Tokyo 2020 digest: Maguire and Meadow pleased with starts in golf

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Ireland’s Leona Maguire on the 11th tee during the women’s golf at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

It's been a quiet night for Team Ireland in Tokyo with only the women's golf featuring Irish competitors. On a tough set-up in Tokyo, Leona Maguire was happy enough with her opening round of level par 71, leaving her five shots behind leader Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden. Stephanie Meadow was three over par with five to play and struggling on day one but she rallied to birdie the 16th and 17th for a 72 which leaves her six off the lead. Speaking to Johnny Watterson after her round, Maguire said "this week you're part of something bigger than yourself. You saw that with the lads, with Shane and Rory. Rory in particular I think didn't realise it until he was here and you are chatting to other athletes and cheering for them and they want to see you do well." Tanya Watson is currently diving in the preliminaries of the women's 10m platform while Bertram Allen, Darragh Kenny and Cian O'Connor will go in the individual showjumping final at 11am. Keep up to date on all of the Irish action with our daily round-up.

Maguire and Meadow are both aiming to add to Ireland's medal haul which currently stands at four after Kellie Harrington guaranteed at least bronze yesterday and the Dublin boxer is fully focused on changing that colour to gold by Sunday morning. Speaking yesterday Harrington said "I know I give off the impression that I'm hard. I am a hard faced B. I am very emotional deep down inside. Times like this make me cry. That wasn't my best today but again, it's very hard when you're up against a tricky opponent to get the best out of you. So yeah, medals are medals. If I hadn't gotten one I'd have been very upset." Meanwhile, it was a historic day on the track in Tokyo yesterday as Karsten Warholm smashed the 400m hurdles record and Ian O'Riordan writes in his Olympics letter this morning that the day had him thinking of Con Houlihan. This morning there was more 400m hurdles drama on the track as the USA's Sydney McLaughlin powered home to victory and a world record of her own. Meanwhile, Belarus sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who refused to go home from Tokyo, has boarded a flight to Vienna after she had initially sought refuge at the Polish embassy.

Moving to GAA and Darragh Ó Sé writes that one of the best things Mayo can do against Dublin is to put Evan Comerford under pressure. The goalkeeper has come in and stepped up to the mark with little fuss this year in the absence of Stephen Cluxton and while Ó Sé reckons he could even All-Star this year, he thinks Mayo could find some joy in pressuring him. After their exit at the hands of Waterford at the weekend, Tipperary hurling may well be set for a changing of the guard and Seán Moran writes this morning that, if that is the case, they will have done the county some service.

On to rugby and Warren Gatland says his Lions team will be looking to keep the tempo up during this weekend's final Test and avoid the mind-numbing 60-minute plus halves seen last week. "We need to make sure we can't have 60-odd minute halves. It's important that we keep the flow of the game, and as much from a spectator point of view. We want to see some great rugby played at the weekend," he said yesterday. Bundee Aki will start in Saturday's match and yesterday he spoke of his delight at the news that he will make his Test debut for the tourists.