On Thursday, Jamaica’s all-female elite shooting team, Super Six, loaded up their cash cartridges when top roofing company, Spectrum Systems, announced sponsorship for them to participate in the upcoming Pan Am Handgun Championships.

The multi-million-dollar sponsorship means Spectrum Systems will cover the cost of airfare, accommodation and match ammunition for five of the team’s members who will compete at the championships scheduled for Florida from September 14-21 this year. One team member is unavailable due to personal reasons.

Spectrum’s sponsorship is also another first for the history-making shooters as it is the first time a shooting team leaving Jamaica to a major tournament has been sponsored.

It is also the first time Jamaica will be represented at a significant shooting tournament by more than one woman.

“Spectrum Systems, Jamaica’s number-one roofing company, is pleased to sponsor Jamaica’s number-one shooting team. We wish them all the best as they represent us at the championships. Spectrum will ensure they have all they need ahead of and during the championships,” said Andrew Stanigar, Chief Executive Officer of Spectrum Systems.

Meanwhile, chairman of Super Six, Robin Richki, who with the group’s marketing and public relations director Steve Brown and the entire team was present at the announcement, said the agreement has helped clear a difficult hurdle.

“Words cannot express how grateful the Super Six family is to Spectrum Systems. This sponsorship has placed us in a position where the dreams of these ladies can be achieved, and I am confident they will make Jamaica proud,” Richki said.

According to Richki, it was obvious from day one that the women on the team have the potential to do well in the sport. Their growth and impact, Richki said, have raised eyebrows and restated the importance of women in any field.

“This support from Spectrum Systems will send the performance of these ladies to the roof of the sport in short order. In just a few months, they have become the face of the sport and are attaining scores that keep going up,” said Richki.

Team leader Detective Corporal Sasha Mullings said this was the best news for the team she leads.

“We are thankful to Spectrum Systems, the Jamaica Rifle Association, our coach Anthony TJ Johnson and our management team for believing in us. We are super elated by this sponsorship and although it is a different environment, we are ready for any challenge,” she said.

Former national shotgun champion Christian Sasso and in-form female shooter Aliana McMaster were in top form recently when they defeated Master Class shooters in the Jack Links Cup and the Zoli Cup, respectively, in Florida.

Sasso emerged the victor in a shoot-off with USA Master Class shooters Joseph Fanizzi (USA) and Bill McGuire (USA) after all three were deadlocked in a three-way tie in Jack Links Cup at Quail Creek Sporting Ranch.

Naturally, he was ecstatic about his performance. "I would like to thank the sponsors who helped me to compete in the Jack Links Cup tournament in Florida, Sasco Distributors, Azan Super Centre and Issa Construction - they all played an integral part of my success that took place over the competition," he said.

"Right now I am ecstatic. I always try to do my best but to place in Master Class Fitasc, after a shoot-off with Joseph Fanizzi and Bill McGuire, two giants in the sport, I couldn't be any happier with the results. As you know Fitasc is only one category of many in the tournament. Right now my shooting scores are in line with the pros.

"I believe that with more international tournaments to come and exposure to different targets, I can consistently produce a first, second or third place."

He also congratulated his Jamaican colleagues who also competed.

"I would like to congratulate all the Jamaicans who participated and placed in the tournament. I will start with Aliana McMaster, who is a junior excelling in the sport as basically a newcomer, Roman Tavares-Finson, who shot exceptionally well, Zachary Chin, Jonathan Ralston, who is a junior producing good scores right now; Isaac Mair, Chad Zaidie, Shaun and Marc Barnes, Edward Zacca, Paul Burke, Wendy McMaster, John Desnoes, Gordon Bucknor (and) Lenin Thompson.

“All of these persons did extremely well in their respective classes, and I would just like to big up all of them and big up team Jamaica."

Shaun Barnes, a six-time national shotgun champion topped the AA Class preliminaries with a score of 83 and the AA Class Fitasc (86).

Roman Tavares-Finson won the AA Class in 5-Stand after scoring 93 while Chad Zaidie topped the Main Event with a score of 172. Young Jonathan Ralston bagged first place in a number of disciplines namely, A Class Thursday Prelims - 81, A Class Fitasc - 85 and A-Class Super Sporting - 42.

 In the Zoli Classic at the South Florida Shooting Club, there were outstanding performances from Aliana McMaster, Chad Ziadie, Richard Todd and Brandon Laing.

McMaster was the number one female performer for Jamaica after topping the D Class - 87 in the Thursday Prelims, Friday Prelims - 83 and 5-Stand - 85.  She is the first Jamaican female shooter to win a class in any overseas shooting competition under the Jamaica Skeet Club banner. She bagged 10 trophies in the tournament.

"My performance overall between the overseas shoots so far has been my best performance I could have put out there. I didn't feel like I left anything out there,” she said.

“I couldn't have done more. All I learnt is knowledge and experience and just a feeling of accomplishment and also dealing with disappointment and different aspects of things I need to learn about myself when shooting in foreign and I couldn't have asked for a better result or game."

Meanwhile, Chad Ziadie won four AA Class categories with scores of - Thursday Prelims - 95, Friday Prelims - 86, Fitasc - 80 and Super Sporting - 44.

 

 

The recent Jamaica Gun Club Sporting Clays tournament turned out to be a good one for the McMaster family.  The tournament attracted 148 shooters from across the island to its Salt Island facility in Clarendon where the McMasters demonstrated their mastery.

In extreme heat, Ray McMaster shot a score of 92 to take the top spot by long run ahead of Chad Ziadie and Brett Thwaites, who also had scores of 92.

McMaster’s wife Wendy shot a 78 to win the Ladies' competition while their in-form daughter Aliana was second with a score of 69. Aliana’s sister Abigail finished with a score of 62 to finish in fourth place.

McMaster, who for the second time walked away with the trophy for the Highest Overall score, was thrilled at the outcome.

"Awesome, awesome, awesome! I actually didn't think the 92 would prevail," he said, revealing that he was unable to say exactly what made him victorious.

"I don't know but I just come out and do the same exact thing, come out and execute. For one, the breeze wasn't blowing too much and I think that helped with the course. Shooting is like that, you just come out and everything happens for you on the day. I must say I am happy that I prevailed but the score could have been better but I am very happy."

Wendy, meanwhile, was equally chuffed at her triumph.

"I feel really good. My confidence level is going back to where it was. I was struggling back in several shoots before and I worked on my weakness and I have discovered how to correct it so right now I am in a good place, just to work on it a little bit more so I can always be on top," she said.

The top three shooters in the various classes were as follows:

 A Class: Brett Thwaites 92, Shaun Barnes 91 (LR) and Jordan Thwaites 91 (LR);

B Class: Najeeb Haber 79, Craig Davis 77 and Evan Thwaites 76;

C Class: Nathan Chin 90, Paul Burke 82 (LR) and Ricky DuQuesdnay 82 (LR);

D Class: Gordon Bucknor 87, Justin Samuda 83 and Richard Todd 80;

E Class: Noah Vaughn 81, Matthew Grant 77 (LR) and Carlton Davis 77 (LR);

Hunters or Beginners: Kashka Jones 72 (LR), Lucas Thomson 72 (LR) and Anthony Ayoub 72 (LR);

Ladies: Wendy McMaster 78, Aliana McMaster 69 and Tara Brown 67;

Juniors: Nathan Chin 90, David Wong 87 and Mark Desnoes 82;

Sub Juniors: Christopher Lee 50.

Two shooters, Noah Vaughn and Kashka Jones were promoted to D Class and E Class respectively after winning their respective classes on the day.

 

 

 

Christina East and Renee Rickhi shattered another glass ceiling earlier this month when East was elected the first female president and Rickhi, the first female club captain respectively, of the 16-year-old Driftwood Hunting Club.

Both women are also the first females to be named to lead any gun or hunting club in Jamaica.

"The shooting world is a man's world and when I started learning to shoot over 20 years ago, it was a male-dominated sport with few women, whether it was sporting clays or rifle or pistol and when the influx of women came into the sport it drew a lot of attention. And when women started to do better than men in the different classes whether it was JRA (Jamaica Rifle Association) or the Skeet Club, it made the sport more competitive,” said East.

“Women made it more fun and more entertaining and women brought more flair to the shooting fraternity. Being a founding member of the Driftwood Gun Club, for the last 15 years we have managed a lot of charity and donations events across St. Elizabeth.

“The aim is to continue to assist those in need from the early childhood institutions in Treasure Beach that we do support and the bird boys to help them personally develop themselves and to continue to grow the club's membership.”

She believes the time was right for the club to have a female president.

"As the first female president of the gun club in Jamaica, I think that It’s the right time for a woman to ‘start leading and to start to make an impression on the shooting fraternity.  Driftwood is a young club but has made a big impression on all the gun clubs.  We are considered trendsetters among the shooting clubs and I have been among the group that has brought new ideas, events and vibes to the shooting arena.  We host great shoots and other events and we intend to grow the members and to continue to personally and professionally teach them safety and to sharpen their skills.

"I also think it’s important that women be encouraged to be responsible firearm users and to be able to defend themselves, especially in a high-crime area.  Under my leadership, we will specifically target women and encourage women to participate and learn to defend themselves and to take up competitive shooting and to really be great at it.

“It’s great that the club, which is predominantly male, has chosen two women to hold the two most prominent positions in the club.  With Renee as the club captain, it demonstrates that women are highly regarded and respected in this sport.”

Rickhi said she was happy that the club has demonstrated its confidence in her abilities.

"I am honoured to be the first woman club captain of a hunting club in Jamaica.  I am grateful to the members of Driftwood for having the confidence in me to give me this task,” she said.

“ A club captain of a hunting club has a lot of responsibility; land acquisition, field preparation and shoot management.  We have to make sure that our birds are there, we are getting enough rise, they are coming to the field, watching the flight to determine the best position for the members. The good thing about my club is that we have a lot of fun but you still want them to have a great shoot no matter what.  It’s a lot of work, especially closer to the season, but it's also a great time as well, especially the road trips and I want to commend Driftwood for choosing me as their club captain, as a woman and for choosing Christina East as their president."

 

Defending champions Craig Simpson and Aliana McMaster successfully defended their titles at the David East Memorial Sporting Clays shoot at Murphy Hill in St Ann on Sunday.

In cool and cloudy conditions, both shooters proved to be a class apart with Simpson, who shot a 92 to be the only shooter to score in the nineties while McMaster, scored 81 and was the only female to score in the eighties.

"It feels good. It took everything I had today,” said Simpson, who had a perfect start at Station Nine picking off all six birds.

“I really put out everything today and at the end of it, I am always happy to come out with a favourable score. I know what I am up against. I know the talent that's here (and) yes it can also have a negative effect in that you are trying not to be beaten and that's actually what comes with the territory.

 “Fortunately, I was able to zone that out and just keep what was in front of me. I can feel them right behind me but I am not looking back."

Simpson hit 24 consecutive birds before dropping one on Station 14.

He said that the weather had little effect on him during the competition.

"I enjoy this weather. Actually, it wasn't too cold for me. This was comfortable for me, I like it.”

‘A’-Class shooter Geoffrey Ziadie copped the runner-up spot after posting 89 in the morning session while three-time national shotgun champion Christian Sasso who tied with Simpson last year on 96, shot an 84.

Meanwhile, 14-year-old McMaster, who had a perfect start on Station 12  before missing two at the next station said she was proud of her final score.

"Honestly, I am very proud of my score and I knew it could have been higher but I am very proud of myself. I have never felt so proud of myself and accomplished, especially after a tournament,” she said. “Honestly, the course was really good and I enjoyed even the difficult targets and stations that I might have not shot as well at, I enjoyed knowing that I need to go practice this to come back again and shoot a better course."

For her, the conditions were a factor.

"I hate shooting in the cold and when it’s kind of overcast because it kind of messes with you when you are cold. It kind of distracts you away from what you are trying to do, which is shoot and get a good score but once you just embrace it and focus on what matters most then you should be fine and I was."

China have a commanding lead at the top of the Tokyo 2020 medal table following another hugely successful day at the Olympics.

Five gold medals on day 10 took China's tally for the Games to 29.

Two of those came in weightlifting as Wang Zhouyu prevailed in the women's 87kg category and Li Wenwen set an Olympic record in the +87kg division.

Zhang Changhong won the men's 50m air rifle three positions, China's women took team sprint gold in the velodrome and Liu Yang beat compatriot You Hao in the men's rings final.

It means China are seven golds ahead of the United States, with two more Americans becoming Olympic champions on Monday.

Jade Carey was triumphant in the women's floor exercise final and Valarie Allman took gold in the discus throw.

Japan are third in the table after a day in which they failed to add any golds to their tally of 17.

Australia (14 golds) and the Russian Olympic Committee (12 golds) are fourth and fifth having also been kept off the top step of the podium.

Breathing down the neck of the Russian Olympic Committee are Great Britain, their tally of golds increased to 11 with victory in team eventing.

 

Katie Ledecky is eyeing up the 2024 Paris Olympics and the 2028 Games in Los Angeles after claiming her seventh gold medal with victory in the women's 800 metres freestyle on Saturday.

Ledecky, who holds the world record over the distance, fended off rival Ariarne Titmus for her latest swimming triumph, backing up success in the 1,500m.

The 24-year-old American was clear of Titmus throughout the race and held off the Australian's familiar late push to win in eight minutes and 12.57 seconds. Italy's Simona Quadarella claimed bronze.

Ledecky's victory takes her Olympic medal tally to 10, including the gold haul, and she is targeting more.

“I'm still young, 24 is not that old," Ledecky said. "People are sticking around in this sport into their 30s. I still love this sport, I love it more and more every year. I feel I'm going to give every ounce I have to this sport.

“I love the training, I love the day-to-day. I'm just going to keep doing it until I feel like it's time. Obviously the Olympics in 2028 are in LA so that's kind of out there and appealing also."

USA's Michael Phelps holds the record for most Olympic gold medals with 23, with the next most going to gymnast Larisa Latynina, distance runner Paavo Nurmi, swim great Mark Spitz and athlete Carl Lewis who all claimed nine golds, which Ledecky could plausibly match or eclipse.

Ledecky has already become the first US female swimmer to win three consecutive golds in the same event.

Caeleb Dressel revealed he was not feeling 100 per cent despite breaking his own world record to win the men's 100m butterfly gold medal from Kristof Milak.

American Dressel triumphed in 49.45 seconds, bettering his own mark of 49.50 from July 2019 in Gwangju, to beat Milak, with Switzerland's Noe Ponti taking bronze.

"It was well executed, my body wasn't as good as it could have been, it was the body I was given on this day, I felt better yesterday," Dressel said. "It hurt really bad but it was fine. I knew what my race plan was and stuck to it, got the job done. What a close race. Two of the fastest times in history.

"You don't get that very often so to be a part of that is very special. The event is only going to get faster. I'm aware of that and it's just exciting that it took a world record to win."

Milak also remarked after the race that the pair would push and inspire each other on to future world records.

Australian Kaylee McKeown backed up her 100m backstroke gold with victory in the 200m, ahead of Canada's Kylie Masse and compatriot Emily Seebohm.

Great Britain, powered by Adam Peaty, won the mixed 4x100m medley relay, ahead of China and Australia.

BROWNLEE TRIUMPH AS GB MAKE HISTORY

Great Britain made history by claiming the first-ever gold medal in the mixed triathlon, with victory by 14 seconds ahead of the USA.

Jonny Brownlee, who won individual bronze in 2012 and silver in 2016, opened up a good lead for the British in the second leg which they did not relinquish.

Jessica Learmonth had started off for Team GB, before Brownlee's leg, with Georgia Taylor-Brown and Alex Yee finishing it off.

"Olympics? Completed it," Brownlee said. "It feels absolutely amazing. It's my third Olympics and I've finally got gold."

Great Britain finished in 1:23:41, with France claiming bronze behind the US team.

PERFECT GROUP PHASE FOR HOCKEYROOS

Australia's Hockeyroos completed a perfect group phase after final-quarter goals from Savannah Fitzpatrick and Emily Chalker sealed a 2-0 win over Argentina.

The victory means Australia have topped Pool B with five wins from five games and will play the fourth-ranked nation from Pool A, either Great Britain, India or Ireland.

The Australia hockey team are three-time Olympic gold medallists but have not won a medal since Sydney 2000 and endured tumult in the lead-up to Tokyo 2020 with a change of coach.

China were eliminated despite beating New Zealand 3-2, while Japan also bowed out after a 4-1 loss to Spain, who finish second in Pool B.

Germany and the Netherlands meet on Saturday evening to determine top place from Pool A ahead of the quarter-finals on Monday.

SAN MARINO'S MEDAL RUSH

Tiny European nation San Marino claimed a second-ever Olympic medal, only 48 hours after grabbing their first.

Alessandra Perilli, who won bronze on Thursday in the women's trap shooting, teamed up with Gian Marco Berti to claim silver in the mixed team trap, beaten 41-40 by Spain in the final.

San Marino, which has a population of 33,600, is the least populous country to win an Olympic medal, having competed at the Games since 1960.

USA beat Slovakia 42-42 (3-2) in the bronze medal final.

Host nation Japan remain top of the Olympic Games medal table, one gold medal clear of the United States and China, thanks to another two gold medals on Tuesday in Tokyo.

Japan now have 10 golds at the Games, five of which have come in Judo, despite home favourite Naomi Osaka crashing out to Czech world number 42 Marketa Vondrousova in the women's singles tennis.

The USA extended their gold medal count to nine, with 17-year-old Lydia Jacoby stealing the headlines courtesy of gold in the 100m breaststroke – their third in the pool so far – though they had to settle for silver in softball as they lost to table-toppers Japan.

China, who have dominated the shooting to win eight medals in nine events, picked up three more golds with success in the 10m air pistol mixed event, the 10m air rifle mixed event and the women's 10m synchronised platform - their second diving gold in Tokyo.

The Russian Olympic Committee remain fourth with seven golds after winning the day's big event, the women's team artistic gymnastics, but that was overshadowed due to American Simone Biles withdrawing due to concerns over her mental health.

The Russians surprised in the pool, too, with Evgeny Rylov claiming 100m backstroke gold that forced defending Olympic champion Ryan Murphy to settle for bronze – that result represented the USA's first backstroke defeat since the 1992 Barcelona games.

After team-mate Adam Peaty's call for a British gold surge, Tom Dean and Duncan Scott made history by winning the first British swimming one-two since 1908 in the 200m freestyle.

Dean and Scott's swimming achievements capped a positive day for Great Britain that saw them collect six medals in total to stay in fifth place.

Meanwhile, Flora Duffy made history for Bermuda with gold in the women's triathlon as the tiny Caribbean island became the smallest country to ever win Gold at the Summer Games.

 

Japanese superstar Naomi Osaka crashed out of the Tokyo Olympics tennis with a 6-1 6-4 defeat to Czech world number 42 Marketa Vondrousova.

Osaka, who lit the flame at Friday's opening ceremony, had won her opening two matches but bowed out in straight sets, with Vondrousova reaching the quarter-finals.

In the first set, Vondrousova dominated on her first serve and broke three times, before the Japanese hit back with an early break in the second. But the Czech fought back to win, with Osaka finishing with 32 unforced errors to just 10 by her opponent.

"Of course it's one of the biggest wins of my career," Vondrousova said. "Naomi is a great player, she has so many grand slams, so I knew it would be a tough match. I'm very happy with my play. I played amazingly in the first set, and then the second set was really tough. I'm just happy to be through."

World number two Osaka joins top seed and Wimbledon champion Ash Barty in being eliminated early at the Tokyo Games.

In the men's singles second round, fourth-ranked Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas eased past American Francis Tiafoe 6-3 6-4, avenging a shock Wimbledon defeat.


DUFFY DELIGHT

Flora Duffy won Bermuda's first-ever Olympic gold medal with victory in the women's triathlon on Tuesday at Odaiba Marine Park.

The four-time Olympian failed to finish in Beijing, came 45th in London and improved to eighth in Rio de Janeiro.

Duffy took the Tokyo title in a time of one hour, 55 minutes and 36 seconds, finishing more than a minute ahead of Britain's Georgia Taylor-Brown who took silver, with USA's Katie Zaferes claiming bronze.

“It's always been my dream to race at the Olympics and be a professional athlete with the goal of being an Olympic champion," Duffy said.

"That's not the easiest thing to do regardless of where you're from. Bermuda is a small country, but it's really passionate about its sport.

“I'm so grateful that I could achieve a personal dream here of winning an Olympic medal, but this is bigger than me, this is going to inspire the youth of Bermuda and everyone back home that competing on the world stage from a small island is really possible."

The 33-year-old broke clear in a group of seven early in the bike stage, before dominating the 10km run.

Bermuda, which has a population of just over 70,000, had only claimed one medal previously in Olympic history, a bronze in 1976.


MCKEOWN BREAKS OLYMPIC RECORD

Australia secured a second gold medal in the pool as Kaylee McKeown broke the Olympic record in the women's 100m backstroke.

McKeown won in 57.47, finishing ahead of Canada's Kylie Masse by 0.25 seconds, with USA's Regan Smith taking bronze. Masse had led at the turn.

In the men's 100m backstroke, Russian Olympic Committee claimed a one-two finish as Evgeny Rylov edged out countryman Kliment Kolesnikov, who holds the 50m world record. Ryan Murphy, who is the world record holder across 100m, claimed bronze.

Great Britain's Tom Dean won the men's 200m freestyle by 0.04, marginally ahead of compatriot Duncan Scott, with Brazil's Fernando Scheffer coming in third. The result meant two British male swimmers stood on the same Olympic podium for the first time since 1908.

World record holder Lilly King finished third as US teenager Lydia Jacoby triumphed in the women's 50m breaststroke. South Africa's Tatjana Schoenmaker claimed silver.


CHINESE PAIR ON TARGET

China claimed another gold medal in the final of the 10m air pistol mixed team at the Asaka Shooting Range.

China's Ranxin Jiang and Wei Pang won 16-14 over Russian Olympic Committee pair Vitalina Batsarashkina and Artem Chernousov.

Ukraine duo Olena Kostevych and Oleh Omelchuk won the bronze by beating Serbia.

The 10m air rifle mixed team bronze and gold medal matches were taking place later on Tuesday.


AUSSIES SINGING IN MEN'S HOCKEY

World number two side Australia knocked off reigning Olympic gold medallists Argentina 5-2 in the men's hockey group stage.

Australia claimed their third consecutive victory and top Group A, this time being aided by two goals from Blake Govers.

The Kookaburras have only won one Olympic gold despite often being a dominant side in men's hockey and are one of the favourites to triumph in Tokyo.

Japan and New Zealand, who both previously lost to Australia, drew 2-2 in the other Group A game.

In Group B, world number four India won 3-0 over Spain, while fifth-ranked Germany beat Great Britain 5-1.

Another superb day for Japan saw the host nation surge to the top of the medal table at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Monday.

Japan now have eight golds after winning Olympic titles in three different sports, the most unexpected of which came in table tennis.

The mixed doubles team of Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito came from two games down to eventually prevail after seven games against China's Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen.

China won all four table tennis titles at Rio 2016 and had been expected to dominate again, only to come unstuck as Japan won the first gold in this new event.

Further joy for Japan came as 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya triumphed in the women's street skateboarding while Shohei Ono was victorious in the men's 73kg category in judo.

Second behind Japan are the United States, who took two shooting golds on day three as well as the men's 4x100m freestyle title in the pool.

China did not add to their tally of six gold medals, one fewer than the USA, having come up short in another event where they had a team of heavy favourites.

Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen were edged out in the men's 10m synchronised platform, with British divers Tom Daley and Matty Lee winning gold.

That was one of three golds for Great Britain, who moved up to fifth in the medal table thanks also to Adam Peaty retaining his 100m breaststroke title and Tom Pidcock dominating in the men's cross-country mountain bike race.

The Russian Olympic Committee sits fourth after adding three golds, the headliner being victory in the men's artistic gymnastics team all-around final. 

Meanwhile, Hidilyn Diaz made history for the Philippines, become the country's first Olympic gold medallist by prevailing in the women's 55kg weightlifting.

 

Tunisian teenager Ahmed Hafnaoui admits he surprised even himself with his men's 400m freestyle gold medal victory at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Sunday.

Hafnaoui, who turned 18 in December, stormed home from lane eight to win the gold in a major shock, ahead of Australia's Jack McLoughlin and USA's Kieran Smith.

The 18-year-old's time of 3:43:36 beat his personal best by almost three seconds, while bettering his prelims time by two seconds.

"Of course I was surprised with myself. It's unbelievable," Hafnaoui said at the news conference.

"I believe when I touched the wall and I saw myself first. I was so surprised."

Hafnaoui was only the second Tunisian to ever make an Olympic swimming final and claimed his country's second medal in the pool.

"I was in tears, I was in tears in my eyes because when I see the flag of my country and I hear the anthem in the background, it was great," he said. "I’m so proud of it."

Australian quartet Bronte Campbell, Meg Harris, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell broke the world record as they won gold in the women's 4x100m freestyle relay.

Anchored by Cate Campbell, the Aussies won in 3:29:69 ahead of Canada and the USA. It was Australia's first goal medal of the Tokyo Games.

The USA's Chase Kalisz won the men's 400m individual medley, while Japan's Yui Ohashi triumphed in the women's equivalent.

 

Top seed Barty bundled out, Osaka cruises

Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo stunned 2021 Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty in straight sets in the first round of the women's tennis singles.

Sorribes Tormo won 6-4 6-3 over the Australian, the world number one missing out on a first Olympic medal having looked well below her best.

The Spaniard controlled the baseline, while Barty only managed to land 42 per cent of her first serves.

Second seed Naomi Osaka cruised past Zheng Saisai 6-1 6-4 in her Olympic debut, returning to the court in style following a hiatus after her French Open withdrawal.

Third seed Aryna Sabalenka had no trouble dispatching Poland's Magda Linette 6-2 6-1.

Men's fourth seed Alexander Zverev eased past Lu Yen-hsun 6-1 6-3.

 

First-ever skateboarding gold

Skateboarding made its Olympic debut on Sunday, with local Yuto Horigome crowned the sport's first gold medallist in the men's street event.

World number two Horigome qualified in the semi-finals in sixth after scores totalling 33.75 but dominated the final with 37.18.

The Japanese finished ahead of Brazil's Kelvin Hoeffler with 36.15 and Jagger Eaton on 35.35.

Horigome landed three huge tricks in a row in the final, while American favourite Nyjah Huston stumbled down to seventh after four straight falls.

 

Olympic record in shooting final

Vitalina Batsarashkina won gold in the women's 10 metre air pistol shooting ahead of Bulgaria's Antoaenta Kostadinova and China's Jiang Ranxin.

The Russian tallied an Olympic record 240.3 points, finishing marginally ahead of Kostadinova on 239.4.

"I did not set a goal to win or to get into the top three or even into the final," she said. "I just set the goal to shoot like I can, to show everything that I can."

 

Chinese gold in diving

China won gold in the women's synchronized 3m springboard diving as Shi Tingmao and Wang Han edged out Canada and Germany.

The Chinese duo scored 76.5 with their last dive to tally 326.4 points and win China's fourth gold medal at the Tokyo Games.

The reigning world champions were well ahead of the pack, with Canadian pair Jennifer Abel and Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu grabbing silver with 300.78. Germany's Lena Hentschel and Tina Punzel claimed the bronze with 284.97.

The gold was Shi's third, having won the individual 3m platform title and this event with Wu Minxia in 2016.

China lead the way with four medals after the opening day of the Olympics, as Richard Carapaz doubled Ecuador's all-time tally of golds in Tokyo.

Yang Qian was the first athlete to strike gold in the Japanese capital, winning the women's 10-metre air rifle competition for China.

Sun Yiwen also claimed a gold medal for China in the women's epee individual fencing event, while compatriot Hou Zhihui came out on top with an Olympic record in the women's 49kg weightlifting.

Pang Wei claimed China's other medal on the opening day, taking bronze in the men's 10m air pistol event.

Carapaz produced a sensational ride to win the men's road race title, becoming the second athlete from Ecuador to win an Olympic gold medal.

Host nation Japan and Italy are joint-second in the medal table with a gold and a silver apiece.

There were three medals for South Korea, including a triumph for Kim Je Deok and An San in the first mixed team archery event.

The United States remain notably absent from the primitive medal table, though, having ended the first day of the Games without a medal for the first time since Munich 1972.

 

Nina Christen of Switzerland finished 16th in the 10-metre air rifle at the Rio Olympics, but she became a footnote to history five years later as the first athlete to secure a medal at Tokyo 2020.

The 27-year-old locked up the bronze medal several minutes before China's Yang Qian beat Anastasiia Galashina of the Russian Olympic Committee to take gold in the first medal event of the Games.

As soon as she was eliminated from contention for the final two, Christen flashed a smile and waved, knowing she had at least won a spot on the podium this time – no small feat on this stage.

After the first medal ceremony of the Tokyo Games, she spoke about the pressure as the competition entered the final rounds.

"You just try to not reach your head out for the medal before you have the medal," Christen said. "That is the worst thing you could do. Having in your mind, 'Oh I could win a medal, or I could be eighth which would be a failure'.

"So you just try not to think about both of them, you just try and think about what your job is like breathing, holding, aiming, balance, triggering, and then follow through.

"It helps to not think about what is behind you and obviously there are a lot of cameras and a lot of people. And it would be even more if COVID would not have hit. So yeah that is the thing you have to do, otherwise you would just crack."

 

Sixth seed Swiatek rolls in tennis opener

Two seeded players enjoyed easy victories in the women's singles draw as play began at the Ariake Tennis Park.

Sixth-seeded Iga Swiatek of Poland, the 2020 French Open champion, cruised past Germany's Mona Barthel 6-2 6-2 to open her first Olympics.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the 11th seed representing the Russian Olympic Committee, had an even easier time in a 6-0 6-1 rout of Italy's Sara Errani.

Pavlyuchenkova will face Germany's Anna-Lena Friedsam, who upset Great Britain's Heather Watson 7-6 6-3 in another early match.

In doubles, there was an eye-catching result for Britain's Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury, who took out French second seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, scoring a 6-3 6-2 victory.

 

Men's gymnastics gets under way

Nikita Nagornyy turned in the strongest showing in the opening group as men's gymnastics got under way.

Nagornyy, who won the all-around at the 2019 World Championships and was part of Russia's silver medal-winning team at Rio 2016, posted an 87.897 to lead subdivision one, which included gymnasts from the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), China, Ukraine and Spain along with individuals from other nations.

But his showing was not enough to put the Russians on top, as China earned the top score in the group with a 262.061 to the ROC's 261.945. The top eight ranked teams qualify for the team final, with two subdivisions still to compete Saturday.

"I don't think our team was really good today, but we made our best effort," Nagronyy said. "We have a lot to do."

 

Brazilians start strongly on the beach

Brazil's two returning beach volleyball medallists are off to a strong start five years later.

Alison Cerutti won gold in Rio and is teamed with new partner Alvaro Morais Filho for Tokyo. They won their opening match 2-0 against Argentina's Nicolas Capogrosso and Julian Amado Azaad.

On the women's side, Rio silver medallist Agatha Bednarczuk, also with a new partner in Eduarda Santos Lisboa, won by the same score against Ana Gallay and Fernanda Pereyra of Argentina.

While she was happy to advance, Agatha found the difference between Rio's raucous crowds and Tokyo's COVID-driven quiet jarring.

"It's so different. In Brazil we have the biggest support there. Many, many people cheering for us, and here, it's silence," she said.

"Here we need to put our emotion (aside) because we don't receive the emotion from the people. For me, this is very important because I like to play with emotions."

Yang Qian is the first gold medallist at Tokyo 2020. 

The Chinese shooter won the women's 10-metre air rifle despite saving her worst shot of the competition for last. 

The 21-year-old trailed Anastasiia Galashina, competing for the Russian Olympic Committee, by 0.2 points entering the final shot at the Asaka Shooting Range, but Galashina missed badly, scoring 8.9. 

Yang had scored at least 10 points on every shot up to her last, but her 9.8 was still enough to take gold with an Olympic record 251.8 as Galashina finished with 251.1. 

Nina Christen of Switzerland took bronze with a final score of 230.6.

Jamaica’s Isaac Mair has described his B Class victory at the Florida State Championships this past weekend as 'the sweetest' of his wins this year.

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