Team GB cycling hopes dashed as Geraint Thomas pulls out of Olympic road race after crash


Team GB’s hopes of a cycling medal on the first day of the Tokyo Olympics came to an early end after Geraint Thomas pulled out of the men’s road race following a crash.

Thomas and teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart fell around 70km (43 miles) into the 234km (145 mile) event which finished at the Fuji International Speedway on Saturday.

Thomas, the 2018 Tour de France winner who crashed in a similar way in last month’s competition, managed to get back on the bike with a bloodied arm and shoulder.

But he pulled into the pits and retired with 60km (37 miles) to go before Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz took his country’s second ever gold.

Another Briton, Adam Yates, narrowly missed out on a medal in a dramatic dash to the finish line.

Fans defied orders to stay away from the race, with hundreds lining the streets to show their support.

Spectators are banned from nearly all the events due to the COVID state of emergency in and around Tokyo.

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Team GB also missed out on a medal in the shooting when Seonaid McIntosh failed to secure a place in the women’s 10-metre Air Rifle final.

The 25-year-old from Edinburgh finished 12th in her qualification round, admitting she found the conditions in Japan challenging.

“I struggled a bit with fatigue and the heat,” she said.

Yang Qian, of China, puts her gold medal on herself
Yang Qian, of China, puts her gold medal on herself

Instead Yang Qian took the first medal of the games for China, but was forced to put it on herself in a new COVID-secure measure at the Games.

McIntosh will shoot again next weekend in the 50-metre competition, while Thomas hopes to compete in Wednesday’s time trial.

In the tennis, Sir Andy Murray won his first doubles match with partner Joe Salisbury.

They beat French Open champions Pierre Hugues Herbet and Nicolas Mahut.

But Team GB’s only female hope Heather Watson was knocked out by Germany’s Anna Lena Freidsam.

Pic: AP
Andy Murray won his first doubles match. Pic: AP

The 2016 Wimbledon champion in the mixed doubles is trying to compete in the same event at the Olympics – but will only do so if she can find a partner.

Johanna Konta was unable to take part in the Games after testing positive for coronavirus.

World number one and current Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic beat Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien in the first men’s singles match.

In the rowing at the Sea Forest Waterway, Helen Glover and Polly Swann came third, but still managed to qualify for the semi-finals.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Rowing - Women's Pair - Heats - Sea Forest Waterway, Tokyo, Japan - July 24, 2021. Helen Glover of Britain and Polly Swann of Britain in action REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw
Polly Swann and Holly Glover qualify for the semi-finals

Glover is hoping for gold at her third Olympics in a row after taking time out to have three children since the Rio Games in 2016.

Gymnast Matt Whitlock dominated in the men’s pommel horse heats, breezing through to the final.

Also, Adam Peaty is expected to dominate the men’s 100m breaststroke heats later on Saturday.

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He has broken five records in five years and is chasing a second Olympic gold.

A total of 130 coronavirus cases have been confirmed within the Olympic camp so far.

Dutch rower Finn Florijn became the first athlete to test positive for COVID-19 after taking part in an event.

He finished fourth in the men’s single sculls on Friday and was due to race again on Saturday.

But after his COVID test came back positive he will remain in quarantine, unable to compete.

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