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Sunday, Dec 08th

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Six-time all-around world champion Kohei Uchimura held off strong challenge from Ukraine's Oleg Vernyayev to take his second consecutive Olympic gold in gymnastics at the Rio Games.

The 27-year-old Japanese was second behind Vernyayev in Sunday's qualification after falling off the high bar, but still considered as the favorite to win in the final.

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Traditional powerhouse New Zealand fell to Japan 14-12 on the first day of the men's rugby sevens tournament at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Besides Tuesday's defeat, the second-seeded All Blacks saw star Sonny Bill Williams leave the game with an injury and he will miss the remainder of the competition.

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Japan has won the gold medal in Men's Team Gymnastics event at the Rio Olympic Games, dethroning China, which had won the event in Beijing in 2008 and in London in 2012.

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India supplied a rip roaring performance the hockey event needed, coming back from two goals down, to draw with Japan 2-2 in their Pool B opener.

In one of the toughest fought matches in the event so far, it was India who made the smarter start, holding possession as Lilima Minz dictated the play in the midfield with Vandana Katariya and Preeti Dubey making the runs ahead. Dubey it was with the first real opportunity of the game; Minz’s drive from the top of the circle came off a Japanese stick towards Dubey with just the goalkeeper to beat. The defensive pressure was just enough though as she shot wide.

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The Indian hockey men’s team led by the invincible goalkeeper PR Sreejesh will begin their Olympic campaign on August 6 against Ireland, perhaps labelled as the minnows in the competition. While India are on a mission to end their 36-year-long medal drought in Rio, this will be Ireland’s first Olympic appearance since 1908 when they had earned a silver medal.

Going by the recent record, the Indian team being ranked fifth in the FIH world rankings go in as favourites and  will be riding on the confidence drawn from their recent win against Ireland at the Six Nations Tournament in Valencia, Spain, in June. However, chief coach Roelant Oltmans does not want his wards to get complacent about their opponent. “We want to begin on a winning note and carry the momentum forward in the following group stage matches. We do not want to undermine any team especially at an event like the Olympics where every team wants to win,” asserted the chief coach.

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A tired-looking South African Olympic team were beaten 4-1 by the pace of their Japanese counterpart in the annual Kirin Challenge Cup in Matsumoto, Japan on Wednesday evening.

While critics will dismiss any excuses, the demands of the recent COSAFA Cup and a marathon travelling schedule which saw the team travel 24-hours to Japan, definitely took its toll and at the end of the day SA were no chance for the hosts for most of the match.

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The South African u23 National Team has completed preparations for their international friendly match against Japan which will take place on Wednesday, 28 June 2016 at the General Sports Stadim in Matsumoro. Kickoff is at 12h30 South African time.

After a few hours of sleep following a 24-hour travel to Matsumoro, Owen da Gama’s side had their one and only training session to get ready for the Kirin Challenge Cup - an annual tournament by one of the biggest sporting corporations in Japan. South Africa has been invited to the event.

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