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OLYMPIC DIGEST | Daily Highlights for August 3

Marco Asensio’s goal in the 115th minute sends Spain into the final against Brazil, relegating Japan to play Mexico in the third-place match.



Spain’s Marco Asensio scores the winning goal in extra time against Japan in the Olympic men's soccer semifinals on August 3 at Saitama Stadium. (REUTERS/Hong Ji Kim)


Athletes at the Tokyo Olympics have been performing super (and super-human) athletic feats, even as COVID-19 and other controversies swirl. With so much happening during these Games, it can be hard to keep track of what is going on. 

JAPAN Forward is monitoring the key happenings in a handful of Olympic sports during the day and bringing reports to our readers through this Olympic Digest. Please bookmark JAPAN Forward’s page for the latest Olympic-related news from Japan!

Football (Soccer)

Japan Loses to Spain in Semifinal Match

Japan was knocked into the bronze-medal match after losing to Spain in the semifinal game at Saitama Stadium, 1-0. 

Spain’s Marco Asensio, a Real Madrid striker who entered the game as a substitute, scored the winning goal in the 115th minute, 5 minutes before the end of extra time. Mikel Oyarzabal got the assist. 

Japan had a few opportunities, including a corner kick, to counter Spain’s goal in the last minutes of the game, but wasn’t able to tie it. Throughout the game, the hosts were more often on defense and only had possession of the ball 39% of the time. 

Scoreless after 90 minutes, the game was extended by an additional 30 minutes. 

"Unfortunately, we were not able to win, but we will be ready for the next round,” Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu said after the match, according to Kyodo News. “We talked about showing resilience in order to win a medal.”

Earlier in the day, Mexico and Brazil met in the other semifinal match. It was 0-0 after 90 minutes, and after neither time scored in extra time, a penalty shootout decided the outcome. Brazil outscored Mexico 4-1 in the shootout. 


Japan will play against Mexico in the bronze-medal match on Friday, August 6. 


Yabiku Nabs Bronze in Men’s 77-kg Greco-Roman Division

Shohei Yabiku recorded a 13-3 victory over Iran’s Mohammadali Geraei in the first of two bronze-medal matches in the men’s 77-kg Greco-Roman wrestling division at Makuhari Messe in Chiba.

For the 28-year-old Okinawa native, the decisive win provided satisfaction.

"Since I became No. 1 in Japan, I've won medals in Asia, but haven't been able to win medals on the international stage," Yabiku was quoted as saying by Kyodo News. "That's why this has value for me."

In the second bronze-medal match, Azerbaijan’s Rafig Huseynov defeated Armenia’s Karapet Chalyan 4-1.

Hungary’s Tamas Lorincz topped Kyrgyzstan’s Akzhol Makhmudov 2-1 in the 77-kg final.

Lorincz, 34, was the 66-kg runner-up at the 2012 London Games early in his wrestling career.

On the same night, Japan’s Sara Dosho lost a 2-0 decision to Ukraine’s Alla Cherkasova in a women’s freestyle 68-kg division bronze-medal match.

Kyrgyzstan’s Meerim Zhumanazarova beat Mongolia’s Battsetseg Soronzonbold 10-1 in the other bronze-medal match.

In the 68-kg final, Tamyra Mariama Mensah Stock, the defending world champion, earned a 4-1 win over Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu.

Five years ago, Oborududu finished 14th overall in the 63-kg weight class at the Rio Games.


Xie, Wang Finish 1-2 in Men’s 3-Meter Springboard Final

China’s Siyi Xie and Zongyuan Wang took the top spots in both the semifinal and final rounds of the men’s 3-meter springboard event, finishing with 558.75 and 543.80 points, respectively. The pair previously won the synchronized 3-meter event together. 

Great Britain’s Jack Laugher earned the bronze (518.00) at Tokyo Aquatics Centre.


Ken Terauchi, who made his sixth Olympics appearance, made it into the finals but wasn’t able to get on the podium. The veteran diver wasn’t able to get into proper form in time during his third dive and scored 29.70 points, which took him down to last place (359.70) in the 12-man final. 

After finishing his last dive, the 40-year-old Terauchi’s long career was recognized with a standing ovation from divers, coaches and others in the audience. 

Track and Field

Duplantis Wins Men’s Pole Vault

Sweden’s Armand Duplantis soared to victory in the men’s pole vault final at the New National Stadium.

Duplantis cleared 6.02 meters to snatch the gold. He owns the world record (6.18 meters), which was set on February 15, 2020, in Glasgow, Scotland.

American Christopher Nilsen was the runner-up (5.97 meters) and Thiago Braz of Brazil placed third (5.67).

Germany’s Malaika Mihambo claimed the gold in the women’s long jump final with a winning leap of 7.00 meters.

Mihambo finished fourth in the event at the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil.

American Athing Mu captured the women’s 800-meter title in 1 minute, 55.21 seconds. Keely Hodgkinson placed second in 1:55.88 and U.S. runner Raevyn Rogers was third in 1:56.81. 

In the women’s 200, Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah won the race in 21.53 seconds. Namibia’s Christine Mboma, who is 18, took the silver in 21.81, while American Gabrielle Thomas was third in 21.87

Thompson-Herah led a 1-2-3 Jamaican sweep in the women’s 100 on Saturday, July 31.



Slovenia, U.S, France, Australia Advance to Men’s Semis

The final four teams of the Olympic men’s basketball tournament are now set, with Slovenia, the United States, France and Australia advancing to the semifinals at Saitama Super Arena.

Team USA will face Australia in the first semifinal at 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, August 5, followed by a France-Slovenia clash at 8 p.m.

In Tuesday’s first quarterfinal contest at Saitama Super Arena, Slovenia routed Germany 94-70. Zoran Dragic paced the victors with 27 points on 11-for-13 shooting. Teammate Luka Doncic added 20 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds.

The United States defeated Spain 95-81, with Kevin Durant scoring a team-high 29 points. Jayson Tatum added 13 points and three American teammates also reached double figures in points.

Spain’s Ricky Rubio had 38 points and Sergio Rodriguez scored 16.

Later in the day, France prevailed 84-75 over Italy. A trio of NBA players ー Rudy Gobert (22 points), Evan Fournier (21 points) and Nicolas Batum (15 points, 14 rebounds) ー played pivotal roles in France’s victory.

For Italy, Simone Fontecchio had a team-high 23 points and Danilo Gallinari scored 21.

In the late game, Australia hammered Argentina 97-59 to book the final spot in the quarterfinals.

Patty Mills had 18 points for Australia, which drained 17 3-pointers and held Argentina to eight.

Nicolas Laprovittola had 16 points for Argentina.



Brazil Tops Japan in Men’s Quarterfinals

Brazil ended Japan’s volleyball medal hopes with a 25-20, 25-22, 25-20 victory in the men’s quarterfinals at Ariake Arena.

Yoandy Leal Hidalgo led reigning Olympic champion Brazil with 16 points, including 15-for-22 on attack. Wallace De Souza chipped in with 13 points and Ricardo Lucarelli Souza had 12.

For Japan, Yuki Ishikawa notched a match-high 17 points and Yuji Nishida finished with 13.

“We got this far with good performances so the result is disappointing," Ishikawa said after the match, according to Kyodo News. "We are still left wanting when it comes down to execution on each play."

Brazil advances to face the Russian Olympic Committee team in the semifinals.

Table Tennis

Japan Women Reach Team Final

Kasumi Ishikawa and Miu Hirano, the No. 2 seed, prevailed 11-7, 11-2, 11-8 over Hong Kong’s Wai Yam Minnie Soo and Ho Ching Lee in the women’s team semifinals at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

The first two games took a combined 15 minutes, and the Japanese duo wrapped up the win with a 10-minute effort in the final game.

Ishikawa and Hirano will face the winner of the China-Germany semifinal (on Wednesday, August 4) in the title match on Thursday, August 5 at 7:30 p.m. China is the No. 1 seed. Germany is the third seed.

Authors: Ed Odeven, Serena Landers


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