Giant challenges for Ledecky, Dressel and Van der Poel: Everything you need to know about Monday

The big meeting: Mountain biking and Van der Poel

The day will be dense, very dense, Monday, in Tokyo. But THE event not to be missed could well be held on the Izu course during the men’s mountain bike event. A meeting electrified by the presence of Mathieu van der Poel. The Dutchman, great host of the first week of the Tour de France, did not hesitate to leave the Grande Boucle to focus on his Olympic goal.

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MVDP already has a solid track record in mountain biking, including a bronze medal at the 2018 Worlds and a European champion title (2019). If he is more of an ultra-versatile rider than a pure mountain bike specialist, all eyes will be on grandson Raymond Poulidor. But he will face very strong competition, led by the defending champion, the Swiss Nino Schurter, or his compatriot Mathias Flueckiger. Another threat is the young Briton Tom Pidcock, whom Van der Poel has also targeted as his most dangerous rival.

To spice it up, the French team will also have a real card to play in this discipline which has historically been very successful with three consecutive titles in 2000, 2004 and 2008 through Miguel Martinez and Julien Absalon. But in London and Rio, the Blues remained outside the podium. With Victor Koretzky and especially Jordan Sarrou, 2020 world champion, they again have reason to believe.

Mathieu van der Poel on a mountain bike

Credit: Getty Images

She Can Make History: Katie Ledecky

Like her compatriot Caleb Dressel, Katie Ledecky begins her labors of Hercules on Monday. The American is running for an unprecedented quadruplet over 200 – 400 – 800 – 1500 meters. She lines up on Monday in the 400m freestyle final to start her harvest. At 24, Ledecky already has five Olympic titles.

So she could, if all knits together for her, match former gymnast Larissa Latynina, who holds the record for a female athlete with nine Olympic titles. At the American level, swimmer Jenny Thompson has eight gold medals to her name. Ledecky will therefore play record hunters, but she also knows that the competition has strengthened since Rio, which she left with four titles and a silver medal.

Katie Ledecky vying for a raid.

Credit: Getty Images

We also can’t wait to see

Wattel to confirm. After a dream Sunday, where she flew over the semi-final by setting a new French record (56 »16), Marie Wattel can believe in her chances of a medal in the women’s 100m butterfly final, scheduled for 3:30 a.m. French. If the Swedish Sarah Sjoestroem, world and Olympic record holder over the distance, is obviously a big favorite, the Frenchwoman, who set the second fastest time, behind the Chinese Zhang Yufei, has shown that she has the weapons to write the story.

King Dressel to reoffend. Twice gold medalist in Rio, including a victory in the 4x100m freestyle, the American Caeleb Dressel, expected to make another charms raid this year, will try to launch his Olympiad in the best possible way with his American teammates (final scheduled at 5:05 am). Team USA, which has held the world record since 2008, will count on the man with thirteen world champion medals to retain its Olympic title.

« Dressel, I would be surprised if he didn’t win at least 3 gold medals »

The Blue of basketball. Present for the third time in a row at the Games, the French women hope to find once again the last four, as in 2012 and 2016, and especially to climb on the podium, to remake the coup of London when the Braqueuses of Céline Dumerc had brought back the silver. They start Tuesday against Japan at… 10 am local time (3 am in France).

The possible revenge of Vincent Luis. Double triathlon world champion, the Frenchman had been terribly frustrated in Rio, where he finished in a disappointing 7th place. For five years, he has been ruminating. For him, it’s now. « I’m confident« , he announced.

All Monday finals

. Canoeing – Slalom
8:45 am – C1 men

. Fencing
1:45 p.m. – Ladies’ individual saber
2:10 p.m. – Individual foil for men

. Artistic Gymnastics
12h00 – Men’s team competition

. Weightlifting
12h50 – -55 kg ladies

. Judo
11:25 – -57 kg ladies
11:50 – -73 kg men

. Swimming
3h30 – 100m butterfly ladies
4:12 – 100 m breaststroke men
4h20 – 400m freestyle women
5:05 am – Men’s 4x100m freestyle relay

. Dive
8h00 – High synchronized flight for men

. Skateboard
5:25 am – Ladies’ street

. Taekwondo
2:30 p.m. – -67 kg ladies
2:45 p.m. – -80 kg men

. Table tennis
2:00 p.m. – Mixed doubles

. Shoot
7:50 a.m. – Ladies skeet
8:50 a.m. – Skeet men

. Archery
9:40 a.m. – By men’s teams

. Triathlon
11:30 p.m. (Sunday) – Individual men

. Mountain biking
8h00 – Cross Country men

We are wondering…

If Jordan Sarrou can be disturbed by his heavy fall in training on Saturday. Fortunately, it was a priori much more spectacular than serious …

How many titles will Japan leave to the competition in judo? For now, it’s three out of four for the Japanese at home in « their » Budokan.

If the victory of the Blues against the United States in basketball says more about this French team or this American team …

If France, who waited 17 years to find the scent of an individual title in fencing, can taste it twice in 24 hours. Enzo Lefort, present?

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Five stats to keep in mind

3. After the fiascos at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, the Tokyo Games did not start much better for French tennis in singles. There are only three still alive in the two male and female paintings: Ugo Humbert, Jérémy Chardy and Fiona Ferro. Gaël Monfils, Gilles Simon, Kristina Mladenovic, Alizé Cornet and Caroline Garcia all disappeared in the first round.

4. Nino Schurter may become the first to win a MTB medal in four different editions of the Olympic Games. The Swiss won bronze in Beijing, silver in London and then gold in Rio.

Nino Schurter

Credit: Getty Images

6. The number of gold medals Caeleb Dressel is aiming for in Tokyo: three in individual, over 100m, the queen race, 100m butterfly and 50m, and three in relay (4x100m, 4x100m medley and 4x100m medley mixed). And, even if it’s more unlikely, why not participate in a fourth relay, the 4x200m.

18. Adam Peaty is slightly favorite in the 100-meter breaststroke final which will take place on the night from Sunday to Monday. The Briton has been undefeated for seven years in major competition, and he holds the… 18 best times in history in this discipline. Its stated objective? Going for gold, of course, but also breaking your own world record.

44. In hundredths, what Ariarne Titmus missed to beat Katie Ledecky’s world record in June during the Australian selections. Titmus is one of three women in history to have swam in less than 4 minutes in the 400m freestyle, with Ledecky and Pellegrini. She’s a real threat to Ledecky.

Ariarne Titmus

Credit: Eurosport

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