2020 Tokyo Olympics: Who Won the First Gold Medal of the Games?

by Clayton Edwards

The Tokyo Olympics are finally in full swing. The pandemic pushed things back a year. However, the world’s best athletes are there now and in top form. The worldwide event kicked off yesterday with a memorable Opening Ceremony. Then, after the pageantry of the day was finished, the real action kicked off.

Several athletes will take home medals from the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympic games. However, only one can say that they took home the first gold medal of the event. That person is China’s Yang Qian. She won the gold medal in the women’s 10-meter air rifle event.

According to an ESPN report, Qian won the gold after firing her worst shot of the Tokyo Olympics. However, that shot gave her a 9.8 which was more than enough to put her at the top of the event. It turns out that the Chinese Olympian didn’t just win a gold medal. She set an Olympic record for the 10-meter air rifle event. Her final score was 251.8.

More About the First Gold Medal Win of the Tokyo Olympics

However, it was not a runaway victory. In fact, many had their bets firmly on Russia’s Anastasia Galashina to win the gold in the event. Galashina had been the frontrunner in the first medal event of the Tokyo Olympics. Most of her shots earned her 10.5 points or better. She was deadly accurate for most of the competition. However, she flubbed her final shot, missing the two center rings of the target. This allowed Yang to pull ahead by 0.2 points.

Yang had been consistent in her performance during the Tokyo Olympics. However, with pressure mounting, the 21-year-old Olympian’s hand became unsteady. Her final shot missed the center ring. However, it hit firmly within the second ring. Her final shot brought her a 9.2.

Yang’s disappointment in her final shot was evident. It was as if she somehow knew that the shot would cost her gold. However, that all changed seconds after she squeezed the trigger. She looked up to see that her closest competitor had only scored 8.9 on her final shot.

About taking home the first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, Yang said, “It’s unbelievable that I can be here.” She went on to say that she was very nervous throughout the event. She added, “The competition was really tight, but I’m so happy that I could win.”

Galashina, who finished with 251.1 points said that she got too nervous and held her shot off for too long. She added, “My thoughts were not in the right place. I lost concentration. The explanation is very simple.”

This is only day 2 of the Tokyo Olympics. So, there are many more medals and firsts to come. However, Yang Qian will forever be remembered as the first to win gold this year.