Olympic gold medals distract from Tokyo woes, controversy and COVID-19

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Sport stretched retired implicit Tokyo connected Saturday and golden medals rained down arsenic the Olympic Games burst into life, yet casting speech immoderate of the shadiness of COVID-19 and contention that has plagued the planetary showpiece.

China made an instant connection of intent erstwhile Yang Qian grabbed the Games’ archetypal gold, and Japanese judoka Naohisa Takato lifted location hearts with golden connected the mat a time aft the nation’s planetary superstar, tennis subordinate Naomi Osaka, had lit the cauldron to officially unfastened the pandemic-delayed Olympics.

Iran were besides cheering aboriginal aft Javad Foroughi won the men’s 10m aerial pistol event, and Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz won the men’s cycling roadworthy contention arsenic unexpected nations featured astatine the apical of the medals table.

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But fans, banned from each venues nether COVID-19 protocols, were served an aboriginal reminder of the pandemic’s imaginable interaction arsenic 2 U.S. archers said they were competing unvaccinated done idiosyncratic choice, and organizers said different jock had tested affirmative for the virus.

The prime of Osaka to airy the cauldron connected Friday had capped an opening ceremonial shorn of glitz and staged successful an eerily soundless stadium.

But portion the ceremonial had been similar nary before, time 1 of athletics offered a overmuch much acquainted consciousness contempt the lack of spectators, arsenic the world’s elite athletes ran, rode, fought and swam arsenic a hankered-for business-as-usual vibe built.

The show of an athlete, eyes glistening with joy, was ever going to beryllium a invited 1 for organizers, and 21-year-old Chinese shooter Yang provided it first, holding her nervus successful the women’s 10-meter firearm contention to overhaul Anastasiia Galashina.

 Games officially footwear   disconnected  with fireworks astatine  opening   ceremony' 2:10 Tokyo Olympics: Games officially footwear disconnected with fireworks astatine opening ceremony

Tokyo Olympics: Games officially footwear disconnected with fireworks astatine opening ceremony

Crumpled nether pressure

The Russian crumpled nether unit connected her last shot, shooting 8.9, by acold her worst of the day, and the worst people immoderate of the finalists registered. “I got excessively nervous, held connected excessively long,” she said.

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Yang was thrilled, and hinted astatine her premier motivation. “It’s the 100th day of the Chinese Communist Party,” she said. “I’m truthful blessed that this aureate medal is simply a acquisition to my country.”

The hosts were hopeless for Japanese occurrence excessively and, aft immoderate adjacent misses, Takato won golden successful the men’s 60kg judo, defeating Taiwan’s Yang Yung-wei.

“It was frustrating successful Rio,” Takato said, recalling the erstwhile Games wherever helium ended up with bronze. “It was a agelong roadworthy to get here.”

Organizers anticipation athletics tin distract from the watercourse of embarrassing gaffes and coronavirus woes which person marked the event, postponed by a year.

But determination was nary ignoring the planetary pandemic, arsenic 1 much jock tested COVID-positive, bringing the full fig of disclosed microorganism cases to 123.

Later, American archers Brady Ellison and Mackenzie Brown said they were escaped to take whether oregon not they got vaccinated against COVID-19, aft a U.S. Olympic swimming golden medal imaginable who had declined the vaccine was wide criticized connected societal media.

“It’s 1 100 percent a idiosyncratic choice, and anyone that says different is taking distant people’s freedoms,” Ellison, the world’s No.1, said connected the contention sidelines.

He and Brown crashed retired successful the archetypal circular of the mixed event, which is making its Olympic debut.

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Typhoon preparation

Organizers are besides preparing for a typhoon, having already reworked Monday’s rowing competitions to integrate them successful the docket for Saturday and Sunday.

But portion the rowers look anxiously to the skies, surfers — who commencement their competitions connected Sunday — should payment from bigger swells https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/surfing-tokyo-eyes-typhoon-forecast-surfers-say-bring-it-2021-07-23.

The 3×3 hoops tourney made its debut and U.S. First Lady Jill Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron led the cheering arsenic the American women bushed France.

 'Concern for Canadian athletes successful  Tokyo arsenic  Olympic Games officially begins' 1:59 Concern for Canadian athletes successful Tokyo arsenic Olympic Games officially begins

Concern for Canadian athletes successful Tokyo arsenic Olympic Games officially begins

At 12, Syria’s Hend Zaza was the youngest jock competing successful Tokyo but her array tennis tourney was implicit successful a flash arsenic she mislaid to Austria’s Liu Jia, earlier taking a selfie with her conqueror.

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Liu, who has a 10-year-old daughter, had struggled to slumber connected the eve of the event. “Yesterday I asked my daughter, ‘Do you cognize your parent is playing against idiosyncratic 2 years older than you?’ Her archetypal effect was, ‘Then you amended not lose!'”

Perhaps Japan’s “King Kohei” Uchimura could person done with akin advice, but the reign of the Olympic all-around champion and holder of 7 Olympic medals, came to an abrupt extremity erstwhile helium failed to suffice for the apparatus final, closing his storied Olympic career.

“I couldn’t execute what I person practiced. That’s however I simply think,” helium said.

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