“You just have to believe”: New Zealand wins gold in women’s rugby sevens after silver in 2016
New Zealand went one step further in the women’s Olympic rugby sevens tournament, winning the gold medal on Saturday.
At Rio 2016, the ‘Black Ferns Sevens’ lost in the final to rivals Australia, earning a silver medal in the process.
However, five years later, they overcame the heartbreak as they won 26-12 against a gritty France team.
Tries from Michaela Blyde, Gayle Broughton, Stacey Fluhler and Tyla Nathan-Wong led them to the team’s first ever gold medal, sparking scenes of jubilant celebrations and tears from many of the players after the final whistle.
New Zealand are the reigning women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens champions.
New Zealand star Ruby Tui said she was “so happy, so proud” after her side’s victory.
“We had a dream and winning silver just didn’t feel the right way for this team to bow out,” the 2019 World Rugby women’s sevens player of the year told the media afterwards.
“I have looked at my silver medal (from Rio 2016) every day since I have been here. I will never forget the person I was when we won silver because I have had a complete change in the person I was then in order to win this gold.
“The gold is a metaphor for a dream about positive thinking. It is not just the gold medal but how we have grown since. You just have to believe.”
Earlier in the day, Fiji produced an excellent display to beat Team GB 21-12 and earned themselves a bronze medal.
29 min ago
Novak Djokovic ends Tokyo 2020 without a medal after losing in singles and withdrawing from mixed doubles
From CNN’s Ben Morse in London
After cruising through the opening few rounds of the men’s singles competition at the 2020 Olympics, it seemed inevitable that a gold medal would soon be hanging around Novak Djokovic’s neck.
However, following a couple of disastrous days in Tokyo, the world No. 1 is returning home without a medal at all after losing to Spaniard Pablo Carreño Busta in the bronze medal match on Saturday.
The Serbian lost in three sets 4-6 7-6 3-6 to the world No. 11 at the Ariake Tennis Centre Court.
Coming into the Olympics, Djokovic had been attempting to win what would’ve been a historic ‘Golden Slam’ in men’s tennis.
A ‘Golden Slam’ consists of winning all four grand slams and an Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year.
Steffi Graf is the only tennis player — male or female — to complete the feat when she did it in 1988.
However, defeat on Friday to Alexander Zverev in the semifinal dashed those hopes.
Djokovic had a chance of taking home some silverware in mixed doubles. However, he and fellow Serbian Nina Stojanovic withdrew, meaning Ashleigh Barty and John Peers of Australia claimed the bronze via walkover.
It is Australia’s sixth ever Olympic medal in tennis — and first since Alicia Molik claimed bronze in the women’s singles competition at Athens 2004.
1 hr 52 min ago
Tokyo reports its highest-ever number of daily Covid-19 infections
From CNN’s Arthur Syin in Tokyo
Japan’s capital city of Tokyo reported 4,058 Covid-19 cases on Saturday, the highest ever since the beginning of pandemic, according to Tokyo Metropolitan Government data.
The city has seen a rapid surge in the past week, reporting around 3,000 cases every day since Tuesday. Last Saturday, the city reported roughly a quarter of today’s number — 1,128 cases during a single day.
On Friday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced an extension of Covid-19 states of emergency to the end of August, while expanding them to four prefectures, including three surrounding Tokyo.
There have been at least 241 cases linked to the Tokyo 2020 Games, according to organizers.
1 hr 59 min ago
“I’m a champion”: Simone Manuel releases statement after failing to qualify for women’s 50m freestyle final
From CNN’s Hannah Ritchie
U.S. Olympic swimmer Simone Manuel released a statement Saturday saying she “gave it her all” after failing to qualify for the women’s 50-meter freestyle final by finishing tied-11th in the semifinal heats.
“No doubt I’ll remember this point in my career forever. Not the fact that I didn’t make the Olympic final or come home with an individual medal, but the fact that I gave it my all,” Manuel said on Twitter.
“I’m a champion! Not because of the medals I’ve won but because of how I’ve consistently fought for what I believe in, my perseverance, and my fiery passion to always be me! I’m proud of Simone, the 2X Olympian/5X Olympic medalist, but most importantly I’m proud to just be ME,” the statement added.
Manuel won two gold and two silver medals at the Rio 2016 Olympics: gold in the 100-meter freestyle and the 4×100-meter medley, and silver in the 50-meter freestyle and the 4×100-meter freestyle relay.
She was the first African American woman to ever win an individual Olympic gold medal in swimming.
In June, leading up to the Tokyo Games, she released a statement revealing she had been diagnosed with overtraining syndrome and extreme fatigue. She has also been openly battling depression and insomnia, which she said caused her to step back from her normal training routine.
1 hr 34 min ago
Japan’s silver surfer says landing aerial 360 in semis was “biggest moment of his life”
From CNN’s Amanda Sealey
Despite taking home silver for Japan, surfer Kanoa Igarashi knew his Games-defining moment came during his semifinal round against Brazil’s Gabriel Medina.
Igarashi landed an aerial 360 earning him a 9.33 and allowed him to go onto the finals.
“The whole world’s watching and here’s your chance and if you fall, the whole country is going to be bummed, be upset. I’ve let my family down. I’ve let my country down, let my sport down.
“And then, but on the flip side, if I do this, I’ll be a part of history. And that was stronger. That second phrase was stronger than the first one.”
This is a move Igarashi said was the cumulation of four years of not only work, but also dedication and when it came to that moment, he knew what to do.
“I remember I went up and I went up and when I was in the air, It was so slow. It felt like it was a never-ending manoeuvre,” Igarashi recalls.
“I was in the air. I went, alright, open up left arm, head turn, chest turn, right arm down grab, okay, I feel the board. Okay, l like where my grab’s at. I’m rotating. Okay, I see the beach. Everyone’s already kind of like, ‘Oh my God, this can be a huge moment.’ And then as I’m rotating, okay, here’s my landing.”
It was that moment that he thought, “If I land this land this this is the biggest moment of my life.”
No spoiler alert here — that move allowed Igarashi to make Olympic history.
3 hr 36 min ago
Nigerian sprinter provisionally suspended from Games after positive test for human growth hormone
From CNN’s Taylor Barnes
Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare has been provisionally suspended from the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for human growth hormone, according to the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), an independent body that combats doping.
The AIU collected a test sample from Okagbare on July 19 during an out-of-competition test. The AIU was then notified on July 30 of her positive result. The 32-year-old sprinter was alerted and immediately suspended the following morning on July 31.
Okagbare had raced on Friday in the heats of the 100 meters and had advanced to the semifinals that will take place Saturday evening.
CNN has reached out to the Nigerian Olympic Committee for comment. Okagbare has yet to comment on her suspension.
4 hr 9 min ago
There are now 241 Covid-19 cases linked to the Olympics
From CNN’s Jake Kwon in Seoul, South Korea
Another 21 Covid-19 cases linked to the Olympics have been identified in Japan, authorities there said. All the new cases were either Games staff or contractors, not athletes.
Japanese authorities said a total of 241 cases tied to the Olympics have been identified. That figure includes some athletes who have seen their Olympic dreams dashed.
The public health measures put in place by Olympic organizers have, by and large, appeared to work from a sports standpoint. Competition has been underway for a week now, and things have gone smoothly.
However, cases are spiking among the Japanese public, and medical professionals are warning the country’s health care system could be overwhelmed in the coming days.
3 hr 50 min ago
San Marino, a country of 34,000 people, had never won a medal before Tokyo 2020. Now it has two.
From CNN’s Jill Martin
The tiny European microstate of San Marino won its second-ever Olympic medal on Saturday.
Alessandra Perilli and Gian Marco Berti will take home silver after losing to Spain’s Fatima Galvez and Alberto Fernandez in the gold medal match of the mixed team trap, a shooting event. This is the first time the event has been held at an Olympic Games.
San Marino had the chance to tie with the final two shots. Perilli hit hers, but Berti missed.
Perilli won San Marino’s first-ever Olympic medal earlier this week when she clinched bronze in the women’s trap.
The tiny, landlocked country is located in the Apennine Mountains and is completely surrounded by Italy. It is home to just 34,000 people and became the smallest country ever to win a medal this Olympics.
4 hr 41 min ago
Meet Nanaka Takahashi, the 12-year-old who is likely Tokyo 2020’s youngest reporter
From journalists Aline Sauvegrain Tanabe and Maria Matsuda in Tokyo
Nanaka Takahashi might just be the youngest reporter covering Tokyo 2020.
The 12-year-old from Miyagi, in Japan’s northeast Tohoku region, is the sole Japan-based reporter for Scholastic Kids Press — the famed children’s publisher and education company’s news outlet “for kids, by kids.”
Since the opening ceremony on July 23, Takahashi has been filing updates for her young audience on the Games — and on the widespread public opposition to them.
Takahashi has been a reporter for 10 months, but she’s been learning English from an early age.
Because she was interested in jobs related to television, her mother recommended Scholastic Kids Press. It was an opportunity to practice her English and get some exposure to what it’s like to work on TV.
“My dream is to work in the media,” Takahashi said.
She added one of the things she’s learned early on as a journalist is that it’s important to stay neutral.
“No matter what opinion I have, I try to include both supporting and opposing opinions in my article,” she said.