TOKYO (Reuters) – The surprise pool gold medal joy for Tunisia and Japan and a world record contrasted with the most abject misery of some of the world’s best athletes whose Olympics ended in an instant on a dramatic Sunday in Tokyo
Japan secured their second Olympic gold with Yui Ohashi’s victory in the women’s 400m medley, but it was Ahmed Hafnaoui of Tunisia who stunned the swimming superpowers with a victory in the men’s 400m freestyle.
“I can’t believe it. It’s a dream and it came true. It was great. It was the best race of my life,” said 18-year-old Hafnaoui, after producing a spectacular finish to overtake Australian Jack McLoughlin, with American swimmer Kieran. Smith takes bronze.
The joy on the teenager’s face contrasted with the misery of Wimbledon champion Ash Barty after his first round exit. Andy Murray, a two-time Olympic champion from Great Britain, didn’t even get that far. He withdrew from the tournament injured before his first singles match.
The Australians had their moment in the pool in the last of the morning’s races when the Dolphins broke their own world record of 3: 29.69 in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay. Chase Kalisz presented Team USA with their first gold in the men’s 400 meter medley.
Ohashi’s gold offers organizers hope of enhancing enthusiasm for the delayed Olympics among the Japanese public, which is under a state of emergency in the capital amid elevated COVID-19 cases.
The shadows of the pandemic continued to hang over the games. The world’s number six golfer, Bryson DeChambeau, was replaced on the United States men’s team after testing positive for COVID-19 prior to his departure. The Dutch rowing coach also tested positive as Olympic organizers reported 10 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total disclosed to 132.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) insisted that masks were a “must have” at Tokyo medal ceremonies after swimmers were seen removing theirs on the medal podium and hugging other competitors in violation of Olympic rules. COVID-19.
“It’s not nice to have. It’s a must have,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said.
Hours earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga telephoned judoka Naohisa Takato to congratulate him after the triple world champion claimed Japan’s first gold medal with victory https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/ judo-judoka-tonaki-one -bout-japans-first-tokyo-2020-gold-2021-07-24 over Taiwan Yang Yung-wei on Saturday.
“This gold medal gives hope and dreams to many children and young people. There are also reports that many families are really delighted,” Suga said on the call.
Japanese tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, who lit the Olympic cauldron on Friday at the opening ceremony, kicked off her first match against Chinese Saisai Zheng at Ariake Tennis Park.
With temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) in Tokyo, skaters https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/skateboarding-skaters-debut-inaugural-olympics-fans-hope-acceptance-2021- 07- 24 were sweating in their historic Olympic debut, part of the organizers’ attempts to broaden the appeal of the world’s largest sporting event.
Competitors at the unshaded Ariake Urban Sports Park on Tokyo’s waterfront said the heat was already unbearable at 9 a.m. and that it was a distraction from performing their tricks.
Yahoo Tenki, one of Japan’s most popular weather apps, offered caution on the risk of heat stroke, saying users should “avoid exercising in the sun” and “minimize vigorous exercise.”
Surfing also made its Olympic debut https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/surfing-surfers-ride-wave-emotion-make-olympic-history-2021-07-24 on Sunday, with competitors meeting with a Surf reinforcement after flat conditions a day earlier at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach in Chiba Prefecture, which borders the capital.
Currently, a typhoon is forecast to hit the main Japanese island of Honshu in the middle of the week, which could bring heavy rain and strong winds.
Simone Biles was also poised for action on Sunday, setting the stage for a round of gymnastics gold that could enshrine the American in the pantheon of all-time great Olympians.
Biles and his teammates from the USA go to the qualifying competition as the gold medal favorites in almost every event.
The 24-year-old, who has won every general competition she has contested since 2013, needs three more medals to surpass Shannon Miller as America’s most decorated gymnast.