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Today in a nutshell: Ariarne Titmus got the upper hand on Katie Ledeckie in the pool, the hosts went top in the medal table, and it was a magical Monday for Team GB with three golds and two silvers.
Tomorrow’s key moments: There’s women’s team gymnastics, the team event in the dressage, more swimming medals at stake and a very early start for the women’s individual triathlon.
Team GB often hark back to “Super Saturday” at Rio in 2012. Tokyo’s “super Sunday night/Monday morning” isn’t quite as catchy but it suddenly started raining medals on the British team: Adam Peaty won the men’s 100m breaststroke, Tom Daley and Matty Lee won the men’s synchronised 10m platform, Tom Pidcock won the cross-country mountain bike gold.
The medal rush had started with Alex Yee’s silver in a men’s triathlon that had a ridiculously early and then farcical start, and it included a second British taekwondo silver in Tokyo as Lauren Williams narrowly lost out to Croatia’s Matea Jelić in a tight final of the -67kg category.
In the swimming pool, five-time Olympic gold medallist Katie Ledecky was beaten by Australian 20-year-old Ariarne Titmus in the much-anticipated women’s 400m freestyle final. Kieran Pender writes for us that Titmus may have won round one, but there’s plenty more of that duel to come. Both later on came through the 200m freestyle heats with Ledecky posting the fastest time. Margaret MacNeil took gold for Canada in the women’s 100m butterfly and the United States won the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay final.
Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic progressed in the tennis, though world No 3, Aryna Sabalenka and Osaka’s good friend Iga Swiatek were both knocked out. The US took both men and women’s skeet shooting golds, while the 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya took gold for Japan in the women’s street skateboarding. It was the athletes of the Russian Olympic Committee team who took gold in the men’s team gymnastics. Japan, who won in Rio, ended up with silver, and China earned bronze. Team GB were fourth.
The men’s rugby sevens saw two opening rounds of games. New Zealand, Great Britain, South Africa, USA and reigning champions Fiji all ended the day with 100% records. However, Australia slipped up, losing 29-19 to Argentina, who in turn lost to New Zealand. All three of those sides will still probably progress, though.
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Picture of the day
🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧 Team GB update
Adam Peaty made a pitch to the nation (which you can watch here) after securing his gold this morning, saying: “Hopefully this is a catalyst for not only Team GB but also the people back home to go to another gear, to say: ‘We’ve been through a tough time, there’s been a lot of complaining, a lot of excuses, a lot of negative things, but now we’ve got to switch our mindset.’”
Also talking today is Caroline Dubois. I’m conscious that, with the first medal bouts not until Saturday, I’ve scarcely mentioned the boxing at all. But she’s written for us saying:
If I win [against Kosovo’s Donjeta Sadiku on Tuesday], I’m in the quarters and one bout away from winning a medal. But that would not be enough. I want to go all the way. I did not sacrifice everything all these years I’ve been boxing, cutting weight and training so hard, to settle for a few good performances. I don’t just want a medal. I want the medal.
The Dubois fight is scheduled for 1.24pm Tokyo time on Tuesday, which means setting your alarm for a crisp 5.24am in the UK. Pat McCormack and Cheavon Clarke also have preliminary bouts on Tuesday.
🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺 Australia update
One unexpected off-shoot of Titmus’ gold medal this morning was that coach Dean Boxall’s wild celebrations went viral. His extraordinary celebration saw him striding through the spectator’s area, pumping the air, ripping his mask off and hip-thrusting against a transparent barrier. Naaman Zhou has more. I’m hoping this picture won’t end up getting caught in your email smut filter.
The women’s hockey team thrashed China 6-0 today in their Pool B match. In action tomorrow are the women’s basketball team against Belgium, the men’s hockey team face Argentina, and at 10.30am Tokyo time there’s the small matter of a rugby sevens clash with New Zealand, ahead of a potential quarter-final game later in the day.
🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵 The hosts and beyond
Nishiya became the second youngest champion in summer Olympics history, aged 13 years and 330 days, as she won the inaugural women’s skateboarding street competition. “I didn’t think I could win,” she said. “but everyone around me cheered me on so I’m glad I was able to find my groove.”
There was more Judo joy for the hosts as well, as Shohei Ono won a second consecutive Olympic gold medal in the 73kg category. And gold in the table tennis as Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito won the mixed doubles. China’s Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen took silver, with the Chinese Taipei/Taiwan duo of Cheng I-Ching and Lin Yun-Ju winning the bronze match.
Sofia Pozdniakova of Not Russia won gold in the individual women’s sabre fencing competition. There was a first medal for Hong Kong in the fencing as well, with Cheung Ka Long taking gold in the men’s individual foil. Nora Gjakova earned a second gold medal for Kosovo in judo, when she won the women’s -57kg category.
Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt was the victor in the men’s triathlon, and despite the efforts of organisers to keep the athletes cool by literally spraying them with water as they ran the last section, Blummenfelt vomited and was placed in a wheelchair at the end of the race. He recovered to take part in the medal ceremony.
🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 Team USA update
Amber English won the women’s skeet gold medal on Monday and Vincent Hancock triumphed in the men’s event, a day after Will Shaner was victorious in the men’s 10-metre air rifle. All set Olympic record scores. Tom Dart was there at the Asaka Shooting Range for us.
Andrew Lawrence writes for us today on how the differing treatments of a black female athlete – Sha’Carri Richardson – and a white male one – Alen Hadzic – in the run-up to the Olympics show the double standards that permeate sport. She’s out for testing positive for a drug that is legal in a host of US states. He’s in, despite facing multiple allegations of sexual assault.
Did you know: The 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games were the first Games to ever be broadcast live on television.
Key events for Tuesday 27 July
Again there are a lot of medals on offer on Tuesday in artistic gymnastics, canoe slalom, mountain bike cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, judo, rowing, shooting, softball, swimming, taekwondo, triathlon and weightlifting.
You know the drill by now. All events are listed here in local Tokyo time. Add an hour for Sydney, subtract eight hours for Belfast, 13 hours for New York and 17 hours for San Francisco. Then email me to say that time itself is too complicated.
🌟If you only watch one thing: 7.45pm Artistic gymnastics – it is the women’s team final. A Simon Biles-led Team USA will face a strong challenge to defend their gold medal from Not Russia and from China 🥇
6.30am Triathlon – the individual women’s race takes place. Remember, this is a super early start in Tokyo again so if you want to watch it in the UK it is effectively on at 10.30pm tonight before you go to bed to enjoy sweet, sweet Olympic gold medal dreams 🥇
10am-9.45pm Taekwondo – it is the final day of taekwondo. There’s continued British interest with Mahama Cho in the men’s +80kg, and Bianca Walkden in the +67kg 🥇
10.30am-12.30pm and 7pm-8.59pm – the swimming is all topsy-turvy with the finals in the morning and the heats in the evening. There should be four fantastic finals in the first session on Tuesday between 10.34am and 11.17am: men’s 200m freestyle, women’s 100m backstroke, men’s 100m backstroke, women’s 100m backstroke. Phew 🥇
3pm Cycling Mountain Bike – it is the turn of the women around the Izu MTB course 🥇
3pm Diving – it is also the women in the diving on Tuesday, with the synchronised 10m platform 🥇
5pm Equestrian – Germany will defend their Rio title as eight nations, including Team GB and the USA who finished in silver and bronze positions in 2016, go for the Dressage Team Grand Prix Special 🐴🥇
5pm-8.30pm Football – it is the final round of group games in the women’s competition. Team GB and Sweden are the two teams already guaranteed quarter-final spots. Two key match-ups are Japan v Chile at 8pm where the hosts probably need a win to progress from Group E. Before that at 5pm the USA face Australia. Now, I’m not suggesting this is a potential “Disgrace of Gijón” situation, but a draw would leave them both on four points and both almost certain to qualify.
5.30pm-7.00 pm Rugby sevens – after a final round of pool matches in the morning, and some placing games, the tournament reaches the quarter-final stage.
8pm Softball – Japan face the USA in the final 🥇
You can find our full interactive events schedule here, which also updates with live scores and results throughout the day like a little mini-liveblog. You can thank me later.
As it stands
Here was how the emoji table stood at 10.40pm in Tokyo, with the hosts sitting proudly on top for the first time.
1 🇯🇵 Japan 🥇 8 🥈 2 🥉 3 total: 13
2 🇺🇸 USA 🥇 7 🥈 3 🥉 4 total: 14
3 🇨🇳 China 🥇 6 🥈 5 🥉 7 total: 18
4 ◽️ Not Russia 🥇 4 🥈 5 🥉 3 total: 12
5 🇬🇧 Great Britain 🥇 3 🥈 3 🥉 1 total: 7
6 🇰🇷 South Korea 🥇 3 🥈 0 🥉 4 total: 7
7 🇦🇺 Australia 🥇 2 🥈 1 🥉 3 total: 6
8 🇽🇰 Kosovo 🥇 2 🥈 0 🥉 0 total: 2
9 🇮🇹 Italy 🥇 1 🥈 4 🥉 4 total: 9
10 🇫🇷 France🥇 1 🥈 2 🥉 2 total: 5
That’s the first time I’ve had to put the 🇬🇧 emoji to use in the table. It’s been a very memorable day for Team GB.
Get in touch
I asked yesterday about what I should do about Not Russia in the medal table. The IOC have banned Russian national symbols from the Games, so I was wondering what to do instead of the Russian flag emoji. One suggestion in my inbox from Eddy Bandel in Aruba was a bear emoji, but I’m a bit nervous that would inevitably lead me down the route of doing the kangaroo emoji for Australia and and the cowboy emoji for the US and eventually having to apologise South Korean broadcaster-style.
Kevin Franklin asked me on Twitter, by the way, about the logistics of putting this newsletter together from London, and whether I was having to live on Tokyo time. Strategic naps are the key. I can’t recommend strategic naps enough. I’m interested to hear how you are fitting the Olympics into your life though. Do email me at email@example.com. See you tomorrow.
The last word
I feel incredibly proud to say that I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion. When I was younger I didn’t think I’d ever achieve anything because of who I was. To be an Olympic champion now just shows that you can achieve anything. – Tom Daley, Olympic 10m men’s synchronised diving champion