Shock golds & Osaka returns to motion


Ahmed Hafnaoui
Ahmed Hafnaoui’s gold is just the fifth by a Tunisian athlete at an Olympics
Dates: 23 July-8 August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
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Austria’s Anna Kiesenhofer gained a shock highway race gold and Tunisian teenager Ahmed Hafnaoui surprised the favourites within the pool on a drama-filled second day on the Tokyo Olympics.

There have been additionally upsets within the tennis, with Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty knocked out, and the taekwondo the place Britain’s two-time champion Jade Jones misplaced within the first spherical.

Even favorite Simone Biles was wobbly in gymnastics qualifying, whereas golf was robbed of two main gamers via constructive Covid-19 assessments and defending tennis champion Andy Murray pulled out of the boys’s singles.

And in basketball, the USA had their 25-game successful streak on the Olympics ended by an 81-76 loss to France of their opening recreation.

However the greatest shock of the day should absolutely have been for Dutch bike owner Annemiek van Vleuten, who celebrated when she crossed the road pondering she had gained gold solely to find she was in truth second.

Amid all of the surprises, there was the reassuring return to motion of Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka and it was extra about thrills as skateboarding and browsing made their Olympic debuts.

Dream wins for Kiesenhofer & Hafnaoui

Tons of of followers got here out within the solar to collect alongside the streets of Fuchu, on the outskirts of Tokyo, to catch a glimpse of the ladies’s biking highway race, going towards official recommendation to keep away from gathering due to the pandemic.

What they witnessed was exceptional as 30-year-old Kiesenhofer – who shouldn’t be a part of an expert biking workforce and was making her Video games debut – turned the primary Austrian to win an Olympic highway race medal after a devastating solo breakaway.

She was on the entrance of the race from the beginning, certainly one of an early breakaway pack, earlier than going it alone with 40km to go.

So nice was Kiesenhofer’s benefit that Van Vleuten didn’t realise somebody had overwhelmed her to the end, with the Dutchwoman initially celebrating earlier than exclaiming: “I used to be mistaken.”

Earlier there had been an enormous upset on the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, the place 18-year-old Tunisian Ahmed Hafnaoui completed forward of the Australian and American favourites to win the 400m freestyle.

He mentioned he was shocked to have even made the ultimate that even when he touched the wall, he didn’t instantly “settle for” he had gained though it was a dream come true.

New sports activities, new information and an previous face bows out

Japan’s Yuto Horigome gained the primary Olympic gold medal in skateboarding, taking the victory within the males’s road skating a stone’s throw away from the place he grew up having been launched to the game by this father as a toddler.

One other of the brand new sports activities at these Video games, browsing, obtained beneath method, with opponents benefiting from a morning swell that supplied them the facility they wanted to indicate off their sport within the heats after some tame waves in coaching classes.

It was an previous sport however a brand new report as Australia’s ladies’s 4x100m freestyle relay workforce beat their very own world report of three:29.69 within the pool, whereas South Korea gained a ninth consecutive gold within the ladies’s archery workforce occasion to equal the longest gold-medal streak in Olympic historical past.

In the meantime, 46-year-old Uzbek gymnast Oksana Chusovitina – who has a son older than most of her fellow opponents – said an emotional farewell to her sport after a report eighth Olympic Video games.

Osaka & Biles launch their campaigns

Two of the most important attracts of the Video games had been in motion on Sunday, with dwelling favorite Osaka returning to motion for the primary time in practically two months after taking a break from tennis to guard her psychological well being and Biles participating in gymnastics qualifying.

Second seed Osaka, who lit the flame in Friday’s opening ceremony, eased previous Saisai Zheng of China 6-1 6-4 however mentioned it was “nerve-wracking” to compete at her dwelling Video games.

In the meantime, four-time Olympics champion Biles, was penalised on vault and flooring – the place she bounced out of the competitors space altogether – in a below-par show as the USA completed second behind the Russian Olympic Committee in workforce qualifying.

She however qualified for all five individual finals.

Golfers dominated out & picture op introduced in

American Bryson DeChambeau and Spaniard Jon Rahm have been dominated out of the golf match after testing constructive for Covid-19.

DeChambeau had not but travelled to Japan, the place he was set to make his Olympic debut, whereas world primary Rahm has examined constructive for the second time in as many months.

Each side of the delayed Video games has been affected by the pandemic, however athletes are being allowed a short second of “normality” for a photograph alternative on the rostrum.

On Sunday, organisers mentioned medal-winners may take away their masks for 30 seconds to indicate a smile for the cameras, though mask-wearing stays necessary throughout all venues.

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