Tokyo Olympics Recap: Russian quartet end China gymnastics dominance, 13-year-old Nishiya wants global fame

By Sports Desk July 26, 2021

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) won artistic gymnastics men's team gold and 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya spoke of her desire to become a global icon after making history in Tokyo.

Denis Abliazin, David Belyavskiy, Artur Dalaloyan and Nikiti Nagornyy became the first European winners of the Olympic men's team event since 1996 on a tense Monday evening at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre.

Nagornyy went into the final routine on the floor knowing he had to make up for lower scores from Abliazin and Dalaloyan.

He stepped up under huge pressure, ensuring the ROC (262.500) edged out Japan (262.397) as China (261.894) had to settle for bronze.

Dalaloyan tore his Achilles in mid-April, yet he made an incredible recovery to take his place on the top step of the podium.

He said: "After an injury like this, I appreciate the work I did even more. And now I know all of the work I did wasn't for nothing. This medal is absolutely priceless.

"When I came to Tokyo, I still couldn't do the vault or the floor exercise. On the third or fourth day I was able to perform a little bit."

Asked about watching Nagornyy on the floor with gold on the line, he added: "The nervousness was unreal. We prepared for everything, especially the floor exercise.

"Before the floor exercise, we were deciding if Nikita would do the easy routine or hard one; we decided to go with the easy and stable routine because we knew what score we needed. We knew we had enough and he would be absolutely clean."

NISHIYA WANTS WORLDWIDE FAME

The first Olympic gold medal in the women's skateboarding went the way of Japanese teenager Nishiya in the street event.

Nishiya, at the age of 13 years and 330 days, became the second-youngest Olympic gold medallist after American diver Marjorie Gestring took the top prize in the 1936 Games (13y 268d).

Her triumph completes a clean sweep for the host nation in the street event of the skateboarding – a sport introduced for these Games – after Yuto Horigome's success in the men's competition at Ariake Urban Sports Park on Sunday.

Nishiya kept her nerve after Rayssa Leal of Brazil failed to land her final jump – she would have been the youngest ever individual Olympic champion.

Having missed the landing with her first two tricks, Nishiya registered a score of 15.26 after nailing her final three attempts, bettering Leal's 14.64. Nishiya had only just got a gold medal around her neck when she spoke of her plan to secure another.

"I want to be the famous one who everyone in the world knows. I want to win at Paris 2024, too," she said.

PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF FOR DALEY AS GB THRIVE

British diver Tom Daley won his first Olympic gold medal in his fourth Games, teaming up Matty Lee to take the synchronised 10m platform title.

The tears flowed for Daley, 27, on the podium after he and Lee ended a China dominance of this event that stretched back to the Sydney 2000 Games.

Two-time bronze medallist Daley and Lee finished with a score of 471.81, just 1.23 points ahead of silver medallists Cao Yuan and Aisen Chen at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, where ROC's Aleksandr Bondar and Viktor Minibaev took bronze.

Daley said: "To finally have this gold medal... I’ve been diving for 20 years, it’s my fourth Olympic Games. Lots of people would have counted me out, being the older person, but I'm in the best shape physically.

"I still can't honestly believe what is happening. That moment, being about to be announced as Olympic champions, I was gone. I was blubbering."

It was also a dream day for Tom Pidcock, who became the first Brit to win an Olympic medal of any kind in mountain biking and made it a gold.

There was no surprise when Adam Peaty became the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic swimming title in the 100 metres breaststroke, while Lauren Williams (taekwondo) and Alex Yee (triathlon) won silver medals.

 

DIAZ LIFTS HERSELF INTO THE RECORD BOOKS

Hidilyn Diaz put her name in the record books by becoming the first athlete from the Philippines to win an Olympic gold medal.

Diaz took the 55-kilogram weightlifting title on a historic day at the Tokyo International Forum,

She did so in style, finishing with an Olympic record total lift of 224kg, overtaking world record holder Qiuyun Liao of China with her final lift in the clean and jerk.

Zulfiya Chinshanlo took bronze for Kazakhstan.

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