This Olympics is still less than a week away and there are a lot of competitions. This is what you need to know.
Japan fans get involved – many of Tokyo’s residents seem to be descending on the Olympic spirit. People buy souvenirs and come to the Olympic rings for photos. Some people line up on the sidewalk to watch public events such as cycling and mixed triathlon. On Sunday, people lined up on a bridge hundreds of meters away to watch the BMX match.
Two weeks ago this Olympic interest seemed impossible. Tokyo is in a state of emergency due to the rising COVID-19 cases in the country, and pre-game polls showed that the majority of the Japanese public is opposed to holding a major sporting event in the midst of an epidemic. Protesters came out on the opening day to express their dissatisfaction with the government’s decision to continue the competition.
As the games were in full swing, the tide changed, largely due to Japan’s unprecedented success. The country has already won a record 17 gold medals.
Although the organizers have done a good job of preventing the epidemic from affecting most of the competition, COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Tokyo. Authorities reported a further 3,058 cases in the Japanese capital on Sunday, more than double the previous week, as fans try to enjoy the games from home.
Possible Belarusian withdrawal: Sprinter Kristina Dimonovskaya said in a video on Sunday that the Belarusian Olympic team forcibly removed her from the competition and sent her home to the dictatorial regime. Dimonovskaya trained to run the 200-meter race, but he said he was listed to compete in the 4×400-meter relay without his permission.
Dimonovskaya does not appear to be leaving for political reasons. He told the Belarusian sports company Tribuna that he had never competed in the 400 meters and was “outraged” by the decision.
Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus ruled the country for 27 years. His son Victor was also in charge of the National Olympic Committee of Belarus for decades before taking office this year.
Italy’s Big Knight: The Italians took home two gold medals on a spectacular track and field night on Sunday. Lajont Marcel Jacobs finished first in the men’s 100 meters, the highest race dominated by Usain Bolt after Beijing in 2008. Italy’s high jumper Gianmarco Tampere shared the gold medal with Qatar’s Mudas Essa Barzim.
Medal table: China leads the country with 24 golds, the United States with 20 and Japan with 17. The Americans have won a total of 60 medals.
What happens next in Tokyo:
New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard became the first transgender woman to compete in the Olympics on Monday night. Their inclusion in the event sparked a heated debate about gender, sex and sports.
Three more individual gymnastics gold are at risk: men’s parallel bars, men’s horizontal bar and women’s balance beam.
Sifa Hassan wins gold in women’s 5,000m final The Dutch long-distance runner has set an unprecedented three-goal target in the 1,500 meters and 10,000 meters in that race.
“Travel aficionado. Infuriatingly humble reader. Incurable internet specialist.”