July 24 Tokyo 2020 Olympics news and results

By Matias Grez, John Sinnott, Ben Westcott, Brett McKeehan and Adrienne Vogt, CNN

Updated 12:11 a.m. ET, July 25, 2021
27 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
8:24 p.m. ET, July 24, 2021

Iranian defector playing under Olympic Refugee team to face off against athlete from Iran

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian and Sugam Pokharel; previous reporting by Vasco Cotovio 

Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin of the Islamic Republic of Iran celebrates during the Women's -57kg Bronze Medal Taekwondo contest in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games on August 18, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin of the Islamic Republic of Iran celebrates during the Women's -57kg Bronze Medal Taekwondo contest in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games on August 18, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

An Iranian athlete playing under the Olympic Refugee team is competing against an Iranian player representing Iran in the taekwondo qualifying round in Tokyo on Sunday.  

 

Kimia Alizadeh, who left Iran in 2020, will face off against Nahid Kiyani Chandeh in the 57kg category of taekwondo in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

 

Alizadeh became the first Iranian woman to win an Olympic medal competing for Iran after claiming bronze in taekwondo at the 2016 Rio Olympics.  

 

Affectionately known in Iran as "The Tsunami," she announced in 2020 that she permanently left her birth country for Europe amid searing criticism of the regime in Tehran.  

 

 "I am one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran who they have been playing with for years," the athlete wrote in an Instagram post in 2020 explaining why she was defecting. 

 

Alizadeh was granted refugee status in Germany and now lives in the Bavarian town of Aschaffenburg, according to Reuters.   

 

According to the IOC website, 29 athletes will compete for the IOC Refugee Olympic Team in the Games. 

 

8:41 p.m. ET, July 24, 2021

See some of the best photos from the 2020 Olympics so far

Fireworks explode over the stadium as the opening ceremony got underway.
Fireworks explode over the stadium as the opening ceremony got underway. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Athletes from all over the world are officially going for gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Olympics certainly look different this year — Tokyo is still under a state of emergency because of the Covid-19 pandemic that delayed the Games by a year, and there are no spectators allowed at any of the city's Olympic venues — but top-tier athleticism is still on full display.

Here are some of the most memorable photos of the Games so far.

Japan's Naohisa Takato, in blue, competes against Georgia's Lukhumi Chkhvimiani in the men's 60kg judo quarterfinal on July 24. Takato went on to win the first gold medal for Japan, beating Yang Yung-wei of Chinese Taipei to clinch the men's 60kg judo title.
Japan's Naohisa Takato, in blue, competes against Georgia's Lukhumi Chkhvimiani in the men's 60kg judo quarterfinal on July 24. Takato went on to win the first gold medal for Japan, beating Yang Yung-wei of Chinese Taipei to clinch the men's 60kg judo title. Sergio Perez/Reuters
Germany's Julia Sude and Karla Borger play against Switzerland's Anouk Verge-Depre and Joana Heidrich during a women's beach volleyball match in an empty Shiokaze Park on July 24.
Germany's Julia Sude and Karla Borger play against Switzerland's Anouk Verge-Depre and Joana Heidrich during a women's beach volleyball match in an empty Shiokaze Park on July 24. Felipe Dana/AP

China's Sun Yiwen celebrates with her coach Hugues Obry after winning the gold medal in the women's epee individual bout on July 24.
China's Sun Yiwen celebrates with her coach Hugues Obry after winning the gold medal in the women's epee individual bout on July 24. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

See more photos here.

1:36 p.m. ET, July 24, 2021

US fails to win medal on first day of Summer Olympics for the first time in nearly 50 years

From CNN's Homero De La Fuente

Kosovo's Distria Krasniqi picks up her medal presented by IOC member Sergey Bubka during a medal ceremony for the women's -48kg judo competition on July 24. The United States failed to win any medals on the first day of the Summer Olympics for the first time in nearly 50 years.
Kosovo's Distria Krasniqi picks up her medal presented by IOC member Sergey Bubka during a medal ceremony for the women's -48kg judo competition on July 24. The United States failed to win any medals on the first day of the Summer Olympics for the first time in nearly 50 years. Jae C. Hong/AP

Team USA ended day one of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics without a medal in the Summer Games for the first time since 1972. 

The Americans competed in five of the seven events on Saturday. In the first medal event, China’s Yang Qian took the women’s 10m air rifle final gold, while Team USA competitor and event favorite Mary Tucker finished sixth. 

World No. 1 Brady Ellison and teammate Mackenzie Brown, competing in the archery mixed team event, were eliminated after losing to Indonesia 5-4 in the first round. 

Team USA also competed in the fencing, cycling and weightlifting medal events. China finished with four medals to lead all other countries. 

Despite not reaching the podium on day one, it wasn’t all bad news for Team USA. The women’s water polo team notched a 25-4 victory over Japan, setting a then-Olympic record for goals in a game (25), margin of victory (21).
However, Spain’s women’s polo team would break those records several hours later with a 29-4 victory over South Africa. 

Also, the US Women's National Team rebounded from their opening match loss with a dominating 6-1 victory over New Zealand. The Americans also won both of their 3x3 basketball matches, 17-10 against France and 21-9 against Mongolia, while the softball team remained unbeaten with a 2-0 win over Mexico.

11:29 a.m. ET, July 24, 2021

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are underway in 2021. Here's why.

From CNN's Alyssa Kraus and George Ramsay

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics kicked off Friday with the Opening Ceremony — almost a year to the day from their intended start date in July 2020.

In March 2020, the International Olympic Committee agreed to postpone the Games until 2021 due to concerns over Covid-19. The event was originally set to begin on July 24, 2020 and end on Aug. 9, 2020.

"The IOC president and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games ... must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community," a statement from the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee read.

With the postponement, officials decided that the Games — which would take place in 2021 — would still be called the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The decision to push back the event was the first of its kind in Olympics history. The Games have never been postponed, although they have been canceled on three occasions due to World Wars in 1916, 1940 and 1944.

1:57 p.m. ET, July 24, 2021

Here's who won gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics today

From CNN's Wayne Sterling

Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images
Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

Eleven gold medals were awarded at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Saturday. Here's a breakdown of who clinched gold:

Archery

  • Mixed Team: Republic of Korea

Cycling

  • Men's Road Race: Richard Carapaz, Ecuador

Fencing

  • Women's Epee Individual: Yiwen Sun, China
  • Men's Sabre Individual: Aron Szilagyi, Hungary

Judo

  • Women's -48kg: Distria Krasniqi, Kosovo
  • Men's -60kg: Naohisa Takato, Japan

Shooting 

  • Men's 10m Air Pistol: Javad Foroughi, Iran
  • Women's 10m Air Rifle: Qian Yang, China

Taekwondo

  • Women's -49kg: Panipak Wongpattanakit, Thailand
  • Men's -58kg: Vito Dell'aquila, Italy

Weightlifting

  • Women's 49kg: Zhihui Hou, China

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the event title for Women's 10m Air Rifle. It has been fixed.

10:10 a.m. ET, July 24, 2021

Dr. Gupta: Officials' Covid plan to make the Games as safe as possible is now being put to the test

From CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Dr. Sanjay Gupta/Twitter
Dr. Sanjay Gupta/Twitter

When I first told my medical colleagues that I would be traveling 14 hours to Tokyo, they looked at me with a bit of surprise, then hesitantly told me simply to "be safe." It is the same reaction I have often received when jetting off to cover a natural disaster, like the earthquake in Haiti, or a conflict, like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This time, however, the mission was to report on how people from all over the globe would converge for the Olympic Games in a city under a state of emergency due to the pandemic.

My flight to Japan was nearly empty, just as they often are with my trips into hot zones. Given there were few or no spectators allowed for these games, there were no fans on the plane wearing country colors, speaking excitedly in different languages or exchanging their picks on favored athletes. It was quiet, serene and lonely.

My days prior to departure were filled with detailed planning and lots of testing: a Covid test within 96 hours of departure, and again within 72 hours of departure. Another one immediately upon arrival, and again daily for the duration of my stay. Each time, the possibility of a breakthrough infection lurking in the back of my mind, forcing me into isolation and my team into quarantine for an extended and unplanned stay.

Even under the best of circumstances, planning to host the Olympic Games is one of the most challenging logistical events on the planet. In the middle of an unfolding pandemic, it seemed nearly impossible. On top of that, local support for the Games is anemic: Nearly 8 in 10 Japanese citizens said they preferred to cancel the Games altogether in their home country, according to a recent poll. Many here feel the decision to hold them is irresponsible, because of the health risks involved with having, in essence, tens of thousands of potentially infected out-of-towners arriving on your doorstep in the middle of a pandemic.

But after postponing the games for a year, the Japanese government and the International Olympics Committee decided the show — the Games — must go on.

And so they are — but they're very different: strange and eerily quiet.

READ MORE HERE

8:40 a.m. ET, July 24, 2021

Ecuador's Richard Carapaz enjoys "sensational" gold medal ride

From CNN's Matias Grez

Ecuador's Richard Carapaz celebrates after winning the gold medal during the men's cycling road race on July 24.
Ecuador's Richard Carapaz celebrates after winning the gold medal during the men's cycling road race on July 24. Thibault Camus

With his arms outstretched, barely able to contain his joy, Richard Carapaz was well aware of what he had just achieved.

The Ecuadorian cyclist clinched only his country's second gold medal in Summer Games history on Saturday, crossing the line well ahead of the chasing pack to win a grueling men's road race.

“It is incredible, to see your flag as the top one, and to have this medal with me. It’s sensational," Carapaz said after the medal ceremony.
“It gives me a lot of satisfaction. I have worked very hard, and then it works out in a way that makes history for me and for my country.
“[I'm] very satisfied. My little ones are still awake, they are in Spain. And my parents in Ecuador must be very happy.”

Ecuador's only previous gold medal was won by Jefferson Perez at the 1996 Atlanta Games in the men's 20-kilometer race walk.

“That’s incredible," Carapaz said. "If I’m not mistaken, it’s been 24 years since Ecuador won its last medal, for the race walker Jefferson Perez, an athlete whom I have always admired very much.
“To be able to be a part of the history of my country is very important.”
7:57 a.m. ET, July 24, 2021

Hosts Japan win first gold medal of Tokyo 2020

From CNN's Matias Grez

Japan's Naohisa Takato poses with the gold medal for the Men’s Judo 60kg Final on July 24.
Japan's Naohisa Takato poses with the gold medal for the Men’s Judo 60kg Final on July 24.

Naohisa Takato has won Japan's first gold medal of its home Olympics, beating Yang Yung-wei of Chinese Taipei to clinch the men's -60kg judo title.

Takato adds gold to the bronze medal he won in Rio six years ago, a result that was considered something of a disappointment for the three-time world champion.

The 28-year-old's victory ensured the host nation didn't suffer a double disappointment in the Japanese martial art, after Funa Tonaki fell to Kosovo's Distria Krasniq in the women's -48kg final earlier on Saturday.

Yeldos Smetov of Kazakhstan and Luka Mkheidze of France took home the bronze medals.

10:30 a.m. ET, July 24, 2021

Novak Djokovic says current weather conditions in Tokyo are "brutal"

From CNN's Matias Grez

Serbia's Novak Djokovic plays a backhand during his Men's Singles First Round match against Bolivia's Hugo Dellien on July 24.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic plays a backhand during his Men's Singles First Round match against Bolivia's Hugo Dellien on July 24. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic made light work of opponent Hugo Dellien in the opening round of the men's singles at Tokyo 2020, beating the Bolivian 6-2 6-2.

However, it was a more grueling afternoon than the scoreline suggested, with the players having to contend with soaring temperatures and stifling humidity.

CNN's weather team said temperatures on Saturday climbed to near 34°C (93°F) across the greater Tokyo region, with "oppressive" humidity levels above 80%.

“Very tough," Djokovic said of the conditions. "Today, from also speaking to the other players, it was the hottest day so far.
"Humidity is brutal, because it’s very hot and also very humid, so the hard courts absorb the heat, and it stays trapped in there. Not much wind, not much breeze. 
"Maybe other days there was a bit more wind, which helped refresh and cool down, but not much today, so it was challenging definitely, but I’m pleased to overcome the first hurdle.
“I was solid on the court, can always do better, but first match I’m satisfied.”

Djokovic, who recently claimed his 20th grand slam title with victory at Wimbledon, is aiming to become the first man in history to achieve the 'Golden Slam,' winning all four grand slams and Olympic gold in the same year.

Earlier on Saturday, world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev had suggested the tennis matches be scheduled later in the evening to allow players to compete in cooler conditions.

“I agree with him 100%," Djokovic said. "I actually asked as well. My team captain Viktor Troicki was speaking to the referee a couple of times. To be honest, I don’t understand why they don’t start matches at, say, 3pm.
“I’ve heard for tennis there is some kind of curfew they have to finish at midnight, but if that’s the case, I’ve just finished the last match and it’s not even 5pm, we still have 7 hours to play. 
"They have lights on all the courts, they’re going to make life much easier for all of us tennis players, I just don’t understand why they don’t move it. 
“It’s actually for the TV broadcasters even better, because the later you play, the better it is for the United States and the time zones in Europe.
"I don’t know, maybe ITF (International Tennis Federation) can give you a better answer to why they chose to be played in the middle of the day. I doubt they will change the decision, but we’re hoping that they will.”