As Bermuda celebrates its historic gold, Osaka crashes out of the Olympics.
On Tuesday, Japanese tennis sensation Naomi Osaka was eliminated from the Olympics after Flora Duffy won gold for Bermuda for the first time in the little island’s history.
Osaka, who lit the Olympic fire at last week’s opening ceremony, lost 6-1, 6-4 to Marketa Vondrousova, putting an end to her long-held dream of winning on home soil.
The 23-year-old, who is one of the faces of the Tokyo Olympics, has not played since May, when she stormed out of the French Open, claiming that her mental health was being harmed by her media obligations.
The second seed, who was broken five times in the match, will be gutted to have missed out on an Olympic gold medal, especially as world number one Ashleigh Barty was eliminated in the first round.
In the women’s event, triathlete Duffy earned the first gold medal of the day, making Bermuda the smallest territory or country in terms of population to win a gold medal at a Summer Games.
The 33-year-old finished more over a minute ahead of Georgia Taylor-Brown of the United Kingdom, with American Katie Zaferes claiming bronze.
It was a nice reward for Duffy, who had been suffering from injuries and had been diagnosed with anemia in 2013.
She remarked, “I have not only realized my dream of earning a gold medal, but I have also accomplished Bermuda’s first gold medal.”
“It’s bigger than me, and that’s a great feeling. That (the final one of the run) was the longest kilometer of my life.”
Swimming powerhouses Australia and the United States each earned one gold medal in the morning pool session, bringing their total to three golds.
Kaylee McKeown of Australia beat American arch-rival Regan Smith to win the women’s 100m Olympic backstroke title, while Russia and the United Kingdom also took gold.
McKeown, who broke Smith’s world record last month, blasted through the water at the Tokyo Aquatic Center, touching in 57.47 seconds, a new Olympic record and only a fraction of a second slower than her personal best.
Smith had to settle for third place behind Canada’s Kylie Masse, the Olympic bronze medalist from Rio.
McKeown, whose father died of brain cancer last year, explained, “It’s not necessarily what I’ve lived through.” Everyone has their own road, and it just so happens that mine has been particularly difficult.”
On a day of surprises, Lilly King, the world record holder and defending champion in the women’s 100m breaststroke, was defeated, as did teammate and 100m backstroke champion Ryan Murphy.
King was taken aback. Brief News from Washington Newsday.