Tokyo Olympics: What to look out for on Monday

By Sports Desk July 25, 2021

The third full day of the Tokyo Olympics sees 21 gold medals up for grabs during a packed programme.

Plenty of eyes will be on the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, where four swimming golds will be on the line, while the first women's skateboarding champion will be crowned.

The rugby sevens event gets under way and the men's triathlon will also take place.

Stats Perform picks out some of the standout action.

 

LEDECKY STEPS UP GOLD QUEST

After winning four golds in Rio five years ago, Katie Ledecky has the chance to add four more to her collection in Tokyo, starting with the women's 400m freestyle.

The United States competitor set a world record time in the event in 2016, but she will face a big challenge from Australia's Ariarne Titmus this time.

Titmus was marginally faster than Ledecky in the heats, though whether that edge will count for anything on the day remains to be seen.


WILL IT BE ANOTHER PEATY BLINDER?

Great Britain's Adam Peaty is nothing short of a phenomenon in the world of swimming and will be looking to retain his 100m breaststroke title.

Peaty qualified for the final in a dominant manner, his time of 57.56s just two hundredths of a second off his own world record pace.

Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands is expected to be Peaty's biggest threat, having produced a personal best of 57.80s in the previous heat.


MORE SEVENS HEAVEN FOR FIJI?

Fiji's triumph in the men's rugby sevens was one of the more remarkable stories of the Rio Games and the islanders will now be out to retain their title in Tokyo over the coming weeks.

They begin their group campaign on Monday with games against tournament hosts Japan and then Canada later in the day.


MEN'S TRIATHLON WIDE OPEN

The men's triathlon is a tough one to call, with back-to-back champion Alistair Brownlee not taking part in this year's event.

The likes of Alex Yee, Kristian Blummenfelt, Morgan Pearson and Tyler Mislawchuk are among those to watch in one the standout events at any Games.


BILES SURVIVES, NOW MEN MUST THRIVE

After Simone Biles struggled to find top gear in her Games entrance on Sunday, albeit making it through to each of her finals, Monday's gymnastics event is the men's team final.

Japan are the defending champions and led the way in qualifying, but they are expected to face stiff competition from China and the Russian Olympic Committee team. Watch out for Russian maestro Nikita Nagornyy and Japan's Daiki Hashimoto among a star-studded cast.


OSAKA BACK IN ACTION

It is proving to be a busy Games for Naomi Osaka, who followed lighting the Olympic cauldron on Friday with a first-round tennis win on Sunday.

Japan's four-time grand slam winner is back on court on Monday, looking to inch closer to the women's singles final. Awaiting her is Swiss world number 50 Viktorija Golubic, and it will be their first match encounter. Men's title hopefuls Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev are among those also due in action.


WOMEN'S SKATEBOARDING MAKES ITS DEBUT

Japan's Yuto Horigome made history on Sunday by winning the first Olympic gold in men's skateboarding. On Monday, it is the turn of the women.

Among those competing in the event are Kokona Hiraki of Japan and Team GB's Sky Brown, who are aged 12 and 13 respectively.

After plenty of falls and drama in the men's equivalent, expect more of the same in this inaugural event. 

Related items

  • Russian gymnast Kuliak banned for one year for wearing 'Z' on podium Russian gymnast Kuliak banned for one year for wearing 'Z' on podium

    Ivan Kuliak has been banned for one year by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) for wearing a Russian war symbol on the podium next to a Ukrainian competitor in March.

    Kuliak taped the letter 'Z' to his chest after winning bronze in the parallel bars final at the Apparatus World Cup in Doha, displaying it as he stood next to gold medallist Illia Kovtun from Ukraine.

    The Z has become a prominent symbol of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and has been painted on military vehicles and worn by Russian pro-war politicians.

    Kuliak was investigated by the Disciplinary Commission of the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation (GEF), which elected to disqualify him from the Apparatus World Cup, ordering him to return his bronze medal and his prize money.

    Announcing additional sanctions against Kuliak, a FIG statement said: "Mr Kuliak is not allowed to participate in any FIG-sanctioned event or competition organised by an affiliated FIG member federation for one year as of the date of this decision. 

    "If the protective measures keeping Russian athletes from competing are still in place on 17 May 2023, the ban shall continue and expire six months after the removal of said measures."

    Kuliak has 21 days to appeal against the decision.

  • England call up Arundell for first time ahead of Australia series England call up Arundell for first time ahead of Australia series

    England head coach Eddie Jones has included Henry Arundell in his 36-man training squad ahead of July's Test series with Australia.

    London Irish flier Arundell has caught the eye with a string of impressive performances since making his Premiership debut in February. 

    The 19-year-old, who is also eligible to represent Scotland and Wales, may now be in line for a maiden senior England appearance against the Barbarians next month.

    That match at Twickenham on June 19 will act as a warm-up ahead of July's three-match series in Australia, starting with a showdown at Optus Stadium in Perth.

    Arundell is joined in England's latest training squad by fellow uncapped London Irish player Will Joseph, who is the younger brother of former England centre Jonathan.

    Owen Farrell is also included after missing the Six Nations with an ankle injury, while Anthony Watson returns to the Red Rose fold following an injury lay-off of his own.

    Ten uncapped players have been included in total and seven members of the squad have 50 caps or more, including the returning Mako Vunipola.

    Ben Youngs, Joe Marler, Henry Slade and Jamie George are all rested for the three-day training camp, which runs from Sunday to Tuesday.

    "We're going to use this camp as an opportunity to prepare a base game for the Barbarians fixture and for a really important Australia tour," Jones said. 

    "We'll focus on how we want to play, how we want to be as a team off the field and continue to develop the squad cohesiveness and behaviours.

    "It is also 16 months to the World Cup and every minute counts. We want a hard-working and enjoyable environment for the players and make sure we are all on the same page. 

    "We want to take a look at some younger players and prepare a base camp for the Barbarians game, particularly as we will be without the Premiership finalists.

    "We also want to give some senior players a rest as we get to a crucial part of the season. These players will still be in contention for the Australia tour."

    England beat Australia at Twickenham in November, but that preceded a disappointing 2022 Six Nations campaign as they lost three of their five matches and finished third.

     

    England training squad

    Forwards

    Alfie Barbeary (Wasps), Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons), Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Nic Dolly (Leicester Tigers), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), George McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons), Tom Pearson (London Irish), Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks), Will Stuart (Bath Rugby), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Jack Willis (Wasps).

    Backs

    Henry Arundell (London Irish), Orlando Bailey (Bath Rugby), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints), George Furbank (Northampton Saints), Will Joseph (London Irish), Louis Lynagh (Harlequins), Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints), Harry Randall (Bristol Bears), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers), Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks), Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby).

  • Racing 92 13-20 La Rochelle: Last year's runners-up to face Leinster in Champions Cup final Racing 92 13-20 La Rochelle: Last year's runners-up to face Leinster in Champions Cup final

    La Rochelle will face Leinster in the European Champions Cup final after beating Racing 92 20-13 in an almighty battle at Stade Bollaert-Delelis.

    A year after losing to Toulouse in the final, La Rochelle will have another chance to be crowned European champions for the first time at Stade Velodrome on May 28 after fighting back to defeat their Top 14 rivals on a hot Sunday in Lens.

    A second-half penalty try, which resulted in Racing being reduced to 13 men for around eight minutes, was a key moment in the semi-final as it put La Rochelle in front for the first time.

    Ronan O'Gara's side edged out the Ireland legend's former employers to set up a repeat of last year's semi-final in Marseille, Ihaia West making amends for an off day with the boot by sealing it with a try right at the end.

    Nolann Le Garrec put Racing in front with an early penalty and West failed to make it 3-3 when he missed a straightforward chance from the tee.

    Virimi Vakatawa extended the Paris club's lead with a sharp sidestep to squeeze beyond two defenders and dot down for an opening try, which Le Garrec converted after 25 minutes.

    La Rochelle applied sustain pressure and although Raymond Rhule had a try ruled out as the ball was not clearly out of a ruck when he scooped it up, West's penalty got them on the board and Gregory Alldritt powered his way over on the stroke of half-time.

    West was unable to add the extras and the La Rochelle fly-half was off target with another penalty early in the second half before the ice cool Le Garrec booted Racing into a 13-8 lead.

    Ill-disciplined Racing were rocked when Camille Chat and Cedate Gomes Sa were sent to the sin bin in quick succession, the second offence resulting in a penalty try that put last year's runners-up 15-13 up with just under half an hour go.

    A disjointed and sloppy La Rochelle side failed to increase their advantage while Racing were two men down, during which time Le Garrec missed from the tee twice.

    Pierre Popelin stepped up to miss a penalty at the other end, but O'Gara's men ended Racing's hopes of winning the Champions Cup for the first time, with West diving over to seal it.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.