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Day 1: Nearly a dozen gold medals up for grabs — and the best athletes won

Ecuador's Richard Carapaz celebrates at the ceremonial podium along with silver medalist Belgium's Wout van Aert and bronze medalist Slovenian Tadej Pogacar. Photo: IOC

Tokyo, July 24 (MNN) Nearly a dozen gold apart from silver and bronze medals were up for grab on Day 1 of the Tokyo Olympics, with China’s Yang Qian opening the account with a women’s 10m air rifle gold.

The 21-year-old held her nerve to outgun Anastasiia Galashina after the Russian Olympic Committee shooter missed the centre two rings, scoring 8.9 on her final shot.

Yang scored 9.8 with her final shot to finish with an Olympic record of 251.8. Galashina finished 0.7 behind on 251.1. Nina Christen of Switzerland took the bronze medal.

Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz won the cycling men’s road race in spectacular fashion to be crowned Olympic champion. With 25 km to gom, he raced to the front along with US’ Brandon McNulty, with the two putting more than 30 seconds between themselves and the first chase group.

However, with six km left Carapaz seized his chance, breaking away from a tiring McNulty on an uphill climb before storming to victory as the race came to an end on the former Formula 1 track, the Fuji International Speedway.

Second place went to Belgium’s Wout van Aert who won a sprint finish to pip double Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar to the bronze medal.

Carapaz, who became the first Ecuadorian rider ever to win the Giro d’Italia in 2019, won the race by one minute and seven seconds, the competition failing to live with him in the closing stages.

As he looked over his shoulder on the finishing straight, no other rider was close and he crossed the line to become Ecuador’s second-ever Olympic gold medallist.

The Republic of Korea once again lived up to expectations after they claimed the first gold in mixed team archery event in the Olympics.

The pairing of 17-year-old Kim Je Deok — who won Friday’s men’s event — and An San — who set a new Olympic record in the women’s event on Friday — proved to be unbeatable against the Netherlands’ Gaby Schloesser and Steve Wijler who succumbed to second place. They held off the Dutch pair’s onslaught with a tally of 5-3 to bring home another archery gold for Republic of Korea.

The country has now captured 14 of 17 gold medals in archery competitions since the current format was introduced to the Olympics in 1988.

Iran’s Javad Foroughi triumphed in the men’s 10m air pistol final, setting a new Olympic record of 244.8 points to take gold at the Asaka Shooting Range.

The 41-year-old shooter was concentration personified as he won a thrilling final, with Serbia’s Damir Mikec finishing second on 237.9 points and People’s Republic of China’s Pang Wei winning bronze with 217.6 points.

Foroughi has been in fine form this year, winning gold at the ISSF World Cup that took place in Croatia in June to add to the gold he won at the World Cup in March in Delhi. Now he can add Olympic champion to his list of titles after a dominant display of shooting in Tokyo.

Takato Naohisa earned the honour of becoming Japan’s first gold medallist at the Tokyo Olympics after winning by ippon over Yang Yung Wei of Chinese Taipei in the judo men’s -60kg contest.

The 28-year-old was also the Rio 2016 bronze medallist in the same event five years ago.

Kazakhstan’s Yeldos Smetov took bronze after beating Tornike Tsjakadoea of the Netherlands while France clinched their first medal of Tokyo 2020 through Luka Mkheidze in the other bronze medal contest with an emotional golden score win over Kim Won Jin from the Republic of Korea.

Distria Krasniqi as the Kosovan becomes Olympic champion in the women’s -48kg judo competition, beating Japan’s Tonaki Funa.

Kosovo’s Distria Krasniqi dashed Japanese hearts as she beat fellow judoka Tonaki Funa to the gold medal in the women’s -48kg weight class.

Tonaki — a one-time world champion making her Olympic debut — won Japan’s first silver at the Games. She won a nail-biting semi-final with an ippon — a knockout — by pinning Ukraine’s Daria Bilodid in a Golden Score overtime.

People’s Republic of China’s Hou Zhihui grabbed the first Olympic gold medal of her career as she showed her phenomenal form at women’s 49kg weightlifting event – — the first event on Day 1 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The Chinese athlete also set three Olympic records — in snatch, she lifted 94kg; went no holds barred for the clean and jerk round by lifting 116kg – and finished with a total 210kg, which is also a new Olympic record.

Italy’s Vito Dell’Aquila beat 19-year-old Tunisia’s Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi 16-12 to win the gold in the men’s 58kg taekwondo.

There were two bronze medals up for grabs, they were won by Jang Jun and Mikhail Artamonov of the ROC.

Thailand’s Panipak Wongpattanakit snatched a gold from Spain’s Adriana Cerezo Iglesias in the final seconds of the women’s taekwondo 49kg event.

The world number 1 picked up her nation’s first gold in the sport. As the reigning world champion in her category, Panipak headed into Tokyo 2020 as a medal favourite.

Thailand has previously only won gold in weightlifting and boxing while they’ve also won several silver and bronze medals in taekwondo — Wongpattanakit was a Rio 2016 bronze medallist in the women’s 49kg.

Sun Yiwen of People’s Republic of China beat five-time Olympian Ana Maria Popescu of Romania 11-10 in overtime to win gold in the women’s épée fencing competition.

Popescu leveled the score at 10-10 with three seconds remaining to go to overtime but Sun soon scored the winning point in the deciding period.

Hungarian fencer Áron Szilágyi cruised to victory in the men’s individual sabre event — and into the history books — after defeating Italy’s Luigi Samele 15-7 on Day 1 of the fencing competition.

Szilágyi became the first man ever to win three Olympic gold in an individual fencing discipline – he was also champion at London 2012 and Rio 2016.

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