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Olympics Breakfast: Mixed results for Ireland in the early hours of the second day at Tokyo 2020
All you need to know about the overnight action on day two of the Olympic Games.

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WELCOME TO THE latest of our overnight updates from the Olympic Games. There was lots of Irish action in the early hours of day two in Tokyo, with plenty of storylines – and a few medals - elsewhere. 

The Irish Eye 

It was a positive – albeit not perfect – morning for Rowing Country. Sanita Puspure accentuated her medal prospects by winning her quarter-final with ease. She will be back in action in the semi finals next Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, Ireland’s two crews in an early morning repechage (it’s what the French would call the backdoor, for the uninitiated) delivered and qualified for their semi finals: Aoife Casey and Margret Cremen in the lightweight women’s pair, and Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley in the women’s pair. 

Those results mean all six Irish crews at the Games have qualified for at least a semi-final. 

The first of those semi-finals took place at 4.40 Irish time, and there was disappointment for the men’s doubles pair, Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne. They finished sixth and last in their race, meaning they won’t be in the medal race and instead go to the ‘B’ final, which will be of scant consolation to a duo tipped as outside medal shot ahead of the Games. 

Away from rowing, Annalise Murphy made a slow start to the Laser Radial event, finishing 35th in the first of 10 races. The still conditions didn’t suit her, and they were so still that the second race was delayed while the course picked up wind. 

Gymnast Megan Ryan was awarded a total score of 47.199 in the all-around event, so she will face an anxious wait throughout the day to see if that’s good enough to make it among the 24 gymnasts qualifying for the final. 

Finally, Liam Jegou had a nightmare first run in the Canoe Slalom, losing control in the middle part of the race, taking a time penalty for missing gate and finishing bottom of the   rankings. Only the bottom three won’t go to the semi-finals, so he has a chance to rescue it all in the second run. Still, what expectations can we have of him, as a nation without a single white water rafting facility by our capital city’s docklands? 

Who else is making headlines? 

Yuto Horigome of Japan has this morning become the first-ever gold medalist in skateboarding. Here’s hoping his success can win his sport a few more fans, including the  Japanese skateboarding coach Daisuke Hayakawa, who has described it as a “sport for unruly kids.”

olympics-skateboarding-july-25 SIPA USA / PA Images SIPA USA / PA Images / PA Images

Simone Biles is making headlines, of course, before she starts competition – she makes her bow in Tokyo at around 7am Irish time. 

A few others have been making headlines for more unfortunate reasons. World tennis No.1 Ash Barty has been shocked in the very first round by Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo, while Andy Murray has withdrawn from the men’s singles competition. (Though is continuing in the men’s doubles.)

Golf’s big hitter Bryson DeChambeau is out of the Games too: he tested positive for Covid-19 prior to departure for Tokyo, so former Masters champion Patrick Reed has been drafted in as a replacement.  

Your Olympic Schedule for the rest of the day 

Liam Jegou’s rescue act in the second run of the Canoe Slalom kicks off at 7.08 am. 

Heike Holstein will represent Ireland in Dressage at 9.36 am, and later in the morning we will have representatives in the pool and in the ring. 

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Danielle Hill is in the third heat in the Women’s 100m backstroke at 11.07am, while you can watch Mona McSharry in the fifth heat of the 100m breaststroke at 11.45am. 

Boxer Emmet Brennan, meanwhile, faces Dilshod Uzmetov of Uzbekistan in the last-32 of the men’s light heavyweight division at 12.42pm. 

Highlight of the Night

The story of the night undoubtedly came in Taekwondo, and the progress of Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin. She medalled for Iran at the 2016 Games but then defected, criticising the regime’s treatment of women and claiming the regime used her 2016 success as propaganda. 

She is in Tokyo representing the Refugee Team and her opponent in her opening bout this morning was from…Iran. She won, and processed to the last-16 where she summoned one of the upsets of the Games so far in defeating two-time Gold winner and defending champion, Jade Jones of Team GB. 

It’s worth tracking her progress across the rest of the day. 

Get in touch 

Got any questions/comments/expertise to share on Olympic skateboarding? Email, or tweet @gcooney93. 

Some further reading 

For the day that’s in it: the New York Times profiled the aforementioned gold medal winner in skateboarding, Yuto Horigome. He is the son of a taxi driver who grows too nervous to watch his son compete.  And who hasn’t seen his son at all since the start of the pandemic. 

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