China pockets two golds, Italy and Jamaica win 100m relays

(Xinhua) 11:10, August 07, 2021
China pockets two golds, Italy and Jamaica win 100m relays
Gold medalists Fan Zhendong, Ma Long and Xu Xin (from L to R) of China pose for photos during the awarding ceremony for the table tennis men's team event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 6, 2021. (Xinhua/Huang Zongzhi)

TOKYO, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Two golds in table tennis and athletics helped China maintain its place at the top of the gold medal count.

China has notched 36 golds, 26 silvers and 17 bronzes with two competition days remaining. The United States has 98 medals, of which 31 are gold. Japan sits third with 24 golds and 51 medals.

After individual 100m victories, Italy and Jamaica once again won gold medals in men's and women's 4x100m relay respectively.

Led by men's 100m champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs, Italy overtook Britain to win by 0.01 seconds in 37.50. Canada, anchored by men's 200m gold medalist Andre de Grasse, finished third in 37.70.

Su Bingtian helped China finish fourth again with 37.79 seconds, equaling their result at Rio 2016.

The Jamaican women's team, comprising the top three finishers in the individual event, finished the race first in 41.02 seconds. USA ranked second in 41.45 and Britain settled for third in 41.88.

The Chinese women's relay team, which made their first appearance in the final since Sydney 2000, finished sixth in 42.71.

Friday also marked a day to remember for China's ace table tennis player Ma Long.

After leading China's table tennis men's team to its fourth straight champion since 2008, captain Ma became the first table tennis player to win five Olympic gold medals, after winning the men's single title at both Tokyo and Rio Games. He was also part of China's victorious team at London 2012 and Rio 2016.

All-time leading China won the men's team gold medal after beating Germany in the final.

Their female counterparts also claimed their fourth straight title on Thursday, making China the only winner in the team event since it debuted at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Ma, the winner in the singles event in Tokyo, paired with Xu Xin to dispatch the German duo of Patrick Franziska and Timo Boll 11-7, 11-3, 11-9.

World No. 1 Fan Zhendong met great resistance from Dimitrij Ovtcharov, even trailing 1-2 after three sets, but he prevailed with a 3-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-3 victory.

Stepping on court again, Ma took the first two sets 11-5, 11-9. Despite missing several match points and losing the third set 13-11, the Grand Slam winner wrapped up his victory 11-7 in the fourth set to secure China's victory.

"I hope to remember all these beautiful experiences but I don't think the Olympics is all there is to my life," said Ma, attributing his success to a strong team ethic.

"China has the best and the most people behind the scenes and this is the reason we have been able to maintain our standards," he said.

China finished the Tokyo 2020 table tennis campaign with four gold medals, only missing out on the mixed doubles, where Xu and Liu Shiwen fell to local favorite Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito in the final.

A golden surprise came to China from the field, when Liu Shiying threw 66.34 meters on her first attempt to deliver the first women's javelin gold medal for the country.

Liu only made two successful attempts but that was enough to secure her historic victory.

"Javelin is a beautiful sport, especially when it flies in the air. It's like a rainbow," said Liu. "Javelin isn't very well known as a sport in China. I hope to promote the sport in my country. Thanks to my performance, many people will hopefully get into it. We can do it and be successful."

Poland's Maria Andrejczyk won silver with 64.61 meters, while bronze went to Australia's Kelsey-Lee Barber with 64.56 meters.

Polish climber Aleksandra Miroslaw broke the women's speed climbing world record, adding another history-making scene to sport climbing's Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.

The 27-year-old topped the 15-meter high wall in 6.84 seconds, shedding 0.12 seconds off the previous mark set by ROC climber Iuliia Kaplina, who was eliminated in the qualification round on Wednesday.

Antonella Palmisano of Italy won her maiden international title with victory in the women's 20m race walk.

The 29-year-old was in a competition of her own in the closing kilometers, clocking one hour 29 minutes and 12 seconds to win.

Sandra Lorena Arenas became the third Colombian woman to achieve an Olympic medal in athletics with a silver, 25 seconds behind Palmisano.

China's defending champion Liu Hong took bronze in 1:29:57, becoming the first female race walker to win three Olympic medals, following her gold at Rio 2016 and bronze at London 2012.

Canada won a penalty shootout 3-2 against Sweden to win the women's football gold medal.

The Netherlands beat Argentina 3-1 in the women's hockey final to make it three gold medals in the past four Games and a record fourth title overall.

Host Japan breezed into the women's basketball final after crushing France 87-71, setting up a clash against six-time reigning champions the United States on Sunday.

Outside of the competition arenas, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach acknowledged the progress so far in staging a "safe and secure Games," citing that there were 42,500 arrival COVID-19 tests at a positivity rate of 0.08 percent, and 571,000 screening tests at a positivity rate of 0.02 percent.

"I think it's fair to say that the Olympic community here in Tokyo has been the best tested community anywhere in the world during the last few weeks," he said.

Elsewhere, Brazilian Olympic volleyball player Tandara Caixeta has been sent home from Tokyo 2020 after she was suspended in a doping case.

The sample that showed positive was collected one month ago, prior the opening date of the Olympics, said Brazil's Olympic committee.


(Web editor: Zhang Wenjie, Bianji)


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