Day 7 Roundup: China leads gold tally, Djokovic's "Golden Slam" hopes crushed

Source: Xinhua| 2021-07-31 00:03:18|Editor: huaxia

Wang Shun of China poses after the awarding ceremony for the men's 200m individual medley final of swimming at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, July 30, 2021. (Xinhua/Du Yu)

China won four gold medals on Day 7 to remain on the top of the medals table, as Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic's bid for an Olympic singles title was foiled.

TOKYO, July 30 (Xinhua) -- China remained at the top of the gold medal tally at the Tokyo Olympics Games on Friday, an outcome arising mainly from all-Chinese clashes for championships.

The Chinese raked in four gold medals on Day 7 to bring their medal total to 40, 19 of which are gold.

Uyama Satoru (L) of Japan high-fives with teammate Kano Koki during the fencing men's epee team final between Japan and ROC at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Chiba, Japan, July 30, 2021. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)

Japan grabbed two gold medals in fencing and judo to lift its gold tally to 17, the country's best ever Olympic performance, and 28 medals in total. Japan won 16 golds at both Tokyo 1964 and Athens 2004. The United States remains in third with 14 golds, but its medal total surged to 41, ranking No.1.

Rio bronze medalist Wang Shun won China's first gold in men's swimming at Tokyo by triumphing in the men's 200m individual medley with an Asian record time of one minute and 55.00 seconds.

It is also the first men's individual medley title for China at Olympics. Wang is the second Chinese male swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal.

"I just wanted to be myself in my third Olympics. I was keen on the medal and I did it. All I gave out on the path to Tokyo finally paid off," said 27-year-old Wang, who has set his eyes on Paris 2024.

Siobhan Bernadette Haughey became the first athlete representing China's Hong Kong to win two Olympic medals after coming second in the women's 100m freestyle in 52.27 seconds, an Asian record. Two days ago, she also won a silver medal in the women's 200m freestyle.

Zhu Xueying (R), Liu Yingying of China react during the awarding ceremony for the women's final of trampoline gymnastics at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, July 30, 2021. (Xinhua/He Changshan)

China swept gold and silver medals in the women's trampoline final. With the same difficulty of their routines, Zhu Xueying received higher scores for execution and horizontal displacement, finally overtaking Liu Lingling to grab the title.

"I put in a lot of efforts to reach the podium. With Tokyo 2020 being postponed for a year, I had more time get prepared and I focused on the things I wanted to improve. I am very happy with how I did," Zhu said.

A resilient Liu is also proud of her performance. "I am almost at a retiring stage, so this is a great milestone for me. I have been working really hard for this since the age of six. Winning an Olympic medal has always been my dream and taking the silver is amazing," said the 26-year-old in tears.

Huang Yaqiong (R) of China helps her teammate Zheng Siwei to put on the silver medal during the badminton mixed doubles awarding ceremony in Tokyo, Japan, July 30, 2021. (Xinhua/Li Yibo)

In an all-Chinese badminton mixed doubles final, second-seeded Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping upset world No. 1 Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong 2-1 to win the country's third gold of the day.

The newly-crowned champions see the gold medal a victory of firm belief. "We have always been thinking of challenging them, no matter in competitions or in daily training, so it was likely to our advantage in terms of mindset," said Huang.

China's Ma Long gestures after winning the men's singles final of the table tennis competition against his teammate Fan Zhendong at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, July 30, 2021. (Xinhua/Wang Dongzhen)

In another all-Chinese final, Ma Long became the first male table tennis player to win back-back Olympic titles in singles competition after outclassing world No. 1 and teammate Fan Zhendong 4-2.

"Record are meant to be broken," said Ma. "The match against Fan, my teammate, could be the one in which I felt least pressures, because I just enjoyed the game itself, which is the main reason I won in the end."

The biggest surprise of the day came from the tennis court.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return during the men's singles semifinal tennis match against Alexander Zverev of Germany at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, July 30, 2021. (Xinhua/Li Ga)

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was unable to achieve a historic "Golden Slam" at the Tokyo Olympic Games after being defeated in the men's singles semifinals.

Djokovic, aiming to become the first man to win all four majors and an Olympic gold medal in a season, fell to world No. 5 Alexander Zverev of Germany 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 after two hours and three minutes.

"It's incredible beating the best player in the world undoubtedly right now and in this season," said an emotional Zverev, aiming higher. "Yet there's still one match to go."

But this is not the end of the Serbian's Tokyo journey as he will feature later in the mixed doubles.

South Africa also embraced a big surprise, but it's sweet one.

Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa celebrates after winning the women's 200m breaststroke final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, July 30, 2021. (Xinhua/Xu Chang)

Tatjana Schoenmaker broke the women's 200m breaststroke world record to win the gold medal, becoming the first female South African swimmer to win an Olympic medal in 21 years and bring the country first Olympic gold at Tokyo.

"This is my first Olympics, so for me to get a lane into the final, then everyone stands a chance. That's the thing I've always believed in. So I've exceeded all my expectations so I couldn't be happier," Schoenmaker said.

The achievement drew congratulations from many including South Africa's Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa, who sang high praise for the 24-year old and her new world record of 2 min 18.95 seconds.

"She is a true ambassador of the nation and a living example that hard work and dedication truly pay off," said the minister.

Japan clinched its first ever Olympic fencing gold after beating the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) in men's epee team final. Judoka Akira Sone defeated Idalys Ortiz of Cuba to give the host nation its ninth gold in judo.

Lukas Krpalek of the Czech Republic won the men's +100kg division judo title.

Selemon Barega of Ethiopia celebrates after winning the men's 10000m final at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in Tokyo, Japan, July 30, 2021. (Xinhua/Wang Lili)

Athletics action got underway Friday night at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium with Ethiopia's Selemon Barega winning the men's 10,000m race in 27 minutes and 43.22 seconds, just 0.41 seconds ahead of Uganda's reigning world champion Joshua Cheptegei. The bronze medal went to another Ugandan runner Jacob Kiplimo in 27:43.88.

Croatia's Nikola Mektic/Mate Pavic downed compatriots Marin Cilic/Ivan Dodig in full sets to claim the tennis men's doubles gold medal.

Russian shooter Vitalina Batsarashkina defeated Kim Min-jung of South Korea in a shoot-off to win the women's 25m pistol gold. China's 19-year-old Xiao Jiaruixuan survived shoot-off round twice to take a bronze.

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