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Tuesday, 27 July 2021
Your 5-minute guide to the Summer Olympics

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Good Morning

It was a disappointing Monday for Indian athletes. The men’s archery team had the misfortune of facing off against the indefatigable South Koreans and were comprehensively beaten 6-0. In table tennis, Manika Batra and Sutirtha Mukherjee lost, while Sharat Kamal went through to round 3.

In tennis, after a heady round 1 win, Sumit Nagal was bested by world number 2 Daniil Medvedev. India’s first debutant in fencing won hearts with her efforts but was bested by France’s Marnon Brunet.

In badminton, Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost to the World Number 1 pairing of Kevin Sukamuljo and Gideon Fernaldi but remained in contention for a quarter-final berth. The women’s hockey team also lost 0-2 to Germany.

The story of the day was Ariarne Titmus’ triumph over defending champion Katie Ledecky to win the 400 m freestyle swimming gold. Living up to her nickname the Terminator, Titmus ruthlessly chased down Ledecky. Scroll down to read about their epic rivalry in today’s Starting Gun column by Kunal Pradhan.

In other water sports, Tom Daley ended his excruciating wait for a gold as he won the synchronised 10m platform final with Matty Lee. Russia ended Asia’s domination in men’s gymnastics by seeing off China and Japan.

In another exciting turn, the Japanese duo of Mizuni and Ito outclassed China’s Xu and Liu, making it the first time since Athens 2004 that China didn’t win a gold medal in every table tennis event. In fact, since 1988 - when table tennis was introduced – China has won 28 out of 32 gold medals.

13-year-old Momiji Nishiya nailed the skateboarding gold for women, in the process becoming Japan’s youngest gold medallist. Brazilian Rayssa Leal (13), who had become a viral sensation at the age of 9 for her skateboarding skills in a dress earning the moniker the Skate Fairy, picked up the silver medal.

Hidiyan Diaz also made history by becoming the first athlete from the Philippines to win a gold medal as she topped the charts in weightlifting (55kg).

Tomorrow’s a big day and don’t forget to check out the events below.

Keep your eye out for Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhry’s 10m air pistol mixed doubles with the former eyeing redemption after her ‘circuit malfunction’. Their compatriots Abhishek Verma and Yashaswini Singh Deswal will also be in action.

India will also see two teams compete in the 10m air rifle mixed team qualifications with Divyansh Singh Panwar/ Elavenil Valarivan and Deepak Kumar / Anjum Moudgil in the mix.

Scroll down for the full list of Indians competing.

Question of the Day

13-year-old Japanese Momiji Nishiya became the first female athlete to win a gold in skateboarding. She’s the youngest athlete in 2021 to win a gold medal and one of the youngest in history at 13 years and 330 days, but, who's the youngest athlete to win a gold medal at the modern Olympics?

(Scroll down for the answer) 

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
6 5 7 17
8 2 3 13
United States
7 3 4 14
0 1 0 1
Top Stories

Bhavani Devi shines bright before Tokyo Olympics exit

Bhavani Devi's battle cries pierce the fencing arena at the Makuhari Messe Hall in Chiba Perfecture. The hall is nearly dark and there are neon lights over the strip where the fencers are locked in battle. Every time Devi lunges and makes contact with her Sabre, she lets out a scream, and pumps her fist. The constant clanging of swords, the intimidating mask with the country's flag imprinted on it, the screams--it's all very gladiatorial. Much like Devi's journey to the Olympics. Read more

How South Korea have become invincible in archery

South Korean archers clinched gold in the Olympics men's team event on Monday, again, extending their reign and winning the country's third archery gold at the Tokyo Games. This was the men's team's sixth Olympics gold since team events were introduced in 1988. Kim Je-deok, already a South Korean television talent show star as an archery genius at 17, was the heart and soul of this team, egging on his seniors Kim Woojin (29) and 39-year-old Oh Jin-hyek throughout their golden run. They beat India in the quarters, Japan in the semis and Chinese Taipei in the final. Read more

‘I hope the shooting…’: Heena Sindhu

It was just two days. People were elated on Saturday at Mirabai Chanu’s fantastic performance and at Saurabh Chaudhary ranking first in the qualification round of the 10m air pistol. Neither of these things--a medal on the first day and winning the qualification round--had ever happened in India’s Olympic history, so we had started well. One day later, I saw a lot of anger directed at our athletes and the allegation that they always buckle under pressure. Read more

What to watch

Starting Gun


To be a legend, defeat a legend

Over the last five years, at every training session, in every conditioning routine, Australia’s Ariarne Titmus focused on just one goal: Katie Ledecky. Her target, the most successful woman swimmer in history, knew about it. The American, who won four golds with two world records at the Rio Olympics, was aware that it was only a matter of time before someone would come for her.

And, since 2019, after a shock defeat at the worlds, Ledecky knew it would be Titmus. Their head-to-head in Tokyo was billed as the hot ticket of the swimming competition -- a throwback to rivalries such as Brendan Hansen vs Kosuke Kitajima, or Alexander Popov vs Gary Hall Jr, but without the toxic masculinity (when Popov was stabbed in Moscow after a fight with a watermelon vendor, Hall sent him a Kachini doll with a watermelon in one hand and a dagger in the other). Read more

The Breakdown

Click to Expand

Village Voices


Forlorn Manika Batra’s Tokyo Olympics ends in tears

Manika Batra’s voice choked as she came out of her match at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. Her Olympics run was over after losing to Austria’s world No. 17 Sofia Polcanova. What made her journey intriguing was that she was playing without a coach on her corner in her singles matches. There was nobody to advise her in a crucial match and it looked bizarre. Her personal coach Sanmay Pranjape had no access to the field of play and Batra had refused national coach Soumyadeep Roy’s presence by her side on the first day itself. Read more


Hildilyn Diaz reacts after becoming the first athlete from the Philippines to win an Olympics gold medal. She won in the Weightlifting – Women’s 55kg.

Down History Lane

Jesse Owens stuns Berlin

The 1936 Olympics was supposed to be Adolf Hitler’s grand gesture of showcasing the superiority of the Aryan stock, but Jesse Owens had other ideas as he won four medals in track and field. It was a record that stood till Carl Lewis equalled it in 1984. Reports suggest that Hitler refused to shake the hands of African American athletes who had ruined the plan though Owens says Hitler and he waved at each other. He later stated at a Republican rally: “Hitler didn't snub me—it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn't even send me a telegram.”

It was true that while Owens could win laurels for America, he couldn’t sit in the front of a bus or enter through the front gate of Waldorf Astoria. Despite four Olympic medals, Owens struggled to make ends meet in his days, working menial jobs and racing against amateurs and horses for cash.

It’s true that the White House snubbed Owens and other black athletes. It wasn’t until 1936 that an American president righted that particular wrong, as President Barack Obama invited the family members of 18 black athletes who had competed in 1936.

Meme of the Day
Meet the Heroes

Tom Daley - Prodigy. Diver. Father. Winner

It has been a rocky road to the top for Tom Daley who was bullied at school and lost his father to cancer. He also got into a horrendous spat with his diving partner at Beijing 2008 and was abused for his sexuality in London 2012. A horrendous mis-dive in Russia 2016 added insult to injury.

Tom Daley’s first gold medal took a long torturous route, but he finally got there, vanquishing the proverbial shark. Along the way, he got married to Dustin Lance Black in 2015, who incidentally won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the biopic Milk, and they had a son together too.

After becoming one of the few openly gay men to win a medal at the Olympics, Daley said: “I feel incredibly proud to say that I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion. When I was younger, I didn’t think I’d ever achieve anything because of who I was. To be an Olympic champion now just shows that you can achieve anything.”

Video of the Day

Why Tokyo 2020 was a dream come true for India's 1st Olympic fencer Bhavani Devi


The youngest confirmed Olympian was Dimitros Loundras, a 10-year-old Greek gymnast who competed in the team parallel bars in the first modern Olympics games in Athens 1896. He was 10 years and 218 days old when he participated in the games and won a bronze as part of the Athens gymnast team Ethnikos Gynmanstikos Syllogos team.

He was also the last surviving participant of the first modern games and died in 1970. The youngest gold medallist till now was Marjorie Gestring (13 years and 268 days) of the US who won the gold medal in the 3-metre springboard diving event at Berlin in 1936.

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