Back to the events of the day.
Not everyone was able to participate in the big opening ceremony party on Friday July 23 at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. Some athletes were, in fact, excused, their events having started. In rowing, the Frenchmen Hugo Boucheron and Matthieu Androdias finished first in their series in the first qualifying round in a pair, even setting the best time of all the teams combined.
Archery qualifying also started on Friday, with one eye-catching image: Russian archer Svetlana Gombova passed out from the sweltering heat. The athlete was able to get up and finished 45e of the qualifying event, with a score of 630.
Discover the menu of tomorrow.
The Olympics are (really) on. If some events have already started since the middle of the week, such as football or softball (women’s version of baseball), the first medals will be distributed on Saturday, with several French chances. At just 18 years old, Océane Muller could be the first French medalist in 10 meters air rifle, category in which the Alsatian won the gold medal at the end of May at the European Championships (final from 3:45 a.m., Paris time). Another chance for a medal on Saturday: judoka Shirine Boukli, European champion in 2020, in the under 48 kg category.
The men’s road race of cycling will also take place on Saturday on rough terrain (departure at 4 am), just six days after the end of the Tour de France. France will have to do without Julian Alaphilippe, Thibaut Pinot, or even Romain Bardet. Rémi Cavagna, Benoît Cosnefroy, Kenny Elissonde, David Gaudu, Guillaume Martin will wear the tricolor jersey, for an expected finish around 9:30 am One of the big favorites of this race will be the versatile Belgian, Wout Van Aert, all terrain and brilliant during the last Tour (one victory in the mountains, one against the clock and one in the sprint on the Champs-Elysées). In the absence of his “best enemy”, the Dutchman Mathieu Van Der Poel – yellow jersey on the Tour and grandson of Raymond Poulidor -, focused on the mountain bike race, the Belgian should rub shoulders with the Slovenian armada, led by Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic.
And also… Also on the program for this second day (the full program), the rowing pursuit and the start of the trials of boxing, of Artistic Gymnastics, of field hockey, of taekwondo, of basketball 3×3, of judo, of badminton… as well as the first match of the French team of handball of Nikola Karabatic against Argentina (4 hours).
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The Games in one animated shot.
The French delegation marching for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games! Clarisse Agbegnenou… https://t.co/X6mospeRXa
Flag bearer of the French delegation alongside judoka Clarisse Agbegnenou, gymnast Samir Aït Saïd performed on Friday when the blue athletes entered during the opening ceremony, performing a back salto. This rings specialist is living a beautiful story and a sporting resurrection with these Tokyo Olympics.
Five years ago, he finished the Rio Games in hospital, having broken his left leg when landing a jump. Four years before, in London, he had not been able to participate in the Olympics due to an injury. But Aït Saïd will not have much time to recover from his emotions after this ceremony, since he starts qualifying on Saturday.
The Olympians at the microphone.
“We worked hard to qualify for the Games, but the Palestinian cause is bigger than all that”
Algerian judoka Fethi Nourine has decided to forfeit Tokyo so as not to have to face an Israeli opponent in his table game, he announced on Algerian television Thursday evening. Nourine was due to face Sudanese Mohamed Abdalrasool first on Monday in the first round, before fighting Israeli Tohar Butbul in the next round.
This is not the first time that Nourine has withdrawn from a competition for this reason. He had already done this during the 2019 Worlds in Tokyo.
Snapshots from our special envoys.
On your marks, get set, take the elevator. Any new arrival on Japanese soil must first respect three days of quarantine – now behind us – but he can still stretch his legs as much as he wants during his first seventy-two hours. Yes, as long as you check in every fifteen minutes, and therefore avoid an excursion to Mount Fuji.
Starting and finishing point for our time trials: a small table on the fourth floor of the hotel, which logically acts as a reception hall. A signature is required when leaving, another when returning.
So much for the precise prophylaxis at the time of Covid-19, more or less respected here and there, we will not name names. Even the honest citizen can sometimes be caught up in reality. A take-out order of sushi that is desired, and it is the tragedy: three minutes late. Without consequence, rest assured.
Not a day goes by without the emergence of cases of athletes in Tokyo infected with SARS-CoV-2. On Friday, the organizers of the Olympics announced that three new athletes had been diagnosed positive. If their nationality and discipline have not been revealed, the Portuguese surfer, Frederico Morais, announced on his Instagram account that he had just caught the Covid-19 and that he could therefore not participate in the tests.
“This is probably the saddest video I have ever had to post. In 2019, I qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which were postponed due to Covid-19. And now, because of the virus, I will not be able to compete or represent my country ”, lamented in his video the one who was considered the best European surfer of the Olympic tournament, until his retirement. Another notable package, that of the German cyclist Simon Geschke. Tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, he will not be able to participate in the test scheduled for Saturday.
Our selection of articles on the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games