American Sunisa Lee won the gold in gymnastics, as the defensive champion Simon Beals celebrates in the stands after retiring from the event.
The United States also enjoyed success in the pool on the sixth day of Tokyo 2020, with Caleb Dressel continuing to pursue six gold medals, winning his first individual Olympic title.
The 24-year-old will become one of the most successful athletes in individual games if he manages to win all six events in which he participates.
Meanwhile, talk of well-being in the sport continued after golfer Rory McIlroy backed Beals, who has so far retired from the team and all-around to prioritize his mental health.
The four-time big winner said he was “impressed” by the 24-year-old that he put her mental state first after her decision to retire from the all-around.
“Just as I thought Naomi Osaka was right to do what she did, I agree 100% with what Simone is doing.”
McIlroy spoke to the media after shooting a pair under 69 in the first round of the men’s Olympic golf tournament.
“I’m certainly very impressed, especially these two women to do what they did and put themselves first,” he said.
“I’m glad at least the conversation has begun … it’s no longer taboo.”
In baseball, Israel suffered a heartbeat in its Olympic debut as South Korea won 6-5 steps in dramatic extra innings.
Lee follows in Beils’ footsteps
After 18-year-old Lee took gold, former American rhythmic gymnast Caitlin Ohashi described her as a “true athlete” and said “she follows in Simone’s footsteps.”
Lee took first place with a device to pass after an impressive routine on the beam, and worries about her routine work after she broke her leg in June 2020 were unfounded, as the American’s result of 13,700 was enough for gold.
The Olympic debutant finished at 57,433, with Brazilian Rebecca Andrade taking silver – Brazil’s first women’s gymnastics medal – at 57,298.
Russia’s Angelina Melnikova won bronze with a total score of 57,199 in an exciting final.
Beals, who has yet to confirm whether he will compete in the individual finals of the apparatus, starting on Sunday, enthusiastically cheered the competitors from the stands.
Dressel stays on the course for six zlotys
At the Tokyo Water Sports Center, Dressel stormed to win the men’s 100m freestyle.
This is his second gold at the Games after being part of the US 4x100m freestyle relay team and his fourth Olympic gold ever, but this is his first individual Olympic title.
He can win as many as six gold medals in Tokyo, with a 100m butterfly and 50m freestyle ahead, and expectations will be set for two more relay teams.
The medals on the sixth day in the pool ended with an exciting women’s 4x200m freestyle final, with China breaking the world record to win gold.
Their time of seven minutes 40.33 seconds was enough to hold the American quartet anchored by the 1500m freestyle champion Katie Ledeki.
The favorites before the race Australia had to settle for bronze.
There was more gold for China as Zhang Yufei took the women’s 200m butterfly title.
Zach Stubbley-Cook of Australia won gold in the men’s 200m breaststroke, and American Robert Finke won the men’s 800m freestyle final, which was held at the Olympics for the first time after an 880-yard race in 1904.
More athletes are isolated
Positive coronavirus tests continue to disrupt the Games, with reigning world pole vault champion Sam Kendricks being the last athlete affected
Three Australian athletes have been isolated after being considered close contacts with Kendricks, although they have since returned negative results from the PCR test.
The athletics competition starts on Friday.
The small nation of San Marino has a population of just over 34,000 – but now has its first Olympic medalist.
Alessandra Perilly won bronze in the women’s shooting, having just missed a medal in 2012 when she finished fourth.
“During the final, when the fifth shooter came out, I thought I didn’t want to be in fourth place again, so I have to do it,” she said.
“These are not my first Olympics, but this is the first medal for me and my country. We are a small country, but very proud.”
Perilly’s achievement means San Marino is becoming the least populated nation to ever win an Olympic medal, replacing triathlete Flora Duffy’s gold for Bermuda earlier this week.
The Olympic champion is afraid of his mother’s anger
After winning their nation’s first rowing medal in Rio 2016, Irish brothers Gary and Paul O’Donovan became local celebrities in their hometown of Skiberin.
Their fun, carefree interviews even earned them a place in Graham Norton’s chat shortly after the Olympics.
The younger of the Paul brothers returned to Olympic rowing and, with the help of his new partner in lightweight double skulls, Fintan McCarthy, improved on the silver medal he won in Rio.
The pair, who are the reigning world and European champions, broke away from Germany’s closest competitors in the home to win 6.43 seconds in six minutes.
This is Ireland’s first gold medal since Kate Taylor’s victory in boxing in 2012 and the country’s first gold rowing.
Speaking to Irish television after the race, O’Donovan joked that he would probably have to take his mother’s phone calls now.
“I’ve been ignoring her here all along, so she’ll be quite annoyed when I get home.”
Asked what it felt like to hear the Irish national anthem, O’Donovan replied: “There’s a great tune, I really liked it. But I was very hot and tired and something like that after the race, so I couldn’t concentrate. I could barely get the words out!”
The Nigerian federation is “responsible” for non-eligible athletes
Ten Nigerian athletes, who had already arrived in Tokyo and were preparing for the start of Friday’s Olympic Athletics Games, were banned from competing by the Athletics Lightness Unit.
The decision was made due to insufficient drug testing out of competition, a flaw for which the Nigerian Athletics Federation said it would take full responsibility.
The 10 athletes were among 20 athletes from “high-risk” countries who did not meet the requirements, the independent anti-doping group of World Athletics said on Thursday.
As athletics accounted for 13 of Nigeria’s 25 medals at all the Olympics, including two of their three gold medals, this latest incident caused a stir in the country.
Beijing silver medalist in 2008 long jump Blessing Okagbare criticized the federation for “fighting for power” and forgetting athletes.