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Tokyo Olympics live updates: Day 4 is underway and the medal race is heating up

·13-min read
Tokyo Olympics live updates: Day 4 is underway and the medal race is heating up
Opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium. Fireworks are lit over the stadium.
The opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium. Fireworks are lit over the stadium. Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • The Tokyo Olympics officially began Friday with the opening ceremony.

  • The events are now fully underway with most of Day 3's events in the book.

  • Calamities abound, the latest a wayward boat that blocked half of the men's triathlon field.

  • Katie Ledecky had to settle for silver in the 400-meter freestyle.

  • Japan now leads in gold medals with China taking the lead in overall medals. Team USA is now second in both categories.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

If you win gold in the Olympics and are asked to say something to your family, you should be allowed at least one "F--- YEAH!" on live television.

"F--- YEAH!"
"F--- YEAH!" Australia 7


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17-year-old Lydia Jacoby pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the Olympics so far, coming from Alaska to upset the favorites in the 100-meter breaststroke.

Lydia Jacoby looks shocked at winning the 100-meter breaststroke at the Tokyo  Olympics.
via NBC

Even she was shocked.


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Team GB takes gold and silver in the highly anticipated 200-meter freestyle with Thomas Dean finishing first, followed by Duncan Scott.

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The surfing competition is heating up and athletes are just casually pulling off 360s.

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Day 4 of the Olympics will kick off at 5:30 pm on the US east coast and 10:30 pm in England. Ten gold medals will be handed out. Here are the top events.

Day 4 top events:

  • Triathlon — women's final (5:30 pm ET, 10:30 pm BST)

  • Beach volleyball — Second match for Team USA's April Ross and Alix Klineman (8:00 pm ET, 1:00 am BST)

  • Water polo — Team USA men vs. South Africs in the prelims (9:00 pm ET, 2:00 am BST)

  • Swimming — men's 200-meter freestyle final (9:30 pm ET, 2:30 am BST)

  • Swimming — women's 100-meter backstroke final (9:30 pm ET, 2:30 am BST)

  • Swimming — men's 100-meter backstroke final (9:30 pm ET, 2:30 am BST)

  • Swimming — women's 100-meter backstroke final (10:00 pm ET, 3:00 am BST)

  • Softball — Bronze medal match between Canada and Mexico (12:00 am ET, 5:00 am BST)

  • Basketball — Team USA women vs Nigeria in the group stage (12:30 am ET, 5:30 am BST)

  • Surfing — men's final (1:00 am ET, 6:00 am BST)

  • Surfing — women's final (1:00 am ET, 6:00 am BST)

  • Diving — women's synchronized final (2:00 am ET, 7:00 am BST)

After 3 days, Japan has the most gold medals (8) and China has the lead in overall medals (18). Team USA is second in both categories.

Olympics Medal Table Day 3
Olympics Medal Table Day 3 International Olympic Committee

American swimmer Caeleb Dressel tossed his gold medal to a teammate who helped the team qualify for the final but did not swim in the gold-medal-winning race.

American swimmer Caeleb Dressel tosses his gold medal to teammate Brooks Curry in the stands.
American swimmer Caeleb Dressel tosses his gold medal to teammate Brooks Curry in the stands. Tom Pennington/Getty Images


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Russian gymnast Artur Dalaloyan wasn't going to be denied, winning a gold medal just 3 months after surgery on a torn Achilles' tendon.

Artur Dalaloyan
David Belyavskiy, Artur Dalaloyan, Nikita Nagornyy, and Denis Abliazin Team ROC react after winning gold in the Men's Team Final on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. Jamie Squire/Getty Images

It was difficult to watch Dalaloyan compete seeing the pain on his face and knowing he could tear the tendon again at any moment.

Dalaloyan did not know if he would compete as recently as the days leading up to the competition. After winning gold, he broke down in tears.

"I couldn't control my emotions," he said after the performance on Saturday. "I was kind of proud I could make it, I could come to this point and do all the exercises all the way I really wanted to. The other part of me felt disappointment in a sense because I understand I could not do all the exercises perfectly."


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Not uncommon for rugby, but it is always fun to see how the balls are delivered to start each half.

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Most of Monday's medal action is now in the book. There are just a handful still to be awarded on the day, including in women's taekwondo and weightlifting, as well as in the men's team gymnastic event.

Russian gymnast Artur Dalaloyan during the men's team competition at the Tokyo Olympics.
Artur Dalaloyan of Team ROC competes on rings during the Men's Team Final on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Team USA now leads the way in the medal table. As of 7:00 a.m. ET, the US has won seven gold, three silver, and four bronze medals, just ahead of Japan, which also has seven gold, but just one silver and three bronze. China is third with six golds, while Team GB is in fourth on three.

Olympic medal table Monday July 26
Screenshot/Olympics

Elsewhere, on Sunday Germany's gymnasts continued their stand against the sexualization of the sport by wearing full bodysuits to compete.

Germany's Pauline Schaefer-Betz competes in the artistic gymnastics balance beam event at the Tokyo Olympics
Germany's Pauline Schaefer-Betz during the Tokyo Olympics in a full-body suit LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images


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It has been a golden Monday for the British Olympic team.

Britain's Thomas Daley and Britain's Matty Lee (unseen) as they wait to receive their medals after wining the men's synchronised 10m platform diving final event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre
Getty/Oli Scarff

Team GB has surged up the medal table on Monday, winning three golds in the space of just a few hours.

Heavy favorite Adam Peaty took gold in the men's 100 meter breast stroke, before relatively unknown 21-year-old Tom Pidcock surged to victory in the men's cross-country mountain bike race.

In the diving pool, perhaps Britain's most-famous Olympian Tom Daley finally won gold at his fourth Olympics, taking victory in the synchronized 10 meter platform alongside teammate Matty Lee.

Daley, one of the most-recognizable faces in UK sport, was understandably emotional after his win, crying on the podium, spawning one of the first truly iconic photos of the Tokyo Olympics so far.


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It's silver for Katie Ledecky in the 400-meter freestyle as Ariarne Titmus came from behind to pass Ledecky in the final 100 meters for the gold.

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Titmus' coach let it all out while celebrating.

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The Olympic triathlon got off to a disastrous start when a boat prevented half of the competitors from jumping into the water.

Olympics triathlon start interrupted by boat.
Olympics triathlon start interrupted by boat. USA


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At the end of Day 2, Team USA leaped up the medal-count board and sat in second place behind China. The host nation, Japan, has had a strong early showing, with five gold medals.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics Medal Table
Tokyo 2020 Olympics Medal Table NBC

The Team USA men's basketball continues to struggle, losing their opening game of the Olympics to France, 83-76.

Evan Fournier of France drives to the basket as Kevin Durant of USA guards him.
Team USA off to a rough start. Elif Ozturk Ozgoncu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Huge upset in the women's tennis tournament as world No. 1 Ash Barty fell in straight sets in the opening round.


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Simone Biles only finished second in the floor routine qualifications after stumbling and going completely off the floor.


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Naomi Osaka cruised to an easy win in her first competition since pulling out of the French Open two months ago.

Naomi Osaka walks across the court.
Naomi Osaka cruised in her first Olympic match. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images


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Andy Murray is out of the tennis tournament (no reason given yet). Also, Bryson DeChambeau is the latest to test positive for COVID-19. He has been replaced by Patrick Reed.

Skateboarding is making its debut in the Olympics and this is not a good start as one skater goes into a railing groin first.

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Team USA won their first gold and silver medals in the men's 400-meter IM. Chase Kalisz touched the wall first for the gold.

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Tunisia's Ahmed Hafnaoui won gold with a huge upset in the 400-meter freestyle and his reaction was epic. He might have been more surprised than anybody after barely qualifying for the final.

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It is Sunday morning in Japan, which means Day 2 is underway. Here is a look at the events on the schedule for today with 18 gold medals on the line.

Day 2 schedule for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Day 2 schedule for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Twitter/Olympics

Gotta pull the mask down to do the traditional biting of the medals.

China's Sun Yiwen bites her gold medal.
China's Sun Yiwen bites her gold medal. FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

Kohei Uchimura might be the greatest men's gymnast ever, but his Olympic career may have just come to an ugly end as he fell on the horizontal bar and had some tough quotes afterward.

Uchimura briefly left the arena after his routine but later returned to cheer on the Japanese team. He told reporters he realized that the team might not need him anymore.

"When I came back to the floor after my performance, they were getting together, discussing things, and solving problems by themselves. I don't think I'm needed by them anymore."


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Sometimes the coaches appear to be more excited about winning gold than the athletes.

Sun Yiwen is carried over the shoulder of her coach after winning gold for China.
China's Sun Yiwen celebrates with her coach after winning in the women's epee individual gold medal. FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

The heat is already proving to be a problem as top tennis players are calling for later start times.


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Japan has its first gold medal of the games. Naohisa Takato wins gold in the judo men's 60kg.

Japan's Naohisa Takato (R) celebrates winning the judo men's 60kg
Naohisa Takato (R) celebrates winning gold. FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Algerian judoka athlete Fethi Nourine has been sent home from the Olympics for refusing to compete against an Israeli athlete.

The judoka, who is pro-Palestine, said he would "not get his hands dirty."


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The US Women's National Soccer Team is looking to rebound after their opening loss. Rose Lavelle has the Americans up early on New Zealand.

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The first gold medal of Tokyo 2020 goes to Yang Qian in the women's 10-meter air rifle.

Yang Qian of China in action during the 10m Air Rifle Women's Qualification on the first day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
Yang Qian of China in action during the 10m Air Rifle Women's Qualification. Lu Lin/CHINASPORTS/VCG via Getty Images

In an odd sight we will have to get used to, she had to put the medal on her neck herself due to COVID protocols.


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The first medals will be awarded soon.

We will see the first 11 gold medals awarded in the coming hours (tomorrow in Japan, but later today in the United States). Here are the events that will award medals first:

  • Archery, mixed team

  • Cycling, men's road race

  • Fencing, women's epee individual

  • Fencing, men's saber individual

  • Judo, women's 48 kg

  • Judo, men's 60 kg

  • Shooting, men's 10-meter air pistol

  • Shooting, women's 10-meter air rifle

  • Taekwondo, men's 58 kg

  • Taekwondo, women's 49 kg

  • Weightlifting, women's 49 kg

Naomi Osaka is unveiled as lighter of the Olympic Cauldron. The perfect choice.

Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka poses after lighting the Olympic Cauldron
Naomi Osaka lights the Olympic Cauldron ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP via Getty Images

"Undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life. I have no words to describe the feelings I have right now but I do know I am currently filled with gratefulness and thankfulness ❤️ love you guys thank you," Osaka wrote on Twitter.


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In a cool scene, actors brought to life the event pictograms.

Two actors recreate the canoe pictogram for the Olympics.
Two actors recreate the canoe pictogram for the Olympics. NBC

The Olympic flag raised as the athletes recorded the moment.

Olympic flag flies next to the Japanese flag as a phone records the moment.
Olympic flag flies next to the Japanese flag as a phone records the moment. NBC

We don't blame him! It's a long ceremony.

An Eritrean Olympian laid down on the ground during the marathon Olympic parade of nations
Take a load off! Mike Egerton/PA Images/Getty Images


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Wow. 1,800 drones formed the Earth above the Olympic Stadium.

Drones form the Earth above the Olympic Stadium.
Drones form the Earth above the Olympic Stadium. NBC

Japan enters the stadium, marking the end of the Parade of Nations.

Japan enters the stadium during the Parade of Nations
Japan enters the stadium during the Parade of Nations Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

Check out the best photos from the opening ceremony!

Japanese nurse and boxer Arisa Tsubata performs during the opening ceremony.
Getty Images


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Tonga's oily Olympian is back!

Pita Taufatofua of Team Tonga lead his team out during the Opening Ceremony while shirtless and covered in oil.
Flag bearers Malia Paseka and Pita Taufatofua of Team Tonga lead their team out during the Opening Ceremony. Hannah McKay - Pool/Getty Images)

Pita Taufatofua of Team Tonga leads his team out during the Opening Ceremony while shirtless and covered in oil. The taekwondo athlete made headlines for doing this during both the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2018 Winter Olympics as a skier.


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One of the flag bearers for Team USA has previously won a medal in the Winter Olympics.

Team USA enters the stadium during the Opening Ceremony.
Flag bearers Sue Bird and Eddy Alvares of Team United States lead their team out Clive Rose/Getty Images

Eddy Alvarez has the unusual distinction of being a dual-sport athlete in baseball and speed skating.


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With no fans to wave to, organizers placed a row of actors on each side of the parade to greet the athletes and give them a reason to wave.

Dutch athletes wave during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.
Dutch athletes during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. ANP Sport via Getty Images

A symbolic photo from Getty Images as the Japanese flag waves above empty seats during the opening ceremony.

The Japanese flag wave above empty seats during the Opening Ceremony.
The Japanese flag wave above empty seats during the Opening Ceremony. ANTONIN THUILLIER/AFP via Getty Images

The ceremony started with a scene to emphasize that the athletes were alone, but together during the pandemic. However, one featured athlete lost her shot at the Olympics because of the pandemic.

Arisa Tsubata, a middleweight boxer takes part in the show at the Tokyo Games’ opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium
Getty/Swen Pförtner


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The order of nations in the parade is a little different this year

Flag bearers Hannah Mills and Mohamed Sbihi of Team Great Britain lead their team out during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium
Team Great Britain in the Parade of Nations. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

According to the official Olympic Charter, the Parade of Nations starts with Greece, ends with the host nation, and the rest of the countries are ordered alphabetically according to the language of the host.

However, this year and in future games, the next two hosts will also be placed at the end of the parade. So the United States and France will join Japan as the anchors of the parade.

The Parade of Nations is underway with Greece leading the way as usual.

Athletes from Greece wave their country's flag to start the Parade of Nations.
Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony Parade of Nations NBC

Most of the countries will only be represented by a fraction of their athletes during the Opening Ceremony. Some of the athletes are already competing and can't be at the stadium. Other athletes have not arrived in Japan yet if their events are not scheduled to start until later in the games. For example, Team USA will only have approximately 200 of their more than 600 athletes in the parade.


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Dr. Jill Biden is at the opening ceremony to represent the United States.

U.S. First Lady, Jill Biden arrives prior to the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium
U.S. First Lady Jill Biden is at the Opening Ceremony to represent the United States. Leon Neal/Getty Images

The Olympic Stadium in Tokyo sits empty just before the start of the opening ceremony.

A general view of the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo as it sits empty just before the start of the Opening Ceremony
The Olympic Stadium in Tokyo as it sits empty just before the start of the Opening Ceremony Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images)

No fans are allowed and only some special dignitaries are in attendance. The multi-colored seats do seem to make the stadium feel less empty.

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