Chinese shooter Yang Qian yesterday won the first gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics as the Games braced for a potentially disruptive tropical storm heading toward the Japanese capital.
Yang snatched a dramatic last-shot victory from Russia’s Anastasiia Galashina in the women’s 10m air rifle as attention switched from the troubled build-up to the event to the sporting action.
COVID-19 has cast a fresh shadow, forcing German cyclist Simon Geschke out of the road race, while Dutch rower Finn Florijn has also tested positive.
Seventeen new Games-related cases were announced yesterday, taking the total number to 123, of which 12 are athletes.
Games organizers have another threat to contend with as Tropical Storm Nepartak heads toward Tokyo, with forecasters saying it is due to arrive on Tuesday.
As a “protective measure” organizers have brought forward rowing events that had been scheduled for tomorrow and said they were following the track of the storm.
“Unlike an earthquake, we’re able to predict the path of a typhoon, so we’re able to prepare in advance,” Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya said.
Yang started the Olympic gold rush by winning with a Games record score of 251.8, edging ahead of Galashina on 251.1 and Switzerland’s Nina Christen on 230.6.
Galashina had looked poised to claim the title heading into the last shot, but stumbled with 8.9 on her final effort to allow Yang to seal victory.
“It’s the 100th birthday of the Chinese Communist Party,” Yang said. “I’m so happy that this golden medal is a gift to my country. I’m so proud.”
Taiwan’s Lin Ying-shin was 26th with groupings of 104.8, 103.8, 103.0, 104.3, 102.9 and 104.6 for a combined score of 623.4.
There was more joy for China, with Hou Zhihui taking gold in the women’s 49kg weightlifting event with an Olympic record total of 210kg.
Taiwan’s Fang Wan-ling was fourth with snatches of 75, 78 and 80, and successful clean and jerk attempts of 98 and 101 for a combined score of 181.
Other Taiwanese competing in Tokyo included:
In table tennis, Lin Yun-ju and Cheng I-ching defeated India’s Kamal Achanta and Manika Batra 11-8, 11-6, 11-5, 11-4 in the mixed doubles at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gym. They are to play South Korea’s Lee Sang-su and Jeon Ji-hee in the semi-finals today.
In taekwondo, Su Po-ya exited in the round of 16 of the women’s under-49kg category, losing 10-9 to Miyu Yamada of Japan.
In archery, India’s Deepika Kumari and Pravin Jadhav eliminated Taiwan’s Lin Chia-en and Tang Chih-chun 5-3 in the mixed team event.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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