Another superb day for Japan saw the host nation surge to the top of the medal table at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Monday.

Japan now have eight golds after winning Olympic titles in three different sports, the most unexpected of which came in table tennis.

The mixed doubles team of Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito came from two games down to eventually prevail after seven games against China's Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen.

China won all four table tennis titles at Rio 2016 and had been expected to dominate again, only to come unstuck as Japan won the first gold in this new event.

Further joy for Japan came as 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya triumphed in the women's street skateboarding while Shohei Ono was victorious in the men's 73kg category in judo.

Second behind Japan are the United States, who took two shooting golds on day three as well as the men's 4x100m freestyle title in the pool.

China did not add to their tally of six gold medals, one fewer than the USA, having come up short in another event where they had a team of heavy favourites.

Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen were edged out in the men's 10m synchronised platform, with British divers Tom Daley and Matty Lee winning gold.

That was one of three golds for Great Britain, who moved up to fifth in the medal table thanks also to Adam Peaty retaining his 100m breaststroke title and Tom Pidcock dominating in the men's cross-country mountain bike race.

The Russian Olympic Committee sits fourth after adding three golds, the headliner being victory in the men's artistic gymnastics team all-around final. 

Meanwhile, Hidilyn Diaz made history for the Philippines, become the country's first Olympic gold medallist by prevailing in the women's 55kg weightlifting.

 

Adam Peaty revealed he has gone through "breakdowns" and has had to hide emotions from his family after becoming a double Olympic champion.

It was another dominant performance from world-record holder Peaty in the 100 metres breaststroke at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, with a time of 57.37 – the fifth fastest in history – enough for him to make history as the first British swimmer to defend an Olympics title.

Peaty is unbeaten in the event in seven years and only one other swimmer has ever breached the 58-second mark – that being silver medallist Arno Kamminga.

Despite his dominance, Peaty spoke about the challenges he has faced, with the 26-year-old having become a father to his son George within the past year.

He said: "It's been a heavy investment. A lot has changed this last year, more than the last five. Becoming a father, buying my first house and some days when I woke up and was like 'this is hard, this is really hard'.

"There's been so many challenges, so many challenges and f*****g some breakdowns as well. 

"It's like 'what am I doing every single day? Why am I training three times a day, giving it everything for this swim?'.

"I've hidden a lot of emotion from my own family, I've hidden a lot of stress and a lot of those moments where I was like 'this is very, very hard'.

"The 99.9 per cent of time that we spend in the dark is for the 0.01 per cent we spend in light."

Having made history, Peaty was asked how much longer he foresees himself staying in the pool, with the Paris Games three years away.

"I think of sport very simply, as soon as I stop having fun I'll stop, I'm still having fun, I have a lot of fun with my boy, I have a lot of fun at home and having a normal life too," he added.

"It's such a big decision, it's a family decision now, not just me being a selfish athlete because we have to be selfish but we'll have that conversation when we're home. 

"Obviously, we're targeting Paris anyway, anything after that is a bonus really. It's about how young you keep your mind, sport is getting faster, the world is getting faster, you have to take that in to consideration too.

"It depends what else is out there, if I can inspire people in other ways I'll probably do that. But I live in the present."

Norway's Kristian Blummenfelt said he never had a doubt he would win the triathlon, and his confidence never wavered as he pulled away late to take the gold. 

The top contenders spent much of Monday's race biding their time, with all the favourites in the mix following the swim and bike legs, but Blummenfelt drove the pace on the final leg. 

When the lead group winnowed down to himself, Great Britain's Alex Yee and Hayden Wilde of New Zealand, Blummenfelt urged the 23-year-olds to keep the hammer down – then ran away from them in the end. 

One last kick over the final kilometre put Blummenfelt atop the podium, with Yee taking silver and Wilde bronze. 

"We were like 10 guys in the running lead and when he picked up the pace I saw that we were down to four and I tried to get [Yee] motivated to keep the pace," Blummenfelt told reporters.

"I said, 'Guys, we have a medal now, keep the gas on,' and I think that for Alex and Hayden this is a great moment to get an Olympic medal, too."

Yee's compatriot Jonathan Brownlee, who won silver in the event in Rio and bronze in London as his brother Alistair took gold in both races, finished fifth on Monday.

"I told myself last night that all I can do is try my hardest and before that, prepare," Brownlee said. "I did everything I could, I got ready for the heat, I trained as hard as I could, had a great team around me and that's all you can ask.

"I think I've been very, very fortunate in my two Olympic Games, I've had two medals. It's hard to perform and I've performed well in three." 

 

'NERVOUS' OSAKA KEEPS ROLLING

Playing for the second consecutive day, second-seed Naomi Osaka showed no signs of fatigue as she cruised to a 6-3 6-2 second-round victory over Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic on Sunday. 

Japan's big hope Osaka had to play back-to-back after having her schedule altered following the honour of lighting the Olympic cauldron Friday, and the other top women in action looked just as strong after a day off Sunday. 

"Honestly, I feel like I was a bit more nervous before the match," Osaka told reporters. "I felt a lot of butterflies, but I think as I started playing and feeling more comfortable, I knew that no matter what it would be a great match."

After pulling out of the French Open before the second round and skipping Wimbledon, the four-time grand slam winner has not had much match time over the last two months, but her goal in Tokyo remains the same. 

“It would mean a lot to win gold here, but I know it's a process," she said. "I know these are the best players in the world, and honestly I haven't played in a while, so I'm trying to take it one notch at a time.

"All in all, I'm just really happy to be here. I haven't been in Tokyo for a couple of years."

In other early matches, seventh-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain rolled past China's Wang Qiang 6-3 6-0, while eighth seed Barbora Krejcikova had a tougher time with Canada's Leylah Annie Fernandez before moving on 6-2 6-4 and 11th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-1 6-1. 

 

MACNEIL EARNS CANADA'S FIRST GOLD

It took Margaret MacNeil a few moments to realise she had won Canada's first gold medal of the Tokyo Games.

The 21-year-old usually wears contact lenses but does not put them on when she is in the pool, so she had to focus to see her name atop the scoreboard after the 100m butterfly at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. 

"I like to check the scoreboard pretty quickly, but it's hard just because I don't have contacts," she said. "It does take me a minute to read the scoreboard, so I was just trying to squint and see where I came."

Her vision problems may have been a benefit during the race, which saw her edge China's Zhang Yufei by 0.05 from lane seven. 

"I could hardly see anyone on the far side of the pool, which I think helped me a lot, because I was able to just focus on my own race," MacNeil said. "I just put my head down and tried to get to the wall as fast as possible. I'm really glad it all came together."

While MacNeil took the first gold medal in the pool Monday, her win was overshadowed by later events. 

Great Britain's Adam Peaty defended his Olympic title in the 100m breaststroke, while Ariarne Titmus of Australia dethroned the reigning champion Katie Ledecky in the 400m freestyle. 

In the final medal event of the day, Caeleb Dressel – Michael Phelps' heir apparent – and the USA won the 4x100m freestyle relay by 1.14 seconds over Italy. 

 

UPSETS ABOUND IN FENCING

Three of the top six women in the world were eliminated early in the women's sabre competition Monday. 

Top-ranked Olga Kharlan of Ukraine, twice a bronze medallist, fell to Yang Hengyu of China 15-12 in the round of 32 to end her hopes of a third straight medal. 

Fourth-ranked Shao Yaqi of China and world number six Anne-Elizabeth Stone of the USA went out in the same round. 

Sofia Velikaya of Russia, who took silver in Rio, remains alive heading into the quarter-finals later Monday along with 2016 fourth-place finisher Manon Brunet of France. 

 

REIGNING CHAMPIONS FIJI OPEN RUGBY SEVENS PLAY

Reigning gold medallists Fiji rallied in the second half to defeat Japan 24-19 in a rematch of the Rio 2016 semi-finals. 

Fiji trailed 19-12 but fought back through a pair of tries and a conversion from substitute Waisea Nacuqu in the final four minutes.

The team they beat for gold five years ago, Great Britain, opened play with a flourish, thrashing Canada 24-0, while New Zealand crushed South Korea 50-5. 

Fourth-place finishers in 2016, South Africa defeated Ireland 33-14 while Argentina beat Australia 29-19 and the United States edged Kenya 19-14. 

Ariarne Titmus said staying composed was the key to her victory over Katie Ledecky in a captivating women's 400 metre freestyle final.

In what was billed as one of the races of Tokyo 2020, both women produced a performance straight out of the top drawer in a battle that went down to the wire.

World champion Titmus was back by around six lengths at one stage as Ledecky stormed out of the blocks.

The American world record holder, who set her benchmark when winning gold at Rio 2016, would be reeled in by a determined Titmus, though, and the Australian held on to win a thriller.

"Honestly, at the 200 metre [mark] I was a bit worried, but I did not come to the Olympic Games unprepared," said Titmus, who became the third Australian woman to win gold in the event, after Lorraine Crapp and Shane Gould.

"I had to trust myself and stay as composed as I could. Use the speed that I have. And all that against a woman who has an amazing back end of her race. I'm really proud."

Titmus is also slated to race in the 200m and 800m free races at Tokyo 2020 and says the celebrations are on hold for now.

"It is the biggest thing you can pull off in your sporting career, so I'm over the moon," she added.

"I'm trying to contain it as much as I can. I have a big programme ahead of me, but I can enjoy this afterwards."

Ledecky had never been beaten in an individual Olympics race and swam her second ever fastest time in the 400m free.

The American concedes her rival was just better on the day.

"She definitely swam a really smart race. She was really controlled up front," Ledecky said.

"I felt smooth and strong. I looked up at 300m, and she was right there, so I knew it would be a battle to the end. I didn't feel like I died or really fell off. She just had a faster final 50 or 75m and got her hand to the wall first."

When asked if this was her toughest race, Ledecky, a five-time Olympic gold medallist, replied: "I guess. 

"I've had some tough ones over the years. It was certainly a tough race and I delivered. I couldn't do much better than that. 

"It was a tremendous race, a lot of fun. I can't be too disappointed. It was my second-best swim ever (over 400m freestyle). I felt like I fought tooth and nail and that's all you can ask for."

"Some days you've just got to attack the f*****g mountain, that's as simple as it is."

Those were the words of Adam Peaty during his pre-camp for Tokyo 2020. And boy has he attacked that mountain.

Five years ago, Peaty broke new ground to become an Olympic champion for the first time in Rio and set in motion a Team GB gold rush that would see them ultimately finish second in the medal table.

On this occasion, there was no world record – the only thing that is sure to secretly irritate this perfectionist who revels in finding new ways to push the limits of what is humanly possible – but not for the first time Peaty obliterated the competition to once again win Olympic gold in the 100 metres breaststroke.se

Whether his success can have the same sort of rousing effect on Team GB, only time will tell.

What is more certain is that Peaty must surely now be considered among the pantheon of Olympic greats.

At one stage in 2021, the 26-year-old was in possession of the 20 fastest 100m breaststroke times in history. It is mind-boggling dominance.

When the great Usain Bolt used to race there was a real awe about the way in which he had his opponents beaten by the time he was on the start line. It was mesmerising watching the sprint king, who just seemed to defy logic.

Peaty in the pool exudes a similar feeling. To witness this phenomenon in person is some experience. If you blink you might miss him.

Following his victory in the heats on Sunday, Peaty described Tokyo 2020 as "weird" without the crowds – with fans of course absent due to the coronavirus pandemic – and conceded it did "not feel like an Olympics".

He does have a point. Peaty's moment of triumph came on a day where Ariarne Titmus defeated Katie Ledecky in an epic to clinch the women's 400m freestyle – a race that really did deserve a full house – and Caeleb Dressel, tipped as an heir to American great Michael Phelps, won the first of what is likely to be multiple gold medals at these Games.

Such stars deserve a captivated audience. The cheers of their team-mates offered only slight consolation that their moments of glory are taking place in surreal circumstances.

But there is nothing strange now about seeing Peaty dominate in the pool and while the circumstances compared to his first crowning moment in Brazil could scarcely be more different, he continues to enhance his status as a supreme champion.

His latest victory was a moment of history – no British swimmer had ever defended an Olympic title before. Only three other swimmers from Britain have ever won multiple golds, and he is just the second man to defend the 100m breaststroke title after Japan's Kosuke Kitajima.

When you think of the great athletes Britain has produced – Steve Redgrave, Kelly Holmes, Chris Hoy, Laura Kenny, Jason Kenny – all belong in the category of elite Olympians.

That Peaty now too belongs in that same category is not even a debate. He is a cool competitor, but he is also a ferocious one. A contemplator, a thinker, a man who self-described himself as "liberated" by the circumstances of the past year, time that saw him become a father and learn to appreciate the important things in life as lockdowns and restrictions became the norm for us all.

What is scary is that you feel there is still new ground for Peaty, unbeaten in his event since 2014, to break.

Speaking prior to the Games, Peaty opened up about what makes him the athlete he is.

"It sounds very cliche but I'm very obsessed with continual improvement and pushing the boundaries of what's possible," he said then. 

"I don't want to end my career and go 'oh I could have done that or I should have done this'. It's that relationship with the team that makes me that person. But I think it's also I just love to race, I love to scrap and I like to dominate. That's why I swim, that's why I race it gives me something I can't get in normal life."

And even now with all he has achieved there still seems to be an unquenchable thirst to be the best, no taking the foot off the gas in a continued desire to go where no one has been before.

"No one is invincible, everyone can be beaten," he told a news conference following his victory in Tokyo.

"I'm a firm believer in that. If I didn't believe in that I wouldn't have the world record, it's about setting no limits. 

"Today could have gone either way. It's a morning final, you saw it this morning with such a close race with Ledecky and Titmus, it could have gone either way.

"Everyone is beatable, it's who wants it more and who is invested more in those races."

For most, owning the world record and becoming a double Olympic champion would be well beyond the pinnacle of the mountain.

For Peaty, it seems certain he will just keep on f*****g attacking it.

Ariarne Titmus defeated Katie Ledecky in a thrilling women's 400 metre freestyle final that lived up to its billing, while the brilliant Adam Peaty made history by becoming a double Olympic champion.

A star-studded cast in the pool at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Monday did not disappoint, with Canada's Maggie McNeil adding to her World Championship title in the women's 100m butterfly.

And in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay, Caeleb Dressel – tipped to be one of the stars of the pool – earned his first gold of the Tokyo Games.

TITMUS AND LEDECKY PUT ON A SHOW

The only disappointment about the women's 400m free was the fact no fans were in attendance to witness a battle for the ages.

The pre-race hype centred around whether it would be Ledecky, who had never lost in an individual Olympic event, or Australia's world champion Titmus that would be prevail.

Ledecky held a six-tenths lead after 200m and looked well on course to defending the title she won at Rio 2016 in a world-record time of 3:56.46.

But Titmus came storming back and a stunning 28.67 split on the way home was enough to fend off Ledecky – whose 3:57.36 was her second fastest time in the 400m free.

Titmus' 3:56.69 is second only to Ledecky's world record and she becomes the third Australian to win gold in the event.

PERFECT PEATY DOUBLES UP

There was no world record over three races for Peaty but his utter dominance of the men's 100m breaststroke shows no sign of abating as he became the first Briton to ever defend an Olympics swimming title.

Five years on from winning gold in a world-record time at Rio 2016 (a benchmark he has since beaten twice), Peaty swam a 57.37 to stand atop the podium again ahead of Arno Kamminga – the only other swimmer in history to go under 58 seconds.

It was perhaps not quite the time Peaty, who had designs on another world record, wanted but it still represents the fifth fastest time in history and edged his previous season best of 57.39.

Peaty unleashed an almighty roar after his win and later said to BBC Sport: "I haven't felt this good since 2016. It just means the world for me.

"Thank you to the nation for being behind me. This victory wasn't mine - it was a great swimming team, my family, my friends."

Peaty is now only the second man to defend an Olympic breaststroke title, and just the fourth swimmer from Great Britain to win multiple golds in the Games.

MAGIC MAGGIE

Maggie McNeil completed a world and Olympic double in the women's 100m butterfly in an incredibly tight race.

The Canadian was down in seventh but propelled towards the front after a brilliant turn and managed to hold off China's Zhang Yufei to earn gold. 

The top four all ranked inside the top seven swims in the 100m butterfly of all time, with McNeil's 55.59 the second fastest ever. Australia's Emma McKeon took third, with Torrie Huske of the USA just 0.1 off the podium.

DRESSEL UP AND RUNNING

America's big men's hope in the pool at these Games is Dressel, who has been touted as the successor to the legendary Michael Phelps.

The 23-year-old is top seeded in three individual events and raced in the first of potentially four relay events on Monday as the United States romped to victory in the 4x100m freestyle.

Joined by Blake Pieroni, Bowen Becker and Zach Apple, the US came home in a time of to 3:08.97, with Italy and Australian rounding out the podium. 

Elsewhere, Duncan Scott of Great Britain went fastest in the men's 200m freestyle (1:44.60) semi-finals ahead of American Kieran Smith (1:45.07), while world record holder Ryan Murphy led the way in the 100m backstroke semis.

In the women's 100m backstroke semi-finals, Regan Smith set an Olympic record time of 57.86 and Tatjana Schoenmaker went quickest in the women's 100 breaststroke semi-finals ahead of rival Lilly King.

Veteran swimmer Alia Atkinson shared a few words with her fans after her final race at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The Jamaican took to Instagram and wrote, “It’s funny. Looking back, the years went by so fast and before I realized it, I was looking at the end of it. A question that was asked after my swim today was: Would I give it all up for an Olympic medal? And honestly, I wouldn’t trade this journey for anything. All the ups and downs has made me who I am today (though at times it feels like there are more downs than ups), but it taught me how to get up and God taught me how to smile through it all."

 Atkinson, who made her Olympic debut in 2004, finished third in heat 3 of the Women’s 100m Breaststroke but only just missed out on a semifinal spot. She recorded a time of 1:07:70, which was the 17th fastest, meaning she finished just outside of the qualifiers, with only 16 places up for grabs. It was her only event of the Games.

 “My x5 Olympic journey ends here, but the Olympic medal is still waiting for some Jamaican girl/boy to claim it. I know you can, so keep pushing," she wrote.

 The 31-year-old has not won an Olympic medal for Jamaica, but one of her most notable performances was at the Olympic Games.  At London 2012, she finished fourth in the 100m Breaststroke. She beat Canada’s Tera van Beilen in a swim-off to make it to the final after the two were tied in the semifinal. She then went on to clock 1:06:93 in the final to become the second Jamaican to finish in the top four of an Olympic swimming event.

She ended her Instagram post by writing, “To the future Jamaican Olympic swimming medalist: “I hope the road was/is less rocky for you. If so, then I have indeed succeeded. We have waited a long time for you, so thank you for staying true and carrying the fly high."

Atkinson has indicated that she has not retired fully from swimming and this is just the end of her Olympic journey.

 

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. 

Barbadian swimmer, Alex Sobers, has set a new national record in the Men's 200m Freestyle.

Competing earlier today, Sobers smashed his previous record of 1:48.35, set earlier this year. The 22-year-old, swimming out of lane 7, in heat 2, finished in a time of 1:48.09 to finish 6th.  The heat was won by Romania’s David Popovici who touched home first in a time of  

1:45.32.  Second place went to Serbia’s Velimir Stjepanovic, who recorded a time of 1:46.26.  Both men advanced to the event’s semifinals.

For Sobers, the result follows up on the second-time Olympian’s 7th place finish in heat 2 of the Men’s 400m Freestyle yesterday. He finished in a time of 3:59.14 seconds. Sobers failed to advance to the semifinals in any of his events.

Meanwhile, his teammate, Danielle Titus also finished 6th in her heat today. The Olympic debutante hit the pool for the Women’s 100m Backstroke and finished with a time of 1:04.53. She did not advance to the semifinals. That was her only event.  The event was won by Moldova’s Tatiana Salcutan who was first in 1:01.59, with McKenna DeBever Elliot second in 1:02.09.

Decorated Jamaica swimmer, Alia Atkinson, failed to qualify for the semifinals of the 100m Breaststroke on Sunday, in what was one of the slower heats.

Competing in Heat 3, the Jamaican swimming sensation clocked 31.48 seconds in her first 50m and held a slight lead over the field at the halfway point.  She, however, faded in the last few metres and returned to touch the wall third, with a time of 1:07.70 seconds.  Atkinson’s second leg split was timed at 36.22.

The heat was won by 19-year-old Lithuanian Kotryna Teterevkova who clocked 1:06.82 to touch first, in the process securing her spot in the semifinals with one of the top 16 fastest times.  German swimmer Anna Elendt also qualified from the heat after finishing second with a time of 1:06.96.

Atkinson was competing in a remarkable fifth straight Olympics.

The fastest time of the round was recorded by South African Tatjana Schoenmaker who smashed American Lilly King’s five-year-old Olympic record, clocking 1:04.82 to win heat five.

The semifinals will get underway on Monday at 8:50 pm.

Tunisian teenager Ahmed Hafnaoui admits he surprised even himself with his men's 400m freestyle gold medal victory at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Sunday.

Hafnaoui, who turned 18 in December, stormed home from lane eight to win the gold in a major shock, ahead of Australia's Jack McLoughlin and USA's Kieran Smith.

The 18-year-old's time of 3:43:36 beat his personal best by almost three seconds, while bettering his prelims time by two seconds.

"Of course I was surprised with myself. It's unbelievable," Hafnaoui said at the news conference.

"I believe when I touched the wall and I saw myself first. I was so surprised."

Hafnaoui was only the second Tunisian to ever make an Olympic swimming final and claimed his country's second medal in the pool.

"I was in tears, I was in tears in my eyes because when I see the flag of my country and I hear the anthem in the background, it was great," he said. "I’m so proud of it."

Australian quartet Bronte Campbell, Meg Harris, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell broke the world record as they won gold in the women's 4x100m freestyle relay.

Anchored by Cate Campbell, the Aussies won in 3:29:69 ahead of Canada and the USA. It was Australia's first goal medal of the Tokyo Games.

The USA's Chase Kalisz won the men's 400m individual medley, while Japan's Yui Ohashi triumphed in the women's equivalent.

 

Top seed Barty bundled out, Osaka cruises

Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo stunned 2021 Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty in straight sets in the first round of the women's tennis singles.

Sorribes Tormo won 6-4 6-3 over the Australian, the world number one missing out on a first Olympic medal having looked well below her best.

The Spaniard controlled the baseline, while Barty only managed to land 42 per cent of her first serves.

Second seed Naomi Osaka cruised past Zheng Saisai 6-1 6-4 in her Olympic debut, returning to the court in style following a hiatus after her French Open withdrawal.

Third seed Aryna Sabalenka had no trouble dispatching Poland's Magda Linette 6-2 6-1.

Men's fourth seed Alexander Zverev eased past Lu Yen-hsun 6-1 6-3.

 

First-ever skateboarding gold

Skateboarding made its Olympic debut on Sunday, with local Yuto Horigome crowned the sport's first gold medallist in the men's street event.

World number two Horigome qualified in the semi-finals in sixth after scores totalling 33.75 but dominated the final with 37.18.

The Japanese finished ahead of Brazil's Kelvin Hoeffler with 36.15 and Jagger Eaton on 35.35.

Horigome landed three huge tricks in a row in the final, while American favourite Nyjah Huston stumbled down to seventh after four straight falls.

 

Olympic record in shooting final

Vitalina Batsarashkina won gold in the women's 10 metre air pistol shooting ahead of Bulgaria's Antoaenta Kostadinova and China's Jiang Ranxin.

The Russian tallied an Olympic record 240.3 points, finishing marginally ahead of Kostadinova on 239.4.

"I did not set a goal to win or to get into the top three or even into the final," she said. "I just set the goal to shoot like I can, to show everything that I can."

 

Chinese gold in diving

China won gold in the women's synchronized 3m springboard diving as Shi Tingmao and Wang Han edged out Canada and Germany.

The Chinese duo scored 76.5 with their last dive to tally 326.4 points and win China's fourth gold medal at the Tokyo Games.

The reigning world champions were well ahead of the pack, with Canadian pair Jennifer Abel and Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu grabbing silver with 300.78. Germany's Lena Hentschel and Tina Punzel claimed the bronze with 284.97.

The gold was Shi's third, having won the individual 3m platform title and this event with Wu Minxia in 2016.

The first Olympic skateboarding champion will be crowned on day two of the Tokyo Games.

Ariake Urban Sports Park will be the venue for the first skateboarding action in Olympic history on Sunday.

Elsewhere, it will be the turn of the women to contest the cycling road race after Richard Carapaz produced a brilliant ride to take gold for Ecuador on Saturday.

Stats Perform picks out of some of the standout action to look out for at the end of the opening weekend of competition.

HUSTON FAVOURITE TO MAKE SKATEBOARDING HISTORY

The men's street will be the first skateboarding event, with four heats followed by a final at 12:25 local time.

Nyjah Huston of the United States is the favourite to top the podium, with 16 street skateboarding medals to his name in the X Games.

Tokyo-born Yuto Origome won gold at the World Street Championships in Rome this year and it would be a great story if he can follow that up with an Olympic triumph on home soil.

Skateboarding great Tony Hawk said on Saturday of the sport's introduction: "I'm surprised it took this long for them to figure it out.

"I believe they needed a youthful energy to the summer Games and it's overdue."

DUTCH DUO UNPRECEDENTED DOUBLE

Anna van der Breggen and Marianne Vos have already won Olympic gold medals and they will go in search of a second in the women's road race.

No female cyclist has won the event twice, but the 2012 champion Vos and defending champion Van der Breggen will start the course at Musashinonomori Park looking to achieve that feat.

EYES ON THE POOL – AND ON THE BEACH

The first swimming medals of the Games will be handed out on Sunday following Saturday's heats.

There is an open field in the men's 400 metre medley final – the first event of the day – after home favourite Daiya Seto failed to qualify.

The women's event does feature Hungary's Katinka Hosszu, though, as she aims to protect her 2016 gold, won with a world-record time that stands to this day.

Meanwhile, Australia will take to the pool confident of another gold in the 4 x 100m freestyle relay final, boasting the title, the world record and by far the best qualifying time.

A new water sport should garner some attention, though, as surfing makes its Olympics bow.

Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach – preferred to a wave pool – plays host for the first and second rounds on Sunday.

Reigning world champions Italo Ferreira and Carissa Moore will hope it is a debut to remember.

USA TO GET ON THE BOARD?

While China are sitting pretty already with four medals, the United States will hope not to have to wait too much longer for their first.

Not since Munich 1972 had they ended the first day of the Games without a medal as was the case on Saturday.

The basketball medals are a long way off being handed out, but plenty of American focus will be on Team USA's opener against France.

Preparations for Kevin Durant and Co have not been ideal and Les Bleus beat USA at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Richard Carapaz and the rest of Ecuador are "over the moon" after his victory in the men's cycling road race on Saturday.

Carapaz – who finished third in the general classification of the Tour de France earlier this month – crossed the finish line on the Fuji speedway well over a minute ahead of his nearest rivals to clinch Ecuador's second Olympic gold medal.

Meanwhile in the tennis, Andy Murray, who clinched gold in the singles at the 2012 and 2016 Games, started strongly with his doubles partner Joe Salisbury, as Team GB overcame French favourites Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

There was a shock for 2008 gold medallist Phil Dalhausser, as he and fellow American Nick Lucena fell foul of Dutch duo Robert Meeuwsen and Alexander Brouwer, while Naohisa Takato won Japan's first gold of the Games.

 

CARAPAZ CLAIMS RARE ECUADOR TRIUMPH

Carapaz came close in Le Tour, but ultimately could not match the power of Tadej Pogacar, who defended his title in cycling's prime road race.

Yet on the slopes of Mount Fuji, the South American came up with the goods to deliver a long-awaited success for Ecuador.

"My country is over the moon right now. It's the second Olympic medal in the history of my country," he told a news conference after his success, with Tour champion Pogacar claiming bronze behind Belgium's Wout Van Aert.

"The last medal that we won was 25 years ago, so it's a very special moment. It's the first medal in cycling, and cycling is a big sport in my country."

Carapaz's triumph came as good news for Geraint Thomas, who crashed out of the race after colliding with his British team-mate Tao Geoghegan Hart.

"Couldn't be happier for Richard Carapaz," tweeted Thomas – the Ecuadorian's fellow INEOS Grenadiers rider. "To finish on the podium at the Tour and win gold a week later is just incredible. Enjoy it mate. King of Ecuador."

MURRAY STARTS STRONG

It has been a long comeback trail for Murray, who was at the top of his game when he won his second Olympic gold medal back in 2016.

He faces a stern test in the singles on Sunday, when he goes up against Canada's Felix Auger Aliassime, and while a defence of that win may be unlikely, he and Salisbury made good progress in the doubles.

Murray was a silver medallist in the mixed doubles at the London Games, and along with Salisbury had too much for second seeds Mahut and Herbert, with the pair needing just 75 minutes to win 6-3 6-2.

"I think we have the potential to be a really good team," said Murray. "We were well deserved winners today – we created lots of chances, but not every doubles match is like that.

"If we keep the same sort of attitude and everything, prepare diligently, I think we've got a chance of doing well."

Murray's younger brother Jamie also enjoyed a fine start, as he and Neal Skupski came from behind to beat Argentina's Andres Molteni and Horacio Zeballos in a final-set tie-break.

TAKATO GETS JAPAN UP AND RUNNING

Naohisa Takato won Japan's first gold medal of the Tokyo Games, as he triumphed in the men's under-60kg judo final against Yang Yung-wei of Taiwan.

Takato, a three-time world champion and a bronze medallist in Rio, claimed a fitting victory for Japan in a sport that originated in the country, with the event taking place at the famous Nippon Budokan venue.

He had to beat Yeldos Smetov of Kazakhstan in a gruelling semi-final. Smetov shared the bronze medal with France’s Luka Mkheidze.

A shock earlier in the day saw Robert Mshvidobadze drop out in the last 16.

DALHAUSSER'S STRUGGLES CONTINUE, NO JOY FOR SETO

It has been a difficult start to the Games for Beijing beach volleyball champion Dalhausser, who had to quarantine after he was deemed a contact of Taylor Crabb. He was forced to withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 test, which has dented the United States' hopes.

Dalhausser could only train with Lucena on two occasions prior to Saturday's meeting with Meeuwsen and Brouwer and the lack of sharpness told as the Dutch prevailed 21-17 21-18 at the Shiokaze Park arena.

There was also no joy for home favourite Daiya Seto. The Japanese swimmer, who won a bronze medal in 2016, had been tipped to shine in the men's 400m individual medley, yet failed to qualify for the final as he finished ninth in the heat.

"In Rio I went out too fast [in the prelim] and didn't recover for the final. In the last 100 [today] I didn't let it all out. It was a misjudgement. The pressure wasn't too much," Seto said afterwards.

"I have the 200m butterfly and 200IM. I'll just forget what happened and focus on my events."

Adam Peaty set an early benchmark but home hope Daiya Seto suffered a shock on a busy first day of swimming at Tokyo 2020, one that saw Australian duo Brendon Smith and Emma McKeon shine.

Peaty is aiming to become the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title having taken gold at Rio 2016, while Seto made an inauspicious start to the Games.

Here is a round-up from Saturday's opening heats at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

EASY PEATY! RECORD HOLDER SAFELY THROUGH

Peaty has not been beaten in a 100m breaststroke race since 2014 and is aiming to lower his own record time of 56.88 seconds, which was set at the World Championships two years ago.

The dominant 26-year-old posted a 57.56 in a solid start to his Games, qualifying fastest ahead of Dutch rival Arno Kamminga (57.80). 

Peaty produced the eighth fastest time in history, while Kamminga set a Dutch record and is the only other swimmer who has broken 58 seconds in the event.

 

WOE FOR SETO AS SMITH STARS

These Games were meant to be about redemption for home medal hope Seto, the bronze medallist in a men's 400m individual medley race won by compatriot Kosuke Hagino four years ago.

Seto was the favourite in the race and seeking to atone after being barred last year after his involvement in an extramarital affair. He won world gold in the 400IM two years ago, but he sensationally failed to make it out of the heats at these delayed Olympics.

Seto, who returns to the pool next in the 200m butterfly on Monday, said: "It hurts and I'm frustrated at myself. It's my mistake and I have to owe up to it. What's done is done and not a whole lot I can do about it."

By contrast, it was Smith who qualified fastest, clocking a 4:09.27 to set a new Australian and Oceanic record. New Zealander Lewis Clareburt was second quickest, winning a tight third heat over 2016 silver medallist Chase Kalisz.

Smith's compatriots Elijah Winnington and Jack McLoughlin both made it through the men's 400m freestyle, with Germany's Henning Muhlleitner (3:43.67) fastest, just ahead of Austrian Felix Auboeck (3:43.91).

MCKEON, ZHANG SET THE MARK

There was more Aussie promise in the women's 100m butterfly – a seemingly wide-open event with three competitors having gone under 56 seconds this year.

McKeon – a winner of four medals in Rio, including relay gold in the 4x100m – and China's Zhang Yufei were two of those to achieve the feat and both recorded a 55.82 to top the timesheets in the heats, the former setting an Australian record for good measure.

Sarah Sjostrom, who holds the world record, was not even certain to race in this event after fracturing her elbow earlier this year, but posted an impressive 56.18 to go third quickest. The Swede was ahead of American Torri Huske (56.29), the third woman who has gone under 56 seconds this year.

Australia were also dominant in the women's 4x100m freestyle, their time of 3:31.73 almost two seconds better than the Netherlands.

Teenager Emma Weyant bettered her personal best with a 4:33.55 to comfortably post the best time in the women's 400 individual medley prelims. The 19-year-old - a winner at the U.S. Olympic trials - was almost two seconds quicker than Great Britain's Aimee Willmott (4:35.28).

The quarantine experience has become routine for those travelling the world to play or watch sport during the coronavirus crisis.

It has been that way in Japan for the Tokyo Olympics. Depending on which country you arrive from, there may be a period of isolation to tolerate before being allowed to participate in the Games.

This has been the case for Stats Perform's journalist on the ground, Peter Hanson, who is approaching the end of a three-day quarantine at his hotel in order to comply with the rules for UK residents working in a media capacity in the Japanese capital.

Here, he provides five tips on how to survive quarantine…

Tip 1: Binge on Netflix

Admittedly this isn't a particularly novel idea but when you're pretty much confined to a hotel room for three days what better way to pass the time than with some easy watching?

It doesn't have to be Netflix…there are plenty of other streaming services available of course. But, right now I'm powering through the US version of The Office (even if that makes me feel a little traitorous towards the original UK edition, which – sorry folks – remains the significantly better show).

Tip 2: Reading

It's good to come prepared. Having undertaken a 12-and-a-half-hour flight to get to Tokyo before the three days of isolation even began, having a good book (or even a bad one really) just made good sense.

I'm a big fan of Harlan Coben's work, so with me in Tokyo is his thriller 'The Boy in the Woods', and also a book about the world's greatest football team…Sheffield Wednesday, penned by Sheffield Star journalist Alex Miller.

Tip 3: Bring out the bangers…

Admittedly this tip comes on the back of a bit of a head loss…but when in the moment, you have to fully embrace it folks!

Crack on with your Spotify, your Apple Music, or wherever you get your tunes from and let the music take control! Friday's morning get-up song for me belonged to Ronan Keating because, well, life is a rollercoaster right now…

Tip 4: Sick tricks!

This one is inspired by one of my best friends back home, who will often yell "sick tricks!" before doing something pretty juvenile or a very basic skill with the confidence and gusto of a trapeze artist… and it gets a laugh from me pretty much every time.

Luckily, just before I left my house in Sheffield I spotted a tennis ball to take with me and – recalling the feats of skills posted by several ATP and WTA stars online during their own Australian Open quarantines – decided to have a go at some of my own tennis-ball tricks…it did not go particularly well.

Tip 5: Work, work, work...

No, not the Rihanna song... although playing that on repeat would absolutely be a great way to spend your time in quarantine.

What I'm alluding to is the fact that at some point during a three-day quarantine, some work will have to be done.

Only, in this case I got distracted by my Football Manager save and decided that was also a pretty decent way to kill some time…

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