A gymnastics legend is set to make her return, while Japan looks to the boxing ring to bust its gold slump as the Tokyo Games move into the final handful of days of competition.

Here are the key events to look out for on Day 11.

If you’re wondering where to watch the action in Japan, check your local TV listings or make use of this handy streaming guide from The Japan Times.

Boxing: Breaking the slump

After Team Japan could seemingly do no wrong in the first week of the Tokyo Games, the country has now gone three full days without a gold medal.

Sena Irie will be hoping to snap that streak on Tuesday when she gets in the ring with the Philippines’ Nesthy Petecio for the gold medal bout in the women’s featherweight class.

Irie, making her games debut, will be up against a more senior opponent who already has a pair of world championship medals to her name, including gold in 2019. In fact, that run to the top of the podium by Petecio included a quarterfinal triumph over Irie.

And while Irie is seeking an 18th gold medal for Japan at its home Games, Petecio will be looking to double the all-time gold medal count for the Philippines after weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz’s victory just last week gave the island nation its first taste of Olympic gold.

The bout gets underway at 1:05 p.m. at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Gymnastics: She’s back

One of the top stories of the Tokyo Olympics reaches a conclusion Tuesday night as Simone Biles returns to competition for the balance beam final.

The American superstar, in case you haven’t heard, dropped out of the women’s team final on July 27 citing her mental health and has since skipped the finals for the all-around, vault, uneven bars and floor exercise.

Simone Biles competes in the floor event during the women's qualification round on July 25. | AFP-JIJI
Simone Biles competes in the floor event during the women’s qualification round on July 25. | AFP-JIJI

That has sparked a broader discussion on the mental health of athletes, particularly as a result of the pandemic, and left many wondering whether Biles would ever perform in an Olympics again.

Biles took bronze in Rio in the beam and she’ll be up against a field that includes new all-around champion and teammate Sunisa Lee.

The competition gets underway at 5:50 p.m. and will be followed by the men’s horizontal bar, featuring all-around champion Daiki Hashimoto.

Soccer: Golden push

Only Spain stands in the way of an increasingly confident Japanese men’s soccer team and a place in the gold medal match. Not only would a win give manager Hajime Moriyasu’s side a chance to win the tournament on home soil, it would also guarantee the first men’s soccer medal for Japan since the 1968 Games.

While the Olympic tournament hardly approaches the level of importance given to the World Cup, there’s little doubt that Japan’s young players have gained a wealth of experience from the pressure of playing on a big stage, particularly after the team’s nail-biting win over New Zealand in the quarters.

Perhaps no player has had a bigger role in Japan’s success than Takefusa Kubo, 20, who has spent much of the past decade playing in Spain, first with Barcelona’s La Masia academy and now on loan from Real Madrid with La Liga’s Getafe.

The game gets underway at 8 p.m. after the other men’s semifinal, between Mexico and Brazil, which begins at 5 p.m.

Athletics: Fraser-Pryce vs. Thompson-Herah II

After Round 1 went to Elaine Thompson-Herah in the women’s 100-meter dash Saturday, the two Jamaican sprinting queens will renew their rivalry on the track Tuesday in the 200.

Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica during her semifinal in the women's 200-meter sprint on Monday. | REUTERS
Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica during her semifinal in the women’s 200-meter sprint on Monday. | REUTERS

In contrast to popular sentiment heading into the 100, Thompson-Herah would appear to have edge over her teammate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the 200, having qualified with the fastest time in the semifinals with 21.66, equaling a personal best.

Fraser-Pryce easily won her semifinal in 22.13 and will undoubtedly have a much faster run in her with the medals on the line.

The starting gun goes at 9:50 p.m.

Other finals on a busy day at the National Stadium include the women’s long jump and men’s 400 meter hurdles in the morning session and the women’s hammer throw, women’s 800 meters and the COVID-hit men’s pole vault in the evening.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.