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Chinese shooter Qian Yang wins 1st gold medal awarded at the Tokyo Olympics


(TOKYO) — The first gold medal of the 2020 Olympics was officially won Saturday in Japan

China’s Qian Yang earned gold in the women’s 10-meter air rifle to take home the long-awaited first medal. The 21-year-old is a rising star in the sport.

She defeated Russian Anastasiia Galashina — competing under the Russian Olympic Committee moniker — in the final. Nina Christen took the bronze for Switzerland.

The first medal events took place Saturday in Tokyo, with opportunities to win in archery, men’s cycling, fencing, judo, shooting, taekwondo and women’s weightlifting.

Although the opening ceremony just took place Friday, competition has been underway for several days, including in soccer, softball, baseball and shooting. Competition will continue through Aug. 8, when the closing ceremony will be held.

The United States won the most medals during the last Summer Olympics in 2016, coming home with 121, 46 of which were gold. China and Great Britain followed shortly after the U.S., taking home 70 and 67 medals, respectively.

Shooting takes place in several disciplines, based on different distances from targets. In the 10-meter air rifle, athletes have 75 minutes to fire 60 shots at a target. Ginny Thrasher of the U.S. won gold in 2016. Thrasher did not qualify for the 2020 Games, though American Mary Tucker finished in sixth.

The men’s 10-meter air pistol competition will be taking place later in the day.

While this is the first gold medal of the Tokyo Games, there are other notable first medals coming up. The first medals ever will be awarded over the next two weeks in skateboarding, karate, surfboarding and sport climbing, four sports that are making their Olympic debut this year.

Meanwhile, American greats like gymnast Simone Biles and sprinter Allyson Felix are competing to make medal history as individuals in their sports, and Serbian tennis icon Novak Djokovic is going for gold on his hunt for an elusive Golden Slam.

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