On the third day of the Tokyo Olympics, despite missing gold in a number of traditionally strong events, Chinese mainland athletes have bagged seven medals, raising the total to 18, and defending the delegation’s lead position in the medal ranking by total with gold medal tally ranking the third after Japan, the US.
Meanwhile, foil fencer Cheung Ka-long from China’s Hong Kong made history when he defeated Italy’s Daniele Garozzo 15-11 to win the men’s foil individual gold at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday.
The competition has become fiercer with traditional powerhouse US and home court advantage-holding Japan catching up in the standings.
On Monday night, two straight direct matches between Team China and Team Japan in the gymnastics and table tennis pushed the tension to the extreme. After two close matches, the Chinese gymnastics men’s team took the bronze medal, while the pair of Xu Xin/Liu Shiwen were upset in the first table tennis mixed doubles final in Olympic history, claiming the silver medal.
Team Japan now leads the gold medal list with eight in three days.
Although the delegation did not win a gold medal on Day 3, the outstanding performance of many athletes further ignited the Olympic atmosphere in the country. On Monday night, Chinese netizens congratulates Edgar Cheung, foil fencer for Team Hong Kong, China, as he bagged a historic gold medal for the region.
The 24-year-old snatched the city’s first Olympic gold medal since 1996, after beating 2016 Rio Olympics gold medalist Daniele Garozzo of Italy, 15-11.
Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the HKSAR, also sent out congratulations to Cheung, calling him “pride of the city.”
Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen missed out on the chance to win China’s fifth successive Olympic gold medal in the men’s synchronized 10m platform.
Despite the absence of crowds, excitement about the games was no less.
Global Times reporters noticed that Canadian, British, Mexican, South Korean, Japanese and other flags were visible in the stands, while the Ukrainian delegation used a loudspeaker.
Wearing red and holding the five-star red flag, the Chinese “cheerleaders” also formed a spectacular landscape.
Britain’s Thomas Daley was popular with the crowd, gaining the loudest cheers in the room with his teammate Matty Lee. The duo was also the strongest challenge to China’s Cao and Chen, both former Olympic winners.
Cao and Chen secured a lead with strong performances in the first three rounds, but lost in Round 4. However, they did not panic, and delivered convincing performances in the next two rounds.
Cao and Chen bagged a silver, losing by 1.23 points. Chinese fans cheered them for their calmness, resolve and professionalism.
There have been moments of regret for Team China in other events on Monday. One of the top gold medal hopefuls, Zhang Yufei, narrowly missed a gold by 0.05 seconds in the women’s 100m butterfly event, and China’s Sun Yang-less swimming team has not yet bagged a gold medal as of Monday.
Li Bingjie claimed a bronze in the women’s 400 freestyle, while Yan Zibei placed 6th in men’s 100m breaststroke.
Despite setting a new qualification Olympic record with 124 of 125, Chinese shooter Wei Meng only bagged a bronze medal in the women’s skeet on Monday afternoon. Wei Meng is the younger sister of China’s famous shooter Wei Ning, who had won two Olympic silver medals and expected Meng to claim a gold.
Later on Monday, China’s Liao Qiuyun placed 2nd in the women’s 55kg weightlifting, losing by a total of 1 kg.
In fencing, China’s only entry, Huang Mengkai, narrowly lost to Mexico’s Diego Cervantes, 14-15.
However, behind these moments of regret, the Chinese public also see a ray of hope.
After Zhang Yufei missed the gold, she shouted “add oil” to cheer herself up. “I had a lot of mental pressure before the final, and now I can say ‘I did it!'” Zhang said after the match. Another swimmer, Yan Zibei, was the only Asian athlete in the finals. The Chinese women’s swimming relay team also broke the Asian record again.
In skateboarding, which is new to the Olympics, 16-year-old Zeng Wenhui successfully made the final and ranked 6th. The Chinese women’s 3×3 basketball team won three straight as the girls won the hearts of many fans. The previously unsatisfying men’s 3×3 basketball team also bounced back and collected two straight wins on Monday to keep their hopes of qualifying alive.
“No matter what the results are, I will be proud of them because they have shown sportsmanship,” wrote many netizens on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo.
The Chinese were also impressed with many foreign athletes and their outstanding performances. Many congratulated 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya of Japan, who won the women’s street skateboarding event, making the Japanese teenager one of the youngest gold medal winners in Olympic history.
As the US men’s basketball team led by NBA stars swallowed their first Olympic loss since 2004 on Sunday against France, many fans said online that “maybe the US could still claim the NBA represents the highest level of basketball, but they should now be aware that the world is catching up fast and the gap is closing sooner than they would have imagined.” “It is time to wake up from their undefeatable dream.”
On Tuesday, the Tokyo Olympics will enter its fourth day. However, many outdoor events may be overshadowed by the impending tropical storm that will hit Tokyo.
According to reports, a tropical storm named Nepartak could threaten the Games. The Japan Meteorological Agency said there is a possibility of heavy rainfall of “more than 50 millimeters per hour” in some areas, which could be bad news for many other outdoor sports, including softball and beach volleyball. Nonetheless, a number of surfers said they are excited over the storm for it would “allow the surfers to get more opportunities.”
Rowing competitions originally scheduled to take place Monday were moved to Sunday, and Tuesday’s rowing final was also postponed.
The Committee said on Monday that the tropical storm is expected to have a “limited impact” on the Games, without ruling out the possibility of further changes to the schedule.
Previously, the Committee has repeatedly reminded media to pay attention to heat and typhoons.