Olympics is the world's largest sporting event which excites all sports enthusiasts across the globe. All eyes are set on the world's highest-ranked stars to achieve Olympic glory and make their nation proud of their merit. Simultaneously, this creates a lot of pressure on these sports personalities as they compete against the best players in their game and also the young spirit talents filled with immense potential
The Tokyo Olympics brought itself multitudinous twists and turns. Hosting the event under the threat of the pandemic, scorching heat, typhoon warning, ongoing protests, state of emergency and high humidity have been a constant challenge for the organizing committee. This also kept the fans in a twirl as they predicted the future situation as to what is going to happen.
Amidst this came the most adventurous turn of events - the biggest upsets of the Tokyo Olympics - yes, the greatest ones about whom everyone expected to win gold; lose out in the initial rounds. Let's find out who are these players:
The mixed pair of Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary in 10m Air Pistol was hailed as one of the brightest prospects to win an Olympic medal for India. The World No.1 duo have five world cup golds attached to their name and therefore was expected to end up amongst the top finishers in the game. Sadly, things didn't go as per plan and they faltered in Stage 2 of qualification after topping the group in Stage 1. A low score by Manu resulted in an overall loss for the team leading to their exit from the Olympics.
2. Kento Momota
A group stage exit for the World No. 1 men's singles badminton player, who would have thought? Surprising or shockingly, the home favorite star shuttle of Japan, Kento Momota lost to Unseeded Korea's shuttler Heo Kwang-hee 15-21, 19-21 in the group match. This broke the hearts of many Japanese fans and ended the Olympic dream for Momota.
3. Ashleigh Barty
You would ask if there is a curse on the World No. 1 ranked players at the Tokyo Olympics, One could argue as Australia's top-ranked Ash Barty was beaten in just her first round by Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain by 6-4, 6-3. This was a huge upset as Barty just won her Wimbledon title and it was unbelievable that a 48th ranked player defeats an in-form champion tennis player.
4. Katie Ledecky
The defending Olympic champion and the world record holder, Katie Ledecky suffered a loss at the hands of Australia's Ariarne Titmus in the women's 400-meter freestyle swimming event. Ledecky is not regular with defeats and no sports pundits would have predicted her loss but as destiny would have it, gold wasn't her friend this time.
Here's what the women's 400-meter freestyle race looked like. Ariarne Titmus overtook Katie Ledecky in the last 100 meters to take the gold. #Tokyo2020 https://t.co/ktwCzcksjq pic.twitter.com/7D193wqlxj— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 26, 2021
5. Naomi Osaka
The hope for Japan's Olympic Gold, Naomi Osaka, the tennis sensation who lit the Olympic cauldron suffered a devastating defeat in the third round of women's singles event. Marketa Vondrousova got the better of her by 6-1, 6-4 causing one of the biggest upsets at the Tokyo Olympics.
Breaking News: Naomi Osaka 🇯🇵 is out of the #Tokyo2020 Olympics.— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 27, 2021
The Japanese tennis superstar lost the third round of the women's singles tennis tournament to Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic. https://t.co/Y2CUloN3h4
6. Nyjah Huston
The winner of every World Skateboarding Championship since 2000, Nyjah Houston had no shot at an Olympics medal making its debut at the Summer Games. With an average performance, he stood seventh in the eight-man final which was a shocker to the Skateboarding fans across the globe.
7. US Basketball team
If there needs to be a mention of the best team in basketball, there is a clear answer which is the USA, as they are the defending Olympic champions from the past three editions. Also they have a world-reputation of being the strongest team on the court.
To everyone's surprise, they lost to France in their opening game with a scroe 83-76 making their chance a tad weaker than anyone's expectations. They defeated Iran in their second game and have a chance to win their last group fixture but their first defeat since 2004 Athens is a big upset for all sports fans out there.
8. Simone Biles
Citing her mental health, Simone Biles withdraws from the gymnastics event which shocked the entire world but was supportive of her situation. Referred to as the G.O.A.T, the defending champion ends her journey at the Tokyo Olympics. US gymnastics team were heavy favourites to win the straight third Olympics gold but were only able to grab the silver medal position after a not-so-expected perfromace by Simone Biles.
I applaud @Simone_Biles' decision to prioritize her mental health in Tokyo. Olympic athletes—like every other human being—must take their mental health as seriously as their physical health. Simone truly represents the best of us by setting that example.https://t.co/71UN5o3zC6— Senator Alex Padilla (@SenAlexPadilla) July 27, 2021
9. Lilly King
A 17-year old girl Lydia Jacobs pulled off an upset against the Rio gold medallist, Lilly King who was projected to win the 100-meter backstroke at Tokyo Olympics too. Suprisingly, she finished 3rd in the final race with a time of 1:05:54 while Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa stood second. Jacob's time of 1:04:95 was an uexpected thriller for everyone.
With more competitions lined up, what else is awaited in this long list of exciting twists and turns?