Tokyo Olympics: Hosts Japan top of medal table after stunning table tennis triumph

By Sports Desk July 26, 2021

Another superb day for Japan saw the host nation surge to the top of the medal table at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Monday.

Japan now have eight golds after winning Olympic titles in three different sports, the most unexpected of which came in table tennis.

The mixed doubles team of Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito came from two games down to eventually prevail after seven games against China's Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen.

China won all four table tennis titles at Rio 2016 and had been expected to dominate again, only to come unstuck as Japan won the first gold in this new event.

Further joy for Japan came as 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya triumphed in the women's street skateboarding while Shohei Ono was victorious in the men's 73kg category in judo.

Second behind Japan are the United States, who took two shooting golds on day three as well as the men's 4x100m freestyle title in the pool.

China did not add to their tally of six gold medals, one fewer than the USA, having come up short in another event where they had a team of heavy favourites.

Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen were edged out in the men's 10m synchronised platform, with British divers Tom Daley and Matty Lee winning gold.

That was one of three golds for Great Britain, who moved up to fifth in the medal table thanks also to Adam Peaty retaining his 100m breaststroke title and Tom Pidcock dominating in the men's cross-country mountain bike race.

The Russian Olympic Committee sits fourth after adding three golds, the headliner being victory in the men's artistic gymnastics team all-around final. 

Meanwhile, Hidilyn Diaz made history for the Philippines, become the country's first Olympic gold medallist by prevailing in the women's 55kg weightlifting.

 

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  • Giro d'Italia: Hindley secures stage win as Lopez retains maglia rosa after scare Giro d'Italia: Hindley secures stage win as Lopez retains maglia rosa after scare

    Jai Hindley held off strong competition from Romain Bardet and Richard Carapaz to claim victory on stage nine of the Giro d'Italia on Sunday.

    The Australian secured victory on Blockhaus despite being pushed hard by Bardet and Carapaz, with a very tight sprint ending at the top of the second summit.

    Mikel Landa and Joao Almeida were not far behind, while Juan Pedro Lopez was able to recover from coming off his bike to retain the maglia rosa heading into Monday's rest day.

    "It's pretty incredible," Hindley said after the race. "It wasn't the easiest year I had last year. I worked [hard] to get back to the level to compete at the Giro and I'm at a loss for words. It's pretty amazing.

    "I was just trying to survive as best I could, actually. I knew it was flattening out in the last k's and there was a right-hander before the finish with around 200m to go. I wanted to take the corner first and gave it everything to the line."

    It was a day to forget for Simon Yates, though, who finished the stage over 11 minutes down on Hindley, and is likely now out of contention for the maglia rosa.

    Lopez fought hard to recover after being forced off his bike following a collision with Sam Oomen, though the Spaniard offered an apology to the Jumbo-Visma rider afterwards.

    "I want to say sorry to Sam Oomen because after we touched each other and I had to put one foot on the ground, I threw my bottle," Lopez said.

    "When I came to my first Giro I didn't expect to have the maglia rosa so it was hard to believe that I still have it. I'm very tired but luckily I have a rest day tomorrow."

    NO BREAKS IN THE HAND IS WORTH ONE IN THE BUSH

    It must have been a scary moment for Natnael Tesfatsion as he went too fast into a left turn, veered off the road and flew over his handlebars headfirst into a bush.

    He got back to his feet and carried on, but it was a particular blow after he had been leading the breakaway.

    Tesfatsion was seen by a doctor and the official Giro race feed thankfully confirmed he had safely resumed the race, with seemingly more ego bruised than body.

    STAGE RESULT  

    1. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) 5:34:44
    2. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) same time
    3. Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) same time
    4. Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) same time
    5. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) same time

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS   

    General Classification  

    1. Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 37:52:01
    2. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +0:12
    3. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) +0:14

    Points Classification

    1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 147
    2. Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 120
    3. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) 78

    King of the Mountains  

    1. Diego Rosa (Eolo-Kometa) 83
    2. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 69
    3. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) 43

  • Giro d'Italia: 'Breakaway King' De Gendt ends long wait for second stage win Giro d'Italia: 'Breakaway King' De Gendt ends long wait for second stage win

    Thomas De Gendt celebrated "finally winning a stage again" as he claimed victory in stage eight of the Giro d'Italia.

    De Gendt, who was dubbed the 'Breakaway King' earlier in his career, won his first Giro stage back in 2012 and the 35-year-old Belgian rolled back the years to cross the line first on Saturday.

    It was a superb ride from the Lotto-Soudal man who, as his nickname would suggest, led from the breakaway and then held off Davide Gabburo's late charge in Naples.

    De Gendt, who took King of the Mountains jersey at the Vuelta a Espana in 2018 and has two Tour de France stage wins to his name, suggested he thought his time had past, but was thrilled to finally end his wait for another Giro success.

    He told reporters, as quoted by cyclingnews.com: "Today was one of those days that suits me. It looks a little bit like the Barcelona stage in Volta a Catalunya, always up and down.

    "It's hard to recover. It's also hard to close the gap. But 10 years after the Stelvio stage, I finally won a stage in the Giro again.

    "If you would have asked me two weeks ago, if I was able to win a stage in the Giro I would have said no because I was in such bad shape. But now the good legs are coming."

    Juan Pedro Lopez had a bit of work to do to maintain his 38-second lead in the general classification standings, but he fended off an attack from Lennard Kamna, who stays second ahead of Rein Taaramae.

    Guillaume Martin was the big mover, leaping up 24 places into fourth as he finished three minutes ahead of the peloton.

    SLOW DOWN!

    Spectators are a huge part of any Grand Tour, and while sometimes they can get too close, the support is always appreciated, and one fan took to the side of the road with an amusing request.

    With stage eight being a 153km circuit around Naples, there were four ascents of the Lago Lucrino, and it appears this particular spectator holds – or, held – the record pace up the climb on Strava, a website that amateurs and professionals alike use to track their rides.

    "Slow down, don't take my KOM pls", read his sign. It is doubtful the pros met that request.

    STAGE RESULT  

    1. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) 3:32:53
    2. Davide Gabburo (Bardiani CSF Faizane) same time
    3. Jorge Arcas (Movistar) same time
    4. Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto-Soudal) +0:04
    5. Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) +0:15

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS   

    General Classification  

    1. Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 32:15:31
    2. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:38
    3. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +0:58

    Points Classification

    1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 147
    2. Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 120
    3. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) 78

    King of the Mountains  

    1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 68
    2. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) 43 
    3. Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious) 27

  • Giro d'Italia: Bouwman hails Dumoulin after first Grand Tour win at stage seven Giro d'Italia: Bouwman hails Dumoulin after first Grand Tour win at stage seven

    Koen Bouwman hailed the work of Jumba-Visma team-mate Tom Dumoulin after securing his first Grand Tour victory on stage seven of the Giro D'Italia.

    The maglia rosa of Juanpe Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) and blue jersey of Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) led the early stages of the 196km race to Potenza on Friday.

    Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious) then took charge through the 30km incline of Monte Sirino, the longest climb in the race, but the expertise Dumoulin and Bouwman came to the forefront from there on in.

    Bouwman won the largely uncontested intermediate sprint before Dumoulin did much of the defensive work to keep Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates) and Bauke Mollema (Trek–Segafredo) at bay.

    Dumoulin, who finished fourth to boost his general classification hopes, could be seen mirroring Bouwman's celebration as he crossed the finish line, with Mollema beating Formolo to second place.

    Victory also marked Jumbo-Visma's first stage win at the Giro in three years, and Bouwman highlighted Dumoulin's efforts.

    "It's unbelievable, I can't believe it," Bouwman told reporters. "It was such a hard day. We were in the final with four riders and two of us. Tom did a superb job in the last 2km.

    "I was feeling good all day. One time on the climb I was in trouble but I came back and actually I was confident for the sprint.

    "It was steep but when I started to sprint I felt so much power left. I looked behind with 50 metres to go and saw I had a big gap – perfect."

    Meanwhile, Lopez retained the maglia rosa for another day and maintained his 38-second lead over Kamna after finishing safely in the peloton.

    FLYING DUTCHMEN

    For the first time in history, the Netherlands had three riders – Bouwman, Dumoulin and Mollema – in the top four places in a stage of the Giro d'Italia.

    STAGE RESULT  

    1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 5:12:30
    2. Bauke Mollema (Trek–Segafredo) +0:02
    3. Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates) same time
    4. Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) +0:19
    5. Davide Villella (Cofidis) +2:25

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS   

    General Classification  

    1. Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 28:39:05
    2. Lennard Kaemna (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:38
    3. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +0:58

    Points Classification

    1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 147
    2. Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 94
    3. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) 78

    King of the Mountains  

    1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 68
    2. Lennard Kaemna (Bora-Hansgrohe) 43 
    3. Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious) 27

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