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TOKYO 2020 Olympics

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  • Tennis star Coco Gauff backs out of Tokyo Olympics after positive COVID-19 test

    U.S. tennis star Coco Gauff has dropped out of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics after sharing she has tested positive for COVID-19.

    “I am so disappointed to share the news that I have tested positive for COVID and won’t be able to play in the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” Gauff said in a social media post on Sunday.

    “It has always been a dream of mine to represent the USA at the Olympics, and I hope there will be many more chances for me to make this come true in the future," she continued. "I want to wish TEAM USA best of luck and a safe games for every Olympian and there entire Olympic family.,”:

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    • Tokyo Olympics: fears athletes could face hottest Games on record

      As if the coronavirus was not enough to contend with, Olympic athletes who have arrived ahead of the start of the Tokyo Games on Friday now find themselves at the sharp end of a Japanese summer.

      The heat and humidity that descends on the Japanese capital after the rainy season has been a concern since it won the bid to host the Games in 2013.

      Doubts over Tokyo’s claim in its 2020 pitch that “mild” weather in July and August would provide athletes with the ideal sporting environment were underlined in 2019, when the International Olympic Committee pressured organisers to move the marathon and race walking events to the cooler climes of Sapporo, 800km (500 miles) north of Tokyo.

      The first time Tokyo hosted the Olympics, in 1964, organisers made the decision to move the “summer” Games to the autumn, when temperatures are comfortably lower.

      But athletes competing this year face potentially the hottest Olympics on record, with high temperatures combining with brutal humidity to make every moment spent outdoors an endurance test.

      As Tokyo residents were warned not to exercise outdoors, beach volleyball players practising at Shiokaze park complained that the sand was too hot for their feet, prompting staff to hose down the playing surface while athletes waited in the shade.

      Olympic organisers have introduced measures they say will protect athletes from the worst effects of the heat, including cooling tents, mist fans and ice cream for volunteers.

      The environment ministry’s colour-coded scale warns residents when to avoid regular or heavy exercise. Early on Tuesday afternoon, the ministry reported that the wet bulb globe temperature – which combines temperature, humidity, wind and solar radiation measurements – stood at 31.8 degrees, prompting a “danger” warning. The WBGT is forecast to drop into the upper 20s over the next three days, however.

      The ministry recommends that sports activities should be stopped when WBGT exceeds 31 degrees, but it is unlikely that the same standard will apply to Olympic events. It issued 13 “no exercise” advisories from late July to early August last year – the same timeframe as this year’s Olympics – according to the Kyodo news agency.:
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      • The U.S. and Japanese softball teams open with victories to start off the Games.

        The U.S. softball team, behind the pitching of the ageless Cat Osterman, defeated a tenacious Italy team, 2-0, as softball returned to the Olympics on Wednesday for the first time since 2008.

        Earlier, Japan, another contender for gold, got the Tokyo Games started with an 8-1 win over Australia.

        Osterman, 38, who won a gold medal in 2004 and a silver in 2008, came out of retirement for these Games. She threw six of the seven innings, giving up just one hit and striking out nine.

        Monica Abbott pitched the seventh and final inning for the United States and struck out the side.

        Though Italy could not muster much offense, the pitching of Greta Cecchetti and Alexia Lacatena kept the game close. The United States got only five hits and scored its runs in the fourth and fifth innings on a single and a sacrifice fly.

        The Japan-Australia game began with a ball and ended with a home run.

        Michelle Cox, the leadoff hitter for the Australian softball team, took a low pitch from Japan pitcher Yukiko Ueno in an empty stadium in Fukushima on Wednesday in the first competitive act of the Tokyo Olympics.:

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        • U.S. soccer suffers stunning defeat to Sweden in Olympics opener

          The U.S. women's soccer team lost 3-0 to Sweden on Wednesday in the team's first appearance in the group stage of the 2020 Olympics.

          Why it matters: The stunning defeat marks the first loss for the U.S. team in 44 matches, the first loss under head coach Vlatko Andonovski and it raises the stakes for the next two games if the U.S. team wants to get out of Group G.

          "We got our asses kicked, didn’t we?" Megan Rapinoe said after the game, per Yahoo! Sports.

          The big picture: The game, played before a near-empty stadium, marked the first Olympics event to take place in host city Tokyo.

          Only a few dozen credentialed reporters were in the stands and a smattering of photographers were on the field, Axios' Ina Fried, who is at the Games, reports.

          Between the lines: The Swedes, ranked 5th in the world, dominated play and got their opening goal in the 25th minute from a header from Sweden’s Stina Blackstenius.

          The second goal came early in the second half, again from Blackstenius, when she finished off a corner kick.

          The final goal of the game came in the 72nd minute off of another header, this time from Lina Hurtig.

          The U.S. team lacked possession, played flat and struggled to create chances.

          Of note: The U.S. lost the first game of the 2008 Olympics and went on to win gold.:

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          • Irish gymnast tests Olympics' 'anti-sex' beds

            The Olympic Village’s beds are made of cardboard, and while it is sustainable for a person to sleep on, there has been speculation that the Olympics are trying to prevent athletes from having sex during their stay.

            One Irish gymnast, Rhys McClenaghan decided to take to Twitter to test the durability of his “anti-sex” bed.

            The cardboard beds are said to be “turned into recycled paper after the Games,” according to Tokyo 2020, The New York Post reported.

            “We are promoting the use of recycled materials for procured items and construction materials at the Tokyo 2020 Games,” the Games’ official “Sustainability Pre-Games Report” said.

            The rumored “anti-sex” beds stories came from Olympian Paul Chelimo, an American distance runner, who last week commented on Twitter, saying, “[the] beds to be installed in Tokyo Olympic Village will be made of cardboard, this is aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes.”: -

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            • Team USA Softball Secures Second Shutout With 1-0 Win Over Canada

              For the second straight game to start the Olympics, Team USA shut out their opponent, this time with a 1-0 victory over Canada Wednesday night.

              Monica Abbott allowed just one hit across seven innings while striking out nine to pick up her first win of the Tokyo Games. The United States improved to 2-0 while Canada dropped to 1-1.

              The only score of the game came in the fifth inning for the United States. Haylie McCleney got on base with a one-out single. After a sacrifice bunt from Janie Reed moved her to second, Amanda Chidester delivered with a two-out, RBI single to right field.

              Up next for Team USA is a matchup with Mexico on Saturday, July 24 at 1:30 a.m.:

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              • Olympic winners, over time

                When the Summer Olympics debuted in 1896, 14 nations participated in the 42-competition event.

                Why it matters: Those numbers have risen steadily over time, with the U.S. dominating the Games as the Olympics expanded. Now, there are 339 events with 206 nations competing.
                • Wealthier countries with more resources have usually taken the most gold. The Soviet Union was the only rival that came close to the U.S. record in the latter part of the 20th century.
                • China has recently gained ground, a reflection of the country's rapid economic growth.

                Of note: The U.S. has placed in the top three in every Olympics except one, in 1980, when the U.S. boycotted the Olympics after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.


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                • First Medal Awarded

                  YANG Qian wins women’s 10m air rifle to clinch first gold of Tokyo 2020

                  People’s Republic of China’s YANG Qian won the first gold medal of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, holding her nerve to clinch the women's 10m air rifle title.

                  The 21-year-old shooter edged out ROC’s Anastasiia Galashina with an Olympic record score of 251.8. Nina Christen of Switzerland took the bronze medal.

                  Competing in her first Olympics, Yang, as the first champion of the 2020 Games, was awarded her medal by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach.:

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                  • TAEKWONDO

                    Wongpattanakit wins women's -49kg taekwondo

                    This final is intriguing. Thailand's Panipak Wongpattanakit against 17-year-old Adriana Cerezo of Spain.

                    The Thai takes the second round by storm and rattles off 7 straight points. But in the third, Cerezo fights back to lead 10–9.

                    Wongpattanakit gets a late score in! With just seconds to go, it's two points and she will win this 11–10!

                    Heartbreak for Cerezo but great sportsmanship as she raises her opponent's arm in the air.

                    Bronze medals went to Abishag Semberg (ISR) and Tijana Bogdanovic:

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                    • Thailand's Gold (full match)
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                      • The First Tokyo Olympics Medals For The U.S. Go To Swimmers

                        The first U.S. medals of the Olympics went to U.S. swimmers, with Team USA athletes winning medals in every final swimming event of the day.

                        The very first U.S. medal — and the only gold — went to 27-year-old Chase Kalisz in the men's 400 meter individual medley race.

                        Kalisz was nearly a full body length ahead of his closest competitor at the end of the race, with a time of 4:09.42. Kalisz pumped both fists and yelled, "Let's go!" as the small group of U.S. athletes and representatives cheered in the stands.

                        U.S. swimmer Jay Litherland took silver in that race, 0.86 seconds behind him. Brendon Smith of Australia won bronze.

                        Kalisz, who is originally from Maryland, is the second-oldest swimmer to ever win the Olympic event.

                        This Olympics is the first one since 1972 where the U.S. did not win a medal on the first day they were awarded.

                        U.S. swimming legend Michael Phelps has held the world record in this event for 13 years. His winning time, 4:03.84, is more than five and a half seconds faster than the time that won today's gold medal.:

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                        • Will Shaner of U.S. sets Olympic record winning gold in 10-meter air rifle competition

                          Will Shaner, 20, held off Chinese shooters Haoran Yang (229.4) and Lihao Sheng (250.9) and set an Olympic record and secured a gold medal with a final round score of 251.6 in the men’s 10-meter air rifle.

                          It is Team USA's first Olympic gold medal in the event.

                          Teammate Lucas Kozeniesky finished sixth (165.0). The American duo combined to finish No. 2 and No. 3 heading into the eight-man final at Asaka Shooting Range on Sunday.

                          Shaner, a University of Kentucky shooter, finished second in the NCAA air rifle individual championship, and won gold with the Wildcats during his sophomore year and did the same during his junior season.:
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                          • Just for fun.
                            • Tokyo 2020: Olympic medals made from old smartphones, laptops

                            As the athletes take the podium and, with a slight bow, have their medals placed around their necks, they will be happy to have landed in the top three. For the people behind the Tokyo Medal Project, they'll be happy that those Olympic medals are there in the first place.

                            The project recycled old electronic gadgets such as smartphones and laptops to produce the Olympic Medals that are being awarded at the Tokyo Games.

                            For the people of Japan, the project offered a unique opportunity to be a part of the Games.

                            "The campaign called on the public to donate obsolete electronic devices for the project," Toyko 2020 spokesperson Hitomi Kamizawa told DW. "We are grateful for everyone's cooperation."

                            The project capitalized on the fact that billions worth of precious metals such as gold and silver, which are used in electronic devices, get discarded each year globally thanks to people simply dumping or burning their gadgets instead of ensuring they are properly collected and recycled.

                            A recycling supply chain

                            There was a two-year national effort in Japan to collect enough recycled material to produce about 5,000 bronze, silver, and gold medals for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Up to 90% of Japanese cities, towns, and villages participated by setting up donation pick-up sites where hundreds of thousands of Japanese citizens donated their old electronic devices.

                            The recycling campaign produced 70 pounds (32 kilograms) of gold, 7,700 pounds of silver and 4,850 pounds of bronze. All from nearly 80 tons of small electrical devices such as old phones and laptops, said Kamizawa.:

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                            • Japan's gold rush continues with judoka siblings Uta and Hifumi Abe

                              The Abe family had a night to remember on Sunday at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan.

                              Japan's Abe siblings completed a golden judo double at the Tokyo Olympics, with younger sister Uta winning the women's 52-kilogram division shortly before older brother Hifumi snared the men's 66-kg crown.

                              Having beaten France's Amandine Buchard for gold, 21-year-old Uta cheered for 23-year-old Hifumi from the edge of the mats, leaping jubilantly as he prevailed over Georgia's Vazha Margvelashvili in the final.

                              Their victories at the historic Nippon Budokan took Japan's gold medal tally to five, including three from judo, and made them the first Japanese brother and sister to capture gold on the same day of Olympic competition.

                              Uta became the first Japanese gold medalist in her division, as well as its youngest-ever champion, while Hifumi is the first Japanese judoka to win his class since Masato Uchishiba at the 2008 Beijing Games.:

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                              • Women’s Skeet - English wins final head-to-head

                                And the women's skeet gold medal goes to Amber English (USA)!

                                Bacosi misses two shots in her final two series, scoring 55 – so English can afford to miss one. And she does exactly that, missing only her final shot.

                                English wins gold with a new Olympic Record score of 56.

                                Gold - Amber English (USA)

                                Silver - Diana Bacosi (ITA)

                                Bronze - WEI Meng (CHN)

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