It is Saturday, July 31 in Tokyo. There are eight days left for the Olympics and this weekend is packed with events. Here’s what’s happening in the capital of Japan, in and around the sports world.
Japan’s Surprising Success: We’re a week away from the Tokyo Olympics, and Japan already has 17 gold medals — a New record for the country. Only China, with 19, has more.
Those victories have helped give fans some excitement in Tokyo. Ahead of the Games, polls showed a majority of residents rejected the government’s decision to go ahead with a major sporting event in the midst of a coronavirus state of emergency. But TV ratings in Japan show that people are ready to watch, And there’s excitement in the air. On the streets of Tokyo, many are trying to enjoy their country’s success, while still adhering to the public health measures put in place by the government.
Epidemic looms: The sporting success of Japan does not mean that everything is fine in the capital. Covid-19 cases continue to rise, say officials on Friday He had identified another 3,300 infections. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga extended guideline A state of emergency was extended for the Tokyo metropolitan area and Okinawa, and four other prefectures – Saitama, Chiba, Osaka and Kanagawa – until August 31.
The Japan Medical Association, the country’s largest doctors’ union, is warning that unless more is done to stop the spread of COVID-19, the country’s medical system could “collapse.”
“We have to take all measures to avoid an explosion of infections and the pressure on the medical system,” the association’s chief Toshio Nakagawa said on Thursday.
A busy start to the weekend: Saturday began with Great Britain winning a gold medal in the Olympic triathlon mixed team relay for the first time.
The final day of swimming began shortly after, with American star Caleb Dressel winning the men’s 100m butterfly. Her compatriot Katie Ledecky won the 800m freestyle, her final event at the Olympics. It was his second gold medal and last event for Tokyo 2020. The British won the final event of the day, the mixed 4x100m medley relay.
Other major events to watch:
- It’s a big day for tennis. World number one Novak Djokovic will then play for a bronze medal in men’s singles their shocking semi-final loss Alexander Zverev of Germany. The women’s gold medal match comes later in the day, with Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrosova taking on Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic. It all ends with an interesting match-up in the mixed doubles bronze medal match, in which the men’s and women’s No 1s – Australia’s Ashleigh Barty and Serbia’s Djokovic – take the court against each other. Barty is playing with John Pearce and Djokovic is playing with Nina Stojanovic.
- The gold medal match for women’s rugby takes place at 6 pm Tokyo time. Matches throughout the day will determine who plays for the top prize.
- The finals for the men’s discus, 4x400m mixed relay and women’s 100m races will take place tonight.