Tokyo 2020: China takes early lead with 3 gold medals | Dailytrust

Tokyo 2020: China takes early lead with 3 gold medals

China claimed three gold medals on the first day of the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday and cyclist Richard Carapaz became just the second competitor in Ecuador’s history to top the podium, with victory in the road race.

As the troubled build-up to the pandemic-postponed Games gave way to the first full day of competition, China secured victories in shooting and weightlifting.

Yang Qian sparked the mini gold rush in the 10-metre air rifle competition, pipping Russia’s Anastasiia Galashina with a dramatic last-shot victory to take the very first title of the Games.

Galashina had looked poised to win heading into the last shot, but stumbled with 8.9 on her final effort to allow Yang to grab gold.

“It’s the 100th birthday of the Chinese Communist Party,” she said. “I’m so happy that this golden medal is a gift to my country. I’m so proud.”

There was more joy for China, with Hou Zhihui taking gold in the women’s 49kg weightlifting event with an Olympic record total of 210 kilograms.

Fencer Sun Yiwen added a third Chinese gold of the day with victory in the women’s epee.

In cycling’s gruelling road race, 2019 Giro d’Italia winner Carapaz outfoxed a heavyweight field led by Slovenia’s Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar.

It was only Ecuador’s second gold at the Olympics after Jefferson Perez’s victory in the 50km race walk at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Japan celebrated the first goal medal of its Games when judoka Naohisa Takato won the men’s 60kg final at the iconic Nippon Budokan, beating Taiwan’s Yang Yung-wei.

But the host nation suffered disappointment when gymnastics great Kohei Uchimura’s campaign came to an early end.

The two-time all-around Olympic champion slipped up in qualifying for the horizontal bar competition, having battled a shoulder injury to be fit for the Games.

“In the last three Olympic Games I’ve been able to match the level of performance I’d reached in training — but not this time,” a dejected Uchimura said.

In another Japanese setback, world champion Daiya Seto failed to reach the final of the men’s 400 metre medley in the pool, although he has two more events.

Tokyo Olympics medals table after Saturday’s events:

Gold Silver Bronze Total

China 3 0 1 4

Japan 1 1 0 2

South Korea 1 0 2 3

Ecuador 1 0 0 1

Hungary 1 0 0 1

Iran 1 0 0 1

Kosovo 1 0 0 1

Thailand 1 0 0 1

Russian Olympic Committee 0 1 1 2

Serbia 0 1 1 2

Belgium 0 1 0 1

Taiwan 0 1 0 1

India 0 1 0 1

Italy 0 1 0 1

Netherlands 0 1 0 1

Romania 0 1 0 1

Spain 0 1 0 1

Estonia 0 0 1 1

France 0 0 1 1

Indonesia 0 0 1 1

Israel 0 0 1 1

Kazakhstan 0 0 1 1

Mexico 0 0 1 1

Mongolia 0 0 1 1

Slovenia 0 0 1 1

Switzerland 0 0 1 1

Ukraine 0 0 1 1

Source: (AFP)

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