Tokyo Olympics 2021

France lands first gold after successful Olympics opening weekend

The joy of French epeeist Romain Cannone after his 15-10 victory over Ukraine's Igor Reizlin in the semi-finals of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, 25 July 2021.
The joy of French epeeist Romain Cannone after his 15-10 victory over Ukraine's Igor Reizlin in the semi-finals of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, 25 July 2021. Mohd RASFAN AFP

 Romain Cannone gave France the gold it was missing on Sunday in fencing, its first title of the Tokyo Olympic Games, which comes on top of the silver of the judoka Amandine Buchard and the bronze of his colleague Luka Mkheidze. 

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The French delegation thus ended the first weekend of competition with all the colours of the podium and three medals from the usual major Olympic sports for France. 

Cannone, far from being one of the favourites in the morning, seized a chance as only the Olympic Games can offer for a day of glory that he went for with panache. 

In the final, Cannone beat Hungary's Gergely Siklosi, the world's number one.The Frenchman was simply having the time of his life. 

►Judoka Luka Mkheidze takes first medal for France

Japanese judoka family 

This could also have been the case for the judoka Amandine Buchard. But this time,she got what she deserved with a silver in the - 52 kg category. 

The Frenchwoman was undoubtedly hoping for gold, but she couldn’t anything against the Japanese Uta Abe. 

Japan can also be proud of the Abe family as - and this is the story of the day - Uta's brother, Hifumi, also became Olympic champion a few minutes later, beating Georgian Vazha Margvelashvili in the -66kg category. 

Surfing and skateboarding 

In the morning, Olympic history was made in the centre of Tokyo and a hundred kilometres to the east, with the first Olympic steps in skateboarding and surfing respectively. 

 Despite the absence of a public, it was a Japanese man, Yuto Horigome, who became the first Olympic champion in history, and in the neighbourhood where he grew up, on the edge of Tokyo Bay. 

In street skating, a discipline in which the skater must perform tricks on modules on street furniture such as ramps, the recent world champion got the better of Brazil's Kelvin Hoefler and the American Jagger Eaton. 

The French were in the mix but finished at the foot of the podium with Vincent Milou, the 2019 European champion, while Aurelien Giraud, the world No.6 who had entered the final with the best score in the qualifications, finished sixth. 

In Chiba, on the coast, twenty surfers and then as many women surfers challenged Olympic waves for the first time in the preliminary round. 

If the weather, which is a key factor in this discipline, allows it, the first ever Olympic champions will be announced on Wednesday. Frenchmen Johanne Defay and Jeremy Florès  hope to ride the good French vibes. 

However, a tropical storm, which could become a typhoon, is expected to hit Tokyo and the surrounding area on Tuesday. 

   (with agencies)

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