TOKYO 2020/Saturday Review & Preview: China wins first gold in Tokyo; U.S. women’s water polo wins, 25-4; anti-Semitism rears its ugly head again

The Tokyo 2020 medals (Photo: Tokyo 2020)

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= TOKYO 2020 =
From Lane One:

● The ancient plague of anti-Semitism is once again in the news, and again in Judo, as the International Judo Federation stated in a Saturday post:

“Following the draw of the judo competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, [Algerian] Fethi Nourine (-73kg) and his coach Amar Benikhlef gave individual statements to media announcing their withdrawal from the competition to avoid meeting an Israeli athlete during the event.

“The immediate response of the IJF Executive Committee was to form an investigative commission which confirmed all the facts, leading to a temporary suspension of the athlete and the coach and assigning the case to the Disciplinary Commission of the IJF for further investigation, judgement and final sanctioning beyond the Olympic Games.”

The IJF has been tough on this issue, especially against Iran, but now:

“Fethi Nourine and Amar Benikhlef are now suspended and will face a decision by the IJF Disciplinary Commission, as well as disciplinary sanctions by the National Olympic Committee of Algeria back in their country.”

● The youngest Olympian in Tokyo, 12-year-old Syrian table tennis player Hend Zaza, is on her way home after losing her first-round match, 4-0, to 39-year-old Jia Liu (AUT).

Who’s the youngest one left? It might be 13-year-old Sky Brown, the British skateboarder who was the 2019 Worlds bronze medalist and is a definite threat in the women’s Park event.

● The International Paralympic Committee pursued a harder line against Russia in 2016 after its state-sponsored doping escapade from 2011-15 and the IPC announced last Thursday that no demonstrations or protests will be allowed, that is, “the rule should remain in place and that the field of play, medal presentations and opening and closing ceremonies should be protected.”

The IPC Governing Board accepted the recommendation of the IOC’s Athletes’ Council, which did its own consultation over nine months:

“To gather opinions and engage in consultation, all Paralympians and Para athletes globally within the Paralympic Movement were invited to nine focus groups to discuss the current rules and what changes could be made in the future. The athlete community was also invited to complete an online survey, which 489 athletes across 27 summer and winter sports – 267 Paralympians and 222 Para athletes – completed. The recommendations made are a direct reflection of the consultation.”

The Paralympic Games will run from 24 August to 5 September.
~ Rich Perelman

Archery: Mixed Team
No doubt about Korea as the favorite and San An and Je-Deok Kim won as expected, defeating Bangladesh, 6-0 in the first round, then India by 6-2, Mexico in the semis by 5-1 and then the Netherlands – Gabriela Schlosser and Steve Wiljer – in the final by 5-3. Mexico’s Luis Alvarez and Alejandra Valencia won the bronze medal over Turkey, 6-2.

The U.S. pair of Brady Ellison and Makenzie Brown came from 0-4 down to tie in the fourth end, but lost a shoot-out in the fifth end to Indonesia in the first round and were eliminated.

Cycling: Men’s Road Race
Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz, third in the recent Tour de France, attacked with 26 km remaining in the 234 km route, then shook off American Brandon McNulty in the final 6 km to win easily on Saturday.

He finished 1:07 ahead of the much-feared Wout van Aert (BEL), who was tracked closely by the other riders. Carapaz escaped over the crest of the last climb and was never headed, despite van Aert’s hard chase. Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar (SLO) was third, close behind van Aert, with Bauke Mollema (NED) fourth. McNulty faded to sixth. Carapaz, 28, added the Olympic gold to his resume, which also includes a win at the 2019 Giro d’Italia.

Fencing: Women’s Epee
China’s Yiwen Sun is one of those performers for whom the Olympics is special. The bronze-medal winner in London and Rio, she hadn’t done much since, placing 10th-17th-10th in the 2017-18-19 World Championships. But in Tokyo, she was golden

Sun had a close call in the quarterfinals, edging Federica Isola (ITA), only 11-10, but then cruised to the final against 2018 Worlds runner-up Ana Maria Popescu.

Popescu led 7-6 going into the third period, but ended up tied, 10-10 with Sun scoring to break the tie and win, 11-10. It’s China first individual win in women’s fencing since 1984 and first ever in women’s Epee. Estonia’s Katrina Lehis won the bronze over Aizanat Murtazaeva (RUS) by 15-8.

None of the U.S. entries – Courtney Hurley, Kelley Hurley and Kat Holmes – made it past the round of 16.

Fencing: Men’s Sabre
Hungary’s Aron Szilagyi won his second straight Olympic title in Rio in 2016, then seemed to disappear. Now 31, he finished just 9-7-17 in the three Worlds between Rio and Tokyo, and yet he is on top of the podium again.

Szilagyi was barely challenged on his way to another gold, winning his matches by 15-7, 15-7, 15-6, 15-13 against Georgia’s Sandro Bazadze in the semis and then 15-7 again, over Italy’s Luigi Samele in the final. Szilagyi is the first to win the Olympic Sabre title three times and the first-ever triple champion in Olympic men’s fencing (it has been done once in women’s fencing).

In the bronze final, Korea’s 2018 World Champion Jung-Hwan Kim defeated Bazadze, 15-11. Kim eliminated American star Eli Dershwitz in the round of 16 and Rio silver winner Daryl Homer lost in the round of 32.

Judo: Women’s 48 kg
Kosovo is new to the Olympic Games, but is already a power in Judo. After Majlinda Kelmendi won in Rio at 52 kg for the country’s first Olympic medal, 2019 Worlds bronze medalist Distria Krasniqi followed up with an upset win over 2017 World Champion Funa Tonaki at the famed Nippon Budokhan.

Krasniqi got by fellow 2019 Worlds bronze winner Urantsetseg Munkhbat (MGL) in the semifinals and then faced Tonaki, who had defeated 2016 Rio champ Paula Pareto (ARG) by ippon and then two-time World Champion Daria Bilodid (UKR), also by ippon. But Krasniqi needed only 3:41 to win by waza-ari and stun the Japanese favorite.

The bronze medals went to Bilodid (over Israel’s Shira Rishony) and Munkhbat, over Catarina Costa (POR).

Judo: Men’s 60 kg
Joy for Japan, as Naohisa Takato moved up from bronze in Rio to gold in Tokyo, defeating surprise finalists Yung Wei Yang (TPE) by ippon – golden score – in overtime after 7:40. It’s Japan’s fifth title in the 11 times this class has been contested at the Games.

France’s Luka Mkheidze won a bronze over Won-Jin Kim (KOR) by ippon; the other bronze went to Yeldos Smetov (KAZ) by waza-ari over Tirnike Tsjakadoea (NED).

Shooting: Men’s 10 m Air Pistol
When you’re hot, you’re hot and Iran’s Javad Foroughi won both World Cup events held this year and was clearly the best in Tokyo, shooting an Olympic Record 244.8 in the final to out-last Serbia’s Damir Mikec (237.9). Rio bronze medalist Wei Pang (CHN) collected another, finishing third at 217.5. However, Mikec did pretty well for being the last qualifier (eighth)!

Foroughi shot 10.5-10.1 on his final two shots where Mikec managed 9-1-8.8 to widen the final margin. American James Hall was 10th in qualifying and just missed the final.

Shooting: Women’s 10 m Air Rifle
This was once again the first medal awarded at the Games and was a nail-biter down to the final shot.

After six rounds of the final, Russia’s Anastasiia Galashina had a 231.4-231.3 lead over China’s Qian Yang. Galashina then shot a 10.8 on her first shot of the seventh round to 10.7 for Yang, adding 0.1 to her lead. But in the final round, Galashina managed only an 8.9 and Yang scored 9.8 to win with an Olympic Record of 251.8-251.1. Wow.

It’s the fourth straight win for China in this event and five of the last six.

Swiss Nina Christen was third at 230.6; American Mary Tucker made the final and finished sixth.

Taekwondo: Women’s 49 kg
There is joy in Thailand as 2019 49 kg World Champion Panipak Wongpattanakit navigated through the field and scored a two-point body kick with seven seconds left to defeat 15th-seed Adriana Cerezo Iglesias of Spain for the gold medal.

It’s Thailand’s first-ever Taekwondo gold and Wongpattakit moves up from bronze in Rio to the top of the podium. Serbia’s Rio 2016 silver medalist Tijana Bogdanovic won a bronze by defeating Miyu Yamada, 20-6, in one medal match and Israeli Abishag Semberg won the other bronze by 27-22 against Ruyike Yildirim of Turkey.

Taekwondo: Men’s 58 kg
Italy’s Vito Dell’Aquilla won a bronze medal at the 2017 World Championships, but then only got to the third round in 2019. In 2021, he’s the Olympic Champion, defeating four opponents by a combined score of 108-52, including Mohamed Jendoubi (TUN) by 16-12 in the final.

Jendoubi, 19, eliminated favored Jun Jang (KOR) in the semifinals by 25-19 and won Tunisia’s first-ever medal in Taekwondo. Jang won the bronze with a 46-16 thrashing of Omar Salim (HUN), and Mikhail Artamonov (RUS) won the other bronze over Lucas Guzman (ARG), 15-10.

Weightlifting: Women’s 48 kg
China’s Zhihui Hou holds the world record and set an Olympic Record of 210 kg to easily win the class. She also set Olympic marks for the Snatch (94 kg) and Clean & Jerk (116 kg) along the way.

No surprise for India’s Chanu Saikhom Mirabai to take the silver (202 kg), but American Jourdan Delacruz was in position for a medal after a 86 kg Snatch, placing her third. But she failed on all three of her Clean & Jerk tries, leaving her unplaced. Instead, Indonesia’s Windy Cantika Aisah won the bronze at 194 kg.

Elsewhere:

Gymnastics ● The U.S. men finished fourth in the team qualifying and move on to the final. Japan led at 262.251, followed by China (262.061), Russia (261.945) with the U.S. at 256.761, meaning they have work to do to get close to a medal. Japan’s Daiki Hashimoto led the All-Around at 88.531, and Americans Brody Malone (11th: 85.298) and Sam Mikulak (14th: 84.664) qualified for the All-Around final.

Yul Moldauer qualified for the Floor final, Alec Yoder made the Pommel Horse final; Mikulak made the Parallel Bars final and Malone made the High Bar final. The shocker was Japan’s Kohei Uchimura, the 2012-16 All-Around champion, finishing 20th and missing the High Bar final.

Team: 3×3 Basketball ● The U.S. women’s 3×3 team won its first two games by 17-10 over France and 21-9 over Mongolia and is one of three unbeatens as round-robin play continues.

Team: Beach Volleyball ● The U.S. men’s pair of Nick Lucena and Phil Dalhausser were swept in their first-round match by Dutch stars Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen, 21-17, 21-18, in 42 minutes. Next up in Pool B is Brazil’s Alison and Alvaro Filho on the 27th.

Team: Football ● The U.S. women’s team rebounded with a 6-1 win over New Zealand, which might be enough to get it into the playoff round regardless of what happens against Australia in its final group game. The U.S. got first-half goals from Rose Lavelle in the ninth minute and Lindsay Horan in the 45th for a 2-0 halftime lead. Relentless U.S. pressure results in two New Zealand own-goals, plus scores for Christen Press and Alex Morgan for the 6-1 final. The final group game with Australia is on the 27th; Sweden beat the Aussies, 4-2, on Saturday.

Team: SoftballCat Osterman pitched six shutout innings and Monica Abbott pitched a scoreless seventh for the U.S. to beat Mexico, 2-0, their third straight shutout. Both the U.S. and Japan are 3-0 in the six-team field and will play each other on the 26th. In three games, the U.S. has out-scored its opponents, 5-0 while Japan has scored 16 runs against three.

Team: Volleyball ● The U.S. men opened with a 3-0 shutout of France: 25-18, 25-18, 25-22. The U.S. women will start pool play with Argentina tomorrow.

Team: Water Polo ● The powerhouse American women’s team with a massive 25-4 win in Group A over Japan. The American women had an 8-3 lead at the quarter and 14-3 at the half. Stephanie Haralabidis and Maggie Steffens had five goals each and Maddie Musselman and Aria Fischer had four each.

Spain piled up 29 goals in its first game, vs. South Africa (29-4) in Group B.

= PREVIEWS: SUNDAY, 25 JULY =
(18 events across 10 sports)

Archery: Women’s Team
This event has been held eight times and South Korea has won eight times. It’s been a little more competitive in the World Championships, with Chinese Taipei winning in 2019, Russia in 2015 and Italy in 2011, with South Korea in 2013 and 2017. But Korea’s San An, Min-hee Jang and Chae-young Kang went 1-2-3 in the Ranking Round and seem almost unbeatable.

Who’s chasing silver and bronze? Mexico, Italy, China, Japan and the U.S. trio of Mackenzie Brown, Casey Kaufhold and Jennifer Mucino-Fernandez are contenders.

Cycling: Women’s Road Race
This is a 137 km loop course from Musashinonomori Park to the Fuji International Speedway that could be all about the Dutch. Of the 10 UCI Women’s World Tour races held in 2021, Dutch riders have won eight, including defending Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen (2), Marianne Vos (2) and Annemiek van Vleuten (1). All four are in the race.

Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini – the bronze winner in 2016 – has won four medals this season (one win); Grace Brown (AUS) has won two medals (also one win), as have Cecile Uttrup Ludwig (DEN) and Lisa Brennauer (GER). Do not count out Arlenis Sierra (CUB), Britain’s Lizzie Deignan, Poland’s Kasia Niewiadoma, South Africa’s Ashleigh Moolman and Americans Coryn Rivera and Chloe Dygert. Moolman and Rivera both won stages during the recent Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile.

Diving: Women’s 3 m Synchro
China owns this event, having won four Olympic titles in a row and Tingmao Shi and Han Wang are the reigning World Champions from 2019. No one is considered a serious threat, but the race for silver and bronze could fall to Canadians Jennifer Abel and Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu, runners-up in 2019 and Britain’s Grace Reid and Katherine Torrance, fifth at the 2017 and 2019 Worlds. Italy and Mexico are traditionally strong in this event, but recent retirements make their chances unclear.

Americans Krysta Palmer and Alison Gibson are talented, and competed in the 2019 Worlds, finishing 10th. They’re a long-shot for a medal.

Fencing: Men’s Epee
Rio champion Sang-Young Park (KOR), 2019 World Champion Gergely Siklosi (HUN), 2019 silver medalist Sergey Bida (RUS) and bronze medalists Igor Reizlin (UKR) and Andrea Santarelli (ITA), and 2018 World Champion Yannick Borel (FRA), silver medalist (and 2012 Olympic winner) Ruben Limardo (VEN), and 2018 bronze medalists Bogdan Nikishin (UKR) and Roman Svichkar (UKR) are all in the field.

The winner may not be any of them; look out for Italy’s Marco Fichera and Enrico Garozzo, home favorite Kazuyasu Minobe (JPN) and Swiss Max Heinzer.

Fencing: Women’s Foil
This class should belong to Russian Inna Deriglazova, the Rio gold medalist and World Champion in 2015-17-19. If she is in form, she will be the winner.

There are challengers, including Americans Lee Keifer and Nicole Ross, and recent Worlds medalists from 2019 – Pauline Ranvier (FRA/gold), Ariana Errigo (ITA/silver and 2012 Olympic silver) – and 2018 champ Alice Volpi (ITA), runner-up Ysoara Thibus (FRA), and bronze winner Ines Boubakri (TUN).

Judo: Women’s 52 kg
This class produced a memorable moment in 2016 with Kosovo’s Majlinda Kelmendi won the country’s first-ever Olympic medal. She’s back, as well as silver winner Odette Giuffrida. Japan’s Uta Abe won the 2019 World title, also held at Budokhan, beating Russian Natalia Kuziutina, with Kelmendi taking a bronze.

Those four start as favorites, with Abe on home turf. At the 2021 World Judo Championships held in June, Spain’s Ana Perez Box won silver and Fabienne Kocher (SUI) and have to be accounted for. Belgium’s Charline van Snick, now 30, won bronze in London in 2012 at 48 kg and France’s Amandine Buchard took bronze in this class in the 2018 Worlds. They’re both serious contenders.

Judo: Men’s 66 kg
Japan’s Hifumi Abe, brother of Uta Abe, is a two-time World Champion in this class from 2017 and 2018, but won “only” bronze in 2019. He is going to get an argument from Korean Baul An, the Rio 2016 silver winner and 2015 World Champion and Dennis Vieru (MLD), bronze medalist at the 2019 Worlds.

Italy’s Manuel Lombardo (silver), Yakub Shmailov (RUS: bronze) and Baskhuu Yondonperenlei (MGL: bronze) performed well at the 2021 Worlds, but do they have enough to handle Abe or An?

Shooting: Women’s 10 m Air Pistol
A huge field of 57 shooters is lined up to try to stop China from a fourth straight win in this event. Chinese entrants Ranxin Jiang (fifth at the 2018 Worlds) and Yuemei Lin are going to be competitive, but aren’t scary.

So perhaps Greek co-flag bearer Anna Korakaki, the bronze winner from Rio (and gold in the 25 m Pistol) might be a favorite, along with Rio silver medalist Vitalina Batsarashkina (RUS). Korakaki won the 2018 world title in this event, ahead of Zorana Arunovic (SRB) and Bo-Mi Kim (KOR) and both are entered. But India expects to do well here, especially after the 1-2 World Cup finish by Yashaswini Singh Deswal and Manu Bhaker in March. The June World Cup had Antoaneta Kostadinova (BUL) winning ahead of Germany’s Carina Wimmer.

Shooting: Men’s 10 m Air Rifle
Ukraine’s Serhiy Kulish and Russian Vladimir Maslennikov were 2-3 in Rio and return for more, but Sergey Kamenskiy (RUS) is the 2018 World Champion and the Croatian silver and bronze medalists, Peter Gorsa and Miran Maricic, are both back.

There’s an opening for Lucas Kozeniesky, who performed strongly at the U.S. Trials and won the ISSF World Cup in this event March, ahead of Hungarian veteran Istvan Peni. In Croatia in June, U.S. teammate Bill Shaner won the competition, beating Maslennikov and Gorsa in the final. The U.S. has never won an Olympic medal in this event, which debuted in Los Angeles in 1984.

Skateboarding: Men’s Street
The debut of Skateboarding in the Olympic Games should be a showcase for the best ever in the event: American Nyjah Huston. Eleven editions of the World Street Championships have been held and he’s won it six times and been second five times!

However, he was second in 2021, with Yuto Horigome (JPN) winning and Sora Shirai (JPN) third; Horigome moved up from second in 2020. Brazil’s Kelvin Hoefler is not to be ignored: he was 2015 World Champion, second to Huston in 2018 and third in 2017. Australia’s Shane O’Neill was 2016 World Champion and second in 2017 and Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro won bronze at the 2019 Worlds. Huston is the clear favorite, but he has the target on his back from performers who have beaten him in the past.

Swimming: Men’s 400 m Freestyle
This event looks a lot different now than a few months ago. Rio 2016 champ Mack Horton (AUS) didn’t make the team and 2012 Olympic winner and 2019 World Champion Yang Sun (CHN) has been suspended for doping.

That leaves Italy’s Gabriele Detti, 26, sitting as the Rio bronze medalist and the 2019 Worlds bronze medalist and a prime contender to be on top of the podium. But he was third in the qualifying to Henning Muhlleitner (GER: 3:43.67) and Austria’s Felix Auboeck (3:43.91)

World leader Elijah Winnington (AUS) and teammate Jack McLoughlin (AUS) tied for fourth in 3:45.20, and American Trials winner Kieran Smith was sixth in 3:45.25, with Jake Mitchell seventh at 3:45.38.

Swimming: Men’s 400 m Medley
Japanese swimming fans were aching to cheer for three-time World Champion Daiya Seto, the world leader at 4:09.02, but he failed to qualify in Saturday’s heats, finishing with the ninth-best time.

The leaders were Australians Brendon Smith (4:09.27) and Lewis Clareburt (4:09.49), with American Chase Kalisz, the 2017 World Champion, third (4:09.65). Hungary’s David Verraszto was fourth (4:09.80) and American Jay Litherland – the 2019 Worlds silver medalist – tied for fifth (4:09.91) in what should be a very tight final. Kalisz, the Rio silver medalist, has a chance to move up to the top of the podium.

Swimming: Women’s 400 m Medley
This race has been the exclusive property of Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu – The Iron Lady – who won in Rio in 2016 and owns world titles in this swim from 2009-13-15-17-19. She’s the favorite until some beats her. But then again, she was only seventh in qualifying on Saturday.

The qualifying leader is also the world leader: American Emma Weyant, who swam her fastest yet in 2021 with a world-leading 4:33.55, followed by Britain’s Aimee Willmott, well back at 4:35.28. Japan’s Yui Ohashi, the 2019 Worlds bronze medalist, was third (4:35.71) and American Hali Flickinger (4:35.98) was fifth.

Rio bronze medalist Mireia Belmonte (ESP) had not impressed on the clock all year, but qualified fourth in 4:35.88.

Swimming: Women’s 4×100 m Freestyle
This is unquestionably Australia’s race to lose. Between Emma McKeon, Cate Campbell, Madison Wilson and Meg Harris, they own 13 of the fastest 15 times this year. McKeon, Campbell and Wilson were on the winning Rio team and the Aussies also won in 2012.

They led the qualifying at 3:31.73, followed by the Netherlands (3:33.51), Canada (3:33.72), Britain (3:34.03) and the U.S. team of Olivia Smoliga, Cate de Loof, Allison Schmitt and Natalie Hinds. Much faster swimmers coming for the U.S. in the final.

But no one should touch Australia and their world record of 3:30.05 from 2018 is definitely in danger.

Taekwondo: Women’s 57 kg
Let’s start with British star Jade Jones, the 2012 and 2016 Olympic champ and 2019 World Champion. Korea’s Ah-Reum Lee was the 2019 Worlds runner-up and Skylar Park (CAN) Lijun Zhou (CHN) won the bronzes and all are in the field.

A wild card is Kimia Alizadeh, who won the 2016 Olympic bronze for Iran, but left the country under duress and will compete on the Refugee Olympic Team. Unbelievably, her first-round opponent is scheduled to be Iran’s Nahid Kiyani Chandeh, a quarterfinalist at the 2017 Worlds! You can’t make this up …

Taekwondo: Men’s 68 kg
The 2019 World Champion Bradly Sinden heads this field, with silver medalist Javier Perez (ESP) ready to go, as well as 2017 Worlds winner Dae-Hoon Lee (KOR), a 2019 bronze medalist, but also a bronze medalist from Rio 2016.

Another contender will come out of the first-round showdown between Iran’s Mirhashem Hossieni won the 2017 Worlds silver at 63 kg and will face Yu-Jen Huang (TPE), the 2017 Worlds 68 kg silver medalist. A very tough match to start an Olympics!

Weightlifting: Men’s 61 kg
China’s Fabin Li is the 2019 World Champion and owns the world record in this event with a combined lift of 318 kg. So much for the gold medal.

Indonesia’s Eko Yuli Irawan won the Rio silver medal and the 2019 Worlds silver and appears the safe choice to do so again. Vietnam’s Thach Kim Tuan, Japan’s Yoichi Itokazu and Georgian Shota Mishvelidze were 4-6-7 at the 2019 Worlds and appear to have the best shots at bronze.

Weightlifting: Men’s 67 kg
China has won this weight class in for successive Olympic Games and Lijun Chen is the 2019 World Champion and the world-record holder. He’s the prohibitive favorite.

Upcoming is Adkhamjon Ergashev, 22, from Uzbekistan, the 2019 World Junior Champion and fourth at the 2019 World Championships. Colombian Luis Javier Mosquera and Japan’s Mitsunori Konnai were 5-6 at the 2019 Worlds and should contend for the bronze.

= INTEL REPORT =

Tokyo 2020 ceremonies executive producer Takayuki Hioki was asked after the Opening Ceremony about the selection of tennis icon Naomi Osaka as the final torchbearer:

“The most important thing was to deliver a message of diversity and inclusion.

“In the end we decided on her because she is a great athlete and she has been delivering a variety of messages so we thought she was the best person to be the final torchbearer. It was a decision that the whole organizing committee came to.

“It’s more about the absolute values that Naomi Osaka offers. That’s what we focus on. Of course, for the Games as a whole and also for Japan, she is a jewel, she is a treasure for us, so that is why we selected her.”

Osaka’s first match will be on Sunday.

Through 24 July, the Tokyo 2020 report on Covid positives is up to 123, with 71 from residents of Japan and 56 from outside. Contractors continue to lead the tally with 65 (52.8%), followed by “Games-concerned personnel” including coaches and officials (34), then athletes (12), news media (8) and Tokyo 2020 staff and volunteers (4).

At a Saturday news conference, Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya said there had been 34,000 tests made at airport and as many as 29,000 screenings at the various sites. As of Thursday, a total of 137,000 tests had been made with 33 positives for a positivity rate of 0.02%. Other positives have come from other sources, such as teams.

The Tokyo Games may not be politically popular, but they are popular in Japan on television. Through just the first two days of competitions before the Opening Ceremony, ratings showed that 69.5 million Japanese had watched some part, or 55.0% of the 126.3 million national population.

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