Olympics-Storm buffets Tokyo, tennis star Osaka out of Olympics

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Triathlon - Women's Olympic Distance - Final
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Triathlon – Women’s Olympic Distance – Final – Odaiba Marine Park, Tokyo, Japan July 27, 2021. Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games’ volunteers holding banners to refrain spectating from roadside stand in a strong wind caused by tropical storm Nepartak. REUTERS/Issei Kato

July 27, 2021

By Ossian Shine

TOKYO (Reuters) -Wind and rain buffeted the Tokyo region on Tuesday causing delays to Olympic competition and event rescheduling, while tennis superstar Naomi Osaka dropped out of the Games after she was beaten in the third round of her singles tournament.

Osaka, who lit the Olympic cauldron on Friday to open the Tokyo Games, was swiped aside by Czech Marketa Vondrousova in a match where the Japanese player seemed out of sorts and never settled into a rhythm.

“I definitely feel like there was a lot of pressure, this time around,” Osaka said.

“I think it’s maybe because I haven’t played in an Olympics before and for the first one to be here was a bit much,” she added, saying she was still glad about her performance even after a break.

The Tokyo Games marked Osaka’s first tournament since she pulled out of Roland Garros in May, saying she had been suffering from depression for almost three years.

The tennis event has now lost both of its top draw cards after world number one and Wimbledon champion Ash Barty was beaten in Sunday’s first round.

On Tuesday Olympic organisers remained on alert to monitor the impact from a tropical storm off Japan’s east coast, while those competitors unaffected by the weather got Day Four of competition off to a flying start.

Flora Duffy achieved instant national hero status when she won Bermuda’s first Olympic gold medal with victory in the women’s triathlon.

The 33-year-old hailed it “an incredible moment” and Bermuda Premier David Burt sent his congratulations over Twitter, saying: “You’ve worked so hard and you’ve made an entire island proud!”

In the pool, Russian Evgeny Rylov broke a U.S. stranglehold on the men’s 100m backstroke, becoming the first non-American to win the event at an Olympics since 1992.

Tom Dean powered to gold in the men’s 200m freestyle, heading a British one-two with Duncan Scott taking silver.


Australian Kaylee McKeown took the women’s 100 metres backstroke gold, and Lydia Jacoby won the women’s 100m breaststroke for the United States.

At the archery venue, early rounds of the individual events were delayed by some two and a half hours due to the storm.

Tuesday’s conditions meant there was no training on the practice field at Tokyo’s Yumenoshima Park Archery Field, with staff in rain coats placing non-slip mats around the facility.

If the archers were left frustrated, though, the surfers were embracing the wet and windy conditions.

“Today is one of those days when it’s man against ocean, more so than competing against your competitor, but that’s what makes it fun,” Japanese surfer Kanoa Igarashi told reporters after scoring a spectacular early barrel wave en route to a quarter-final victory over American Kolohe Andino.

Japan’s hot, wet and unstable summer weather patterns https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/tokyo-braces-storm-snarls-schedules-after-withering-heat-2021-07-25 have been a persistent concern for the Games, compounding difficulties for an Olympics being held under a global pandemic.

Tokyo was forecast to receive up 31.5 mm (1.2 inches) of rain over 24 hours from tropical storm Nepartak, now forecast to make landfall in the north early Wednesday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. It was headed toward Sendai, 370 km (230 miles) up the coast from Tokyo, according to the Tropical Storm Risk monitoring site.

Athletes could, however, welcome a slight respite from the extreme heat that had earlier caused an Olympic archer to collapse. Tuesday’s forecast high temperature was 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit), below recent highs of 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit).

(Reporting by William Mallard, Rozanna Latiff, Ju-min Park, Farah Master and Philip O’Connor; Editing by Stephen Coates and Michael Perry)