Rio 2016 Review of Day 1
There was high drama in a brutal men’s road race in the picturesque setting of the Tijuca National Park, a mountainous rainforest area close to Rio. Pre-race favourite Vincenzo Nibali of Italy broke away from the lead group, joined by Sergio Henao of Colombia and Rafal Majka of Poland. But Nibali’s and Henao’s chances came to an end as they crashed on the descent, while Geraint Thomas of Great Britain also fell in trying to close the gap.
Majka was then caught by Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang and Belgium’s Greg Van Avermaet (above), who outsprinted him and he finished with the bronze, leaving Van Avermaet to take gold. Despite Belgium being the home of the one day race, he is only the second to win the road race from the country, and its first Olympic champion in cycling since 1984.
In women’s football, after a 6-1 defeat to Germany on Wednesday, Zimbabwe’s women also struggled against Canada, and lost 3-1. But it was still an impressive performance – Zimbabwe’s economic disadvantage was illustrated by goalscorer, Mavis Chirandu, who grew up in an orphanage. And it is not over – beating Australia could send them through.
In men’s hockey, India narrowly won 3-2 against Ireland, in its first Olympics since 1908. It has not been such a long wait for India but it was its first win at the Games since 2004.
Kerri Walsh Jennings, and her new partner April Ross, won their first beach volleyball match, beating Australians Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Nicole Laird in straight sets.
Australia won two gold medals in swimming, from Mack Horton in the 400m freestyle and its women’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay team, featuring the Campbell sisters (above). It is already ahead of its count at London 2012, where it won only one event in swimming.
The Aussies top the medal table but Hungary is not far behind, with golds from Katinka Hosszu in the 400m individual medley, and from Emese Szasz in women’s épée fencing.
Elsewhere, South Korea displayed its usual dominance in archery to win the men’s team competition. The first Rio Olympic champion to be decided was Virginia Thrasher of the United States, in the women’s air rifle. Hoang Xuan Vinh was victorious in the men’s air pistol with an incredible final shot to become the first ever gold medallist from Vietnam.