Here are some highlights from the first Monday of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (in 2021).
Big surprises and upsets:
In the performance of a lifetime, Austria’s Anna Kiesenhofer won the cycling gold medal, after she raced so far ahead that she was out of sight of the other cyclists. She only took up the sport in 2014 and does not have a professional contract at the moment.
Tunisia’s Ahmed Hafnaoui shocked the swimming world by winning gold in the 400m freestyle. During the preliminary round, he qualified in 8th place with the slowest qualifying time of all finalists.
The US men’s basketball team, flush with NBA stars, lost its 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 could not capitalize on multiple attempts to close out the game.
Anastasija Zolotic became the first American woman to win Olympic gold in Taekwondo and Fencer Lee Kiefer is the first US woman to win gold in individual foil.
At just 13, Nishiya Momiji of Japan, is now one of the youngest gold medal winners in Olympic history, after she won the women’s street skateboarding event. She is just months older than the current female 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’s on tap today in Japan:
- Swimming: Britain’s Adam Peaty won the 100m breaststroke gold, while Ariarne Titmus beat American great Katie Ledecky in the women’s 400m freestyle final.
- Rugby sevens: Rio 2016 winner Fiji beat host Japan 24-19 in the morning, while New Zealand, another favorite, took care of business against South Korea 50-5. A second round of matches will be held starting at 4:30 p.m. in Japan.
Covid-19 continues to loom large:
The Games have been overwhelmingly unpopular among the Japanese public, according to polls. But the mood appears to be shifting as Japan brings in gold medals.
Meanwhile, Tokyo continues to report a rising number of daily new coronavirus cases, with at least 153 cases linked to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, organizers said Monday.
The full schedule can be found on the Olympics website here.