July 28 Tokyo 2020 Olympics news and results

By Joshua Berlinger, Aditi Sangal and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 12:05 a.m. ET, August 3, 2021
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8:27 a.m. ET, July 28, 2021

Tokyo's high temperatures force tennis organizers to push back match start times

From CNN’s Dan Moriarty in Tokyo and Aleks Klosok in London

Daniil Medvedev of the Russian Olympic Committee is tended to during a third round men's tennis match on Wednesday.
Daniil Medvedev of the Russian Olympic Committee is tended to during a third round men's tennis match on Wednesday. Patrick Semansky/AP

Matches at the Tokyo Olympics will now begin later in the day due to hot and humid conditions in the Japanese capital, tennis organizers announced on Wednesday.

Matches at the Ariake Tennis Park, which had started at 11 a.m. local time until Wednesday will now begin at 3 p.m. local time from Thursday.

The decision had been made “in the interests of player health and welfare,” and following “extensive consultation” with athletes, referees, medical experts and other key stakeholders, among others, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said in a statement.

The ITF reiterated that male and female players could request ten-minute breaks during play should temperatures exceed 30.1 degrees Celsius (86.2 degrees Fahrenheit).

Wednesday’s announcement comes after some players said they were feeling the effects of the weather conditions. 

Earlier on Wednesday, Russian Olympic Committee player Daniil Medvedev told chair umpire Carlos Ramos that he could finish his men’s singles third-round match against Fabio Fognini -- but wanted to know whether the ITF would take responsibility if he died.

Meanwhile, Spain’s Paula Badosa was forced to retire from her women’s singles quarterfinal match against Czech Marketa Vondrousova due to heatstroke.

7:51 a.m. ET, July 28, 2021

"A particularly challenging time": President of World Athletics Seb Coe on mental health at Tokyo 2020

From CNN's Ben Church

World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe speaks to reporters in Tokyo on July 27.
World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe speaks to reporters in Tokyo on July 27. Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe says Tokyo 2020 has shone a spotlight on the pressure elite athletes are under when competing at the Olympic Games.

His comments come after superstar athletes Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka both said they experienced mental health issues when struggling to perform at their best this week.

“It has its challenges at the best of times, but we also accept the challenges are now more profound, given the year-and-a-half of the restrictions and some of the challenges they had to confront around training and lockdown," Coe told reporters.
"This is a particularly challenging time for all competitors."

Coe, a four-time Olympic medalist, said the fact families weren't able to travel to Tokyo has contributed to athletes' struggles and says federations must step up and provide that missing support structure.

“The advice I would give any athlete is reach out," he said.
"Reach out to your colleagues, reach out to your friends. Don’t be afraid to show vulnerability. It’s a badge of honor in a way to want that help.”
7:33 a.m. ET, July 28, 2021

US gymnast Sunisa Lee has overcome her father's accident to compete in the Olympics

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Sunisa Lee of Team USA competes in the balance beam event of the artistic gymnastics women's team final on July 27.
Sunisa Lee of Team USA competes in the balance beam event of the artistic gymnastics women's team final on July 27. Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

18-year-old gymnast Sunisa Lee is one of the athletes competing for the US in the Olympics. Despite the intense spotlight of the Games, her parents are confident she can handle the pressure, especially since she has persevered through a big family tragedy at home.

In 2019, Lee's father John suffered an accident that left him paralyzed, and he says that put her under a lot of stress.

"Sunisa's been competing under pressure all the way, I think, ever since I got injured in 2019 up to now, up to the point where she made the Olympics," he said.

Lee admitted that the team panicked when Simone Biles dropped out of the women's all-around team final. But the US went on to win the silver.

"She handled it pretty well, you know, up until now. Going forward, she'll be OK," Lee's father said. 

The Minnesota native did acknowledge the pressure she was under in conversation with her parents, her father said.

"She said there's a lot of pressure on her. But I told her that, you know, she went through a lot, she's experienced pressure all the time," he said, "I think she worries, but I think she can do OK."

Lee's parents also expressed their concern for Biles, and said that while the news of her withdrawal is shocking, they hope she is OK and gets the help she needs. They also wished Biles' replacement, Jade Carey, the best.

7:27 a.m. ET, July 28, 2021

Spanish tennis player Paula Badosa retires with heatstroke and leaves court in wheelchair

From CNN's Aleks Klosok

Paula Badosa of Team Spain is helped away from the court in a wheelchair after having to retire from her women’s singles quarterfinal match on Wednesday.
Paula Badosa of Team Spain is helped away from the court in a wheelchair after having to retire from her women’s singles quarterfinal match on Wednesday. David Ramos/Getty Images

Spain’s Paula Badosa was forced to retire from her women’s singles quarterfinal match against Czech Marketa Vondrousova due to heatstroke on Wednesday.

Badosa lost the first set 6-3 before requiring a medical timeout on Court 4 ahead of the start of the second set.

After lengthy treatment, the Spaniard was unable to continue and announced her retirement from the match, before leaving the court in a wheelchair.

"I have suffered a heat stroke as you all have seen, and I did not feel fit to continue competing in the match," Badosa said, in comments posted by Tokyo 2020.

"Along with the pressure of the competition, how special these days are, these are things that happen in sport -- and today, I had to go through that terrain.

“It was a shame to end my participation this way. The conditions have been demanding from day one, we tried to adapt as best as possible, but today the body has not resisted as needed,” Badosa added.

Marketa Vondrousova, Naomi Osaka’s conqueror, advances to the women’s semifinals where she’ll face Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina.

The 23-year-old Badosa subsequently withdrew from her mixed doubles match with compatriot Pablo Carreño Busta.

The Spaniards had been due to face Polish pair Iga Swiatek and Lukasz Kubot in the first round on Wednesday.

Badosa and Carreño Busta were replaced in the draw by France's Fiona Ferro and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

The French pair ended up losing 6-3 7-6 to the Polish duo.

“I leave with a feeling of pride for having given absolutely everything for my country, for having represented it in the most professional way that I could," Badosa said.
"I am going to focus on recovering, working to be well and giving myself the opportunity to return to an event like this,” said Badosa.

Her retirement comes after both Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev publicly criticized the scheduling of matches at Tokyo 2020.

Both players have said it would be preferable to start the matches later in the evening when conditions have cooled down.

During his singles match against Fabio Fognini, Medvedev told the umpire: "I'm a fighter, I will finish the match, but I can die.

"If I die, is the ITF going to take (sic) responsible?"

7:04 a.m. ET, July 28, 2021

Refugee Team cyclist Masomah Ali Zada says she represents "the rights of women in Afghanistan"

From CNN's Matias Grez

Afghan refugee road cyclist Masomah Ali Zada prepares for a training session at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland, on July 1, ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
Afghan refugee road cyclist Masomah Ali Zada prepares for a training session at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland, on July 1, ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Masomah Ali Zada competed in the first time trial of her career on Wednesday -- and it came on the biggest stage of all.

The 25-year-old finished almost 14 minutes behind gold medal winner Annemiek van Vleuten, but Ali Zada knows her participation at Tokyo 2020 is bigger than medals.

Born in Afghanistan, Ali Zada and her family eventually found asylum in France in 2017 after she began receiving threats for cycling competitively.

“It was so, so good," she said. "My first time trial, my first Olympic Games. As a first experience, I’m so happy with it because I worked for it, and I tried to use all the sacrifice from several months. I don’t have any regrets.”

According to her profile on the Olympics website, Ali Zada was pushed off her bike, taunted and abused while out cycling in Afghanistan.

Her struggles were revealed in the documentary 'Les Petit Reines de Kaboul' -- 'The Little Queens of Kabul' -- and prompted French lawyer Patrick Communal to help move Ali Zada out of Afghanistan.

“I’m so happy to represent the Refugee Olympic Team because I will send a message of hope and peace for 82 million people who are obliged to leave their country because of different reasons," she said after the race.

And also I’m here to represent the rights of women in Afghanistan and for all countries like Afghanistan, where people think that women don’t have rights. So I’m here for two objectives -- the rights of women and also for the refugees.

Ali Zada says representing women's rights in Afghanistan and the Refugee Olympic team are both "important to me in my heart and my head."

Ali Zada competes in the women's cycling road individual time trial in Oyama, Japan, on Wednesday.
Ali Zada competes in the women's cycling road individual time trial in Oyama, Japan, on Wednesday. Ina Fassbender/AFP/Getty Images

“It’s my responsibility to try to work for the rights of women in Afghanistan and also for all the countries where people think that women don’t have rights, and also to send a message of hope and peace for all the refugees around the world," she adds.

When I started cycling, some people in Afghanistan did not agree with it because it’s a new thing for the people to see a girl who rides a bike.

“Even here, in the hotel with the other cyclists, they look at me strangely. I think they’ve never seen a girl with a scarf on a bicycle. But in Afghanistan, I’m sure if they see regularly a woman on a bike, they will accept it.”

Ali Zada says her father is one of her main sources of inspiration and says he sent her a message on the morning of the race.

"When I was in Afghanistan, he was the only one who always supported me," she recalls.

“Even when I wanted to stop, he pushed me: ‘No, you have to continue, you cannot stop it, you have to continue until the end.’

So he sent me a message this morning and said: ‘Do your best.’ I hope that he will be happy.”
5:55 a.m. ET, July 28, 2021

The British men's rugby team joins a string of athletes taking the knee in protest before play

From CNN's Aditi Sangal and Tom Booth

Team GB players take a knee during the Rugby Sevens Men's semifinal match between New Zealand and Great Britain on July 28.
Team GB players take a knee during the Rugby Sevens Men's semifinal match between New Zealand and Great Britain on July 28. Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Great Britain's men's rugby team took the knee in protest before their Olympic match against Argentina.

Many athletes have been taking the knee at the Olympics, including multiple women's soccer teams. Though the gesture is not against the rules, it has set a tone.

It's been almost five years since former NFL player Colin Kaepernick knelt pre-game during the National Anthem to protest racial inequality. Since then -- and especially following George Floyd's death in police custody in May 2020 -- athletes around the world have made the gesture in solidarity with the social justice movement and against the oppression of people of color.

Currently, the International Olympic Committee's Rule 50 prohibits athletes from protesting at Olympic sites. In July, the governing body added an amendment to the rule, allowing athletes to express their views in mixed zones, press conferences and during interviews, as well as prior to the start of competition.

However, more than 150 athletes, sports organizations, human rights and social justice experts have signed an open letter calling on the IOC to allow athletes the "fundamental human right" to protest, including at the podium.

"We believe the global sport community is at a turning point in matters of racial and social justice," the letter read, "and we call on you as leaders in the Olympic and Paralympic Movements to make a stronger commitment to human rights, racial/social justice, and social inclusion."

2:17 p.m. ET, July 28, 2021

Fiji defeats New Zealand to defend Rugby Sevens Olympic title

From CNN's Matias Grez

Rugby players Kalione Nasoko, left, and Waisea Nacuqu of Fiji celebrate their victory against New Zealand during the gold medal match on July 28.
Rugby players Kalione Nasoko, left, and Waisea Nacuqu of Fiji celebrate their victory against New Zealand during the gold medal match on July 28. Dan Mullan/Getty Images

When Fiji clinched the Rugby Sevens gold medal at Rio 2016 — the first Olympic medal the country had won in its history — prime minister Frank Bainimarama announced a new public holiday.

The small island nation, with a population of just 900,000, now has another reason to celebrate after the 'Flying Fijians' successfully defended their Olympic crown, beating New Zealand 27-12 in Wednesday's gold medal match.

There were powerful scenes after the final whistle, as the squad got down on one knee to pray in a huddle, with some of the team moved to tears.

Members of Team Fiji react after winning the men's final rugby sevens match on Wednesday.
Members of Team Fiji react after winning the men's final rugby sevens match on Wednesday. Ben Stansall/AFP/ Getty Images

After the match, PM Bainimarama tweeted his delight with the historic gold medal.

"Vinaka [thank you], boys –– that win was worth more than Gold," he wrote.

"Your love for this game, for each other, and for your country has shown again that when Fijians unite, we can achieve greatness –– no matter what the world throws our way.

GO FIJI GO!!!!"

Perhaps another public holiday is in order?

12:05 a.m. ET, August 3, 2021

Japan is winning Olympic golds at a record rate

Research by Aline Sauvegrain Tanabe, Maria Matsuda and Hanako Sasaki in Tokyo

Yuto Horigome of Team Japan poses with his gold medal at the Skateboarding Men's Street Finals medal ceremony on July 25, in Tokyo, Japan.
Yuto Horigome of Team Japan poses with his gold medal at the Skateboarding Men's Street Finals medal ceremony on July 25, in Tokyo, Japan. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Japan is winning gold medals at a higher rate than its previous Olympic appearances, according to statistics gathered by CNN.

The host country is second in the medal table with 20 total Olympic medals so far: 11 of which are gold, four silver and five bronze.

At the Rio Summer Olympics in 2016, Japan won 41 total medals — including 12 gold — its highest total and gold medal count.

Just five days into the Tokyo 2020 Games, Japan has won nearly half its highest medal count and is quickly closing in on its gold record.

In both Rio and London 2012, Japan had won 17 medals after the first five days of competition.

Tokyo previously hosted the Games in 1964, where Japan also won 16 gold medals — and 29 total medals — for the country.

From CNN's Chandler Thornton

An earlier version of this post incorrectly tallied the number of gold medals at Rio. It is 12 medals.

5:49 a.m. ET, July 28, 2021

Novak Djokovic moves into quarterfinals to maintain quest for "Golden Slam"

From CNN’s Aleks Klosok

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates beating Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina during the men's singles third round tennis match on Wednesday.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates beating Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina during the men's singles third round tennis match on Wednesday. Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images

Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic moved into the Olympic quarterfinals on Wednesday to maintain his quest for a ‘Golden Slam.’

The 20-time grand slam champion defeated Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3 6-1 in under 90 minutes.

The ‘Golden Slam’ comprises winning all four grand slams — plus the Olympic singles gold — in one calendar year.

Djokovic has already claimed the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon titles this year. He will need to win the US Open in September to complete the grand slam.

An Olympic gold would make the 34-year-old the first ever male player to seal the ‘Golden Slam.’

Germany's Steffi Graf is the only player to have achieved this landmark, completing the feat in 1988.

Djokovic will meet Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the quarterfinals.