July 29 Tokyo 2020 Olympics news and results

By Matias Grez, Ben Church, Helen Regan, Aditi Sangal, Adam Renton, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, July 30, 2021
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4:47 a.m. ET, July 29, 2021

Mental health and severe heat are two big issues at Tokyo 2020. The IOC just spoke about both

From CNN's Gawon Bae

Simone Biles waits to perform on the vault during the artistic gymnastics final on July 27.
Simone Biles waits to perform on the vault during the artistic gymnastics final on July 27. Gregory Bull/AP

The pressure of competing in the Olympics and Tokyo's severe heat have been impacting athletes' mental and physical health at the Summer Games, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) says it is working on both those fronts.

The IOC said it offers a 24-hour hotline available in 70 languages, a "safeguarding officer" within Tokyo's Olympic Village and six free counseling sessions for athletes.

"I think we can always, as individuals and as representatives, we can always do more, and that’s what the Commission is working on. We’ve got to consistently stay engaged with all of our athlete representatives," IOC mental health support chair Kirsty Coventry said in a Tokyo 2020 daily press briefing Thursday.

This comes after US gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from the individual all-around competition to focus on her mental health, putting a spotlight on the issue.

Biles acknowledged the "outpouring love & support" she's received since announcing she would not compete in the women's individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her well-being.

"[T]he outpouring love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before," Biles tweeted.

It remains unclear if the six-time Olympic medalist will compete in other events.

Tokyo heat: The committee is also working to prevent heat illnesses, particularly heat stroke, during the Games, Tokyo 2020's medical and scientific director Richard Budgett said.

Budgett pointed to provisions such as changed formats, giving 10-minute cool-down breaks and stopping the match when the temperature rises over 32 degrees Celsius (89.6 degrees Fahrenheit), saying the committee has been “very well prepared” for the heat situation, particularly for tennis events.

Additionally, the committee has been working with local experts to prevent heat stroke as the athletes push themselves, he said.

It was so hot on the tennis courts in Tokyo on Wednesday, that Russian Olympic Committee’s Daniil Medvedev asked what would happen if he died during the match. Separately, Spain’s Paula Badosa was forced to retire from her quarterfinal match due to heatstroke.

4:42 a.m. ET, July 29, 2021

The sound of Tokyo 2020 is mostly cicadas

From CNN's George Ramsay in Tokyo

What's the soundtrack of an Olympics without the shouting and cheering of spectators? Cicadas, mostly.

With Tokyo under a state of emergency throughout the Games, fans have been barred from attending venues in the Japanese capital.

Some events have a good atmosphere as coaches, officials, and non-competing athletes are permitted to watch -- socially-distanced -- from the stands, while others have been eerily quiet.

At times, it's even possible to hear a constant rattle of cicadas from the trees and bushes around venues.

In Japan, the noisy bugs have been called "the sound of the summer," and perhaps that's more true than ever against the backdrop of an Olympics without fans.

The cicadas, about an inch or an inch-and-half in length, also provide entertainment for kids, who run around trying to catch them in nets.

Here's a snapshot of what they sound like:

4:40 a.m. ET, July 29, 2021

Tokyo sees third consecutive day of record Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Arthur Syin in Tokyo

People cross a street in Tokyo on Wednesday, July 28.
People cross a street in Tokyo on Wednesday, July 28. Koji Sasahara/AP

Tokyo has reported a record number of new Covid-19 cases for the third consecutive day amid the 2020 Olympic Games, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Japan's capital reported 3,865 new cases Thursday, topping Wednesday's record when it added 3,177 new cases.

At least 198 Covid-19 cases have been reported as linked to the Tokyo Games as of Thursday, according to Olympic organizers.

Tokyo is currently under a state of emergency in effect until August 22. 

On Thursday, local media reported that three prefectures neighboring Tokyo -- Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama -- will ask the Japanese government to add them to areas under the Covid-19 state of emergency after the recent surge in the number of coronavirus cases, citing Chiba Governor Toshihito Kumagai.

Tokyo public health expert Kenji Shibuya told CNN on Thursday the rise in cases could raise concern for the Olympic bubble. 

"Tokyo is using its own severity scale which masks the true magnitude of the problem -- and obviously the more transmission outside, the more opportunity for those within the bubble will get infected, vice versa as it has already burst," Shibuya said.

4:21 a.m. ET, July 29, 2021

"Every time I look at the tickets, I cry." This Japanese superfan spent $40,000 on Olympics tickets

From CNN's Rebecca Wright and Will Ripley

Kazunori Takishima attends a hockey match at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Kazunori Takishima attends a hockey match at the 2012 Olympics in London. (Courtesy Kazunori Takishima)

Kazunori Takishima's love for the Olympics started in 2005 when he saw a figure skating competition for the first time, and immediately, he bought tickets for the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics in Italy. He was hooked. Since then, he has been traveling the world to support Japan at every Olympic Games for the past 15 years. So it was a dream to see the event in his home city of Tokyo.

But when a ban on spectators was announced due to the Covid-19 situation in Japan, that dream was over.

He had spent nearly $40,000 on 197 tickets -- for him and his friends -- to cram in as many events as possible during Tokyo 2020.

"It took an unbelievable amount of time, effort, and passion," Takishima told CNN. "But I was so passionate about the Olympics that even though it was very difficult and challenging, I enjoyed the process of buying the tickets."

The 45-year-old real estate businessman worked out that if he watched all the events he had booked, he would have broken the Guinness World Record for attendance at Olympic events. He'll now get a refund on the tickets he's purchased.

"All I have now is sadness, and every time I look at the tickets, I cry," Takishima said. "I'm just sad."

Despite his disappointment, he says the experience won't put him off being an Olympic superfan.

"I will continue to visit and support the Olympics until the day I die," Takishima said. "While I'm still able to move, I plan to see all the Games from the opening to the closing (ceremonies). I can eventually beat the record."

Read the full story here.

Tom Booth, Dan Hodge, and Arthur Syin contributed to reporting

3:50 a.m. ET, July 29, 2021

A new medal ceremony tradition in the time of coronavirus

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

The United States' Katie McLaughlin places a silver medal around the neck of teammate Katie Ledecky during the medal ceremony for the 4x200-meters freestyle relay on July 29.
The United States' Katie McLaughlin places a silver medal around the neck of teammate Katie Ledecky during the medal ceremony for the 4x200-meters freestyle relay on July 29. Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee wanted to put measures in place to prevent Covid-19 transmissions at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

So they created a contactless medal ceremony and asked athletes to put their medals on themselves -- but some athletes are adding a twist to that rule to continue the longstanding tradition.

When winning teams go on the podium, athletes of each team put the medal on their teammate, a role that was originally played by dignitaries.

Tokyo organizers reported 198 cases linked to the Summer Games on Thursday.

3:32 a.m. ET, July 29, 2021

Argentinian pole vaulter Germán Chiaraviglio is out of the Olympics after testing positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Chandler Thornton

Argentinian pole vaulter Germán Chiaraviglio will not be competing in the Olympics after testing positive for Covid-19.
Argentinian pole vaulter Germán Chiaraviglio will not be competing in the Olympics after testing positive for Covid-19. (Gabriel Rossi/LatinContent/Getty Images)

Argentinian pole vaulter Germán Chiaraviglio has tested positive for Covid-19 in Tokyo and will not be competing in the Olympics, he announced in a post on his official Instagram account on Thursday.

He said he tested positive on Wednesday, "and there, I knew that everything was over."

"It will surely take me a long time to process," Chiaraviglio added. "We knew these Olympic Games would be different and with different rules, and here I am, it's my turn."

The 34-year-old said he is isolating in a hotel for several days. 

"I thank the people who were and are close, and all those who sent me their messages of love and affection," he added.

Earlier Thursday, American men’s pole vaulter Sam Kendricks tested positive for Covid-19.

3:20 a.m. ET, July 29, 2021

Australian track and field members given "all-clear" after isolating

From CNN's Chandler Thornton

Australia's Olympic track and field members received the "all-clear" after isolating out of precaution following a US athlete testing positive for Covid-19.

The members have now been "cleared to return to their regular routines after earlier isolating in their rooms as a precautionary measure," Australia's Olympic Committee (AOC) said in a statement.

Three members of the team took PCR tests after "brief casual contact" with the unnamed US track and field member who tested positive.

While the AOC did not name the American athlete, men’s pole vaulter Sam Kendricks tested positive for Covid-19 earlier Thursday.

"The three, who are all vaccinated, self-reported once they heard news of the US athlete testing positive late this morning," the AOC said.
"All daily tests of the trio in the village had also returned negative results."

Fifty-four members of the team isolated in their room for two hours while the three members tested and were later given permission to leave.

“Once again, abundant caution and our strict protocols continue to keep the team safe," Australian Olympic Team Chief de Mission Ian Chesterman said.

"We will continue to be very thorough in our observance of the Tokyo playbooks and our own additional measures."

3:35 a.m. ET, July 29, 2021

Slovakian sets an Olympic record, San Marino earns first-ever Olympic medal in women's trap final

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Slovakia’s Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova celebrates winning gold in the women’s trap final on July 29.
Slovakia’s Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova celebrates winning gold in the women’s trap final on July 29. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

It was an eventful final event in women's trap shooting.

Slovakia's Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova won the gold medal after hitting 43 of her 50 targets, setting an Olympic record.

Meanwhile, San Marino's Alessandra Perilli won bronze, making it her country's first Olympic medal in history. The country has a population of about 34,000 people.

The silver medal went to Kayle Browning of the USA.

Rehak Stefecekova had previously claimed a silver medal at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.

Life became much easier on the range after she had kids, she told reporters after winning the Tokyo gold.

“When you get children, you know what is the most important thing in your life," she said. 

"I’m very happy for this medal, but even before the final, I wrote to my husband, ‘I am happy to be in the final, but the gold I already have it.'"

3:13 a.m. ET, July 29, 2021

It's in their blood: Nearly 30 pairs of siblings are competing at the 2020 Olympics

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Brothers Martin Sinkovic and Valent Sinkovic of Team Croatia pose with their gold medals after the rowing men’s pair final on July 29.
Brothers Martin Sinkovic and Valent Sinkovic of Team Croatia pose with their gold medals after the rowing men’s pair final on July 29. (Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Be it a fierce connection or age-old rivalry, siblings will be showing up in big numbers at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, with nearly 30 sets of siblings competing.

We've already seen Japan's brother and sister Abe Hufimi and Abe Uta claim gold medals in Judo on the same day in their respective finals, along with Croatian brothers Martin Sinkovic and Valent Sinkovic winning gold in the rowing men’s pair final on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Team USA has seven pairs of siblings and Team Great Britain has nine pairs, who are competing across sports.

British twin sisters Jennifer and Jessica Gadirova have already scored a bronze at the women's gymnastics team final. They are also in competition against twin sisters from Italy and the Netherlands. Meanwhile, a pair of Russian twins will compete in rhythmic gymnastics.

Croatia has another set of brother competing in sailing, along with a pair of Turkish siblings.

The pool events will also see a number of siblings competing, with French twins in synchronized swimming, Austrian sisters in duet synchronized swimming and two Australian sister competing in their respective events, along with a brother and sister from Cape Verde.

Spain's men's basketball team has a pair of brothers -- Pau and Marc Gasol have three NBA titles between them -- and the triathlon will see a Kiwi brother and sister compete in their respective events as well.

How is this happening?

Well, nobody knows for sure. But many of these athletes have spoken about their journey in the sport and a lot of them have described their sibling's influence in getting them started. Some of them were also trained by their athlete parents. Maybe nobody wants to miss out on the primary kitchen table discussions.