her third penalty of the match in the golden score period. That was Japan’s 16th gold, equalling their record total from both the 1964 and 2004 Olympics. Given Japan’s domination in the sport, it comes as a shock when one of their judoka fails to medal. Unfortunately, that’s what happened to Hisayoshi Harasawa who lost his bronze medal match in the men’s +100kg to France’s Teddy Riner. The gold went to the Czech Republic’s Lukáš Krpálek. It was an all-Croatia final in the men’s tennis doubles final as Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic beat Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig. There was a shock in the men’s singles as Serbia’s Novak Djokovic lost his semi-final to Germany’s Alexander Zverev.
July 30: Morning – Afternoon
Japan’s first medal of the day came in badminton as Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino defeated Hong Kong pair Tse Ying-suet and Tang Chun-man in the mixed doubles bronze medal match. The gold medal encounter was an all-China affair as Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping defeated Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong. There was also a one-two for China in the women’s trampoline with Zhu Xueying topping the podium ahead of Liu Lingling. Japan’s Megu Uyama finished fifth. In the men’s individual BMX, Niek Kimmann from the Netherlands edged out Britain’s Kye Whyte to take the top prize. There was a gold for Team GB in the women’s event, though, as Bethany Shriever held off the challenge from Colombia’s Mariana Pajón. An San won Korea’s fifth gold medal of the Games in the women’s individual archery.
New Zealand rower Emma Twigg won the first gold of the day in the women’s single sculls while Stefanos Ntouskos delivered Greece’s first rowing gold in the men’s race. New Zealand topped the podium in the men’s eight final. In the pool, South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker broke the world record in the women’s 200m breaststroke final to become the first South African Olympic swimming champion for 25 years. ROC’s Evgeny Rylov won the men’s race ahead of America’s Ryan Murphy. Australia’s Emma McKeon swam a superb race to take gold in the women’s 100m freestyle in an Olympic record time. China’s Shun Wang won gold in the men’s 200m IM final ahead of Britain’s Duncan Scott. Japan’s Daiya Seto narrowly missed out on a medal in fourth while Kosuke Hagino finished sixth.
July 29: Evening
Japan’s domination in judo continued with two more gold medals in the women’s 78kg and men’s 100kg categories. 30-year-old Shiori Hamada, appearing in her first Olympics, defeated France’s Madeleine Malonga by forcing her into a four-quarter submission for ippon. Aaron Wolf, meanwhile, beat Korea’s Cho Gu-ham with an o-uchi-gari throw. Born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and American father, he won the world championships in 2017. In table tennis, Mima Ito followed up her mixed-doubles gold with a bronze in the women’s singles competition. The final was won by China’s Chen Meng who defeated compatriot Sun Yingsha.
In gymnastics, Sunisa Lee just about won the women’s all-around event, finishing 0.135 points ahead of Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade. She’s the first Hmong American to win a gold at the Olympics. Japan’s Mai Murakami finished fifth. In tennis, Kei Nishikori was easily beaten by number one seed Novak Djokovic. There were also defeats for the Japan women’s hockey side (to Argentina), women’s volleyball team (to Brazil) and the women’s rugby sevens side (to the USA). In water polo, Japan’s men’s team lost by just one point to Greece.
July 29: Morning – Afternoon
The first medals of the day were won in rowing. Niki van Sprang and Guillaume Krommenhoek from the Netherlands won the men’s pair while New Zealand’s Jessica Morrison and Annabelle McIntyre triumphed in the women’s race. Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan won Ireland its first-ever rowing gold in the men’s lightweight double sculls. The women’s race was won by Italian duo Valentina Rodini and Federica Casarini. In the pool, America’s Robert Finke won the first men’s 800m freestyle final at the Olympics. Australia’s Izaac Stubblety-Cook topped the podium in the men’s 200m breaststroke in an Olympic record time. China’s Zhang Yufei also set an Olympic record as she finished first in the women’s 200m butterfly. In the men’s 100m freestyle, there was a second Tokyo 2020 gold for America’s Caeleb Dressel. The women’s 4x200m freestyle relay was won by China in a world record time.
There was finally some positive news for Daiya Seto as he qualified for his first final of these Games in the 200m IM. He will be joined in the final by Kosuke Hagino, who won gold in the 400m IM in Rio. There was disappointment in table tennis as Mima Ito was knocked out at the semifinal stage by China’s Sun Yingsha. Badminton pair Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino also lost in their mixed-doubles semifinal to Chinese pair Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping. Judoka Shiori Hamada made it through to the final in the 78kg category as did Aaron Wolf in the men’s 100kg. In shooting, Slovakia’s Zuzana Rehák Štefeceková won the gold in the women’s trap while Alessandra Perilli claimed San Marino’s first-ever medal by finishing third.
July 28: Evening
The gold medals just keep rolling in for Japan with the latest coming in gymnastics. Five years ago in Rio ‘King Kohei’ proved too strong for the rest in the all-around event. In Tokyo his crown was passed on to fellow countryman Daiki Hashimoto. With China’s China’s Xiao Ruoteng leading the way, the Japanese man needed to produce something special on the high bar. And boy did he. It was a similar performance to the one we saw in the team event that earned Japan a silver. This time, though, the color was gold. Takefusa Kubo score for the third consecutive game as Japan powered past France with a comprehensive 4-0 victory. They’ll play New Zealand in the quarterfinal. One of the biggest shocks of the Olympics so far came in men’s badminton as Kento Momota crashed out in the first round, losing 2-0 to Korea’s Heo Kwang-hee.
Japan’s 12th gold of the Olympics came from Judoka Chizuru Arai. The 27-year-old proved too strong for Austria’s Michaela Polleres in the women’s 70kg, winning in regulation time with a waza-ari. In the men’s 90kg category, Georgia’s Lasha Bekauri beat Germany’s Eduard Trippel. The rugby sevens title once again went to Fiji who produced a breathtaking display to defeat New Zealand 27-12. In fencing, Korea won the men’s team sabre. America took home the first 3×3 women’s basketball title beating ROC in the final. ROC also lost the men’s final to Latvia. China’s domination in weightlifting continued with Shi Zhiyong winning gold in the men’s 73kg division.
July 28: Morning – Afternoon
Yui Ohashi secured her second gold of the Olympics with a brilliant swim in the women’s 200m IM. Japan’s first medal of the day came from Tomoru Honda who grabbed a silver in the men’s 200m butterfly. Hungary’s Kristóf Milák won the race in the second fastest time ever. Australia’s Ariarne Titmus won her second gold of the Games in the women’s 200m freestyle while rival Katie Ledecky surprisingly finished fifth. The American made up for that with a dominant performance in the 1,500m freestyle race, though, finishing well ahead of compatriot Erica Sullivan to claim her sixth gold medal. There was a third gold in the pool for Great Britain as their 4x200m freestyle relay team triumphed in a near world record time. Chinese divers Wang Zongyuan and Xie Siyi won gold in the men’s 3m springboard synchro. Japan’s pairing of Sho Sakai and 40-year-old Ken Terauchi finished fifth.
In rowing, the men’s double sculls was won by French duo Hugo Boucheron and Matthieu Androdias while the Netherlands topped the podium in the men’s quadruple sculls. In cycling the Netherlands Annemiek van Vleuten blitzed the field in the women’s time trial while Slovenia’s Primož Roglic won the men’s race. Fourth-seed Akane Yamaguchi qualified for the knockout stage of the women’s badminton while tennis star Kei Nishikori made it through to the quarterfinals. In table tennis, Mima Ito took just 36 minutes to defeat Jeon Ji-Hee 4-0 to reach the women’s single’s semifinal, though there was disappointment for Kasumi Ishikawa as she crashed out. Dominican Republic led Japan 3-1 going into the ninth innings of their opening baseball game, but the home side rallied to win 4-3. There was a shock for gymnastics fans as it was announced that American superstar Simone Biles wouldn’t be participating in the all-around final.
July 27: Evening
Japan’s softball team defended their Olympic title from 2008 with an impressive 2-0 victory over reigning world champions America. 39-year-old Yukiko Ueno, the hero from Beijing, produced another magnificent display, giving up just two hits in six innings. Nadeshiko Japan qualified for the last eight of the women’s football competition following a 1-0 win over Chile. They will now play Sweden who have looked very impressive so far. There was disappointment in both the women’s and men’s 3×3 basketball as Japan narrowly lost out to France and Latvia in the quarterfinals. Simone Biles’ injury was the big talking point of the women’s team gymnastics competition. ROC took home the gold, ending America’s long domination.
Nagase Takanori secured Japan’s ninth gold medal overall and fifth in judo following a hard fought win over Mongolia’s Saeid Mollaei in the men’s 81kg division. A bronze medalist from Rio, he spent more than a year away from the sport following a ligament tear in his knee in 2017. In the women’s 63kg final, France’s Clarisse Agbegnenou defeated Slovenia’s Tina Trstenjak. Germany made it nine golds out of the last ten in the dressage team competition. ROC’s Vladislav Larin took home gold in the Taekwondo heavyweight match while Serbia’s Milica Mandic triumphed in the women’s category. In fencing, Estonia defeated Korea to win the women’s team epee.
July 27: Morning – Afternoon
There was a shock in the tennis as Naomi Osaka was knocked out by Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova in straight sets. It was better news for the home nation in surfing, though. Kanoa Igarashi reached the final after coming from behind to defeat world number one Gabriel Medina of Brazil. Unfortunately, he lost in the final to Medina’s compatriot Italo Ferreira. The women’s event was won by American Carissa Moore who defeated Japan’s Amuro Tsuzuki in the semi-final. She went on to win bronze. As did weightlifter Mikiko Ando in the women’s 59kg category. Chinese Taipei’s Kuo Hsing-Chun took home the gold. The women’s mountain bike race was a clean-sweep for Switzerland as Jolanda Neff, who broke her hand six months ago, finished ahead of compatriots Sina Frei and Linda Indergand. In diving, Chen Yuxi, 15 and Zhang Jiaqi, 17 , won the women’s synchronized 10m platform.
With a population of 62,278, Bermuda became the least populous nation to ever win gold at the Olympics as Flora Duffy finished first in the women’s individual triathlon. The inaugural Mixed 10m Air Pistol Team event was won by China. In the pool, there was one-two for Great Britain in the men’s 200m freestyle as Tom Dean just edged out his compatriot Duncan Scott. In the women’s 100m backstroke, Australia’s Kaylee McKeown topped the podium with a new Olympic record. She then blew a kiss to her late father who died of brain cancer last August. ROC’s Evgeny Rylov, meanwhile, won the men’s event. Daiya Seto’s disappointing Olympics continued as he was eliminated in the semi-final of the men’s 200m butterfly. Tomoru Honda made the final. The women’s 100m breaststroke final was won by 17-year-old Lydia Jacoby. She became the first Alaskan swimmer to top the podium at the Olympics.
July 26: Evening
Mima Ito and Jun Mizutani won Japan’s first ever table tennis gold with a stunning victory over China’s Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen. The pair came from 2-0 down to lead 3-2. China leveled but Japan proved too strong in the final game, securing the country’s eighth gold. The seventh came earlier in the evening in judo as Shohei Ono defended his title from 2016 in the 73kg weight class. He defeated Georgia’s Lasha Shavdatuashvili in the final after more than five minutes of golden score. Tsukasa Yoshida bagged Japan’s third bronze medal of the Olympics in the women’s judo 57kg category. She lost in the semi-final to Kosovo’s Nora Gjakova who went on to claim the gold. In men’s handball, Japan lost by just two points to Sweden. It was an incredible effort from the unranked Japanese side against the No. 2 team in the world.
A magnificent performance on the high bar by Daiki Hashimoto put Japan ahead of China in the men’s gymnastics team final. A gold medal looked on the cards, but then a delightful display on the mats by Nikita Nagornyy gave ROC the narrowest of victories. It meant Japan had to settle for silver. In fencing, Japan’s Takahiro Shikine lost the bronze medal match in the men’s individual foil. Hong Kong’s Cheung Ka Long took home the gold. In an all-ROC final Sofia Pozdniakova defeated Sophia Velikaia to claim the women’s individual saber. In Taekwondo, ROC’s Maksim Khramtcov beat Saleh Elsharabaty to win gold in the men’s welterweight category while Croatia’s Matea Jelic defeated Britain’s Lauren Williams in the women’s welterweight division. Hidilyn Diaz made history in weightlifting as she won the Philippines their first ever Olympic gold medal.
July 26: Morning – Afternoon
Japan’s sixth gold medal of the Olympics came from 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya in the women’s street skateboarding. It was an outstanding performance from the teenager sealed with a lip trick. She becomes the second youngest individual Olympic champion in the Games history. US diver Marjorie Gestring remains the youngest. She was 13 years and 268 days when she triumphed in 1936. That record would’ve been broken by Brazil’s Rayssa Leal had she won. In the end, she had to settle for silver while 16-year-old Funa Nakayama secured the bronze. Naomi Osaka made light work of Viktorija Golubic in the second round of the tennis, defeating the Swiss player 6-3, 6-2. Takuya Haneda finished 11th in the men’s C1 canoe slalom while Slovenia’s Benjamin Savšek took home the gold. Japan’s second bronze of the Olympics came in the men’s team archery which was, yet again, won by Korea.
Monday morning began with a gold medal for Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt who blew the field away in the exhausting triathlon event. Japan lost their opening matches in the rugby sevens to Rio finalists Fiji and Great Britain. In the pool, Canada’s Emma Mckeon topped the podium in the women’s 100m butterfly. GB’s first gold of the Games came from Adam Peaty in the 100m breaststroke. The much-anticipated battle between America’s Katie Ledecky and Australia’s Ariarne Titmus in the 400m freestyle lived up to expectations. The latter edged out the five-time Olympic gold medalist in a thrilling contest. The US powered to victory in the 4x100m freestyle relay. Three-time Olympic medalist Ryosuke Irie missed out on the final in the men’s 100m backstroke. Tom Daley and Matty Lee took home Britain’s second gold in the men’s synchronized 10m diving competition. Tom Pidcock added a third in mountain bike cross-country.
July 25: Evening
It was a historic night for judoka siblings Uta and Hifumi Abe as they became the first brother and sister to win gold medals in different events on the same day. Uta, the younger of the two, defeated France’s Amandine Buchard in the 52kg category. The match was tied after four minutes so it went to a golden score. Abe then pinned her opponent for an Ippon victory. Hifumi made it a double family celebration shortly after, defeating Georgia’s Vazha Margvelashvili in the 66kg final. It was Japan’s fourth gold of the day and fifth of the weekend. In table tennis Jun Mizutani and Ito Mima booked their place in the final of the mixed doubles with a 4-1 win over Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching. They’ll play China’s Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen for the gold medal.
Japan’s men’s football team got off to a terrific start in their game against Mexico. Takefusa Kubo and Ritsu Doan gave them a 2-0 lead inside 11 minutes. Mexico pulled one back in the second half despite being down to ten men, but Japan held on for their second victory. In women’s volleyball, Japan defeated Kenya 3-0. There were mixed results in 3×3 basketball. The women’s team beat France 19-15, but the men’s side lost to the Netherlands and Latvia. The men’s hockey team, meanwhile, were beaten by Argentina. In fencing, America’s Lee Kiefer defeated ROC’s Inna Deriglazova to take the gold in the women’s individual foil while France’s Romain Cannone beat Hungary’s Gergely Siklosi for gold in the men’s individual epee. In Taekwondo, America’s Anastasija Zolotic defeated ROC’s Tatiana Minina in the women’s featherweight division while Uzbekhistan’s Ulugbek Rashitov narrowly beat Britain’s Bradly Sinden in the men’s featherweight category.
July 25: Morning – Afternoon
Japan’s third gold medal of the Games came in men’s street skateboarding, which was making its Olympic debut. Yuto Horigome struggled early on but then scored nine-plus points for each of his last four “best tricks” to top the podium. The 22-year-old triumphed at the park he used to practice on as a child. In tennis Naomi Osaka overcame China’s Zheng 6-1, 6-4 in her first game since the French Open. There was one big shock in the first round as World No. 1 Ash Barty was knocked out by Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo. Japan’s softball team beat Canada 1-0 to book their place in the final. They’ll play America in the final group game tomorrow and then the same opponents in the gold medal match on Tuesday. One of the biggest upsets so far came in the women’s road race as Austria’s Anna Kiesenhofer overcame the highly-fancied Dutch contenders.
Yui Ohashi picked up Japan’s second gold of the Olympics with a delightfully smooth swim in the women’s 400m IM to defeat pre-race favorite Emma Weyant. American swimmer Chase Kalisz comfortably won the first gold of the day in the men’s race. 18-year-old Tunisian Ahmed Hafnaoui then secured Africa’s first gold of the Games in the men’s 400m freestyle. Australia, meanwhile, topped the podium in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay race in a world record time. The women’s synchronized 3m springboard was won by favorites Shi Tingmao and Wang Han of China. ROC’s Vitalina Batsarashkina won gold in the 10m air pistol while America’s William Shaner shot to victory in the 10m air rifle. Korea followed up their mixed teams’ archery success with another gold in the women’s team event. In weightlifting, China kept their perfect record in-tact with Li Fabin (61kg) and Chen Lijun (67kg) both winning.
July 24: Evening
Naohisa Takato defeated Taipei’s Yung Wei Yang to win Japan’s first gold medal of the Olympics. He became the first Japanese male judoka to top the podium in the 60kg category since three-time gold medalist Tadahiro Nomura in 2004. In the women’s 48kg category, Funa Tonaki had to settle for silver after losing in the final to Kosovo’s Distria Krasniqi. In swimming, there was a shock in the 400m IM as pre-race favorite Daiya Seto failed to make the final. He led from the front but faded and missed out by 0.33 of a second. Japan’s women also missed out on a final spot in the 4x100m freestyle relay. It wasn’t quite the fairytale leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee was hoping for. In the women’s 400m IM Yui Ohashi was the second fastest in her heat.
In Taekwondo, Italy’s Vito dell’Aquila (men’s 58kg) and Thailand’s Panipak Wongpattanakit (women’s 49kg) won golds. Japan’s Miyu Yamada narrowly missed out on a bronze to Serbia’s Tijana Bogdanovic. Japan’s women’s football team will now have to beat Chile if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the quarter finals. They were beaten 1-0 by Great Britain in Sapporo. Ellen White scored the only goal. There was better news for the softball team who easily beat Italy 5-0 to maintain their 100 percent record. In volleyball Japan’s men’s team defeated Venezuela 3-0 while the 3×3 basketball team lost to Poland but beat Belgium.
July 24: Morning – Afternoon
In men’s gymnastics, Japan posted the top score in the team qualifying round ahead of China and ROC. It was a disappointing day for one of the country’s greatest ever Olympians, though. Seven-time medalist Kohei Uchimura failed to make the horizontal bar final after falling. It was a sad way for such a legendary figure to bow out.
China won the first two gold medals of the Olympics. Yang Qian edged out ROC’s Anastasiia Galashina in a nail-biting women’s 10m rifle final. Hou Zhihui, meanwhile, produced a dominant display in the women’s 49kg weightlifting competition. Hiromi Miyake, in her fifth consecutive Olympics, was eliminated after three failed attempts to lift 99kg in the clean and jerk. In the men’s 10m air pistol, 41-year-old nurse Javad Foroughi won gold for Iran while Korea won the mixed teams archery. One of the most grueling events of the Olympics is undoubtedly the 234km long road bike race which was won by Richard Carapaz. He became the second Ecuadorian athlete to get an Olympic gold.
Due to the state of emergency, the opening ceremony was a much more subdued affair than usual. Just 950 people were in attendance to watch the festivities. Notable guests included America’s first lady Jill Biden, French president Emmanuel Macron and Mongolian prime minister Luvsannamsrai Oyun-Erdene. Emperor Naruhito officially opened the Games but chose not to use the word “celebrate” as his grandfather did for the 1964 Olympics.
The highlight of the event was arguably the 1,824 drones that took to the sky to form a globe over the stadium. That segued into a rendition of John Lennon’s song “Imagine” featuring John Legend, Keith Urban, Alejandro Sanz, Angelique Kidjo and the Suginami Children’s Choir. The pictogram sequence of all the competitions was also pretty impressive. The ceremony concluded with the traditional lighting of the flame. The honor was given to tennis star Naomi Osaka who lit the cauldron to signal the start of the Games. Shouts from protesters outside the stadium could be heard at various times.
Japan’s softball team followed up their impressive defeat of Australia with a second win against Mexico. This one was a much tighter affair, though. Relief pitcher Miu Goto was the hero for the hosts, stranding five runners in the final two innings to give Japan a 3-2 victory. Australia and America won the other two matches.
In men’s football, Takefusa Kubo curled in a delightful left-foot shot to give Japan a hard fought 1-0 win over South Africa. In the same group, Mexico thrashed France 4-1. Richarlison scored a hat-trick for reigning champions Brazil as they beat Germany 4-2. There were also wins for New Zealand, Romania and the Ivory Coast while Australia surprised Argentina with a 2-0 victory. Euro 2020 young player of the tournament Pedri was in the starting line-up for Spain, but they could only draw 0-0 with Egypt.
While the opening ceremony is often seen as the starting point of the Olympics, some team competitions begin earlier. On Wednesday, Yukiko Ueno delivered the opening pitch of the Games for Japan’s softball team as the gold medalists from Beijiing convincingly defeated Australia 8-1. There were also victories for the USA and Canada.
In women’s football, Nadeshiko Japan fought back from 1-0 down to earn a creditable draw with Canada. Arsenal forward Mana Iwabuchi grabbed the equalizer with a beautiful finish in the 84th minute. In the same group, Great Britain defeated Chile 2-0. The biggest shock of the day came in the game between the US and Sweden with the latter winning 3-0. It was America’s first defeat in 44 games. Marta became the first person to score in five straight Olympics as Brazil beat China 5-0. There were also wins for the Netherlands and Australia.