18/04/2024

Fiji once again took home gold on day five (Photo - Olympics)

Many more golds and historic moments provided valuable memories for nations on Day Five of the Tokyo Olympics.

Plenty of more medals were handed out on day five of Tokyo 2020, with new heroes immortalising themselves in Olympic history. For all your Tokyo 2020 coverage, stay tuned to The Inner Sanctum’s Olympic hub and the Olympics Central.

Fiji top the rugby world, again

Just as they did in Rio 2016, Fiji romped home to claim another rugby sevens gold medal on finals day for the men’s competition.

First coming up against an Australian side who only just qualified for the quarter finals, the Fijians started slow, only to run over the top of the Aussies when it mattered. The eventual 19-0 result only allowed the reigning gold medallists to flex their muscles en route to a semi final date with Argentina.

On a finals day where three knockout games create enough pressure to engulf even the strongest of sides, Fiji held their nerve against the Argentinians, floating away to a 26-14 result.

It was yet another golden day for Fiji’s rugby sevens side (Photo – Fiji Rugby)

Facing a nation that is perennially high up in rugby tournaments in New Zealand, Fiji never faltered, pulling away yet again to win 27-12. The comfortable win confirms Fiji’s status as a rugby sevens powerhouse and hogs the gold medal spoils in the event’s Olympic history to only themselves on the men’s side of the draw.

Two riders write redemption stories

Still recovering from a hot and exhausting road race, the road cyclists strapped themselves into the speedy time trials, and two brilliant rides deservedly pulled home gold.

On yet another brutally warm day that quickly fatigued riders, Annemiek van Vleuten capped off a terrific week, racing home on the final straight to surround her silver medal in last week’s road race with a fresh gold medal.

Van Vleuten was in position for a gold medal at Rio 2016, before crashing out with serious injuries. She looked to be a chance to take gold on Sunday in the road race, before an error meant she won silver when she thought it was gold. This one however, was all hers, and had a feeling of faith accompli.

Followed by the men’s side, the 44 kilometres looked even more gruelling in the afternoon sun. But despite only a handful of seconds separating the silver medal from fifth place, Primoz Roglic’s terrific ride meant that he was well clear of the pack. It’s a fitting consolation for the Slovenian, after he crashed out of contention for the Tour de France three and a half weeks ago.

Rowing finals double sculls

Many Australians may know what transpired in four of the rowing events today, but they may have been too busy celebrating gold and bronze medals to see another couple of thrilling races.

In the women’s double sculls finals, Romania’s strength was obvious from the outset, leading early and powering home to clinch an impressive gold medal row. New Zealand’s abilities came to the fore for a silver, while the Netherlands’ consistency in rowing pulled through for another medal, this time bronze.

But in the men’s edition of the double sculls, it was a complete shake up of nations, as it was instead the French who romped to victory. Once again, the Dutch were relegated to bridesmaids, taking home a second silver to go with a bronze and gold for the rowing session, while China pulled through for a bronze.

The Germans shake up the Basketball

Many expected the Nigerian side to be Australia’s main challenger in their group, alongside the Italians. But not many would’ve thought Germany would stick their heads up so early, as they blew away in the final quarter to finish 99-92 winners over Nigeria and keep them winless.

Instead of challenging for the top spot, Nigeria must now scrap to get past the preliminary stages, as only Jordan Nwora (33 points) looked dangerous for their unit. For the Germans, an all-round display from Johannes Voigtmann (19 points), Moritz Wagner (17) and Danil Barthel (14) meant Nigeria were frozen out in the dying stages.

But it wasn’t all shake-ups in the basketball. Alongside the Boomers victory, America returned to form with a landslide 120-66 win over Iran.

More Tokyo 2020 News

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The Swedes triumph in a thriller

Handball is often associated with entertaining finishes and high-scoring bouts, with the fast-paced ball movement of the sport lending itself to thrilling finales.

While there were a few great encounters, particularly the Brazil / Spain and Egypt / Japan matches, the clear stand out was the 29-28 win by Sweden over Portugal.

Even at the half time break, nine goals to Niclas Ekberg proved the difference as Sweden fell over the line in a heavyweight clash that has a massive impact on the entire event table.

Ohashi the individual hero for hosts

The host nation in Japan are already having an incredible Games, racing to the top of the medals tally alongside regular suspects in America and China.

But their Games have just gone to another echelon, courtesy of a superb women’s 200-metre individual medley final swim by Yui Ohashi.

In an event usually dominated by plenty of Americans, Ohashi was brilliant throughout, leading USA’s Alex Walsh and Kate Douglass to the finish line. Without a doubt, it’ll go down as another famous Japanese moment in their home Olympics, as you could feel the power of the host nation rumbling their hero home in the final 50 metres.

India’s hockey stranglehold coming to a close

Historically the most prolific gold medal winners in Olympic hockey history, India’s superiority in world field hockey may be coming to a close.

In other recent Games they have started off brightly, only to fall at untimely moments and send impressive campaigns crashing to a close.

Needing a win, they would’ve been expected to lodge a better effort against Great Britain to salvage their chances of advancing to the knockout stages.

But they simply couldn’t fire a shot, only scoring the one goal in a dismal 4-1 defeat which all but ends their chances of bringing home another medal to their hockey Olympic medal cabinet.

China surges to diving prominence

Always a powerhouse in the diving, China’s men’s pair started early, bringing home gold in the smaller 3 metre synchronised springboard dive.

The pairing of Zongyuan Wang and Siyi Xie surged to a commanding lead, amassing a total points score of 467.82 for their dives. In the end they were hardly challenged; America’s score of 444.36 never truly worried the Chinese, yet still lay comfortably ahead of the third placed Germany (404.73).

In what could only be the start of a terrific Chinese diving campaign, their men’s pair has already given them the perfect beginnings to boost them in the medal tally.

Japan take the women’s judo

If Ohashi’s win in the 200-metre individual medley wasn’t enough for the host nation, Chizuru Arai gave Japan yet another reason to smile.

Easily accounting for the ROC’s Madina Taimazova in the semi-final, Arai went on to fight a tough gold medal bout.

But in the final throws of the women’s -70kg final, Arai dug deep for her country, winning 1-0 from the judges’ adjudication to win yet another dramatic gold for the excelling Japan.

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