Image: Wikimedia Commons / Jim Thurston
Image: Wikimedia Commons / Jim Thurston

Tokyo 2020 – Day 3: three golds for Team GB on ‘Medal Monday’

Team GB finally took home some gold medals on the third day of Tokyo 2020, as a medal rush brought Britain into the medal table top five.

The day kicked off strong as Adam Peaty, one of the Team’s strongest medal hopes, and it proved an easy victory. He has not lost over 100m for more than seven years, and he successfully defended his title in the men’s 100m breaststroke, becoming the first British swimmer to do so in the process. Netherland’s Arno Kamminga, the only man other than Peaty to ever go under 58 seconds, was unable to come close to the British swimmer’s time of 57.37 seconds, and was forced to settle for silver.

The gold haul was increased to two thanks to Tom Daley and Matty Lee, who triumphed in the 10m synchronised platform dive and ended 20 years of Chinese dominance in the process. The GB divers were impressive, finishing with 471.81 points and never once dropping outside of the top two. The Chinese team performing a brilliant sixth dive failed to be enough to help them recover from an error on the fourth, meaning Daley can finally add an Olympic gold medal to his collection.

Less than half an hour later, Tom Pidcock became the third Team GB athlete to take home a gold, dominating in the men’s cross-country mountain biking. Pidcock moved into the lead midway through the race and never relinquished it – he was so far ahead of nearest rival Mathias Flueckiger of Switzerland that he was able to unfurl a Union Jack and wave it as he crossed the finish line. He became the first Briton to win an Olympic medal of any kind in mountain biking.

In taekwondo, Lauren Williams took a silver medal after a closely fought fight, with Croatia’s Matea Jelic scooping the lead with just 14 seconds on the clock to win 25-22. Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt emerged right at the end of the men’s triathlon in punishing conditions, leaving GB’s Alex Yee to claim the silver – Jonny Brownlee came fifth. Team GB also advanced in the men’s rugby sevens, men’s and women’s hockey and women’s badminton, but sole fencer Marcus Mepstead was defeated by Egypt’s Mohamed Hamza in the first round of the men’s foil.

In the women’s 55kg weightlifting, Hidilyn Diaz won the Philippines first ever Olympic gold. The Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus beat American great Katie Ledecky to gold in the women’s 400m freestyle, while the 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya won the first Olympic women’s street skateboarding gold for Japan. Japan also claimed a men’s table tennis gold, while Hong Kong’s Cheung Ka Long won the men’s fencing and the ROC won the men’s teams gymnastics. In tennis, both Noami Osaka and Novak Djokovic cruised in the third round in straight sets, while Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Petra Kvitova were all defeated.

Medal table:

  1. Japan

Gold (8), Silver (2), Bronze (3), Total (13)

  1. USA

Gold (7), Silver (3), Bronze (4), Total (14)

  1. China

Gold (6), Silver (5), Bronze (7), Total (18)

  1. Russian Olympic Committee

Gold (4), Silver (5), Bronze (3), Total (12)

  1. Great Britain

Gold (3), Silver (3), Bronze (1), Total (7)

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