AUSTRALIA

Best bits of the Tokyo Olympics day 1

There’s already been plenty of action on day 1 of the Tokyo Olympics.

Australia has already had its first taste of both victory and defeat, COVID-19 is still threatening after a Dutch rower tested positive just after competing and we’re seeing some snippets of what life is like in the athletes’ village.

Here are the best bits from day 1 so far.

Aussie swimmers make positive start

Brendon Smith broke his Australian record in the men’s 400 metres individual medley with a time of 4 minutes and 9.27 seconds to qualify fastest for Sunday morning’s final.

Emma McKeon went under her national mark in the women’s 100m butterfly when she dead-heated for first with China’s Zhang Yufei in 55.82.

Emma McKeon was in superb form in the heats of the women’s 100m butterfly.(

AP: David J Phillip

)

McKeon will contest the semi-finals on Sunday morning alongside fellow Australian Brianna Throssell.

She will also have a chance of winning gold when she joins the Australian women’s 4x100m freestyle team in their final.

Australia, without McKeon and Cate Campbell swimming, was the fastest qualifier after hitting the wall in 3:31.73.

Elijah Winnington and Jack McLoughlin, who dead-heated in their heat of the men’s 400m freestyleare among the medal contenders after qualifying for the final.

Early success for the green and gold

An Australian female water polo player holds the ball as she prepares to pass against Canada.
The Aussie women’s water polo team has started strong.(

Reuters: Kacper Pempel

)

The Australian men’s hockey team have passed the first hurdle on their path to gold, beating host nation Japan in their opening match 5-3.

Japan fought back from 2-0 down to go into half-time with a 3-2 lead, but goals from captain Aren Zalewski and Daniel Beale sealed the deal for Australia.

Australia beat Canada 8-5 in the women’s water polo prelims after an energetic match.

Ash Barty and Storm Sanders also had a win over Japan in the women’s doubles — Barty said it was “really cool” to be able to play alongside her childhood friend under “some of the most unique circumstances ever”.

Matildas suffer loss to Swedes, Bull has a good day in gymnastics

Australian gynmast Tyson Bull is photographed upside down in the air from the ground. He is looking at parallel bars below
Fingers crossed for one of Australia’s only male gymnasts competing at this year’s Olympics, Tyson Bull.(

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

)

Victorian gymnast Tyson Bull had a good day on the high bar, ranking sixth for the apparatus, which puts him in finals qualification territory. But he wasn’t quite as strong on the parallel bars, ranking 37th.

Canada proved too strong for Australia in the softball opening round, winning 7-1, with the USA also beating Mexico 2-0. 

The Matildas lost 4-2 to Sweden to put their qualification for the next round in jeopardy. Sam Kerr scored twice but also missed a chance to make it 3-3 from the penalty spot, before Sweden secured the win with their fourth goal.

The Aussies face the mighty USA in their final group game.

Stina Blackstenius pumps her fist as Australian players look sad.
Stina Blackstenius came off the bench to glance in a header.(

Getty Images: Francois Nel

)

Tokyo’s first Olympic champ

China’s Qian Yang has set a new Olympic Record in the women’s 10m air rifle, with a total score of 251.8 to win the first gold medal of the Games.

The medal came down to the final shot, with Anastasiia Galashina of the Russian Olympic Committee going into the round with a 0.2 point lead.

Galashina won silver and Switzerland’s Nina Christen took out bronze.

Ecuador’s Carapaz wins men’s road race

Richard Carapaz produced an incredible late burst to win the gold medal in a thrilling men’s road race, as Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar was beaten into third place.

Carapaz was joined on a late attack by American Brandon McNulty but, with the chasing pack reeling them in, he went alone on the racing circuit finish and soloed to victory.

Belgium’s Wout Van Aert took the silver medal as he beat Slovenia’s Pogačar by the width of a wheel rim.

Carapaz is only the second Ecuadorian to win an Olympic gold after Jefferson Perez in the men’s 20km walk at Atlanta 1996.

Australia’s Richie Porte finished in 48th place, while his countrymen Lucas Hamilton and Luke Durbridge were 71st and 72nd respectively.

TV network apologises for opening ceremony broadcast

A South Korean TV network has apologised after using inappropriate images and captions to describe countries during the opening ceremony.

MBC used images of pizza to describe Italy, an upheaval for Haiti, Chernobyl for Ukraine and salmon for Norway, when athletes from those countries entered the stadium for the opening ceremony.

In its captions, the network referred to the Marshall Islands as “once a nuclear test site for the United States” and Syria as the country that has had “a civil war going on for 10 years”.

MBC issued an apology after its choice of the imagery sparked backlash online, saying:

Rower tests positive for COVID after race

a man rowing in a netherlands team kit. he looks like he is exerting himself
Finn Florijn is out of the Games and in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.(

Ronald Hoogendoorn/BSR Agency/Getty Images

)

Dutch athlete Finn Florijn‘s Olympic dream is over after the young rower tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday after competing in the men’s single sculls race.

Florijn finished in fourth in the sixth heat, which wasn’t enough to automatically progress to the quarter-finals, but was scheduled to take part in the repechage race on Saturday which gives competitors another chance to qualify.

“I wasn’t completely satisfied with my race, but I was hopeful to do better in the rematch,” the 21-year old said.

A staff member of the Dutch rowing team and two other Dutch athletes — taekwondo competitor Reshmie Oogink and skateboarder Candy Jacobs — also tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week

TeamNL said in a statement that Florijn had been staying in a room by himself in the athletes’ village before he tested positive.

Nothing gets between Aussies and their cricket

Many of Australia’s Olympic athletes have taken to TikTok to give fans a sneak peak behind the scenes around the village.

We’ve seen dining halls, training gyms, bedrooms (yes, including the cardboard beds) but this one from tennis player Daria Gavrilova warmed our hearts.

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Gavrilova isn’t actually in the village this year — she’s at home recovering from achillies surgery, but her fiance and fellow tennis player Luke Saville is in Tokyo and feeding some great snippets of footage for friends, family and fans at home. 

ABC/wires

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