Olympics Latest: US men get off to fast start in volleyball

The latest on the Tokyo Olympics. They are now under severe restrictions following a year-long delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Olympics Latest: US men get off to fast start in volleyball

The latest on the Tokyo Olympics. They are now under severe restrictions following a year-long delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.

24 July 2021 Saturday 14:04
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Olympics Latest: US men get off to fast start in volleyball

After a long wait, the U.S. men’s volleyball team defeated France quickly in the Olympic opener.

Although the U.S. did not take to the court until 11:15 p.m., they set the tone early with five of the first five points. As they look to improve on their bronze medal performance of 2016, the Americans won the match 25-18-25-18, 25-22 and 25-22.

Other winners of the first day's men's competition included the defending champion Brazil and the Russians as well as Japan, Iran, Russia, Japan, and the Russians.


Phil Dalhausser, a beach volleyball player, has had a difficult start to the Tokyo Games.

The four-time Olympian, 2008 gold medalist, is currently in modified quarantine. He is close to Taylor Crabb (the U.S. beach volleyball player) who tested positive for COVID-19. Dalhausser was seated next to Crabb during a flight from Los Angeles, California to San Francisco before heading to Japan.

Dalhausser and his teammate Nick Lucena only practiced together twice between the time they arrived to Tokyo and their first match on Saturday.

American bronze medalists Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands and Alexander Brouwer of the Netherlands lost to them. At Shiokaze Park, the Dutch won 21-17 and 21-18.

Xia Xinyi and Wang Fan of China defeated Heather Bansley and Brandie Wikerson of Canada 18-21 and 21-15, respectively, and 15-11 earlier.


One of the medal favorites lost its initial match of pool play at the Olympic men's volleyball tournament.

Poland was one of the top men's contenders in the bracket headed by Wilfredo León, but lost in five sets to Iran. After reaching the quarterfinals in 2016, the Iranians made their Olympic debut and are now a major winner to begin this year's tournament.

Poland's hopes of winning a medal are not affected by the loss. Four of the six Pool A teams were able to reach the quarterfinals. Two of the men's gold medalists in men's tennis struggled in pool play, with Brazil needing to win its last match in 2016 in order to progress to the knockout round. Russia finished third in 2012.



Panipak Wongpattanakit from Thailand and Vito Del'Aquila from Italy won the Olympic taekwondo gold medals in Tokyo.

Wongpattanakit took home her first gold medal in dramatic fashion in women's 49-kilogram final. She scored two points with a body kick in the final 10 seconds, for an 11-10 win over Adriana Cerezo from Spain. Wongpattanakit is only the tenth gold medal in Thailand's Olympic history.

To win his first Olympic medal, Dell'Aquila beat Tunisian Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi 16-12 in the men's final of the 58-kilogram weight class. Another thriller was the final, which was tied at 10-10 with just 15 seconds remaining before Dell'Aquila won in a frenzy of scoring strikes.

Chinese veteran Wu Jingyu failed to make it to the quarterfinals in his bid to become the first-ever three-time Olympic taekwondo champ. He was defeated by Cerezo, 33-2.

The four-day Taekwondo tournament continues Sunday with British star Jade Jones trying to succeed where Wu failed, winning her third consecutive gold medal.



After beating Luigi Samele 15-7, Aron Szilagyi from Hungary became the first Olympic fencer who has won three individual sabre medals.

Szilagyi made use of his quick reflexes to quickly build a 7-1 lead. He held off an Italian opponent's brief comeback before clinching the victory.

Szilagyi won the gold medal at both the 2012 London Games as well as the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. In 2008, he lost in the third round of the Olympic individual tournament.

After a stunning win in the semifinals, Samele made it to the final. He won the semifinals with a remarkable win of 12-6 to defeat Kim Junghwan from South Korea 15-12.

Kim won bronze with a win of 15-11 over Sandro Baazadze from Georgia.



Sun Yiwen, from China, has defeated Ana Maria Popescu, five-time Olympian of Romania, 11-10 in overtime to win the gold medal in women's epee fencing.

Popescu tied the score at 10-10, with just three seconds to spare before overtime began. However, Sun quickly scored the winning goal in the final period.

After winning team silver and individual bronze at the Rio de Janeiro Games 2016, Sun finished her set of Olympic medals. Popescu has not won an individual gold medal in any of her five Olympic appearances, despite being among the favorites. In 2016, she won team gold.

Estonian Katrina Lehis won the bronze medal by defeating Russian fencer Aizanat Muzazaeva 15-8. Lehis trailed 4-3 in the second half, but she won the next five points and took a lead that she never lost.


The U.S. swimming team cheered from the stands and chanted for Jill Biden, the first lady of the United States. She sat across to the pool and waved at swimmers as they began.

The 15,000-seat Tokyo Aquatics Centre was empty on Saturday so the masked teams could spread out in the socially distant seats. While the U.S. contingent held tiny American flags as they pounded the red-white and blue Thunderstix with their hammers, the Germans spread their huge flag across two rows of seats.

The Americans sang "Dr. Biden, Dr. Biden" was chanted by the Americans as they clapped.

The usual electricity that runs through the Olympic pool wasn't present. During the race, the swimmers' names were shouted by the teams. The sound of water splashing and music was heard clearly.

Biden sat down earlier in the day to watch a 3-on-3 basketball match with French President Emmanuel Macron. He also hosted a softball party at the U.S. Ambassador's residence.


Naohisa Takato, a Japanese Olympic gold medalist, has defeated Yang Yung-wei in a final of 60-kilogram judo.

Just over an hour after Japan's Funa Toki beat Japan's Distria Krasniqi in the women's 48-kilogram final, Takato ensured that his team didn't suffer double heartbreak in the first day of competition in their beloved martial art.

Takato won the sudden-death gold score final three rounds, but Yang's fouls made it difficult for him to win them all.

The success of Takato, the charismatic athlete, and Tonaki's heartbreaking loss in the last minute could give a boost to a nation that is still deeply ambivalent about the Olympics and discouraged at the scandals and coronavirus setbacks.


Distria Krasniqi from Kosovo defeated Funa Tonaki at the women's 48-kilogram Olympic Judo final. Japan was denied its first gold medal at its own Olympics, and Kosovo won its second Olympic medal.

Krasniqi won a throw with just 20 seconds remaining, scoring a waza-ari and taking home a title that brought her to tears.

Krasniqi was considered the top seed but was severely beaten by Tonaki (4'10") who defeated a number of tough opponents to reach the final.

Tonaki was unable to win a gold medal in Japan’s popular, domestic martial art. For a nation still feeling deeply ambivalent about the Olympics and discouraged from the scandals, coronavirus setbacks around them, her success would have been a welcome boost of optimism.



Distria Krasniqi from Kosovo defeated Funa Tonaki at the women's 48-kilogram Olympic Judo final. Japan was denied its first gold medal at its own Olympics, and Kosovo won its second Olympic medal.

Krasniqi won a throw with just 20 seconds remaining, scoring a waza-ari and taking home a title that brought her to tears.

Krasniqi was considered the top seed but was overtaken by Tonaki at 4'10", who defeated a number of tough opponents to reach the final.

Tonaki was unable to win a gold medal in Japan’s popular, domestic martial art. For a nation still deeply ambivalent about the Olympics, and discouraged by the coronavirus and scandals surrounding them, her success would have been a welcome boost of optimism.


The French President Emmanuel Macron was accompanied by Jill Biden, the first lady of the United States. They attended a 3-on-3 Olympic basketball match in Tokyo.

As the French women's soccer team was playing the U.S., the two sat next to one another. The U.S. won 17-10.

This Olympics marks the debut of 3-on-3 Olympic basketball.

Macron and Biden were both present at the Games' opening ceremony on Friday night.

Biden was invited to a watch party at U.S. Ambassador's Residence for staff members to view the U.S. vs. Mexico softball game. The U.S. won by 2-0.

She expressed excitement about the game and apologized for being unable to offer food or drinks due to COVID protocols. She thanked the families of foreign service personnel for their service.


Maxim Agapitov, a Russian weightlifting champion, has defeated the IOC in court to regain his right to the Tokyo Olympics despite having been banned from doping 27 years ago.

According to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Agapitov appealed to regain his games certification. This was taken away by the International Olympic Committee this month.

Agapitov was to "not have any personal history connected to any anti-doping violation," in order to remain at the Olympics as International Weightlifting Federation.

CAS claims that its three-judge panel ruled it "clearly disproportionate” to punish anyone for a violation at any stage of their athletic career.

Agapitov was a doping victim in 1994 before he became the world champion. He is now the president of the Russian weightlifting Federation and an executive member of the troubled IWF.


The International Surfing Association confirmed that Carlos Munoz will be surfing for Costa Rica when the sport makes its Olympic debut.

Frederico Morais, Portugal's president, announced Friday that he was positive for COVID-19. He would not travel to Japan while quarantined at home.

Munoz's confirmation comes at a very crucial moment, as the association had previously set Saturday afternoon Tokyo time as the deadline to approve alternates.

The world tournament rankings determine who surfers are, but each country can only have one surfer per gender.

Italian Angelo Bonomelli was the first alternative for Morais' spot. The association didn't say why, but he did not participate. Munoz was the next male surfer who was eligible.

Sunday, Tsurigasaki beach will host the eight-day shortboard surfing competition.


As the Olympics begin, Yoshihide Suga, Japan's Prime Minister, and Emmanuel Macron, France's President, met in Tokyo.

According to a joint statement by the Japanese foreign ministry, they welcomed the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics "a powerful symbol for global unity" in victory over COVID-19.

Macron represented France at the opening ceremony for the delayed Olympics because of the pandemic.

They have also agreed to share their experiences with Japan for the 2024 Games, which will take place in Paris.

Japan is struggling to balance preparations for the Olympics and virus prevention, amid increasing public concern about the potential health risks associated with the games.

Suga and Macron also agreed that they would cooperate in many areas, including defense, climate change, and the economy.



Richard Carapaz, the Olympic road racer from Ecuador, won gold for Ecuador's first cycling medal.

Carapaz, who adopted his nickname "The Locomotive", rode away with American breakaway buddy Brandon McNulty at the Fuji International Speedway.

As he crossed the line, he slapped his handlebars to celebrate. He was then greeted by one the few Olympic crowds.

After the finish line was clear, the chasing group made a turn and caught sight of Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia. They then played cat-and mouse for the two remaining medals. Belgian star Wout Van Aert ended up beating Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar from Slovenia in a photo finish.



Kim Je Deok, a teenager and An San have teamed up to help South Korea win a gold medal at the Olympic debut of mixed archery team events at the Tokyo Games.

They defeated Steve Wijler and Gabriela Schloesser of the Netherlands 5-3 on a hot Saturday to bring home another archery gold for South Korea. Since 1988, the country has won 14 of 17 gold medals at the Olympics' archery team competitions.

It was also the 24th Olympic gold Medal for South Korea's Archery Program, matching the short track speed skating record for the most countries in one sport.

Alejandra Valencia, Luis Alvarez and Mete Gazoz from Turkey combined to win the bronze medal.


Players at the Olympic Tennis Tournament in Tokyo are experiencing heat and humidity.

The temperature soared to 91 degrees F (33 degrees C) and the heat index made it feel like 100 F (38 C).

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, French Open finalist, said she was not feeling well, but she still beat Sara Errani, Italy, 6-0, 6-1.

Mona Barthel was unable to throw the ball as the scorching sun made it almost impossible to see 10 double-faults.

Daniil Medvedev from second place, who also competes at the Tokyo Games for ROC, described it as "some of the most difficult" heat he had experienced after eliminating Alexander Bublik, Kazakhstan.

Medvedev said, "I'm not going lie." Medvedev stated that you must play. Medvedev said, "That's the Olympics. You go for the medal. You're not here to complain about the heat.

Medvedev suggested that organizers shift all matches to the evening in order to avoid the heat during the day.


Novak Djokovic is still on track for a Golden Slam after a routine win 6-2, 6-1 over Hugo Dellien (139th) in the Tokyo tennis tournament's opening round.

The highest-ranked Serb hopes to be the first man to win all four major tennis tournaments as well as an Olympic singles gold in the same year.

Steffi Graf was the only tennis player who won the 1988 Golden Slam.

Jan-Lennard Struff, 48th in Germany, will be Djokovic’s next opponent.

Thiago Monteiro, Brazil, was eliminated by Struff 6-3 and 6-4.


Out of the Tokyo Games, is the youngest player in Olympic history for table tennis.

Hend Zaza, a Syrian player, lost in straight sets against Liu Jia, an Austrian 39-year-old, in Saturday's preliminary match.

Olympics.com spoke to the 12-year-old, saying she was happy with her performance and had learned from it. She hopes for another chance at Paris's next Olympics.

Zaza hails from Hama, which was heavily damaged in war.

She is the youngest at the Tokyo Games.



Javad Foroughi, the oldest Iranian athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in the men's 10-meter air pistol, has won gold.

Foroughi, who finished 6.9 points ahead of silver medalist Damir Mihaic of Serbia, set an Olympic record of 244.8 points. Pang Wei of China, 2008 gold medalist took bronze.

Foroughi, 41 years old, surpasses Iranian weightlifter Mahmoud Nadjou who was 38 when he won bronze at the 1956 Melbourne Games.

Foroughi, who was ranked fourth worldwide, qualified fifth in the finals and quickly jumped to the top with a series shots in the 10-ring. Mikec was ahead by 4.2 points at the end of the final shots. He celebrated by waving his towel and kneeling to pray.



Hou Zhihui, a woman who lifts 49 kilograms and has been dominant at the Tokyo Olympics, has won China's second medal.

Hou lifted total 210kg to win gold, 3kg shy of her world record. This was India's first Olympic weightlifting silver.

Bronze went to Indonesia when Windy Cantika Aisah lifted 194kg.

Jourdan Delacruz from the United States came in third after the snatch section of the contest, but she failed to complete all three of her lifts in clean and jerk.


Kohei Uchimura, a two-time Olympic champion, has ended his Olympic career.

The 32-year-old Japanese gymnast, considered by many the greatest of all time, fell during qualifying on high bar and will not advance to the event finals.

Uchimura, who was the 2012 and 2016 all around gold medalists, was halfway through his set when, while performing a complex connection, he pulled off. He got up and continued his routine.

He was not in the top eight with a score of 13.866, so he won't be making it to the finals. Uchimura was competing as an individual and will not be participating in the team finals on Monday.

Uchimura waved at the judges before exiting quickly from the competition floor.


Tokyo organizers claim that the number of COVID-19-related cases in Japan for the Olympics is now 127. One athlete has been added to this total.

One day before the men's race, Simon Geschke, a German cyclist, announced his positive test. This is a highlight of the first day of competition at any Summer Games.

Since July 1, 127 cases have been reported in Japan, 14 of which were from athletes. The new positive test includes 14 Japanese-based games contractors.

Officials from the Netherlands confirmed Saturday that Finn Florijn, a rower, had tested positive for COVID-19. He is therefore out of the Games. Two other Dutch athletes have also tested positive. The official count of cases won't include Florijn's positive result until Sunday.


China has sprinted to the lead in men's gymnastics qualifying, putting on a clinic inside the nearly empty Ariake Gymnastics Centre as it aims to return to the top of the sport.

China's total of 262.061 -- powered by four sets of parallel bars -- was more than Russia's 261.945 in one of the three qualifying subdivisions.

China is trying to rebound after falling to bronze in Rio de Janeiro five year ago. They came in second place to the Russians in the 2019 world championships.

The reigning world champion Nikita Nagornyy from Russia holds the lead in all-around qualifying. He has a steady 87.897, which is just ahead of Sun Wei and Xiao Ruoteng of China.

Russian Artur Dalaloyan assured himself a place in the next week's all around finals with a total score of 85.597. This is remarkable considering that Dalaloyan competes on a left Achilles injury that was surgically repaired at the European championships in March.


According to the French Olympic Committee, some of its medical and support staff have been placed under quarantine at the Tokyo Games by a passenger who contracted the coronavirus from their flight to Japan.

The committee did not say how many staff members were affected by possible contact cases. They have been isolated since July 19, and are unable to work alongside the athletes. It stated that all tests done so far by staff members have been negative.


Officials from the Dutch team have confirmed that Finn Florijn, a rower, has been tested positive for COVID-19. He is therefore out of the Games. Other members of the Dutch team, who are close friends, can still stay but will need to adapt to separate transport and eating and sleeping arrangements.

The 21-year old son of Olympic gold medalist rower Ronald Florijn, was competing in single-sculls. He had placed fourth in his heat Friday. Before Friday's positive results, he was to continue his repechage on Saturday.

"I was optimistic to improve in this rematch. It's over in a flash. Florijn stated that she couldn't say more.

Florijn is the fourth member or staff member to have tested positive for COVID-19. The team announced earlier this week that Reshmie Oogink, a taekwondo competitor, and a member of the rowing team tested positive. Candy Jacobs, a skateboarder, also confirmed her positive test via Instagram.

Pieter van den Hoogenband, Chef de Mission at TeamNL, says that the team is doing all it can to reduce negative tests.


Fans are not allowed to attend the Summer Olympics beyond Tokyo. This means that thousands of cyclists have gathered at Fuji International Speedway in anticipation of the end of the men's road race.

Built in 1960, the facility has been extensively renovated over the years to accommodate 22,000 people. With a 50 percent limit on capacity due to COVID-19 it means that up to 11,000 people will be able see the end.

The enthusiasm of the fans who turned out to support them on Saturday was evident. They arrived seven hours early, just as riders were expected to arrive at the finish circuits. The speedway layout meant that they would spend all their time in the sun on a hot day two hours southwest from Tokyo.



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