With the first week of the 16-day Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games completed, leaving Team GB sitting in sixth in the overall medal count, I decided to round up the first week’s medal-winning events and athletes, enduring the sometimes brutal feeling time difference, so you don’t have to.
In the first week of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Team GB achieved six gold’s, eight silver’s and nine bronzes, an overall total of 23 medals (July 23rd, 2021 – July 30th, 2021.)
Team GB’s first three gold medals of the games came in thick and fast on what now has been dubbed ‘Magic Monday’.
Adam Peaty – In the early hours of the morning, 03:30 am to be exact Adam Peaty claimed Team GB’s first gold of the games in the men’s 100m breaststroke, becoming the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title, retaining his Gold from Rio 2016. Peaty has now been unbeaten in seven years, with 17 of the fastest times in history to his name.
Tom Daley and Matty Lee – Next on ‘Magic Monday’ Team GB’s Tom Daley and Matty Lee claimed gold in the nail-biting men’s synchronised 10-meter platform diving final. The pair diving to perfection to beat China’s duo of Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen. This is Daley’s first gold medal at the Olympic Games, claiming two bronzes previously, one at London 2012 and the other at Rio 2016. And for Lee, his first Olympic medal, the young athlete from Leeds making his Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.
Tom Pidcock – Peaty, Daley and Lee’s magic Monday Gold’s were quickly followed by Tom Pidcock, in the men’s XC (Cross-Country) Mountain Biking event. Pidcock the young athlete also from Leeds, claimed gold for Team GB at his first Olympic games just days before his 22nd birthday and eight weeks after a collarbone break after being hit by a car while training with team INEOS Grenadiers. Pidcock won in a dominating fashion, starting in 29th and finishing the race with a twenty-second lead over Swiss silver medallist Mathias Flückiger. Pidcock crossed the line with a British flag in hand and is the first British medallist ever in Mountain Biking at the Olympic Games.
Tom Dean – A second gold medal in swimming was achieved by Tom Dean, in the men’s 200m freestyle at his debut Olympic Games after a difficult build-up to the games in which he caught Covid-19 twice. The swimmer describing this as setting him back both “physically and mentally”. Dean won with a one minute 44.22 second time, a new British record.
Tom Dean, Duncan Scott, Matt Richards, James Guy – A further third gold medal was achieved by Team GB’s Men’s 4x200m freestyle relay team consisting of Tom Dean, Duncan Scott, Matt Richards, and James Guy at the pool, the first time in 113 years Britain has won three golds in swimming at an Olympic Games. The team came within 0.3 seconds of the world record and beat silver medallists the Russian Olympic Committee by 3.23 seconds. Dean also becoming the first British male swimmer to win two golds at the same Olympic Games since 1908.
Beth Shriever – Team GB’s final gold of the week came on day seven, to 22-year-old BMX rider Beth Shriever in the women’s BMX final. Shriver leading from the first bend of the course, holding off reigning Olympic Champion Colombia’s Mariana Pajon. Shriver’s win also came in unusual circumstances, just two years following UK Sport cutting funding for female BMX riders leaving Shriver to crowdfund £50,000 to allow her to compete in the games.
Alex Yee – Kicking off ‘Magic Monday’ was Alex Yee, obtaining silver in the men’s triathlon, finishing behind Norway’s Kristian Blumenfeld. Crossing the line in a manner that could only be described as both relaxed and confident after producing an impressive run that initially held off Blummenfelt. The 23-year-old triathlete saying in a post-race interview that “I am just a normal guy from south-east London, dreams really do come true”.
Georgia Taylor Brown – One day later also in the triathlon, Georgia Taylor Brown followed Alex Yee to claim Team GB’s second silver triathlon medal of the games. Finishing behind Bermuda’s Flora Duffy after an impressive recovery from a puncture on the final lap of the cycle which placed her down in 5th and lost her 22 seconds. Taylor Brown describing her silver as fulfilling her 10-year-old self’s dreams, the silver coming on her Olympic debut and just 12 weeks after an injury that left her on crutches.
Duncan Scott – Taking Team GB’s swimming success further Duncan Scott claimed two silver medals in the men’s 200m freestyle swimming & individual medley. Scott coming second to Tom Dean in the 200m freestyle, the event becoming the first time two British swimmers have shared a podium in 110 years with just 0.4 seconds between them in a dramatic race. Both swimmers describing the race and podium as an “incredible moment”. Scott then won his second silver in the individual medley taking his medal count to three from the Tokyo games.
Bradly Sinden – In the men’s -68kg taekwondo Bradly Sinden the 2019 world champion competed in a dramatic final, losing to Uzbekistan’s Ulugbek Rashitov, claiming team GB’s first silver Taekwondo medal of the games.
Lauren Williams – Lauren Williams then claimed Team GB’s second silver Taekwondo medal of the games in the women’s -67kg taekwondo on her Olympic debut, losing 22 – 25 to Croatia’s Matea Jelic. Williams had mixed feelings post final describing her performance as “not enough” but also being pleased with an Olympic silver medal
Harry Leask, Angus Groom, Tom Barras and Jack Beaumont – The men’s quadruple skulls rowing team including Durham alumna Angus Groom, claimed silver on the first Wednesday of the games. The GB team coming second to the Netherlands team, who won gold in a World Record-breaking time of five minutes and 32.03 seconds.
Mallory Franklin – On Thursday Mallory Franklin claimed silver in the women’s C1 Canoe Slalom, the first time the event has been a part of the Olympic Games with Jessica Fox from Australia claiming gold with some unorthodox canoe repairs using condoms, revealed in her now-viral Tik Tok.
Kye Whyte – Finally, the last silver of the first week came in the men’s BMX courtesy of 21-year-old Kye Whyte who came second to Dutch rider Niek Kimmann by 0.114 seconds. Whyte celebrated with women’s BMX Gold winner Shriever post-race, having known each other since age 12. Becoming Britain’s first BMX medallists together at the Tokyo games.
Chelsie Giles – On the first Sunday Chelsie Giles claimed Team GB’s first medal in the women’s -52kg Judo final, beating Switzerland’s Fabienne Kocher. Giles describing competing in the Japanese sport in Japan as “special”.
Bianca Walkden – Bianca Walkden claimed bronze in the women’s Taekwondo over -67kg after beating Polish opponent Aleksandra Kowalczuk. Walkden narrowly missing out on a place in the final due to a last-minute defeat in the semi-finals following a head kick from South Korea’s Lee Da-Bin. Her Tokyo 2020 bronze becoming the second of her career.
Alice Kinsella, Amelie Morgan, Jessica Gadirova and Jennifer Gadirova – On Tuesday, Team GB’s women’s gymnastics team consisting of Alice Kinsella, Amelie Morgan, and twins Jessica Gadirova and Jennifer Gadirova obtained Team GB’s first team event gymnastics medal in 93 years, since 1928. Gold and silver going to the ROC and team USA, GB beating out Italy for the bronze.
Bryony Page – Also in gymnastics Bryony Page claimed bronze in the women’s trampoline event, her second in her Olympic career after winning Silver in Rio 2016. Page using the year delay in the games to recover from two ankle surgeries.
Carl Hester, Charlotte Fry and Charlotte Dujardin – On Tuesday the dressage team rook bronze following Germany for gold and the USA for silver.
Charlotte Dujardin – The next day Charlotte Dujardin took her and Team GB’s second equestrian medal of the games in the individual dressage final following a German gold and silver lockout. Dujardin’s second Tokyo bronze creating a new record for the number of medals won by a British woman, surpassing tennis player Kathleen McKane Godfree and rower Dame Katherine Grainger who both won five, to become the most decorated British female Olympian.
Matthew Coward-Holley – On Thursday Matthew Coward-Holley picked up Team GB’s 17th medal of the games in the men’s trap shooting final. Recovering from a slow start in which he missed three of his first ten targets to claim bronze with a score of 33. Gold and silver going to Czech shooters Jiri Liptak and David Kostelecky.
Luke Greenbank – On the final day of the first week Luke Greenbank claimed bronze in the men’s 200m backstroke final, Team GB’s sixth swimming medal of the games and Greenbank’s first Olympic medal. Coming third to the ROC’s Evgeny Rylov with an Olympic record time of 1:53.27 and team USA’s Ryan Murphy. Greenbank calling the bronze a “dream come true”.
Josh Bugajski, Jacob Dawson, Tom George, Moe Sbihi, Charles Elwes, Oliver Wynne-Griffith, James Rudkin and Tom Ford – The final medal from week one came courtesy of the men’s eight rowing team of Josh Bugajski, Jacob Dawson, Tom George, Mohamed Sbihi, Charles Elwes, Oliver Wynne-Griffith, James Rudkin and Tom Ford. The second GB rowing medal of the games with Germany claiming silver and New Zealand gold.
Image: Dick Thomas Johnson via Flickr