Olympics 2020: Team GB beat Japan in football, plus swimming – live!
by Geoff Lemon , Jonathan Howcroft, Bryan Armen Graham, Tom Lutz, Beau Dure (earlier) and Simon Burnton (now) on July 24, 2021 at 12:20 pm
- Team GB take on Japan, Richard Carapaz wins cycling gold
- Games schedule | Results | Medal table | Full coverage
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- Email Simon with your thoughts or tweet @Simon_Burnton
OK, the schedules aren’t exactly set in stone. Aron Szilagi’s attempt to win a third successive individual men’s sabre gold is a few minutes ahead of schedule but currently on track, leading as he does 8-5 at the break against Italy’s Luigi Samele. The Hungarian led 7-1, so is fighting a bit of a momentum shift.
As we approach the end of the first full day of Olympic action, and with the final race in the pool in progress, here’s what we’ve still got to look forward to today:Continue reading...
Richard Carapaz conquers men’s road race after Geraint Thomas crashes out
by Justin McCurry in Gotemba on July 24, 2021 at 12:05 pm
- Ecuadorian becomes his country’s second Olympic medallist
- Van Aert and Pogacar take silver and bronze in punishing heat
Richard Carapaz won Ecuador’s first cycling gold medal after a breathtaking solo effort during the climax to the men’s road race, while Geraint Thomas’s quest for an Olympic title came to a premature end following another crash.
While Carapaz, the 2019 Giro d’Italia winner, celebrated after dropping the American Brandon McNulty with six kilometres of the race left, the medal hopes of Britain’s Thomas vanished after he struggled to recover from a crash after 70km that also involved his teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart.Continue reading...
Coronavirus live: UK airports set for busiest weekend since pandemic; clashes at Sydney anti-lockdown protests
by Clea Skopeliti (now); Kevin Rawlinson (earlier) on July 24, 2021 at 12:00 pm
Thousands of travellers will leave the UK this weekend as school holidays begin for millions
- Anti-lockdown protesters have marched in major Australian cities, as Covid cases spiked to record numbers in Sydney.
- Councils and companies warn that ‘pingdemic’ could cause weeks of disruption to bin collection, transport and food supply in England.
- Republican governor of Alabama: ‘Time to start blaming the unvaccinated’ for rising cases of Covid-19.
- UK holidaymakers booked for France could lose money if they do not travel.
- See all our coronavirus coverage
Rail union leaders have called on the UK government to clarify its new policy on isolation exemption for some transport workers over confusion about who it includes.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport workers’ union said a failure to brief unions on the plans risked causing damage.
General secretary Mick Lynch said: “It is ludicrous that this announcement has been made without any discussion with the unions or detailed briefing on who this scheme is supposed to cover and how it will be implemented.
“This cavalier approach seems to be aimed at hitting headlines rather than mapping a serious way out of the current crisis.
Reuters reports that Singapore’s health ministry announced 127 new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases on Saturday, a slight fall from the 130 cases reported the previous day.
This compares with 68 last Saturday, and follows the authorities tightening restrictions in the city state.Continue reading...
Chernobyl for Ukraine, pizza for Italy: South Korean TV apologises for Olympic images
by Tom Lutz on July 24, 2021 at 11:59 am
- MBC sorry for ‘inappropriate images and captions’
- Syria and Haiti summed up by war and unrest
A South Korean broadcaster has apologised after using offensive images to depict several countries during the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday.
MBC displayed photos and facts about each country as athletes walked out during the parade of nations. Most of them varied from inane to odd: Great Britain’s athletes were accompanied by a photo of the Queen, and, somewhat mystifyingly, El Salvador was summed up by a bitcoin symbol.Continue reading...
Jonathan Coe on The Rotters’ Club: ‘My diary provided endless material, but I didn’t like the person I was’
by Jonathan Coe on July 24, 2021 at 11:30 am
The author on mixing semi-fact with fiction – and the school rule about swimming naked that inspired the novel’s big comedy set piece
From 1972-79, I was a pupil at King Edward’s school, Birmingham. It was at that time a direct grant school, which meant that although most of the places (including mine) were not fee-paying, it had all the trappings of a public school. It was single-sex, the teachers wore academic gowns, the assembly hall was called “Big School”, we played rugby rather than football, and there were two school songs, one of them in Latin. It was an elitist school, and many of my more clued-up, politically aware friends were aware of this.
I wasn’t. My head was in the clouds and all I was interested in was books, music, film and TV. At the age of 15 I started writing novels and the second one, called Half Asleep; Half Awake, was set in a thinly fictionalised version of the school.Continue reading...
Surreal spectacle of a superbly set up Olympics with no one here to enjoy it | Andy Bull
by Andy Bull in Tokyo Bay Zone on July 24, 2021 at 11:20 am
Covid scandals, beach volleyball played to crickets and Japan’s gymnastics king bowed out in silence as the Games began
And it all started so smoothly, too. A frictionless dawn trip through the Olympic labyrinth, navigating all those buses and badges and scans and forms and apps and depots and checkpoints, two temperature checks, a ticketing desk, a list cross-referenced with an email verification, a bag scan and a pat down. The huge and intricate machinery of the Tokyo Games had come to life, tens of thousands of journalists and athletes and officials whizzing hither and thither from hotel to transport hub to, in my case, Tokyo Bay and Shizuma Park. This was the venue of Japan’s match against the Czech Republic in the women’s beach volleyball, the opening game on the opening morning of the Olympics.
There’s always a nervous uncertainty on the first morning. This time, inevitably, there was a little extra anxiety, the mutual paranoia of people pressed up together in close proximity again. This was soon cut through by all the enthusiastic smiles and shouts of “Ohayo!” and “Welcome!” from friendly volunteers with no one else to talk to. Then I met an Australian: “Have you not heard the news mate? The match has been cancelled. One of the Czech players tested positive.” I did wonder why I’d had the 7am bus to the venue all to myself.Continue reading...
‘They had a date to kill the cow. So I stole her’: how vegan activists are saving Spain’s farm animals
by Erica Buist on July 24, 2021 at 11:00 am
Spain may be famous for its love of meat – but sanctuaries across the country are coming to the rescue of its doomed cows, bulls, pigs, sheep and geese
In the north-east Spanish region of Catalonia, an enormous bull called Pedro is poking his head over a barn door to look at some sheep. He’ll stay there for two hours if the sanctuary volunteers let him; he’ll have to be tempted away with treats so that the sheep can be let out to graze. Pedro knows the routine; he’s been here since he was a calf, when he was bottle-fed by volunteers. He lives a charmed life – he is fed, he roams, he watches sheep, he sleeps; and when he dies, it will be of natural causes.
“He’s enormous!” I say to Olivia Gómez de Zamora, a veterinary assistant from Madrid who spends a lot of time coaxing Pedro from the barn.Continue reading...
Ole Gunnar Solskjær signs new Manchester United contract until 2024
by John Brewin on July 24, 2021 at 11:00 am
- The Norwegian’s new deal offers an option of an extra year
- United finished second in the Premier League last season
Ole Gunnar Solskær has signed a new three-year contract to extend his stay as Manchester United manager until at least 2024.
The new deal contains the further option of an extra year for the Norwegian, 48, who led United to second in last season’s Premier League and a losing appearance in the Europa League final.Continue reading...