Tokyo 2020 - China's Yang Qian makes history as the Olympic medal race begins - Tokyo Warm-Up
China's Yang Qian has won the first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Meanwhile, it has been a tricky start for GB athletes as Helen Glover and partner Holly Swann finished advanced to the A/B semi-finals in the rowing, but clearly have some stiff competition. A nervous Seonaid McIntosh did not make the cut for the women's 10m air rifle competition. Welcome to the debut of the Tokyo Warm-Up!
'Our first gold' - Yang picks up own winners’ medal in strange ceremony
In a nail-biting finale on Saturday, the women’s 10m air rifle was won by China's Yang Qian with an Olympic record score of 251.8 ahead of ROC's Anastasia Galashina (251.1). Switzerland's Nina Christen took bronze (230.6).
It was tense stuff as Galashina led Yang 231.4 to 231.3 heading into the final two shots. Galashina doubled the lead with a 10.8 on her next shot to Yang's 10.7.
But Galashina then ended up firing a surprisingly low 8.9 with her last shot, her worst of the competition, a few seconds before Yang clinched gold with a 9.8.
Nerves may have set in, but Yang is the first winner at the 2020 Olympics.
Others are up for grabs in archery, fencing, judo, road cycling, taekwondo and weightlifting, plus the men's 10m air pistol event later on this morning.
China's Yang Qian seals first gold of Tokyo 2020
A tough, yet productive, start for Glover and Swann
Double Olympic champion Helen Glover and Tokyo 2020 partner Holly Swann finished third in a tough women’s doubles heat to advance to the A/B semi-finals on Tuesday.
The pair registered a time of 7:23.29 over 2000 metres, coming in two seconds behind Australia’s Jessia Morrison and Annabelle McIntyre in first place, with Russia’s Elena Oriabinskaia and Vasilisa Stepanova sandwiched in between in second.
It's an incredible achievement that the British duo have even made it to Tokyo in the first place, as Swann took time out of the sport last year to work as a junior doctor for the NHS and Glover retired after another gold at Rio 2016 to start a family.
Their semi-final takes place on Tuesday at around 3am UK time.
Helen Glover and Polly Swann (R) of Team Great Britain compete during the Women's Pair Heat 2 on day one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Sea Forest Waterway on July 24, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan
Image credit: Getty Images
Nerves, fatigue get to McIntosh
Although she improved as qualification went on for the 10m air rifle competition, Seonaid McIntosh unfortunately departed with a 12th place finish due to a poor final series, scoring 103.5.
"Really happy with how it went," she told Eurosport's Greg Rutherford afterwards.
"I'm a little disappointed. I hoped to make the final and have a chance at a medal but I'm really happy with how the match went and how I fought for it. I kind of struggled all the way through and was struggling with the nerves and afterwards fatigue."
McIntosh still has the 50m rifle three positions qualification next Saturday to look forward to and is feeling confident.
She added: "I've never shot in the Olympics before so having done that and put in that performance regardless of the outcome gives confidence for the next one."
Image credit: Getty Images
STILL TO COME
There's plenty of live Olympic sports to keep you occupied this Saturday with the men's road race cycling and the first round of the men's and women's tennis all ongoing.
But not only that, the Team GB men's hockey team get their campaign underway against South Africa at 10:30am UK time, there is the opening heats from the swimming from 11am and Adam Peaty is in the men's 100m breaststroke heats which are expected to get underway at 1pm.
There is artistic gymnastics men's qualifying from 11:30am and the live football continues as Team GB look to continue their 100 per cent win record when they face Japan at 11:30am.
HEROES AND... MORE HEROES
Syria's female flagbearer at last night's opening ceremony, Hend Zaza - aged 12 - opened her Olympic table tennis campaign.
She played against Austria's Liu Jia, 39, in the preliminary round and became the youngest Olympian since 11 year-old Beatrice Hustiu, who took part in the figure skating at the 1968 Winter Olympics.
What makes her Olympics appearance even more incredible is that her training had been disrupted by both war and the pandemic in addition to her qualifying last year aged 11.
Unfortunately she fell to a 4-0 defeat but just reaching the preliminary round aged 12 deserves plenty of praise in our books.
Double Olympics champion Andy Murray got off to a fine start in the men's doubles tennis, winning his opener with partner Joe Salisbury against French duo Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 6-2.
British quartet Ollie Cook, Matt Rossiter, Rory Gibbs and Sholto Carnegie also deserve some love after their emphatic display in the men's four.
On their Olympics debut they came first in a comfortable time of 5:55.36 to secure their place in the final later this week. Britain are seeking their sixth consecutive gold in the event.
This is great. When women's weightlifting was introduced as an Olympic sport in 2000, Papua New Guinea's Loa Dika Toua, aged 16 at the time, became the first-ever female Olympian lifter.
On Saturday, the 37-year-old became the first ever five-time woman Olympian lifter.
Loa Dika Toua of Team Papua New Guinea competes during the Weightlifting - Women's 49kg Group B
Image credit: Getty Images
With Max Whitlock in action today, here's a throwback to his five Olympic medal-winning performances at London (2012) and Rio de Janeiro (2016).
EUROSPORT IN TOKYO
Bradley Wiggins is intrigued to see how athletes will cope without crowds at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, claiming many would often “bottle it” in front of spectators.
Britain’s most decorated Olympian, who is in Japan for Eurosport, has more experience than most when it comes to dealing with pressure, having won five golds and the Tour de France and he has come out with a quote to remember.
The difference between good and being an Olympian and an Olympic champion is quite a big difference.