A second gold medal is something to sing about for Fiji’s men’s rugby sevens. So is a return home

Fiji’s second consecutive gold medal in rugby sevens may be more meaningful than its first.That’s saying something, considering the team’s first win, at Rio 2016, meant so much that the country produced the world’s first $7 banknote to commemorate it.This time around, the team needed a win to make a significant sacrifice worth it. The Fijians have not seen their families since Easter Monday, when the country announced a lockdown while the team was at a training camp. Players were forced to stick together indefinitely. They travelled to Japan on a cargo plane that mainly transports frozen fish, after COVID-19 caused commercial flights to and from Pacific countries to dwindle.The team made its emotions clear after a 27-12 win over New Zealand in Wednesday’s final, praying and singing its team hymn and Fiji’s national anthem in celebration. It was similar to the squad’s preparation; videos on social media show the team readying for the match by participating in a singalong, with some players playing guitar.Back home, rugby-loving Fijians, who clutched those commemorative bank notes as good-luck charms during this year’s run, sang and danced into the night. It will be a happy reunion when the players finally come home.She’s got your backpack: Canadian Ellie Black was not competing in the women’s all-around gymnastic final Thursday but her support for teammate Brooklyn Moors was evident.Black, who had to withdraw from the event because of a sprained ankle, taped notes of encouragement for teammate Moors on her backpack, which was caught on camera in the gym. Strips of white tape featured messages from Black such as: “Smile and have fun,” “Enjoy the moment,” “Be fierce” and “Go for it.” It also include a drawing of Moors, who Black referred to as “B.” The 20-year-old Moors, making her Olympic debut, finished 16th in the all-around. Black, 25, is hoping she will be able to compete in the beam final next week.Using protection: When Australian Jessica Fox needed a quick fix for her kayak ahead of her bronze-medal run in the women’s K1 canoe slalom earlier this week, she turned to an unusual solution: an Olympics-issued condom.Fox used the condom to hold in place a carbon mixture applied to the tip of the vessel. “Very stretchy, much strong,” read a post on social media detailing Fox’s hack. “It gives the carbon a smooth finish.” Good hair day: Chinese shooter Yang Qian has two gold medals at Tokyo 2020. Few are able to replicate her performances, but many are trying to copy her look. The 21-year-old earned the first medal at these Games on Saturday when she won the women’s 10-metre air rifle, then added gold in the mixed 10-metre air rifle team event Monday. She has inspired many in China to buy the duck and carrot-shaped hair pins she has been sporting during competitions. The accessories are reportedly her lucky charms. Online shop owners told Chinese media the clips, which cost about 46 cents (U.S.), were not bestsellers prior to the Olympics but are now flying off digital shelves, with daily sales surpassing 10,000.Small fish in a big pond: San Marino, with its population of 34,000 people, became the smallest country to win an Olympic medal Thursday, thanks to shooter Alessandra Perilli, who took bronze in the women’s trap event.“This is the first medal for me and for my country. We are a small country but very proud,” Perilli said. “They [country] are for sure going crazy, crying. I don’t know, but for sure now they are.”Perilli is one of just five athletes representing San Marino at these Games. She was fourth in trap at London 2012, becoming the first Sammarinese athlete to finish that high in any competition. Francesco Nanni was fifth in the 50-metre rifle prone at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.Bieber supports Biles: Canadian singer Justin Bieber showed support for Simone Biles this week after the American gymnast, citing mental health struggles, pulled out of the women’s team final and the women’s all-around final. Bieber, who knows what it’s like growing up in the limelight, was one of a number of celebrities who rallied around Biles. “Nobody will ever understand the pressures you face,” Bieber captioned a Biles photo posted on his Instagram page. “I know we don’t know each other but I’m so proud of the decision to withdraw.” He continued later: “When what you normally love starts to steal your joy, it’s important we take a step back to evaluate why.”Biles tweeted her thanks Thursday for the support she has received. ”The outpouring of love and support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics, which I never truly believed before.”Laura Armstrong is a Star sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @lauraarmy

A second gold medal is something to sing about for Fiji’s men’s rugby sevens. So is a return home

Fiji’s second consecutive gold medal in rugby sevens may be more meaningful than its first.

That’s saying something, considering the team’s first win, at Rio 2016, meant so much that the country produced the world’s first $7 banknote to commemorate it.

This time around, the team needed a win to make a significant sacrifice worth it. The Fijians have not seen their families since Easter Monday, when the country announced a lockdown while the team was at a training camp. Players were forced to stick together indefinitely. They travelled to Japan on a cargo plane that mainly transports frozen fish, after COVID-19 caused commercial flights to and from Pacific countries to dwindle.

The team made its emotions clear after a 27-12 win over New Zealand in Wednesday’s final, praying and singing its team hymn and Fiji’s national anthem in celebration. It was similar to the squad’s preparation; videos on social media show the team readying for the match by participating in a singalong, with some players playing guitar.

Back home, rugby-loving Fijians, who clutched those commemorative bank notes as good-luck charms during this year’s run, sang and danced into the night. It will be a happy reunion when the players finally come home.

  • She’s got your backpack: Canadian Ellie Black was not competing in the women’s all-around gymnastic final Thursday but her support for teammate Brooklyn Moors was evident.

Black, who had to withdraw from the event because of a sprained ankle, taped notes of encouragement for teammate Moors on her backpack, which was caught on camera in the gym. Strips of white tape featured messages from Black such as: “Smile and have fun,” “Enjoy the moment,” “Be fierce” and “Go for it.” It also include a drawing of Moors, who Black referred to as “B.”

The 20-year-old Moors, making her Olympic debut, finished 16th in the all-around. Black, 25, is hoping she will be able to compete in the beam final next week.

  • Using protection: When Australian Jessica Fox needed a quick fix for her kayak ahead of her bronze-medal run in the women’s K1 canoe slalom earlier this week, she turned to an unusual solution: an Olympics-issued condom.

Fox used the condom to hold in place a carbon mixture applied to the tip of the vessel.

“Very stretchy, much strong,” read a post on social media detailing Fox’s hack. “It gives the carbon a smooth finish.”

  • Good hair day: Chinese shooter Yang Qian has two gold medals at Tokyo 2020. Few are able to replicate her performances, but many are trying to copy her look.

The 21-year-old earned the first medal at these Games on Saturday when she won the women’s 10-metre air rifle, then added gold in the mixed 10-metre air rifle team event Monday. She has inspired many in China to buy the duck and carrot-shaped hair pins she has been sporting during competitions. The accessories are reportedly her lucky charms.

Online shop owners told Chinese media the clips, which cost about 46 cents (U.S.), were not bestsellers prior to the Olympics but are now flying off digital shelves, with daily sales surpassing 10,000.

  • Small fish in a big pond: San Marino, with its population of 34,000 people, became the smallest country to win an Olympic medal Thursday, thanks to shooter Alessandra Perilli, who took bronze in the women’s trap event.

“This is the first medal for me and for my country. We are a small country but very proud,” Perilli said. “They [country] are for sure going crazy, crying. I don’t know, but for sure now they are.”

Perilli is one of just five athletes representing San Marino at these Games. She was fourth in trap at London 2012, becoming the first Sammarinese athlete to finish that high in any competition. Francesco Nanni was fifth in the 50-metre rifle prone at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

  • Bieber supports Biles: Canadian singer Justin Bieber showed support for Simone Biles this week after the American gymnast, citing mental health struggles, pulled out of the women’s team final and the women’s all-around final.

Bieber, who knows what it’s like growing up in the limelight, was one of a number of celebrities who rallied around Biles.

“Nobody will ever understand the pressures you face,” Bieber captioned a Biles photo posted on his Instagram page. “I know we don’t know each other but I’m so proud of the decision to withdraw.”

He continued later: “When what you normally love starts to steal your joy, it’s important we take a step back to evaluate why.”

Biles tweeted her thanks Thursday for the support she has received. ”The outpouring of love and support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics, which I never truly believed before.”

Laura Armstrong is a Star sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @lauraarmy

Source : Toronto Star More   

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Tokyo Olympics Day 7: Athletes struggle in extreme heat; Penny Oleksiak going for medal in 100m freestyle; Canadians in finals for rowing, distance running

The latest Olympics news from Tokyo and around the world on Thursday. Web links to longer stories if available:7:30 p.m.: Videos of Suni Lee’s family reacting to the U.S. gymnast winning a gold medal in the Olympics all-around competition went viral on Twitter this week, with fellow Olympians, celebrities and viewers at home cheering alongside Lee’s joyful family.7:15 p.m.: Brazilian gymnast Rebeca Andrade takes all-around silver at Tokyo Olympics. It is Brazil's first medal of any color in the all-around.6:30 p.m.: Fiji’s second consecutive gold medal in rugby sevens may be more meaningful than its first. That’s saying something, considering the team’s first win, at Rio 2016, meant so much that the country produced the world’s first $7 banknote to commemorate it, writes the Star’s Laura Armstrong in her newest Olympics roundup. Here’s what else is in the news: Australian Jessica Fox uses a condom to fix her kayak; Justin Bieber gives Simone Biles kudos; and Chinese shooter Yang Qian has two gold medals (and a killer sense of style).6:30 p.m.: Here are a few of the events that Team Canada is competing in tonight.Rowing, women’s eights, 9:05 p.m. ETDrew Mechielsen competes in the BMX racing semifinal, 9:15 p.m. ETDefending champion Penny Oleksiak will compete in the 100-metre freestyle final, 10 p.m. ET. If she wins, she’ll become Canada’s most decorated Olympian. Rosie MacLennan will compete in trampoline, starts at midnight ETRunner Mohammed Ahmed will compete in the 10,000-metre final, 7:30 a.m. ET on Friday 6 p.m.: At the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Star columnist Rosie DiManno had $10,000 cash, a phoney press pass and a last-minute bed at a heavenly country inn. The experience of Tokyo 2020 is nothing like the same — it couldn’t be, she writes.The latest from Rosie DiManno in Tokyo: An Olympics in Japan can be wonderful (even if these Games aren’t)5 p.m.: The 2020 Olympics are shaping up to be one of the hottest on record as daily highs regularly exceed 30C and humidity packs an extra punch.Said Russian Olympic Committee tennis player Daniil Medvedev, during a Tuesday fixture: “I can finish the match, but I can die,” he told the chair umpire in front of cameras after being asked if he could continue playing.Earlier in the week, Spanish tennis player Paula Badosa had to leave her quarterfinal match in a wheelchair. Last Friday, Russian archer Svetlana Gomboeva collapsed in the Tokyo heat during a qualifying round. 4 p.m.: Star columnist Rick Salutin writes: The distress experienced by US gymnast Simone Biles stems from a situation: Olympics culture in its 2021 version. There’s a shabbiness to these games in particular: the issue isn’t just empty arenas, it’s a sense that they’re only being held to avoid financial losses and serve the egos and careers of pols and sportsocrats against the unmistakably expressed opposition of the host population.The athletes feel real pain and deserve support and relief, but you don’t want to use mental healthification to let the source of that pain off the hook.4 p.m.: On today’s episode of Tokyo Daily, Brendan Dunlop chats with the Star’s Dave Feschuk in Tokyo about the atmosphere of these Olympic Games, the success of Canadian women on the Olympic stage and what that might mean for funding and development going forward. And as track and field gets underway with a COVID scare, there are a few Canadian men looking to get on the podium in Tokyo.3:30 p.m.: San Marino is considered the world’s oldest republic. On Thursday, it added another title that could one day become a trivia answer: the least populous nation to win an Olympic medal.One can only imagine the celebration that Alessandra Perilli will receive when she returns to the independent nation of 34,000 people in the foothills of Italy’s Apennine Mountains after claiming bronze in women’s trap shooting.Previously: American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks tests positive for COVID-19 and withdraws from Games; Mohammed Ahmed and Justyn Knight among the favourites for medals in distance running; Canadian rowers Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens took bronze in women’s pair; Women’s basketball team defeats South Korea, 74-53; Swimmers just miss the podium in 4x200 freestyle relay, but Penny Oleksiak has another shot at becoming Canada’s most decorated Olympian ever. For a full write-up of what you missed on Day 6 of the Tokyo Olympics, click here.For full coverage of the Tokyo Olympics, click here.

Tokyo Olympics Day 7: Athletes struggle in extreme heat; Penny Oleksiak going for medal in 100m freestyle; Canadians in finals for rowing, distance running

The latest Olympics news from Tokyo and around the world on Thursday. Web links to longer stories if available:

7:30 p.m.: Videos of Suni Lee’s family reacting to the U.S. gymnast winning a gold medal in the Olympics all-around competition went viral on Twitter this week, with fellow Olympians, celebrities and viewers at home cheering alongside Lee’s joyful family.

7:15 p.m.: Brazilian gymnast Rebeca Andrade takes all-around silver at Tokyo Olympics. It is Brazil's first medal of any color in the all-around.

6:30 p.m.: Fiji’s second consecutive gold medal in rugby sevens may be more meaningful than its first.

That’s saying something, considering the team’s first win, at Rio 2016, meant so much that the country produced the world’s first $7 banknote to commemorate it, writes the Star’s Laura Armstrong in her newest Olympics roundup.

Here’s what else is in the news: Australian Jessica Fox uses a condom to fix her kayak; Justin Bieber gives Simone Biles kudos; and Chinese shooter Yang Qian has two gold medals (and a killer sense of style).

6:30 p.m.: Here are a few of the events that Team Canada is competing in tonight.

  • Rowing, women’s eights, 9:05 p.m. ET

  • Drew Mechielsen competes in the BMX racing semifinal, 9:15 p.m. ET

  • Defending champion Penny Oleksiak will compete in the 100-metre freestyle final, 10 p.m. ET. If she wins, she’ll become Canada’s most decorated Olympian.

  • Rosie MacLennan will compete in trampoline, starts at midnight ET

  • Runner Mohammed Ahmed will compete in the 10,000-metre final, 7:30 a.m. ET on Friday

6 p.m.: At the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Star columnist Rosie DiManno had $10,000 cash, a phoney press pass and a last-minute bed at a heavenly country inn. The experience of Tokyo 2020 is nothing like the same — it couldn’t be, she writes.

The latest from Rosie DiManno in Tokyo: An Olympics in Japan can be wonderful (even if these Games aren’t)

5 p.m.: The 2020 Olympics are shaping up to be one of the hottest on record as daily highs regularly exceed 30C and humidity packs an extra punch.

Said Russian Olympic Committee tennis player Daniil Medvedev, during a Tuesday fixture: “I can finish the match, but I can die,” he told the chair umpire in front of cameras after being asked if he could continue playing.

Earlier in the week, Spanish tennis player Paula Badosa had to leave her quarterfinal match in a wheelchair. Last Friday, Russian archer Svetlana Gomboeva collapsed in the Tokyo heat during a qualifying round.

4 p.m.: Star columnist Rick Salutin writes: The distress experienced by US gymnast Simone Biles stems from a situation: Olympics culture in its 2021 version.

There’s a shabbiness to these games in particular: the issue isn’t just empty arenas, it’s a sense that they’re only being held to avoid financial losses and serve the egos and careers of pols and sportsocrats against the unmistakably expressed opposition of the host population.

The athletes feel real pain and deserve support and relief, but you don’t want to use mental healthification to let the source of that pain off the hook.

4 p.m.: On today’s episode of Tokyo Daily, Brendan Dunlop chats with the Star’s Dave Feschuk in Tokyo about the atmosphere of these Olympic Games, the success of Canadian women on the Olympic stage and what that might mean for funding and development going forward. And as track and field gets underway with a COVID scare, there are a few Canadian men looking to get on the podium in Tokyo.

3:30 p.m.: San Marino is considered the world’s oldest republic. On Thursday, it added another title that could one day become a trivia answer: the least populous nation to win an Olympic medal.

One can only imagine the celebration that Alessandra Perilli will receive when she returns to the independent nation of 34,000 people in the foothills of Italy’s Apennine Mountains after claiming bronze in women’s trap shooting.

Previously: American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks tests positive for COVID-19 and withdraws from Games; Mohammed Ahmed and Justyn Knight among the favourites for medals in distance running; Canadian rowers Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens took bronze in women’s pair; Women’s basketball team defeats South Korea, 74-53; Swimmers just miss the podium in 4x200 freestyle relay, but Penny Oleksiak has another shot at becoming Canada’s most decorated Olympian ever.

For a full write-up of what you missed on Day 6 of the Tokyo Olympics, click here.

For full coverage of the Tokyo Olympics, click here.

Source : Toronto Star More   

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