On day one of the Olympic Games, Greg van Avermaet secured gold in the road race. Syrian Yusra Mardini turned in an admirable performance and Vietnam claimed its first ever Olympic gold.
Belgian Greg van Avermaet held his nerve to take gold in the Road Race ahead of former Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali on day one of the Olympics.
A dangerous descent caused problems for the riders and the leading pack of Nibali, Sergio Henao and Geraint Thomas collided with 15km left. Van Avermaet beat Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang in a sprint finish to claim his first Olympic title. Poland's Rafal Majky claimed bronze, five second behind.
"I wasn't the favourite, but I had a really great day. The last 10-15k was perfect," the winner told reporters. "I knew I had a good sprint, and in the last 5-6k, everything went perfect."
Current Tour de France champion Chris Froome finished three minutes from the front, alongside Germany's Emanuel Buchmann.
Refugee lights up day one
Yusra Mardini, a member of the Olympic Refugee Team, stole the show with a solid performance in the 100m fly.
Yusra Mardini, a member of the Olympic Refugee Team, stole the show with a solid performance in the 100m fly to win the first heat in Rio.
Although she missed the cut, the 18-year-old's finish of 1:09.21 grabbed the attention from the world's media. Mardini is from the Syrian capital Damascus and was forced to flee following the outbreak of the civil war.
After two years out of the pool, Mardini has found home in the German capital Berlin and trains with Wasserfreunde Spandau. She is one of 10 members of the refugee team. "It was really amazing, it was an incredible feeling to compete here at the Olympics," said the 18-year-old to reporters.
Judo provides first gold for Russia
Beslan Mudranov won the first gold for Russia at this summer’s games on Saturday, winning in Judo after beating Kazahkstan's Yeldos Smetov in the men's -60kg.
Just two days after the country’s judo team were cleared to participate, the Russian athlete retained the gold his country won in Russia four years previously. Japan's Naohisa Takato and Diyorbek Urozboev of Uzbekistan took bronze.
United States make short work of China
To little surprise, the United States began their campaign towards a third straight gold medal in men’s basketball with a convincing win over China.
Beating their opponents 119-62 on the night, Kevin Durant & co. confirmed themselves as favorites for gold against what was perceived as a strong contender in China. The US face Venezuela on Monday having won their last 69 games.
Venus and Radwanska knocked out
Four-time gold medalist Venus Williams suffered defeat on Saturday when she lost to Kirsten Flipkens 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5). Suffering from a virus, the 36-year-old struggled through the three-hour clash coughing through the closing exchanges. The American fifth seed must now battle to regain her health ahead of her opening doubles match with sister Serena on Sunday.
There was another upset earlier in the day when Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, the fourth seed in Rio, was beaten 6-4 7-5 by China's 64th-ranked Zheng Saisai. Radwanska blamed jet-lag and a nightmare journey to Rio, which saw her stranded at Montreal airport for four hours, thus affecting her preparations for the match. Jack Sock, the 14th seed, also fell to a surprise 6-4 6-4 defeat by Japan's Taro Daniel, ranked 117.
Vietnam win first ever Olympic gold medal
The men’s 10-metre air pistol event was the setting for Vietnam’s first ever Olympic gold medal on Saturday, as Xuan Vinh Hoang overcame Brazilian crowd favorite Felipe Wu to pick up first place in the shooting competition. The 41-year-old member of the Vietnamese armed forces managed to pick up a 0.4 point average to win with 202.5 points in 20 shots. Earlier in the day, 19-year-old Virginia Thrasher won the USA's first gold of the competition, holding her nerve to clinch the women's 10-metre air-rifle event ahead of China's Du Li.
Mixed fortunes for Germany
Germany's hockey team enjoyed a comprehensive 6-2 win over Canada in the men's hockey early on Saturday evening. Germany set the tone early in the Pool B game with two goals in the first six minutes. Speaking about Germany's next two opponents, goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi said: “I thought India looked quite strong but Ireland is always tough to play against as well, quite physical and I expect them to be quite a bit stronger than what we faced today.” However, Germany's men's volleyball team were not celebrating victory, as the fell to defeat by Poland.