Naohisa Takato savored the silence. It was not that he did not miss hearing the cheers of the crowd, it was just that the lack of spectators at these Olympic Games allowed him to pick on other things while he competed.

While there may not have been any fans in the famed Nippon Budokan, it’s a safe bet plenty were watching — and cheering — from somewhere as Takato began what Japan hopes will be a gold rush at these games.

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