Team GB in Tokyo Day 1: Gymnasts and swimmers advance and victories in football, tennis and hockey

Team GB celebrate Ellen White's winner and third goal of the Games. Photo: Masashi Hara / Team GB.

Brits swam, served and scored their way into the next rounds of competition in an action-packed day one for Team GB in Tokyo. Here’s what you might have missed: 

  • Men’s artistic gymnastics team books five finals places
  • Ellen White sends the women’s football squad into the knockout stages
  • Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury stun second seeds to advance
  • Women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team set new British record in the pool
  • Men’s hockey campaign off to a winning start 
  • Repechage awaits Team GB rowers

Whitlock on track after gymnastics qualifying

Max Whitlock moved a step closer to defending his Olympic title as he secured qualification to the men’s pommel horse final with a score of 14.900. 

Debutant Joe Fraser’s 86.298 was enough to book finals places in both the all-around and parallel bars, the discipline in which he became 2019 world champion.

Compatriot James Hall will line up alongside Fraser in the all-around, qualifying in 12th place.

With only two gymnasts from the same nation eligible for a finals berth in each event, Giarnni Regini-Moran will cheer on his teammates from the sidelines despite his top-24 finish in the all-around.

He’ll still have a chance to represent Team GB in the team final, with the quartet’s score of 256.594 enough to land the squad in fifth place.

Good luck messages inspire gymnasts into men’s team final

White’s goal wins it against the hosts 

Team GB are through to the knockout stages of the women’s football competition thanks to Ellen White’s third goal in two games. 

White’s glancing header was enough to give Team GB a 1-0 win over hosts Japan in Sapporo. 

The victory ensures the women’s team a top-two finish in Group E which will see them advance to the quarter-finals.

Both sides struggled in the early exchanges but Team GB were able to build in the second half and White’s 74th-minute goal proved to be the winner.

Head coach Hege Riise said: 

“We were in a different team in the second half, we had the togetherness I want to see and we were totally committed.

“I thought we really controlled the game. We were much more direct and really put them under pressure.”

Ellen White goal leads to Team GB win over hosts Japan

Double delight in the tennis

Two-time Olympic singles champion Andy Murray teamed up with Joe Salisbury to great success in the men’s doubles, winning in straight sets.

The pair came up against second-seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut of France, beating them 6-3, 6-2, to advance to the second round. 

Murray said: 

“Doubles is always tricky because sometimes the matches come down to a few points and I think we were well-deserved winners today, we created a fair few chances. But not every doubles match is like that.”

Murray’s brother Jamie Murray was also in action with newly-crowned Wimbledon mixed doubles champion Neal Skupski.

Skupski and Murray came through in three sets against Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos and Andres Molteni, and will next face the Japanese pair Kei Nishikori and Ben McLachlan. 

Salisbury and Murray will come up against German duo Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz, while Heather Watson suffered a first-round women’s singles loss to Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany.

New partners Murray and Salisbury make winning start in Tokyo

Peaty leads the way in the pool

Defending champion Adam Peaty got his Tokyo 2020 Olympic campaign off to a flying start, setting the fastest time in the men’s 100m breaststroke heats. 

The world record holder came home in 57.56 seconds, 0.24 ahead of his nearest rival, while James Wilby also secured qualification to the semi-finals as he finished second in his heat. 

The women’s 4x100m freestyle team set a new British record of 3:34.03 to reach the final, as the four debutants Freya Anderson, Lucy Hope, Abbie Wood and Anna Hopkin made a flying start to their Olympic careers. 

Meanwhile, Aimee Willmott finished second overall in the women’s 400m Individual Medley and Max Litchfield secured a berth in the final of the men’s 400m event. Both their finals will take place on Sunday

Adam Peaty has more in the tank as he cruises through the heats

Ideal start for men’s hockey 

Team GB’s men’s hockey side secured a 3-1 win over South Africa in their opening game of Tokyo 2020 as they look to get out of their group having missed out in Rio.

Sam Ward opened the scoring with a penalty corner before South Africa fought back moments later with a goal of their own.

The quickfire opening to the second half echoed the first, with Liam Ansell scoring in the 32nd minute before young talent Jack Waller notched another with five minutes to go. 

The men’s hockey team have got off to the best possible start, but now there are stern tests to come with group matches against Belgium, Germany and Holland.

Goal-scorer Sam Ward said:

“I think we performed well, we just didn’t take our chances.

“We are just building into the tournament, by the end of the game we started to play fluid hockey and that is what we have to take into the next one.”

Sam Ward: Expect heavy metal hockey from Team GB in Tokyo

Mixed day for rowing and cycling. 

Fresh from his duties as flag-bearer for Team GB at the Opening Ceremony, Mohamed Sbihi and his men’s eight teammates missed out on automatic finals qualification.

They will instead have to go through Wednesday’s repechage alongside the women’s four and women’s eight.

Helen Glover and Polly Swann compete during the Women’s Pair Heat 2 on day one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games© Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Helen Glover made history as the first mother to represent Team GB in rowing, as she and Polly Swann advanced to the semi-finals of the women’s pair before Glover went off to wish son Logan a happy third birthday.

A new-look men’s four reached the final of their competition with victory in their heat as they look to win GB’s sixth gold in the event.

In the cycling, Geraint Thomas was forced to abandon the men’s road race having collided with teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart in what he described as a ‘freak thing’. 

Adam Yates was the highest finisher for Team GB coming home in ninth, while Thomas’ attentions have already turned to Wednesday’s time trial.

Helen Glover makes history while men’s four reach final

Coming up on day two

It’s the women’s turn on the road as Lizzie Deignan leads Team GB’s charge for road cycling gold at 05:00 BST.

Deignan, who finished fifth in Rio, will line up alongside Anna Shackley for Great Britain and is in great form having finished fourth at the Giro d’Italia Donne. 

Jade Jones begins her pursuit of taekwondo history at 03:52 BST as she goes in the round of 16 in the Women’s -57kg category. 

Jones could become the first British woman to win gold medals at three separate Games having won in London and Rio.

All eyes will be on the pool between 15:00 and 16:00 BST as Grace Reid and Kat Torrance go for diving gold.

The pair will be competing for a medal in the women’s synchronised 3m springboard as they look to get Team GB’s divers off to a perfect start.

Tokyo 2020 Ones To Watch: Jade Jones

Source: Team GB


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