July 23 Tokyo 2020 Olympics news and results

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Aditi Sangal, John Sinnott, Matias Grez, Melissa Mahtani and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 0417 GMT (1217 HKT) July 24, 2021
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11:35 p.m. ET, July 23, 2021

Tokyo 2020 announces 17 new Covid-19 cases linked to the Olympics

From CNN’s Heather Law

Organizers announced 17 new Covid-19 cases directly linked to the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday -- taking the total to 127.

As of Saturday, 14 athletes and 34 "Games-concerned personnel" have tested positive in Tokyo's Olympic Village, a three-case increase on the previous day.

The remaining new cases were identified as media and contractors.

The names or nationalities of those who tested positive were not revealed, however Dutch rower Finn Florijn said Saturday he will not be competing after testing positive for Covid-19 on Friday.

10:38 p.m. ET, July 23, 2021

China has won the first gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics

From CNN Sport's Jill Martin

From left: Anastasiia Galashina of Russia, Yang Qian of China, and third-placed Nina Christen of Switzerland at the end of the 10m Air Rifle Women's Final.
From left: Anastasiia Galashina of Russia, Yang Qian of China, and third-placed Nina Christen of Switzerland at the end of the 10m Air Rifle Women's Final. Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

China’s Yang Qian has won gold in the women's 10m air rifle, the first medal event of the 2020 Olympic Games. Yang’s 251.8 points is a final Olympic record.

Russian Anastasiia Galashina clinched the silver medal. Russian athletes aren’t competing under their national name at the Olympics due to continuing sanctions over doping. They are officially recognized as members of ROC, an abbreviation of the Russian Olympic Committee.

Switzerland’s Nina Christen earned bronze.

9:52 p.m. ET, July 23, 2021

Dutch rower ruled out of Olympics after testing positive for Covid-19 in Japan 

From CNN's Martijn Edelman and Sugam Pokharel in Atlanta 

Finn Florijn of the Netherlands competes in a men's single sculls heat at the Sea Forest Waterway on July 23.
Finn Florijn of the Netherlands competes in a men's single sculls heat at the Sea Forest Waterway on July 23. Ronald Hoogendoorn/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Dutch rower Finn Florijn will not compete in the 2020 Olympics after testing positive for Covid-19 in Japan on Friday, Team Netherlands and the Royal Dutch Rowing Federation said in a joint statement. 

"The rower came out of the heats on Friday and would have had a second race on Saturday, but cannot continue in the tournament. He has to be quarantined for 10 days," the statement read. 

“I wasn't completely satisfied with my race (on Friday). But I was optimistic I would improve in the next opportunity. Now it's over in an instant," Florijn was quoted saying in the statement. 

According to Team Netherlands, Florjin arrived in Tokyo on July 17 and stayed in a single room in the Olympic village.

“We are speechless," Pieter van den Hoogenband, chef de mission of the Dutch delegation, said in the statement. “A young athlete was making his Olympic debut this year and has to stop immediately. He will get his revenge in the future." 

9:25 p.m. ET, July 23, 2021

Naomi Osaka "the best person to be the final torchbearer," executive producer of opening ceremony says

From CNN Sports's Jill Martin

Japan's Naomi Osaka reacts after lighting the cauldron during the opening ceremony at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Japan's Naomi Osaka reacts after lighting the cauldron during the opening ceremony at the 2020 Summer Olympics. Ashley Landis/AP

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka was picked as the final torchbearer of the 2020 Games to deliver a message of "diversity and inclusion," the executive producer of the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony said at a news conference Saturday.

Osaka, a four-time major champion, lit the Olympic cauldron to officially open the Tokyo 2020 Games on Friday night. Born in Osaka, Japan, the tennis star – who has a Haitian father and Japanese mother – moved to the United States at age 3.

“In the end we decided on her because she is a great athlete and she has been delivering a variety of messages, so we thought she was the best person to be the final torchbearer. It was a decision that the whole organizing committee came to," Hioki Takayuki said.

Regarding whether the appearance of Osaka contributed to improving the image of the Games, Takayuki said: “It’s more about the absolute values that Naomi Osaka offers. That’s what we focus on. Of course, for the Games as a whole and also for Japan, she is a jewel, she is a treasure for us, so that is why we selected her.”

In a tweet early Saturday, Osaka said lighting the flame was “undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life."

7:43 p.m. ET, July 23, 2021

Surfer Frederico Morais out of Tokyo Olympics due to Covid-19

From CNN's David Close

Frederico Morais of Portugal participates in the Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic presented by Corona on April 19 in Narrabeen, Australia.
Frederico Morais of Portugal participates in the Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic presented by Corona on April 19 in Narrabeen, Australia. Cait Miers/World Surf League/Getty Images

Portuguese surfer Frederico Morais posted on Instagram stating that he won't participate as planned in the Summer Games because of Covid-19.

"This is likely the saddest video I’ve ever had to post. In 2019 I qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that were postponed because of COVID-19. And now, because of the virus I won’t be able to compete nor represent my country," Morais stated.

"Lucky my life has always been filled with obstacles that I’ve overcome one by one, this will be no different. Paris 2024 I’ll be ready! Good luck to my country Portugal, I’ll be there with you in thought!"

On Friday, Portugal’s state news agency, Lusa, reported Morais was "infected by the novel coronavirus," according to the Portuguese Olympic Committee.

CNN has reached out to Team Portugal for details but has not heard back.

The official Olympics site lists the 29-year-old Morais as a rostered participant in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games but he has no events linked to his name.

The surfing competition begins Sunday in Ichinomiya, Japan.

Journalist Rodrigo Pedroso in Sao Paulo contributed to this report.

7:16 p.m. ET, July 23, 2021

Algerian Olympian withdraws from Games due to potential matchup with Israeli competitor

From CNN's David Close

Fethi Nourine
Fethi Nourine International Judo Federation

An Algerian judo athlete, Fethi Nourine, says he chose to withdraw from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics rather than face an Israeli competitor.

Nourine told Echourouk TV, “I decided to withdraw out of conviction, because this is the very least we can offer the Palestinian cause. This is my duty. My goal in withdrawing is to send a message to the whole world that Israel is an occupation, a lawless country, a country without a flag.”

Nourine was scheduled to face Mohamed Abdalrasool from Sudan in Round 64 of the men's 73 kg class.

According to Reuters, if Nourine defeated Abdalrasool, the Algerian would have met Israel's Tohar Butbul in the following round. Butbul had a bye in the Round of 64.

CNN's Taylor Barnes and Aqeel Najim in Baghdad contributed to this report.

6:09 p.m. ET, July 23, 2021

Nepartak strengthens into a tropical storm

From CNN’s Jackson Dill

Nepartak has strengthened into a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds at 65 kph (40 mph) as it tracks northeast at 20 kph (12 mph) over the western Pacific.

The storm remains on track to move north and eventually take a turn to the northwest, heading toward Japan.

The latest forecast from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center has weakened the expected intensity of Nepartak, with winds up to 55-65 kph (35-40 mph) by the time it reaches Japan Monday into Tuesday.

It could impact the Olympics: The main risks from this storm at this time are gusty, tropical-storm-force winds and heavy rain in central and northern parts of Tokyo, which could have an impact on the Olympic Games.


5:18 p.m. ET, July 23, 2021

Catch up: Here's what happened at the Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony

From CNN's George Ramsay

Fireworks go off after Naomi Osaka lit the Olympic cauldron.
Fireworks go off after Naomi Osaka lit the Olympic cauldron. Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

With no fans in attendance and a reduced number of athletes joining the parade, the Tokyo OlympicsOpening Ceremony officially kicked off the Summer Games on Friday as tennis star Naomi Osaka lit the cauldron.

The ceremony drew to a close around midnight in Japan as a spectacular firework display illuminated the Tokyo night sky.

The surreal circumstances of the Games' curtain raiser — unlike any other previous opening ceremony — provided a glimpse of what is to come over the next 16 days with the coronavirus pandemic set to loom large over proceedings.

In case you missed it, here's what happened at the Opening Ceremony:

The attendance: According to Tokyo 2020 organizers, 950 people attended the opening ceremony — only a handful in a venue with a capacity of 68,000 — as the 206 delegations competing were officially welcomed to the Games. US first lady Jill Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron attended the event. With athletes expected to arrive in the Olympic Village five days prior to their competition and depart a maximum of two days after, fewer took part in the parade of nations compared to previous Olympics. Team USA, for example, had more than 200 athletes walking through the stadium out of a team that is over 600 strong, while 63 of Australia's 472 athletes took part.

Tongan Pita Taufatofua made a return: Taufatofua first caught the attention of Olympic spectators in Rio five years ago when he appeared shirtless wearing traditional Tongan dress and covered in oil. He then repeated the act at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics two years later. However, Taufatofua had competition this time around, with Vanuatu's flag-bearer, rower Riilio Rii, also coming out shirtless and oiled.

Athletes remained socially distant: Many of the athletes remained socially distant as they walked through the stadium, but others — such as Argentina and Portugal — were exuberant, breaking into cheering and dancing. The procession began with Greece, the first nation to host the modern Olympic Games, whose athletes were followed by those from the 29-strong Refugee Olympic Team, which debuted at the 2016 Rio Olympics. It concluded with the US and France — the two countries hosting the next two editions of the Games — and finally Japan.

Covid-19 victims remembered: There were also tributes to those who have lost their lives during the pandemic, as well as to the 11 Israeli athletes killed in a terror attack at the 1972 Munich Olympics. How the coronavirus pandemic has affected athletes over the past 18 months was also acknowledged. Japanese boxer and nurse Arisa Tsubata — whose Olympic dreams were dashed when a qualifying event was canceled — was seen running alone on a treadmill in darkness at the start of the opening ceremony.

What to expect next: Starting Saturday, the first medals of the Games will be distributed; after months of challenges and uncertainties, Olympic organizers will finally be able to let sport do the talking.

Read more here.

4:31 p.m. ET, July 23, 2021

Tropical Depression Nepartak could impact Olympic games next week

From CNN’s Jackson Dill and Brandon Miller

The path of Tropical Depression Nepartak as of 11am E.T.
The path of Tropical Depression Nepartak as of 11am E.T. CNN Weather

A new tropical depression has formed over the open waters of the West Pacific, which could impact the Olympic games next week.

Tropical Depression Nepartak has formed about 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) southeast of Japan, and currently has maximum sustained winds of 55 kph (35 mph), according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC).

The forecast track from the JTWC brings the storm to mainland Japan by Tuesday, with Tokyo in the forecast cone.

Nepartak is currently classified as a subtropical cyclone and is expected to remain subtropical through its forecast period. This characteristic essentially means the strongest winds won’t be just consolidated near the center of the storm, but rather can extend farther out from the center.

The storm is expected to strengthen over the coming days, reaching tropical storm intensity this weekend. By Sunday night local time, its winds are expected to peak at 95 kph (60 mph) before gradually weakening again.

Nepartak is expected to impact parts of mainland Japan by Tuesday, including the Tokyo area where the Olympics are taking place. Maximum winds are expected to be around 75 kph (45 mph) when it reaches Japan.

There remains a high amount of uncertainty with the forecast by early next week, the JTWC notes in its discussion, in terms of where it affects Japan and the strength of then winds.