China gained the primary gold medal of the Video games and hosts Japan claimed their first gold on a sweltering opening day of the Tokyo Olympics.
Athletes complained about exhausting circumstances given the mixture of excessive temperatures and humidity, with a number of tennis gamers asking for matches to be moved to start out later within the day.
Cyclists within the males’s highway race specifically felt the pressure, however Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz managed to defy the circumstances, convincingly successful his nation’s second ever gold medal.
China’s conventional early dominance of the medal desk endured, with Yang Qian successful the primary obtainable gold within the girls’s 10m air rifle closing.
Shortly afterwards, Hou Zhihui celebrated victory within the girls’s -49kg weightlifting, with a mixed rating of 210, breaking the Olympic document.
Naohisa Takato beat Taiwan’s Yang Yung-wei within the 60kg judo closing on the Nippon Budokan to assert Japan’s first gold on what was a mixed day for the hosts.
Elsewhere, a nurse from Iran grew to become the Olympic champion within the males’s 10m air pistol competitors. Javad Foroughi solely took up the game in 2017, after he was proven the right way to use an air pistol in a basement underneath the hospital the place he works.
South Korean pair An San and Kim Je-deok took gold within the combined staff archery.
‘Humidity is brutal’
World primary Novak Djokovic made begin as he continues his bid for the ‘Golden Slam’, opening with a routine 6-2 6-2 win over Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien within the males’s singles.
However the Serb grew to become the second participant to query the scheduling of matches, after Russian Daniil Medvedev steered a later begin time would make circumstances extra bearable.
“Humidity is brutal… I agree with him 100%,” mentioned Djokovic. “To be trustworthy, I do not perceive why they do not begin matches at, say, 3pm.
“Perhaps the ITF [International Tennis Federation] can provide you a greater reply to why they selected to be performed in the midst of the day. I doubt they are going to change the choice, however we’re hoping that they are going to.”
The ITF has mentioned the schedule has taken into consideration elements equivalent to native authority restrictions round Covid-19 and the unpredictability of the climate.
It mentioned participant well being was paramount, including that there was an excessive climate coverage in place, which allowed for drinks breaks and even suspension of play ought to sure circumstances be reached.
A legend eradicated
One of many greatest shocks of day one got here from Japan’s seven-time Olympic medallist, gymnast Kohei Uchimura.
The 2-time all-around champion, who’s 32, had elected to solely compete in his most popular equipment, the excessive bar. However after a fall in qualifying, he is not going to characteristic within the closing.
“I hit my peak already,” mentioned the veteran gymnast after he watched his team-mates produce a collection of high-quality routines.
“It has been so robust to get chosen as a nationwide staff member. That itself was already actually robust.”
There was one other shock exit for the host nation on the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, as three-time world champion Daiya Seto, considered Japan’s greatest hope for gold within the pool, did not qualify for the boys’s 400m particular person medley closing.
Covid nonetheless an enormous issue
Dutch rower Finn Florijn, who was due to participate within the males’s single sculls repechage, examined optimistic for Covid-19 after competing within the heats.
The 21-year-old has gone into quarantine and won’t compete once more on the Video games.
He’s the primary athlete to check optimistic after competing in Tokyo, a improvement that would throw into query the rigidity of the preventative techniques in place.
Within the first medal ceremony of Tokyo 2020, Yang was handed her medal on a tray by Worldwide Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach in accordance with the Covid-19 protocols that may have an effect on each facet of those Video games.
Winners are requested to position medals over their very own heads and masks have been worn on the rostrum always.
Are Group USA enjoying it secure?
For the primary time 1972, Group USA have did not win a medal of any color on day one of many Video games.
Within the softball event, which received underneath method earlier within the week earlier than the official opening ceremony, the gold medal favourites continued their successful begin, beating Mexico 2-0 on the Yokohama Baseball Stadium.
However the US staff have confronted criticism for his or her sluggish and infrequently defensive enjoying fashion, having solely scored 5 runs in three video games.
“All we care about is getting wins proper now,” mentioned catcher Aubree Munro.
“So we’re good, however we’re gonna maintain plugging and we’re positively ready for that offence to bust open.”