Taiwan’s Lo Chia-ling yesterday clinched the nation’s second medal at the Tokyo Olympics, grabbing a bronze medal in taekwondo in the women’s 57kg class. Nineteen-year-old Lo beat Nigeria’s Tekiath Ben Yessouf 10-6 at Tokyo’s Makuhari Messe convention center. Lo, who is making her first appearance in the Olympic Games, worked her way to the bronze medal contest with an early 20-18 win against South Korea’s Lee Ah-reum in the round of 16, before dropping Canada’s Skylar Park 18-7 in the quarter-final. It was Anastasija Zolotic of the US who denied the former World Taekwondo Junior Championship gold medalist a chance to fight for an Olympic gold. Zolotic handily won the in the semi-final bout 28-5. Zolotic went on to secure the gold after defeating Russia’s Tatiana Minina 17-25. The other bronze for the women’s 57kg class went to Turkey’s Hatice Kubra Ilgun, who downed Iranian defector Kimia Alizadeh 8-6. Alizadeh — who won bronze in Rio de Janeiro for Iran, but was this year vying for the Refugee Olympic Team’s first-ever medal — earlier shocked two-time Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones in the round of 16, beating the British champion 16-12. Taiwan’s other medalist, Yang Yung-wei, who took home silver in the men’s 60kg judo on Saturday, yesterday posted a video thanking his fans for their support, adding that he would target gold at the Paris Olympics in 2024. In the 36-second clip, Yang thanked people for watching his match and cheering him on, saying that he was happy to win Taiwan’s first medal at the Olympics. Yang said he was a little disappointed because he felt before the match that he had a chance for the gold. The 23-year-old fell to Naohisa Takato of Japan in the final on Saturday. His second-place finish earned Taiwan its first-ever medal in an Olympic judo competition. “I think [the loss] will keep me
Germany yesterday bested Taiwan in the opening round of women’s archery at the Tokyo Olympics, dashing the team’s hopes for a repeat of its bronze-medal-winning performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Taiwan lost 2-6 to Germany, winning only one of their four sets. The Taiwan team of Lei Chien-ying, Lin Chia-en and Tan Ya-ting were considered strong medal contenders after winning the 2019 World Championships by defeating the powerful South Koreans. The trio also represented Taiwan at the 2012 Olympics in London, where they were knocked out in the quarter-finals after losing to Russia, who are this year competing under the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee as part of sanctions for several doping scandals. “We knew Chinese Taipei [Taiwan] was a strong opponent, but we were also strong. We have positive energy and we did it,” said German archer Lisa Unruh, a Rio silver medalist. Germany went on to defeat Belarus for the bronze medal, while South Korea overcame the Russians 6-0 for their ninth straight gold in Olympic women’s archery. Taiwan’s men’s archery team face Australia today, while Lei and Tan compete in the women’s singles tomorrow, along with Wei Chun-heng and Tang Chih-chun in the men’s singles. In table tennis, Lin Yun-ju and Cheng I-ching lost 4-1 to the Japanese duo of Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito in the mixed doubles semi-finals. The Taiwanese pairing had earlier yesterday overcome South Korea’s Lee Sang-su and Jeon Ji-hee 4-2 in the quarter-finals. In the second round of the men’s singles in table tennis, Chuang Chih-yuan beat Argentina’s Horacio Cifuentes 4-3. In badminton, world No. 4 Chou Tien-chen of Taiwan beat Sweden’s Felix Burestedt 21-12, 21-11 in his first win in the group stage of the men’s singles. This is the second time the 31-year-old Chou has made it to the Olympics after reaching the quarter-finals in Rio in 2016. In the
Japanese world champion Yuto Horigome yesterday held his nerve to be crowned skateboarding’s first Olympic gold medalist after winning a tense street competition in Tokyo. The 22-year-old, who grew up just a stone’s throw from the Olympic venue, landed three huge tricks in a row to eclipse American favorite Nyjah Huston, who imploded to finish seventh. In searing heat at Ariake Urban Sports Park, Horigome finished with scores of 9.35, 9.50 and 9.30 for a total of 37.18, with Brazil’s Kelvin Hoefler second and US skater Jagger Eaton third. “This is special because it was held in Koto City, where I was born,” Horigome said. “For me it’s very meaningful, very inspiring.” There was disappointment for Huston, the much-hyped multiple world champion, who ended with four straight falls in the tricks section as he wound up second-last in the final. Competition took place in front of rows of empty blue seats at the purpose-built arena, with fans barred from most Olympic events over COVID-19 concerns. It was the first of four gold medals to be handed out in skateboarding’s Olympic debut, with women’s street to be contested today followed by the men’s and women’s park competitions. “There’s an extra pressure here,” Huston said. “I’ve been skating pro-contests for 15 years now, but there’s Street League, X Games, but if you compare that to the Olympics there’s no comparison.” Huston flirted with disaster in the heats, when he fell on his first run and botched his first two of five attempts at a one-off trick. He fought back with a 9.13 and 8.96 to make the final in third place, with Horigome sixth. In the final, Horigome had his head in his hands after a mistake on his first run, and the world No. 2 fell twice in his second run before recovering his poise in the tricks section. The free-flowing
Nobody yesterday was watching Ahmed Hafnaoui in lane eight of the Olympic pool at the start of the men’s 400m freestyle, but all eyes were on the Tunisian teenager at the finish. Hafnaoui was the stunning winner of the event, beating a field of faster and older swimmers. The 18-year-old finished in 3 minutes, 43.26 seconds, punctuating his victory with loud yelling that echoed in the mostly empty 15,000-seat arena. “I believe when I touched the wall and I saw myself first,” he said. “I was so surprised.” Australia’s Jack McLoughlin earned silver and American Kieran Smith took bronze. The top three were separated by less than a second after the eight-lap race. “When I hit the water, I was just thinking about the medal, not the time,” Hafnaoui said. He squeaked into the final by 14-hundredths of a second, landing him in the far outside lane. The fastest qualifiers were in the middle of the pool, without the ability to track Hafnaoui during the race. Asked what he knew about Hafnaoui, Smith said: “Absolutely nothing.” Hafnaoui made sure he would be remembered with a performance that boosted his resume considerably. He joined Ous Mellouli as the only Tunisians to win a gold in swimming. Mellouli won the 1,500m freestyle at the 2008 Beijing Games, one of his three career Olympic medals. The teen, who trains in the capital, Tunis, is the country’s fourth Olympic gold medalist. He is the second-youngest athlete from an African nation to win a swimming gold; Joan Harrison of South Africa was 16 when she won the 100m backstroke at the 1952 Helsinki Games. Standing on the podium, his coach furiously pumping his arms in triumph in the stands, the moment was overwhelming for Hafnaoui. “I was in tears because when I see the flag of my country and I hear the anthem in the background,
TWO AND TWO: Lin Chen-hao of Taiwan finished seventh in the women’s U-48kg category, winning two bouts before losses the quarter-finals and a repechage match
Naohisa Takato yesterday won Japan’s first gold medal at their home Olympics, beating Taiwan’s Yang Yung-wei in the men’s under-60kg judo final. Yang’s second-place finish is Taiwan’s first medal in Tokyo and the nation’s first-ever medal in an Olympics judo competition. Kosovo’s Distria Krasniqi beat Japan’s Funa Tonaki in the women’s under-48kg final less than an hour before Takato made sure that his team would not have a double heartbreak on the opening day of competition in its beloved homegrown martial art. Takato won his final three bouts in sudden-death golden score, but he took the final a bit anticlimactically after Yang committed too many fouls. Yang advanced to the final through wins in the round of 16 against Yanislav Gerchev of Bulgaria, a quarter-final victory over Tornike Tsjakadoea of the Netherlands and a semi-final triumph against France’s Luka Mkheidze. In the women’s under-48kg elimination round of 32, Taiwan’s Lin Chen-hao defeated Francesca Milani of Italy. She eliminated Russia’s Irina Dolgova in the round of 16, but fell in the quarter-finals against Distria Krasniqi of Kosovo and to Shira Rishony of Israel in the repechage to finish in a share of seventh. Algerian Fethi Nourine is to be sent home from the Games after he withdrew from the competition to avoid potentially facing an Israeli opponent. Nourine and his coach, Amar Benikhlef, told Algerian media they were withdrawing to avoid a possible second-round matchup against Israel’s Tohar Butbul in the men’s under-73kg division tomorrow. Nourine was drawn to face Sudan’s Mohamed Abdalrasool in the opening round, with the winner to face Butbul, the fifth seed. The International Judo Federation’s executive committee has temporarily suspended Nourine and Benikhlef, who are likely to face sanctions beyond the Olympics. The Algerian Olympic committee withdrew both men’s accreditation. The International Judo Federation (IJF) said that Nourine’s position was in total opposition its philosophy. “The IJF has a
Chinese shooter Yang Qian yesterday won the first gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics as the Games braced for a potentially disruptive tropical storm heading toward the Japanese capital. Yang snatched a dramatic last-shot victory from Russia’s Anastasiia Galashina in the women’s 10m air rifle as attention switched from the troubled build-up to the event to the sporting action. COVID-19 has cast a fresh shadow, forcing German cyclist Simon Geschke out of the road race, while Dutch rower Finn Florijn has also tested positive. Seventeen new Games-related cases were announced yesterday, taking the total number to 123, of which 12 are athletes. Games organizers have another threat to contend with as Tropical Storm Nepartak heads toward Tokyo, with forecasters saying it is due to arrive on Tuesday. As a “protective measure” organizers have brought forward rowing events that had been scheduled for tomorrow and said they were following the track of the storm. “Unlike an earthquake, we’re able to predict the path of a typhoon, so we’re able to prepare in advance,” Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya said. Yang started the Olympic gold rush by winning with a Games record score of 251.8, edging ahead of Galashina on 251.1 and Switzerland’s Nina Christen on 230.6. Galashina had looked poised to claim the title heading into the last shot, but stumbled with 8.9 on her final effort to allow Yang to seal victory. “It’s the 100th birthday of the Chinese Communist Party,” Yang said. “I’m so happy that this golden medal is a gift to my country. I’m so proud.” Taiwan’s Lin Ying-shin was 26th with groupings of 104.8, 103.8, 103.0, 104.3, 102.9 and 104.6 for a combined score of 623.4. There was more joy for China, with Hou Zhihui taking gold in the women’s 49kg weightlifting event with an Olympic record total of 210kg. Taiwan’s Fang Wan-ling was fourth with snatches of
Heat and humidity quickly became a major issue when the Olympic tennis tournament opened yesterday. 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. Mona Barthel struggled with 10 double-faults in a loss to Iga Swiatek as a searing sun made it nearly impossible to see the ball once she tossed it. The temperature soared to 33°C and the heat index made it feel like 38°C. “You’re just not feeling great,” Pavlyuchenkova said. “So I wasn’t enjoying it at all.” Still, Pavlyuchenkova routed Sara Errani of Italy 6-0, 6-1. Midway through the second set, though, doubts started to creep into Pavlyuchenkova’s head as she shoved bags of ice up her skirt on a changeover. Then she had trouble fiddling with a tube blowing cold air next to her seat. “It’s not easy to find the right position, because it’s just on the bench and somebody has to hold it so the air is blowing on you,” the Russian said. “I don’t think it was well prepared.” Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev, who also competes for the Russian Olympic Committee at the Tokyo Games, called it “some of the worst” heat he has played in after eliminating Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 6-4, 7-6 (10/8). “I’m not going to lie, but you have to play,” Medvedev said. “That’s the Olympics, you go for the medal. You are not here to cry about the heat.” Medvedev suggested that organizers move all matches to the evening to avoid the heat of the day. “I don’t think they are going to change anything in the middle of the tournament, but that’s what can be done,” he said. “I think the fact that we have only one minute between the changeovers is a joke... It should be 1:30 like it is in other
Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying said that she will have to cut out the mistakes if she is to make an impact at the Tokyo Olympics and will only begin to think about the threat posed by China’s Chen Yufei if they both make the final of the women’s singles. World No. 1 Tai looked good in winning the opening game of her first match against Switzerland’s Sabrina Jaquet 21-7, but was less tidy in the second, allowing her opponent, ranked 45 places below her, to pick up 13 points before Tai secured the win. “I need to reduce the number of mistakes I make and try to get into the rhythm of the match faster... I can’t control my mistakes,” Tai said after the Group P match at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza in Tokyo. “I don’t perform very well, especially during the Olympics, so I hope that this time around I can improve,” she said. Tai needs to tighten her game if she is to defeat world No. 2 Chen. “I’m not worried about that [Chen] for the moment because based on the group matches, I need to go to the final to be able to meet her,” Tai said. Tai has enjoyed plenty of international success, becoming world No. 1 in 2016, winning the All England Open title three times and was a gold medalist at the 2018 Asian Games. However, things have been different on the biggest stage of all, with Tai coming away from the London and Rio de Janeiro Olympics empty-handed. And despite being only 27, Tokyo might be her last chance, as she has hinted she will retire after the Games. The others representing Taiwan in badminton in Tokyo are: Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin, who lost 16-21, 21-16, 25-27 in 69 minutes in the men’s doubles against Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty of
FIRST IN FOUR: Denver’s acting manager said that his team feel like they can compete with LA, despite not having had much success at Dodger Stadium recently
Trevor Story on Friday homered and drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning as the Colorado Rockies took advantage of the Dodgers’ recent bullpen woes, beating Los Angeles 9-6. Charlie Blackmon added a two-run homer in the 10th to help the Rockies top Los Angeles for just the third time in 11 games this season. Colorado won for the first time in four games at Dodger Stadium. Pinch-hitter Sam Hilliard’s solo home run in the ninth off Darien Nunez gave Colorado their first lead of the game at 6-5. “That was a very back and forth game as far as momentum goes, but I’m really, really proud of the guys,” Blackmon said. “There were lots of opportunities for us to shut it down, you know, not fight like we did, lots of times where statistically it didn’t look good for us, but we battled back and earned a win.” The Dodgers tied it at 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth on a bases-loaded walk to Justin Turner with no outs. Daniel Bard (5-5) recovered and escaped the jam by striking out Will Smith, Sheldon Neuse and A.J. Pollock in succession. Lucas Gilbreath pitched a scoreless 10th inning for his first career save. The Dodgers fell to 1-10 in extra-inning games. “We have to find ways as an offense to keep adding on and extending the lead,” Turner said. “We have to do the little things defensively and take care of the baseball to protect the lead. Obviously, we haven’t done a very good job of it.” Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has blown each of his past three save opportunities, including two in consecutive games on Wednesday and Thursday against the San Francisco Giants. Brusdar Graterol and Nunez were recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City before Friday’s game. Graterol was charged with two runs in the eighth before Nunez gave up
Cleveland’s MLB team on Friday announced that they are renaming themselves the Guardians, dropping the more than century-old moniker of the Indians. The team made the announcement that it would dump the name it has used since 1915 in a video narrated by Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks. It is the latest in a series of professional or university sports teams in the US to yield to public pressure over names and logos — ditching ones such as the Redskins, the Savages or the Redmen. “It has always been Cleveland that is the best part of our name,” Hanks says in the video, which describes the Ohio city as proud of its sports heritage and eager to protect it. “And now it’s time to unite as one family, one community — to build the next era for this team and this city,” he says. “This is the city we love. And the game we believe in. And together we are all Cleveland Guardians,” the video says, unveiling the new team logo, with music in the background from the Black Keys, a rock band formed in nearby Akron. The change is to take effect after this season ends.
The Olympic beach volleyball tournament yesterday got off to the quintessential COVID-19-era start. The event’s first scheduled match at the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Games was canceled because a Czech player tested positive for COVID-19. That knocked Marketa Slukova, who tested positive earlier this week, and partner Barbora Hermannova out of the tournament. Already empty because of the ban on fans, the venue at Shiokaze Park was eerily still when the match was supposed to start at 9am, the only sound coming from the incredibly loud cicadas in the nearby trees. An hour later, when reigning gold medalist Alison took the court, he pointed at the empty stands as if the fans were there, waiting to cheer him on. “The feelings were different,” said the 2.03m Brazilian who won the men’s gold medal in Rio de Janeiro. “The situation is very different in the world. [I am] very happy it is finally here.” In a sport that thrives on its beach party vibe, with dance teams that did the samba on Rio’s Copacabana Beach or hammed it up to the Benny Hill theme in London, the venue overlooking Tokyo Bay struggled to match the mood of its predecessors. A disc jockey pumped rock music through the speakers and called out the play-by-play, but for most of the session the only applause in the sweltering temporary arena was from the half-dozen ball attendants who clapped their plastic-gloved hands when the teams were announced. “It was very different,” said Agatha, a Brazilian who won a silver medal in front of her home crowd in 2016 and opened the Tokyo Games with a straight-sets victory over Argentina yesterday. “In Brazil, we had the biggest support. There were many, many people cheering for us, and here we had silence,” she said, drawing a flat line with her hand. “We need to put our emotion in
Tonga’s Pita Taufatofua was feeling the love yesterday after oiling up to cause an online sensation at a third straight Olympic opening ceremony, but this time he was challenged by an equally ripped rower from Vanuatu. Taufatofua first captured world attention when the Rio de Janeiro Games opened in 2016, appearing topless and glistening with body oil while enthusiastically waving the banner of his tiny South Pacific nation. He racked up 45 million Twitter mentions within hours, then went on to repeat his chest-bearing feats at the curtainraiser for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, despite freezing conditions. The 37-year-old, competing in taekwondo in Tokyo, again proved a popular online focal point at the stripped-back ceremony to open the Games on Friday, acting as Tonga’s flagbearer with fellow martial artist Malia Paseka. However, this time there was a fly in the ointment in the form of Vanuatu rower Riilio Rii, a 27-year-old Games debutant who also showed off his glistening torso while wearing a traditional multi-coloured grass skirt. The head-to-head inevitably led to a series of “who wore it better?” debates online, with the official Olympic Twitter account weighing in. “It if ain’t broke don’t fix it,” the Games feed posted alongside a picture of Taufatofua, following up by saying: “Pita, we see you and we raise you” after Rii’s appearance. Both athletes had their supporters, with specialist publication Rowing Voice declaring Rii “won the night... looking regal to his toes.” Taufatofua appeared unfazed by the competition as he posted a message to supporters yesterday. “Thanks all for the tags and love,” he wrote. “Not sure if going viral during a pandemic is a good thing but I appreciate all the messages and support.” Brisbane-based Taufatofua qualified for taekwondo in Rio, then cross-country skiing in Pyeongchang, hoping to compete in kayaking in Tokyo to become the first athlete to contest three
Japanese gymnastics star Kohei Uchimura yesterday crashed out of the Tokyo Olympics when he was eliminated from the horizontal bar competition and did not compete in the parallel bars. The all-around 2012 and 2016 Olympic champion, who was due to retire after the Games, lost his grip during his horizontal bar routine and failed to qualify for next week’s final. The 32-year-old chose not to go for a third successive all-around title following persistent shoulder problems. Regarded as one of the greatest gymnasts of all time, “King Kohei” also has 10 world titles. He was penalized for his fall at the Ariake Arena, picking up just 13.866 points, robbing him of the chance to end his decorated career on a golden high on home soil. After scraping through to get onto the Japan team, Uchimura had been reveling in competing at the delayed 2020 Games. After training this week he said: “I love it, especially because it’s in Japan. This is my fourth Olympics, and this is probably the best one yet.” After a challenging routine it all went horribly wrong when he lost his grip, crashing to the mattress and walking off dejectedly. He had etched his name into Olympic history at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016, becoming the first male gymnast in 44 years to retain his all-around title. He also led Japan to team gold in Brazil, cementing his place as one of his country’s most revered athletes.
CRICKET Madhevere leads Zimbabwe Opener Wesley Madhevere top-scored with 73 as Zimbabwe beat Bangladesh by 23 runs on Friday to keep alive hopes of winning the three-match Twenty20 series. Zimbabwe made 166-6 before bowling Bangladesh out for 143 with one ball remaining in Harare, enabling the hosts to avenge an eight-wicket defeat in the first match on Thursday. It was the first victory for the home side in six attempts in the all-format tour after a heavy Test loss, three one-day international defeats and a T20 reverse. The T20 series decider is to be played today at the Harare Sports Club. “Today we managed to tick a lot more boxes than we managed yesterday. I was happy to make 166 with a young squad — it gave us confidence,” Zimbabwe captain Sikandar Raza said. “We back ourselves to defend that total and Blessing [Muzarabani] was instrumental in our success. Now we must create a plan that brings us another victory on Sunday and a series victory.” CRICKET Sri Lanka defeat India Avishka Fernando and Bhanuka Rajapaksa hit half centuries as Sri Lanka beat India by three wickets for a consolation win in the rain-hit third one-day international on Friday. Chasing a revised target of 227 in the reduced 47-overs-a-side contest, Sri Lanka depended on a 109-run second-wicket stand between Fernando (76) and Rajapaksa (65) to achieve their target with 48 deliveries to spare in Colombo. India won the three-match series 2-1. Sri Lanka collected 10 Super League points for the 2023 World Cup qualification and won their first ODI against India since 2017. “Young guys showed a lot of maturity, both with bat and ball, and that’s what I expect from them,” skipper Dasun Shanaka said after Sri Lanka’s first win over India at home since 2012. “It’s a big win for fans,
NEW RECORD: Brooks Kriske allowed Boston’s final two runs for a blown save, becoming the first major league player to throw four wild pitches in a single extra inning
It took most of a rainy night at Fenway Park for the Red Sox to find their offense. It took one wild inning by reliever Brooks Kriske for the Yankees to squander an opportunity to gain valuable ground on their longtime rivals. Kike Hernandez on Thursday hit a two-run double that tied the game with two outs in the ninth inning, as Boston took advantage of a record four wild pitches by Kriske in the 10th to rally past New York 5-4. “That’s why you play until the last out is made,” Hernandez said. “Pitchers did a good job of keeping us in the game.” Xander Bogaerts scored on a sacrifice fly by Hunter Renfroe in the 10th inning to win the opener of a four-game series. The victory was Boston’s third straight and snapped New York’s four-game winning streak. Boston also remained one game up on Tampa Bay in the American League East. The third-placed Yankees, who have lost eight of 10 to the Red Sox this season, are eight games back. Matt Barnes (5-2), the sixth Red Sox pitcher of the night, gave up a run in the 10th inning, but got the win. Kriske (1-1) allowed Boston’s final two runs for a blown save, becoming the first major league player to throw four wild pitches in a single extra inning, according to STATS. All of them came on splitters that bounced. “It was just pure execution,” said Kriske, optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after the loss. “It’s part of the game. I’ve got to do a better job.” New York took a 4-3 lead in the 10th inning on a sacrifice fly by Brett Gardner that scored Tyler Wade. Boston quickly tied it in the bottom half thanks in large part to Kriske’s quartet of wild pitches. His first one moved automatic runner Rafael Devers to third base
Four-time Olympian Emma Twigg’s latest battle for the podium got off to a roaring start yesterday, as compelling matchups in the men’s and women’s single sculls began to take shape on the first day of the Olympic rowing competition at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo. The 34-year-old New Zealander posted the fastest overall time of the women’s opening heats in her first race since 2019, cruising through to a 7 minutes, 35.22 seconds finish at the fan-free venue after two heartbreaking fourth-place finishes at the London and Rio de Janeiro Games. “It’s definitely a lung-buster. A few nerves going into it, but that’s to be expected in an Olympic Games. It’s good to get underway,” Twigg said. “These early races, nobody really shows their cards.” Twigg won a heat that included Taiwan’s Huang Yi-ting, who finished fourth in 8:04.59 and is to take part in the repechage today. Twigg faces a stacked field ahead, as Kara Kohler of the US, 30, clinched her heat in her return to Olympic rowing and Ireland’s Sanita Puspure, 39, proved she was worth the hype, winning her heat by more than eight seconds after bringing home World Championship titles in 2018 and 2019. Another clear contender, Britain’s Victoria Thornley, who picked up silver in the double sculls in 2016, also advanced. “Coming to the Olympics in the single has been a dream of mine for some time, so it’s good to be out there doing what I love,” the 33-year-old three-time Olympian said. In the men’s single sculls, a rematch of the 2019 World Championship final was shaping up after Norwegian Kjetil Borch posted the fastest overall time in 6:54.46, and 24-year-old German Oliver Zeidler and Sverri Nielsen, 27, of Denmark also clinched their heats. “Everything went as planned,” said the 31-year-old, who picked up bronze in the double sculls at
A positive COVID-19 test on Thursday resulted in the last-minute postponement of the second one-day international between the West Indies and Australia at the Kensington Oval, officials announced. “The second ODI between West Indies and Australia has been postponed due a positive COVID-19 test result from a non-playing member of the West Indies team,” a Cricket West Indies statement said. “This decision was taken after the toss at Kensington Oval once the result was known due to the COVID-19 protocols. All members of both teams and match officials will be retested today. A decision on when the match will replayed will be made at a later date once the test results are known.” The International Cricket Council said that all personnel inside the biosecure bubble for the series would be placed in isolation. Cricket West Indies chief executive Johnny Grave subsequently expressed the hope that the results of a fresh round of tests would be known yesterday. After that a determination would be made on the remaining two one-day internationals of the tour. News of the postponement came through following a delay to the start of the match after Alex Carey had won the toss and chosen to bat first. Australia won the first match by 133 runs two days earlier at the same venue. Players were seen returning to their respective dressing rooms mere minutes away from the start of a match in which fast bowler Riley Meredith was set to make his one-day international debut, having received his cap from injured Australia captain Aaron Finch. Thursday’s postponement not only jeopardizes the remaining two matches of the tour, but also Australia’s tour to Bangladesh, which was only confirmed on Thursday and for which the squad was supposed to depart following the scheduled final match today, also at Kensington Oval. “Unfortunate,” former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop wrote
A Russian archer recovered after fainting in the Tokyo heat yesterday during a qualifying round at the Olympic Games as a heat wave pushed coaches and staff to huddle under trees for shade. Svetlana Gomboeva collapsed as she checked her final scores, and required assistance from staff and teammates, who put bags of ice on her head to cool her down. “It turns out that she couldn’t stand a whole day out in the heat,” coach Stanislav Popov told reporters. “This is the first time I remember this happening. In Vladivostok, where we were training before this, the weather was similar, but humidity played a role here.” Gomboeva quickly regained consciousness after collapsing, but needed to be taken out of the arena on a stretcher by medical officers. Later she said that she would resume competing. “I feel okay, my head hurts a lot. I can and I will shoot!” Gomboeva, who finished the round 45th among 64 archers, wrote on Instagram. Andrei Zholinsky, chief doctor for the Russian Olympic team, said the cause was sunstroke, and they would change her hydration and rest regime. With temperatures expected to peak at about 33°C in the archery dome on the first day of competition, athletes had challenges with hydration and staying cool, as well as those posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Stands at the Olympic archery venue were empty, with fans mostly banned from the pandemic-hit Games, but, soaked in sweat, volunteers and venue staff were moving around to remind participants to wear masks and maintain social distancing. However, the attendees were gathering under canopies and trees while watching the action throughout the day. South Korea’s Kang Chae-young, who came third in the individual ranking round, said that she had not experienced anything like Tokyo’s heat wave conditions at other events. Some archers said that they are used to the heat, such
Four key men’s doubles pairings — dubbed by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) as “the group of death” — are to take over two courts side-by-side today just after midday in Tokyo, in matches that already have the badminton world abuzz. What is formally known as Group A pits pairings from Taiwan, Indonesia, India and Britain against one another — the former three ranked in the top 10. Taiwanese pairing Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin are set to challenge Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty of India, while world No. 1 duo Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia are to play Britain’s Ben Lane and Sean Vendy. Despite being ranked 10th in the world by the BWF, the pair from India have beaten most of the teams ahead of them and have been in the semi-finals of two of their past three tournaments. Ahead of the Games, Shetty and Rankireddy in January roped in Denmark’s former Olympic silver medalist Mathias Boe as their new coach, but Lee and Wang are ranked seven places ahead of the India duo and will be tough to beat. The Indonesia pairing — fondly known at home as the Minions due to their diminutive stature — won the All England Open men’s doubles titles in 2017 and 2018, and are nearly 20,000 points ahead of the Taiwanese pair, despite having played 11 fewer tournaments. At a clear disadvantage, Britain’s Vendy and Lane are at No. 18 in the rankings, but they will not be taken lightly, having made it to the semi-finals of the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals last year. Asian athletes typically dominate the badminton tournament and won 92 of the 106 Olympic Games medals available from 1992 to 2016.
MEN’S SOCCER STARTS: Mexico scored a convincing win over France, while a Chris Wood goal gave NZ their first ever victory in men’s soccer at an Olympics
Spain’s Olympic men’s soccer campaign yesterday got off to a rocky start after they lost two players to injury in a goalless draw with Egypt, while Mexico stunned France 4-1 as the group stage began. Spain, the last European men’s team to claim gold in 1992, arrived in Japan with a number of players from the senior team who reached the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-finals this month. However, despite the wealth of options on the pitch, Spain failed to take their opportunities in front of goal against a dogged Egypt defense in their Group C match at the Sapporo Dome. Dani Ceballos hit the post on the half-hour mark before the Real Madrid playmaker joined fullback Oscar Mingueza on the sidelines due to injuries at the end of first half. Ceballos hobbled off following a heavy tackle from Egypt forward Taher Mohamed, while Barcelona’s Mingueza pulled up with what appeared to be a thigh injury. In the other Group C match last night, Australia defeated Argentina 2-0. Unlike the women’s tournament featuring all the senior players, the men’s teams are usually restricted to under-23 sides, with three over-age players allowed per team. With the Tokyo Olympic Games pushed back by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the age limit was tweaked to under-24. Having won the CONCACAF qualifying tournament, Mexico justified their dark-horse status with a convincing win over France in Group A, courtesy of second-half goals from Alexis Vega, Sebastian Cordova, Uriel Antuna and Erick Aguirre. Also at the Tokyo Stadium, hosts Japan downed South Africa 1-0 in Group A. In Group B, Burnley striker Chris Wood fired a late goal as New Zealand beat South Korea 1-0 at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium — earning the Pacific island nation their first win in Olympic men’s soccer. Later in Kashima, Romania beat Honduras 1-0 in Group B. In Group D, Ivory