TOKYO. Luka Doncic dressed as Michael Jordan on his Olympic Games debut. When a typhoon was announced in Japan from Tuesday, the Slovenian basketball player was a gale that swept through Argentina on Monday.
The Balkan base, just 22 years old, scored 48 points, had 11 rebounds and 5 assists in the only 31 minutes he played in the victory of his team against the Albiceleste team (118-100). With his 48 points, he doubled the best score of the mythical Michael Jordan in the Olympic Games (24) and stayed close to the scoring record in the event that Brazilian legend Oscar Schmidt has had since Seoul-1988, when he scored 55 points against Spain.
“We never could. Doncic did what he did, as he wanted. Everything we tried violated him, not for a second we could stop him. And that created spaces for everyone ”, synthesized the Argentine coach Sergio Hernández. Argentina started their Olympic career badly, while Spain, world champion after defeating the Albicelestes two years ago in the final in China, had a better debut, defeating Japan (88-77).
Doncic put his team in Group C on their way to the quarterfinals on a day when the other great protagonist was the Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus who defeated the American Katie Ledecky in the final of 400 meters in freestyle (3: 56.69 against 3: 57.36).
Another swimmer, the American Caeleb Dressel, called to be the star of the Tokyo 2020 pool, has already added his first gold, with the 4×100 m relay of his country. Ledecky, however, could not start by climbing to the top of the podium and the young woman from Washington did not add the sixth Olympic title of her career. “I’ve fought tooth and nail and that’s all you can ask of yourself,” Ledecky resigned himself.
Titmus, already world champion of the discipline, thus won the Olympic gold, his first medal in a Games, and Ledecky, who also competes in 200, 800 and 1,500 m, remains with silver. The ‘First Lady’ of world swimming seems untouchable in long distances, but for two years she has to face the phenomenon of the young Ariarne Titmus, star in 200 and 400 meters.
Titmus aims to continue his Olympic harvest in Tokyo at 200 and 800 meters. Dressel, who is initially aiming for six gold medals in Tokyo, therefore successfully completed his first challenge in the Japanese swimming pool, before participating in three individual events (100 m butterfly, plus 50 m and 100 m freestyle) and in two other relays (4×100 m styles in male and mixed category).
For his part, the British Adam Peaty, who had already been champion in Rio-2016 and who is the absolute dominator of the discipline, won as expected in the final of 100 meters breaststroke. The other gold on Monday went to Canadian Maggie MacNeil (55.59) in the 100m butterfly. If Dressel aspires to six golds in Tokyo, the Philippines achieved the first Olympic title in its history thanks to the weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz.
Olympic champion girls
In addition, the Japanese Momiji Nishiya, just 13 years old, became the first Olympic champion in the history of skateboarding, one of the sports that will debut in Tokyo-2020, by winning the street category, where the Brazilian Rayssa Leal , also 13 years old, hung up the money. Nishiya, silver in the last World Cup and who turns 14 on August 30, is not the youngest champion in the history of the Games.
The record for precocity has been held since 1936 by the American Marjorie Gestring, who was crowned in diving at 13 years and 267 days. If he had won, Rayssa Leal would have set a new record, as he is 13 years and 203 days old. At the same time, Serbian Novak Djokovic, world number one in tennis, reached the knockout stages of the individual tournament by beating German Jan-Lennard Struff (48th) 6-4, 6-3.
Djokovic therefore continues in his search for the long-awaited ‘Golden Slam’, the unprecedented achievement of winning all four Grand Slam and Olympic gold in the same year. At the moment he has already lifted the champion trophy at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, so he would need to triumph at this event in Tokyo and then at the United States Open.