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Tokyo Olympics Day 7: Athletes struggle in extreme heat; Penny Oleksiak going for medal in 100m freestyle; Canadians in finals for rowing, distance running

Tokyo Olympics Day 7: Athletes struggle in extreme heat; Penny Oleksiak going for medal in 100m freestyle; Canadians in finals for rowing, distance running
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The latest Olympics news from Tokyo and around the world on Thursday. Web links to longer stories if available:

6:30 p.m.: Fiji’s second consecutive gold medal in rugby sevens may be more meaningful than its first.

That’s saying something, considering the team’s first win, at Rio 2016, meant so much that the country produced the world’s first $7 banknote to commemorate it.

Australian Jessica Fox uses a condom to fix her kayak; Justin Bieber gives Simone Biles kudos; Chinese shooter Yang Qian has two gold medals (and a killer sense of style).

6:30 p.m.: Here are a few of the events that Team Canada is competing in tonight.

6 p.m.: At the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Star columnist Rosie DiManno had $10,000 cash, a phoney press pass and a last-minute bed at a heavenly country inn. The experience of Tokyo 2020 is nothing like the same — it couldn’t be, she writes.

The latest from Rosie DiManno in Tokyo: An Olympics in Japan can be wonderful (even if these Games aren’t)

5 p.m.: The 2020 Olympics are shaping up to be as daily highs regularly exceed 30C and humidity packs an extra punch.

Said Russian Olympic Committee tennis player Daniil Medvedev, during a Tuesday fixture: “I can finish the match, but I can die,” he told the chair umpire in front of cameras after being asked if he could continue playing.

Earlier in the week, Spanish tennis player Paula Badosa had to leave her quarterfinal match in a wheelchair. Last Friday, Russian archer Svetlana Gomboeva collapsed in the Tokyo heat during a qualifying round.

4 p.m.: Star columnist Rick Salutin writes: The distress experienced by US gymnast Simone Biles stems from a situation: Olympics culture in its 2021 version .

There’s a shabbiness to these games in particular: the issue isn’t just empty arenas, it’s a sense that they’re only being held to avoid financial losses and serve the egos and careers of pols and sportsocrats against the unmistakably expressed opposition of the host population.

The athletes feel real pain and deserve support and relief, but you don’t want to use mental healthification to let the source of that pain off the hook.

4 p.m.: , Brendan Dunlop chats with the Star’s Dave Feschuk in Tokyo about the atmosphere of these Olympic Games, the success of Canadian women on the Olympic stage and what that might mean for funding and development going forward. And as , there are a few Canadian men looking to get on the podium in Tokyo.

3:30 p.m.: San Marino is considered the world’s oldest republic. On Thursday, it added another title that could one day become a trivia answer: the least populous nation to win an Olympic medal .

One can only imagine the celebration that Alessandra Perilli will receive when she returns to the independent nation of 34,000 people in the foothills of Italy’s Apennine Mountains after claiming bronze in women’s trap shooting.

Previously: American pole vaulter and withdraws from Games; Mohammed Ahmed and Justyn Knight among the favourites for medals in distance running ; Canadian rowers took bronze in women’s pair; Women’s basketball team defeats South Korea, 74-53 ; Swimmers just miss the podium in 4x200 freestyle relay , but Penny Oleksiak has another shot at becoming Canada’s most decorated Olympian ever.
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