Japan move top of medal tally, Diaz makes history for Philippines

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Hidilyn Diaz of Philippines celebrates after the women's 55kg weightlifting event of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, July 26, 2021. (Xinhua/Yang Lei)

Japan's Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito made a remarkable comeback to win the first ever Olympic gold in mixed doubles table tennis on Monday, as the host nation raked in three gold medals to overtake China at the top of the overall tally.

Japan now has eight gold, two silver and three bronze medals, ahead of the United States with 7-3-4.

Momiji Nishiya started the Japanese gold rush when she triumphed in the women's street skateboarding event. Scoring 15.26 points in the final, the 2021 world silver medalist became Japan's youngest Olympic champion at the age of 13 years and 330 days.

"I'm very, very delighted. Very happy to be an Olympic champion," said Nishiya, who almost burst into tears after being confirmed the winner.

Japanese skateboarders have won both golds in street competitions, as Yuto Horigome dominated the men's category on Saturday.

Shohei Ono successfully defended his Olympic title in the men's -73kg judo by defeating Rustam Orujov of Azerbaijan, becoming the first judoka to claim multiple gold medals in the category. It is also the host nation's fourth Olympic gold in judo at the Tokyo Games.

"At the time of the Rio Olympics, I was younger, and I was able to win the gold medal with my youth and also momentum. I was able to win the gold medal because of perseverance. It was so tough," Ono said of his successful title defense.

In table tennis, the Japanese pair of Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito came from two sets down to outclass China's Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen 4-3 (5-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6) in the mixed doubles final.

It is Japan's first ever Olympic gold medal in table tennis, after having bagged two silver and two bronze medals in previous Games. Tokyo 2020 is the first time mixed doubles table tennis has featured on the Olympic program.

Hidilyn Diaz also made history when the 30-year-old upset world record holder Liao Qiuyun of China to win the women's 55kg weightlifting gold.

Diaz is the first athlete from the Philippines to win an Olympic gold medal. Before Diaz's triumph, the Philippines had only ever won three silver and seven bronze medals at the Olympic Games.

"I don't know what to say. It's a dream come true. I just want to say that we Filipinos are strong. We Filipinos can compete here at the Olympics. We can do it," said Diaz, who also offered words of encouragement towards the younger generations in the Philippines.

"Please dream high. That's how I started. I dreamed high and finally I was able to do it."

It was a disappointing day for China, who won seven medals, but none of them were gold. China now has six golds, five silver and seven bronze medals at Tokyo 2020.

China's hopes of a clean sweep of gold medals in diving were crushed when Britain's Tom Daley and Matty Lee won the men's 10-meter synchronized platform final.

Daley and Lee sealed their victory with a brilliant final dive and received one perfect 10 from the judges. They finished with a total score of 471.81 points, edging China's Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen by a mere 1.23.

It was the first Olympic gold for Daley at his fourth Games. He had only managed a pair of bronze medals across his previous three Olympics.

"It's kind of unbelievable. I've dreamed, as has Matty, since I started diving 20 years ago, for this moment of becoming an Olympic champion," said Daley.

"And it to take it to my fourth Olympic Games, when I think a lot of people probably would have not considered it to be my peak Olympic Games."

In the women's 100m butterfly, Zhang Yufei of China claimed the silver medal with 55.64 seconds, only 0.05 seconds behind gold medalist Margaret Macneil of Canada.

"I am very happy. I learned a lot. I was very nervous this morning because this year has been my first world-class level [competition] and all the competitors were here. Usually I compete at 200m. The 100m is not my favorite but I just tried," said Zhang.

Cheung Ka-long from China's Hong Kong also made history when he defeated Italy's Daniele Garozzo 15-11 to win the men's foil individual gold. Hong Kong's only previous Olympic gold medal came at the Atlanta Games in 1996 through windsurfer Lee Lai-shan. 

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