The Tokyo 2020 Olymics got underway Friday amid a colorful opening ceremony
Reign ends in silence
"King" Kohei Uchimura, the only active gymnast close to matching American Simone Biles' gravity-defying skills and popularity - at least in Japan - crashed out on the high bar during qualifying.
What had been a routine start to the gymnastics competition turned into an emotion-packed afternoon when the curtain was brought down on a brilliant Games career in the quiet of an empty arena.
A Covid-19 pandemic that has left all Olympic venues empty of spectators and an uncharacteristic slip denied the world and Olympic champion the rousing sendoff he deserved.
- The Chinese women got an early start with two gold medals. Yang Qian won the women's 10m rifle final. Weightlifter Zhihui Hous broke Olympic records to snatch the gold in the 49-kg category.
- Javad Foroughi comfortably beat an elite field to win Iran's first shooting gold with a Games record total of 244.8 in the final.
- Ecuador's Richard Carapaz took the gold in the men's road race, narrowly defeating Begium's Wout van Aert and Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar, from Slovenia.
- Kosovo's judoka Distria Krasniqi won the gold medal in the women's -48kg category, beating Japanese rival Funa Tonaki in the final.
- Archery powerhouse South Korea took their first gold in the mixed team event.
- Why the long face? A puss-filled horse tooth has spelled the end of Victoria Max-Theurer's Olympic dressage dreams
- Chances for a gold for the Aussie and Mexican softballers grew slim after they both stumbled with losses due to fielding errors and bungled opportunities to score.
Biden 1, Macron 0
First lady Jill Biden cheered her countrywomen to an upset victory over the French in the debut of 3x3 basketball at the Olympics as President Emmanuel Macron watched on from the sidelines.
The French president sat in the third row courtside, wearing a tie but no jacket on a steamy evening. Both Macron and Biden wore face masks and, after a brief greeting, the first lady sat one row behind him in accordance with social distancing norms.
One element of Friday's opening ceremony stood out for many Japanese: Olympic boss Thomas Bach's 13 minute speech.
Bach's speech, which drew on familiar themes of peace, solidarity and gratitude for overcoming the coronavirus hardships, earned him a trending Japanese hashtag on Twitter that translated means "Chairman Bach micro Bikini club."
"From tomorrow, we'll give Bach the nickname 'the guy who gives long speeches'," said user @Riko_Murai in a tweet reposted 7,730 times and liked by more than 20,000 people.
User @SatoHaruhiko said, "The length of the speeches: Seiko Hashimoto - 6.5 minutes; Bach - 13 minutes; the Emperor - 13 seconds."
Quote of the day
"Yesterday I asked my daughter, 'Do you know your mother is playing against someone two years older than you?' Her first response was, 'Then you better not lose!' -- Austrian table tennis player Liu Jia, 39, after defeating the youngest Olympian of the Games, 12-year-old Syrian Hend Zaza.