Tokyo 2020: what you need to know

It has been a bumpy road on the approach to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, with the games postponed for 12 months due to the coronavirus outbreak. It had been feared the event would be first postponed and then cancelled, but organisers have the green light to get the show on the road.

Everything is in place for the games to begin with the athletes settled in, the schedule confirmed and the TV coverage in place. The world’s leading bookmakers have even played their part to help spice up the action. Olympics betting markets are available today on your desktop computer or smartphone app. Gamblers can make their predictions on the most popular events, including football, swimming and athletics, then wager on the outcome.

Are you ready for Tokyo 2020? It may have been five years in the making and threatened multiple times by cancellation, but we are good to go, and sports fans can’t wait. Will Tokyo 2020 be worth the wait? You better believe it.

In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about Tokyo 2020. We provide you with all the important information to help you get the most from your viewing. There are details on the schedule, interesting snippets of information to impress your friends while watching the events live on TV and much more. Let’s get started?

Tokyo 2020 – details

This summer’s rearranged games slogan is United by Emotion, and that’s a true message following the difficult year we’ve all endured. Tokyo 2020 will open on 23 July with the closing ceremony bringing the curtain down on 8 August. In true 2021 fashion, the games will begin before the opening ceremony in a bid to ensure many of the team sports are played before the finish.

206 nations will be represented in Japan this summer, with over 11,000 athletes set to take part. There will be 33 sports with almost 340 events on the timetable. The main venue will be the Japan National Stadium, but the games will play out without fans in attendance. The current COVID-19 restrictions in Tokyo means supporters will be locked out, with mass public gatherings forbidden to take place.

That is a blow for all involved and will damage the chances of the Team Japan athletes, but followers can cheer on their favourites thanks to the live TV action. Events will be broadcast around the world, with millions watching every day. A strange atmosphere, of course, but it’s one we have come to expect in recent times, and one athletes will be prepared for.

Points of note

Tokyo 2020 heralds the return of baseball and softball to the Olympic schedule, and that will be a move welcomed by many sports followers. New sports will also be added to the schedule as organisers go for a youthful and urban appeal. You can expect to see 3×3 basketball and freestyle BMX appear on your listings. These additions come with the aim of helping to modernise the games and help them appeal to a new generation of followers. Will they have the desired effect? We’ll soon see.

Football is usually the first sport to be seen at an Olympics due to the volume of matches that need to be played, but Tokyo 2020 is different. The first sport to appear this summer will be softball, where Mexico make their competitive debut.

The opening day of the football schedule brings about some fascinating contests. The show begins with Honduras v Romania as the latter rejoin the play for the first time since 1964. Then we see a repeat of 2016 final when Brazil and Germany clash. There will be no interest for followers of Team GB who have, as usual, failed to enter a side. They put forward a team at London 2012, but the home nations struggle to agree on combining their players, so they choose not to bother.

The opening ceremony will begin at noon GMT on Friday 23 July, and the rumours are the event will be based on Japan’s love for technology. At the handover from Rio in 2016, we saw the Japanese prime minister appear dressed as Mario from the Nintendo games. Will there be a repeat performance? It’s unlikely.

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