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Creative director of Tokyo Olympics’ opening ceremony fired

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By Gistflash News

July 22, 2021

The creative director of the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony has been dismissed, a day ahead of the event.

Olympics organisers announced the decision at a press conference on Thursday, and cited an incident years ago in which Kentaro Kobayashi is said to have made fun of the Holocaust.

The entire opening programme will be closely scrutinised again, Organising committee chief executive Toshiro Muto said.

Japanese news agency Kyodo reported the jokes had come to light in recently surfaced video of Kobayashi, a former comedian.

Kobayashi’s dismissal is the latest blow to organisers of the Olympics, which are being held without spectators because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The composer for the opening ceremony, Keigo Oyamada, recently resigned after reports surfaced online that he had bullied disabled children during his school days.

On Monday, the 52-year-old announced he was quitting the creative team in charge of the ceremony, which is scheduled to take place at the National Stadium in the Japanese capital.

Oyamada, who is also known as Cornelius, has apologised.

dpa/NAN

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Debutant Omotayo says he struggled with ambience of Tokyo Olympics

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By Gistflash News

July 29, 2021

Olajide Omotayo, one of Team Nigeria’s table tennis stars, on Wednesday said he struggled with the ambience of the Tokyo Olympics in his first game against Tiago Apolonia of Portugal.

Omotayo, who is participating in his first Olympics, lost 0-4 to the Portuguese in the first round of the men’s singles event of the competition last Saturday.

Speaking from Tokyo, the 26-year-old told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) he started the game well but struggled to control his emotions later.

“I started very good but later I found myself crying.

“ It is probably because this is my first Olympics and the feeling was too much for me to handle. I couldn’t get over it until the third set and it affected my performance.

“Probably, the next Olympics won’t be like this,’’ he assured.

The table tennis player also said he was looking forward to attending more tournaments ahead of Paris 2024.

He also said he is hopeful that seven-time Olympian Segun Toriola would be part of his coaching team.

“I am sure he can help me train better ahead of future events.”

NAN

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Ogunbanwo wins women’s 100m freestyle heat at Tokyo Olympics

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By Gistflash News

July 28, 2021

Abiola Ogunbanwo stunned the pool on Wednesday at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre to win heat 1 of the women’s 100 metres freestyle event of the 2020 Olympic Games’ swimming competition.

Running from lane 3 in the four-competitor heat, Ogunbanwo emerged st the finish lane after 59.74 seconds to qualify for the event’s semi-finals.

The 17-year-old who is based in Australia finished 0.27 seconds ahead of Andela Antunovic of Montenegro to win the race.

Antunovic placed second with 1:00.01, while Gaurika Singh of Nepal was third in 1:00.11.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ogunbanwo’s time is good enough for her to advance as the best 16 swimmers from the seven heats are expected to qualify.

NAN

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Aruna crashes out after first game at Tokyo Olympics

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By Gistflash News

July 27, 2021

Africa’s highest-ranked player Quadri Aruna on Tuesday crashed out of the men’s singles event of the table tennis competition at the ongoing Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Aruna who reached the quarter-finals of the event at the Rio Games in 2016 could not go far this time around as he lost 2-4 in the third round.

He lost to Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium 15-13 9-11 6-11 11-7 7-11 6-11.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that his exit has brought a sad end to Team Nigeria’s campaign in the sport at this Games.

His three teammates in the sport —— Funke Oshonaike, Offiong Edem, Olajide Omotayo —- have all been eliminated.

Nigeria did not qualify for the doubles events.

NAN

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