LIVE Tokyo Day 1: Matildas fall to Sweden, Carapaz wins cycling gold

The 2020 Tokyo Games have been declared open, albeit a year late, after athletes from around the world gathered to take part in a muted Opening Ceremony.

Australia has sent its second largest Olympic team in history (after Sydney 2000), with 487 athletes travelling to Tokyo to compete in 33 sports, including a number of new sports including Karate, skateboarding, BMX, and surfing.

Find the full Olympics schedule here

Read on for rolling coverage of Day 1 of the Olympics:

Gymnast Bull qualifies for bar final

Australia's Tyson Bull has delivered his best international performance to qualify for the horizontal bar final at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The Victorian gymnast, Australia's only male representative in the artistic events in Tokyo, nailed his routine and after a small step landing his full-twisting double layout dismount, punched the air in delight.

He score of 14.433 was a personal best in international competition, with Bull sixth at the end of the second "subdivision", with the top eight advancing.

The 28-year-old faced a nervous wait as the final division was completed at Ariake Gymnastics Centre but he held his spot to secure a place in the finals on Tuesday, August 3.

Bull was the first Australian men's artistic gymnast to take to the Olympic stage since Josh Jefferis at the London Olympics.


McKeon shines in Olympic swim heats

Swimming veteran Emma Keon made a slick start in her bid to join Australia's Olympic icons with a record-breaking medal haul, finishing equal-fastest in the 100m butterfly heats.

Australia's women's 4x100m relay team cruised into Sunday's final, almost two-seconds ahead of the next-best, the Netherlands.

Brendon Smith set an Australian record in the 400m individual medley heats to be the fastest into the medal race, while in the 400m freestyle Elijah Winnington and Jack McLoughlin dead-heated for first in their heat.

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Matildas fall to Sweden in dramatic loss

The Matildas have been left to rue what might have been as Sam Kerr scored a brace but had a penalty saved in a dramatic 4-2 Olympics loss to Sweden.

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Ecuador's Carapaz wins Olympic road race

Ecuadorian cycling star Richard Carapaz has scored the biggest win of his career, soloing to the Olympic road race gold medal.

Carapaz dropped American Brandon McNulty with 6km left and the 2019 Giro d'Italia champion won his country's second gold in Olympic history.

Belgian Wout van Aert, who was the standout in a disorganised chase group of nine riders, outsprinted two-time Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar (Slovenia) by a tyre width for the silver medal.

Australia did not feature at the finish, with top hope Richie Porte unable to go with the key move.

Porte was the lead Australian home in 48th place, finishing in a group that finished 10 minutes 12 seconds behind the winner.

Carapaz, who finished third last Sunday at the Tour, won by one minute seven seconds in the brutally tough 234km event.

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Millman wins, Barty on double in Tokyo

Ash Barty's quest for Tokyo gold has started impressively while John Millman beat rising Italian talent Lorenzo Musetti 6-3 6-4 to progress to the second round of the Olympic men's tennis event.

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Aussie Stingers beat Canada in water polo

Three goals to Bronte Halligan and a goalkeeping masterclass from Lea Yanitsas has helped Australia to a comfortable 8-5 over Canada in women's water polo action in Tokyo.

Seeking a fourth Olympic medal and second gold after their memorable Sydney 2000 triumph, the Stingers led all game thanks to regular goals and Yanitsas's (13-of-18) 72 per cent save rate.

Canada worked back to 4-3 in the second quarter before Rowie Webster's penalty shot skipped off the surface and hit the upright in what could have proved a turning point.

But Australia held their nerve, Zoe Arancini neatly lobbing the Canadian keeper Claire Wright (10 saves from 18 shots) to regain a two-goal buffer they would never relinquish.


Aussie rowing crews in winning Games start

Australian crews have thrown down the gauntlet to their Olympic rowing rivals, winning four of the six heats they contested on day two in Tokyo.

While crews in the women's and men's coxless pair and both coxless four boats impressed, Australia eights failed to fire on the Sea Forest Waterway course with both crews forced into repechage rounds.

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Boilover evades Aussie badminton pair

Australian badminton mixed doubles pair Simon Leung and Gronya Somerville threatened to claim a big scalp before losing their Tokyo Games opener.

The pair won six straight points to pinch the first game 22-20 from fourth-seeded Indonesians Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti, who had twice toppled the world No.1 team in the lead-up to the Olympics.

The Australians were up 10-5 and 17-16 in the second game too, before being overhauled in a hard-fought 20-22, 21-17, 21-13 victory for the gold medal contenders.


Aussie softballers suffer crucial Games loss

Australia's hopes of an Olympic softball gold medal are in tatters after suffering a second big loss with a disappointing performance against Canada.

After getting back on even keel with a win over Italy following a heavy opening defeat by Japan, the Aussie Spirit were never really in hunt against the Canadians, falling to a 7-1 loss in Saturday's match in Tokyo.

With the top two countries in the six-team competition advancing directly to Tuesday's gold-medal match, the second failure effectively ends Australia's chances of gold.

Coach Laing Harrow wanted to see more from his Australian batters and while they had no trouble getting on base, with six hits, they were unable to convert the pressure into runs.

Both of their first and second innings ended with bases loaded, with captain Stacey Porter crossing for their sole run in the opening turn at bat.

Resting star pitcher Kaia Parnaby, the Australians failed to find their early rhythm, with Ellen Roberts replaced by Gabbie Plain after facing just five batters for two runs by Canada.

Trailing 3-1 at the top of the second innings, the Australians again loaded up the bases but Canada brought captain Jenna Caira to the pitching plate and she managed to strike out big-hitting Taylor Tsitsikronis.

Some crucial Australian fielding errors then allowed Canada to storm to a 6-1 lead by the bottom of the second and while the Spirit tightened up defensively for the remainder of the match the damage was done.


China secures Games' first gold

China's Yang Qian has collected the first gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics, winning the women's 10-metre rifle competition.

Yang was the sixth-placed qualifier for the final then produced an Olympic-record score of 251.8 to top the podium.

Russian shooter Anastasiia Galashina (251.1) finished in second place, while the bronze medal went to Switzerland's Nina Christen (230.6).

Galashina led the race for gold in the final until logging her lowest score of the day, 8.9, with her final shot.

Australians Elise Collier and Katarina Kowplos both failed to qualify for the final, finishing 42nd and 45th respectively.

Australian Daniel Repacholi, competing at his fifth Olympics, will be in action later on Saturday when the men's 10m air pistol competition gets underway.

Kookaburras off to winning start in men's hockey

They copped a scare from host nation Japan, but the Kookaburras secured a 5-3 win to kick off their Olympic campaign.

After falling behind two goals to none, Japan rallied, scoring three goals in just five minutes before half time, before the Australians settled and ran away with the match in the second half.

Full report here.

Australia's Fang Lay wins table tennis prelims

Australian table tennis great Jian Fang Lay has started her record-equalling sixth Olympics with a convincing singles win.

Fang Lay beat Cuban Daniela Fonseca 11-5 11-7 11-5 14-12 in the preliminary round on Saturday, with the match over in 25 minutes.

She will next play Italian Debora Vivarelli on Saturday night in round one.

Fang Lay is also in the women's teams event, which starts on Sunday.

The 48-year-old initially missed selection for Tokyo, but was named as a replacement for Stephanie Sang when she withdrew for personal reasons.

Fang Lay joins equestrian veteran Mary Hanna as the first Australian women to compete in six Olympics.

Chinese-born Fang Lay moved to Melbourne in 1994 and had her best Olympic result in Rio, reaching the third round in singles.

Compatriots Heming Hu and Melissa Tapper are also playing on Saturday in the mixed doubles, taking on French pair Emmanuel Lebesson and Jia Nan Yuan.


Rowing pair through to semis

Australian rowers Jessica Morrison and Annabelle McIntyre have ticked off their first goal in Tokyo, comfortably winning their heat in the women's coxless pair over defending Olympic champion Helen Glover.

The Australians are doubling up in the Games and will be back on the water at the Sea Forest Waterway course on Saturday for the four, with just two hours between races.

Australia's men's pair Joshua Hicks and Sam Hardy also stormed to victory in their heat, beating crews from Italy and New Zealand.

Croatia's Sinkovic brothers Valent and Martin also impressed after switching to the pair following their Rio gold medal in the double sculls.

Morrison and McIntyre, who won silver at the last world championships in 2019, led from start to finish with Great Britain's Glover and Polly Swann finishing third, split by Russia.

Partnering Heather Stanning, Glover won gold in the event in both London and Rio and then retired to start a family.

After having three children, including twins last year, Glover took advantage of the one-year delay to the Tokyo Games and won selection for a third Olympics.

While the Australians cruised home, New Zealand world champions Kiwi pair Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler laid down the marker with the fastest heat time.

The race program on Saturday was extended to include the heats of both the men's and women's eights, which were originally scheduled to race on Sunday.

With poor weather including high winds forecast for Monday, organisers have shifted those races to Sunday.


German cyclist Geschke tests positive

Drama ahead of the men's road race, with German Simon Geschke testing positive to COVID-19. He will not start the race.

Geschke competed in and completed the Tour de France earlier this month.

Heaps of Aussies in action on Day 1

The Kookaburras kick off their Olympic hockey campaign at 10.30am (AEST) against hosts Japan, and the Aussie Spirit take to the diamond for their third group game at 11. In amongst shooting, table tennis and the men's cycling road race, there are number of rowing heats sprinkled throughout the day. And watch out for John Millman in action from midday in the men's tennis, as well.

Later in the afternoon and into the evening, the Matildas face Sweden in their second group game in the women's football, a number of swimming heats are scheduled, and the men's beach volleyballers close out the day around 11pm.

Tip of the hat to Lachlan McKirdy on Twitter who compiled this ace list of when the Australians in action.

Richie Porte seeks road race gold following brutal Tour de France

Richie Porte will launch Australia's Olympic cycling campaign in a brutal road race on Saturday as the nation's Tokyo Games begin in earnest.

The Tour de France star leads a three-man team with Olympic debutants Lucas Hamilton and Luke Durbridge in a 234km race featuring 4865m of climbing - all in hot and humid conditions.

Teammate Rohan Dennis pulled out of the road race to focus on next Wednesday's road time trial, where he's one of the medal favourites.

Porte, on Olympic debut in Rio, crashed in the road race on the final descent and was ruled out of the time trial with a shoulder injury.

The Tokyo course suits the Tasmanian's climbing skills but his performance hinges on how he has recovered after finishing the Tour de France last Sunday.


Mills and Campbell lead Aussies in Opening Ceremony

Emotional scenes from Tokyo when Boomer Patty Mills became the first Indigenous Australian to act as flagbearer at the Olympic Games. He, along with swimmer and four-time Olympian Cate Campbell, led the Australian contingent out onto the Tokyo Olympic Stadium.