Tokyo Olympics: What to look out for on Monday

By Sports Desk July 25, 2021

The third full day of the Tokyo Olympics sees 21 gold medals up for grabs during a packed programme.

Plenty of eyes will be on the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, where four swimming golds will be on the line, while the first women's skateboarding champion will be crowned.

The rugby sevens event gets under way and the men's triathlon will also take place.

Stats Perform picks out some of the standout action.

 

LEDECKY STEPS UP GOLD QUEST

After winning four golds in Rio five years ago, Katie Ledecky has the chance to add four more to her collection in Tokyo, starting with the women's 400m freestyle.

The United States competitor set a world record time in the event in 2016, but she will face a big challenge from Australia's Ariarne Titmus this time.

Titmus was marginally faster than Ledecky in the heats, though whether that edge will count for anything on the day remains to be seen.


WILL IT BE ANOTHER PEATY BLINDER?

Great Britain's Adam Peaty is nothing short of a phenomenon in the world of swimming and will be looking to retain his 100m breaststroke title.

Peaty qualified for the final in a dominant manner, his time of 57.56s just two hundredths of a second off his own world record pace.

Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands is expected to be Peaty's biggest threat, having produced a personal best of 57.80s in the previous heat.


MORE SEVENS HEAVEN FOR FIJI?

Fiji's triumph in the men's rugby sevens was one of the more remarkable stories of the Rio Games and the islanders will now be out to retain their title in Tokyo over the coming weeks.

They begin their group campaign on Monday with games against tournament hosts Japan and then Canada later in the day.


MEN'S TRIATHLON WIDE OPEN

The men's triathlon is a tough one to call, with back-to-back champion Alistair Brownlee not taking part in this year's event.

The likes of Alex Yee, Kristian Blummenfelt, Morgan Pearson and Tyler Mislawchuk are among those to watch in one the standout events at any Games.


BILES SURVIVES, NOW MEN MUST THRIVE

After Simone Biles struggled to find top gear in her Games entrance on Sunday, albeit making it through to each of her finals, Monday's gymnastics event is the men's team final.

Japan are the defending champions and led the way in qualifying, but they are expected to face stiff competition from China and the Russian Olympic Committee team. Watch out for Russian maestro Nikita Nagornyy and Japan's Daiki Hashimoto among a star-studded cast.


OSAKA BACK IN ACTION

It is proving to be a busy Games for Naomi Osaka, who followed lighting the Olympic cauldron on Friday with a first-round tennis win on Sunday.

Japan's four-time grand slam winner is back on court on Monday, looking to inch closer to the women's singles final. Awaiting her is Swiss world number 50 Viktorija Golubic, and it will be their first match encounter. Men's title hopefuls Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev are among those also due in action.


WOMEN'S SKATEBOARDING MAKES ITS DEBUT

Japan's Yuto Horigome made history on Sunday by winning the first Olympic gold in men's skateboarding. On Monday, it is the turn of the women.

Among those competing in the event are Kokona Hiraki of Japan and Team GB's Sky Brown, who are aged 12 and 13 respectively.

After plenty of falls and drama in the men's equivalent, expect more of the same in this inaugural event. 

Related items

  • Six uncapped players make England squad for Japan, New Zealand Tests Six uncapped players make England squad for Japan, New Zealand Tests

    England coach Steve Borthwick has named six uncapped players in his squad for their summer internationals against Japan and New Zealand. 

    England face Japan in Tokyo on June 21 in their first outing since the Six Nations, then take on the All Blacks on July 6 and July 13.

    Harlequins prop Fin Baxter and centre Luke Northmore, Sale pair Joe Carpenter and Tom Roebuck, Bristol's Gabriel Oghre and Northampton's Ollie Sleightholme are all included.

    Having named a 36-man squad, England will train at Twickenham on Tuesday before flying out to Japan to prepare for their opening Test.

    "The Summer Series presents a valuable opportunity for the continued development of this squad and is a demanding challenge to conclude the season," Borthwick said.

    "The National Stadium in Tokyo is an incredible venue for Test match rugby, and we will need to be at our very best against a Japanese team who will want to play fast.

    "New Zealand's home record is well documented, and we face a team who came within one point of winning a World Cup.

    "The players know that they will need to be mentally strong and tactically smart if we are to get the result we want."

    Full England squad: Fin Baxter, Dan Cole, Alex Coles, Chandler Cunningham-South, Ben Curry, Tom Curry, Theo Dan, Alex Dombrandt, Ben Earl, Charlie Ewels, Jamie George (c), Joe Heyes, Maro Itoje, Joe Marler, George Martin, Gabriel Oghre, Bevan Rodd, Ethan Roots, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Joe Carpenter, Fraser Dingwall, Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, Tommy Freeman, George Furbank, Ollie Lawrence, Alex Mitchell, Luke Northmore, Harry Randall, Tom Roebuck, Henry Slade, Ollie Sleightholme, Fin Smith, Marcus Smith, Ben Spencer, Freddie Steward.

  • Toni-Ann Williams excited to lead Jamaica gymnastics into the future as Technical Director Toni-Ann Williams excited to lead Jamaica gymnastics into the future as Technical Director

    History-making Jamaican Olympian Toni-Ann Williams has expressed her excitement and optimism at being appointed Technical Director of the Jamaica Gymnastics Association. Nicole Grant, the association’s president made the announcement this past weekend about the appointment of Williams, who in 2016 became the first ever gymnast to represent the country at an Olympic Games.

    In an exclusive interview with Sportsmax.TV, Williams detailed her vision for the future of the sport in Jamaica.

    “Yeah, I'm really excited about the position,” Williams shared. “I think it's something we've not had before in the organization, especially when I started there. I want to be able to bring a level, a little more organization, a little more direction, put some values and some motives behind the organization.”

    Williams, 28, is determined to leverage her extensive experience and educational background—including degrees in Legal Studies, Social Welfare, and a Master’s in Sports Ethics and Integrity—to enhance the structure and support within the association. “I think before, we've had really great representatives of the movement, but I think now we have more people supporting Jamaica gymnastics to be able to facilitate from the smallest things, helping to make sure they get to their hotel on time, and who's able to go to competitions and, you know, to the big things, like, you know, helping to find funding and things like that.”

    Reflecting on her own journey, Williams is committed to giving back to the sport and aiding its development in Jamaica. “Being able to have a support system, especially from people who've been there, done that, is, I would have really appreciated as an athlete. And so this is my way of being able to give back to the athletes and being able to help Jamaica gymnastics get to the vision that we see.”

    Adding to the excitement, the appointment of her former coach, Mladen Stefanov, a former Bulgarian Olympic gymnast, as Head Coach, promises to further elevate Jamaica’s gymnastics program. “Mladen has been the head coach on and off throughout the years, even since when I was a gymnast, and he always brings such a great energy. All the athletes from past and present love working with him,” said Williams.

    Williams and Stefanov’s combined expertise is expected to drive significant advancements. “We already have a great foundation, so we communicate super well, and he understands, obviously, the technical coaching side, and I being able to bring my experience as an athlete, so both of our experiences come together really well, and being able to help the athletes and being able to figure out what's best for what competition should we go to, what skills work, what routines don't work and that's not something we've had before.”

      

    Looking ahead, Williams is hopeful about the potential for growth despite the resource challenges. “Of course, we have a long way coming, and, of course, we need more resources, but being able to have people like myself being able to help Nicole Grant, being able to pilot these initiatives, I'm really excited about, and really, I think it's really great for the future of Jamaica Gymnastics.”

    Williams believes this strategic leadership is a crucial step towards elevating Jamaica’s presence in the gymnastics world. “We have a lot of powerhouses like USA and Brazil; of course, they have the resources, but they also have people who know the sport really well and have people that support. And I think that's a great start for Jamaica, to start having people in the corner who understand the sport, understand what's needed, understand the athlete's point of view, to be able to support them, and hopefully that's a step forward towards more resources and more opportunities for the athletes,” she opined.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Grant pleased with growth as Jamaica to host inaugural Carifta Gymnastics Champs Grant pleased with growth as Jamaica to host inaugural Carifta Gymnastics Champs

    Jamaica’s Gymnastics Association (JAGA) president, Nicole Grant says securing hosting rights for the inaugural Carifta Gymnastics Championships not only marks another milestone achievement for her administration, but more importantly, signifies the country’s continued growth in the sport.

    Though the region has been known for the Carifta Games and Carifta Swimming Championships, where rising stars showcase their athletics and aquatic prowess across various age groups, there has never been an outlet for gymnast.

    That prompted Grant and others to work with the Pan American Gymnastics Union (PAGU) to conceptualize the Carifta Gymnastics Championships, which is set for November 29-30 at the National Indoor Sports Centre.

    “Hosting the inaugural Carifta Gymnastics Championships is a significant achievement for Jamaica Gymnastics. It showcases Jamaica's commitment to the sport and its ability to organize a major regional event. Carifta has been around for many years but gymnastics hasn’t been part of it and because of the technicality of the sport,” Grant told SportsMax.TV.

    “This event provides a platform for gymnasts in the Caribbean region to compete and showcase their talents. It also helps to promote gymnastics in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, inspiring more young athletes to take up the sport. Overall, hosting such a prestigious event is a great honor and a testament to Jamaica's growing presence in the gymnastics community,” she added.

    Olympian Toni-Ann Williams and Coach Mladen Stefanov.

    Grant explained that Jamaica found favour with the PAGU since last year’s successful staging of the Pan American Hopes tournament, and she is eager to deliver another fine spectacle.

    “We were seen as a country that has the capability of hosting tournaments of this level and therefore we were given the nod. There were three other countries in the running to host the tournament, which included Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Bahamas,” Grant shared.

    “I can tell you that Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Bahamas, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands are already confirmed to participate, and each country is expected to bring about 20-30 athletes, at a minimum. So while we wait on other countries to confirm their participation, we are focused on delivering what we hope will be a memorable first staging,” she declared.

    On another note, Grant revealed that Jamaica has also secured the services of Olympian Toni-Ann Williams as Technical Director with her former coach Mladen Stefanov, set to guide the country’s team which begins preparation next month.

    “Toni-Ann will be working with us on a monthly basis. She will begin in July with a camp for the team competing at the Carifta Gymnastics Championships and Mladen Stefanov will be the Head Coach for the senior male and female teams. He was Toni-Ann’s coach throughout her years as gymnasts and has worked with us over the years, so we are pleased to have them both on our technical team,” she noted.

    Prior to the Carifta Gymnastics Championships, Grant pointed out that Jamaica’s athletes will engage two overseas training camps, in Canada and China, to fine-tune techniques and routines.

    “The China camp is a part of the bilateral agreement between both ministries of sports and is the final leg of that camp. Also, our higher level local gymnasts will have a four-week camp in Canada to also prepare for the tournament,” she ended.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.