The first medals were awarded in the team finals, with the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) grabbing gold in both the women’s and men’s event.
Having finished second to the USA in 2016 and at the past two World Championships, the ROC women’s team seized the moment to claim their first Olympic team title in women’s artistic gymnastics. Angelina Melnikova, Lilia Akhaimova, Viktoriia Listunova and Vladislava Urazova combined for 169.528 points overall. The USA and Great Britain completed the podium in second and third, respectively.
"We worked extremely hard; we were basically in a closed training camp for a year and a half, working for this moment," Melnikova commented afterwards. "It was the first time that we were competing for gold, not for silver. The impossible is possible now."
The 21-year-old stepped on the podium two more times, winning bronze in the women’s all-around final and on floor.
The men’s team upset hosts Japan, who had to settle for silver, while China finished third. Nikita Nagornyy, Artur Dalaloyan, Denis Abliazin and David Belyavskiy performed their difficult routines to near-perfection, accumulating 262.500 points in total. It is the ROC’s second Olympic team gold in men’s artistic gymnastics, having previously won in Atlanta in 1996.
Abliazin followed the success up with a silver medal on vault, while Nagorny is leaving Tokyo with two additional bronze medals from the men’s all-around and horizontal bar finals.