Watch live as Tokyo Olympics president holds press conference
The Tokyo Olympics is under way with football and softball matches taking place today ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony. Japan got off to the perfect start by thrashing Australia in a softball match in Fukushima, before the expected overall medal-table toppers USA beat Italy.
Great Britain opened the women’s football competition with a comfortable 2-0 win over Chile in Sapporo. A double from striker Ellen White secured the win and there were plenty of positives for head coach Hege Riise as Team GB opened their tournament with three points. The first big shock of the Games came shortly afterwards as the reigning world champions USA were humbled 3-0 by Sweden in Tokyo, as their 44-game unbeaten run came to an end.
The Games remains on course although the head of the organising committee Toshiro Muto refused to completely rule out a last-minute cancellation amid ongoing concern surrounding Covid-19. “At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises.”
Meanwhile the American swimmer Becca Meyers has pulled out of the Paralympics because the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee won’t let her bring her mother to Tokyo as her personal care assistant. Follow all the latest news and updates below.
Tokyo 2020: Day one round-up
- The men’s football tournament kicks off, with Brazil taking on Germany in a repeat of the 2016 Olympic final at 12:30 pm BST.
- Japan, France, Spain and Argentina will also get underway. Here are eight stars to watch as the men’s tournament begins.
- The softball tournament continues with Japan taking on Mexico, USA playing Canada and Australia facing Italy.
Jamie Braidwood21 July 2021 16:00
Great Britain vs Chile: Predicted line-ups
Great Britain Women: Roebuck; Stokes, Houghton, Bright, Bronze; Ingle, Little; Hemp, Stanway, Kirby; White
Chile Women: Endler; Toro, Guerrero, Pardo, Lopez; Lara, Araya, Lopez, Zamora; Aedo, Urrutia
Jack Rathborn21 July 2021 07:29
Great Britain vs Chile: Odds
Jack Rathborn21 July 2021 07:29
Great Britain vs Chile: Prediction
Team GB to cruise to an opening win as they get back into tournament mode and build optimism over medal hopes. Great Britain 3-0 Chile
Jack Rathborn21 July 2021 07:29
Brownlee urges Games to go ahead: If not now, then when?
Briton Alistair Brownlee said the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics should go ahead after doubts were raised about a cancellation if COVID-19 cases spiked.
Tokyo 2020 organising committee chief Toshiro Muto said on Tuesday they did not rule out cancelling the Games if COVID-19 cases rose, as more athletes tested positive for the virus.
There have been 67 cases of COVID-19 infections in Japan among people accredited for the Games since July 1, despite strict entry measures.
“I think they should go ahead,” Brownlee, who won triathlon gold medals at London 2012 and Rio 2016, told the Guardian. “The timing is going to be difficult but it was always going to be difficult.
“‘If not now, when?’ is the argument I put forward to that. It provides a great opportunity to show that these events can get back to some sort of normality.”
Jack Rathborn21 July 2021 07:30
New Zealand to take the knee before women’s football opener
New Zealand’s women’s football team said they will take the knee before their opening match of the Tokyo Olympics against Australia on Wednesday at the Tokyo Stadium to raise awareness about greater racial equality in sport.
The act of taking the knee is a form of protest first made by American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick and followed by the Black Lives Matter movement.
The International Olympic Committee has relaxed its Rule 50, which had previously forbidden athletes from any protests but now allows them to make gestures on the field, provided they do so without disruption and with respect for fellow competitors.
“We are delighted that the IOC has made room for athletes to use their voices for good at the Olympic Games and are proud of our athletes for making a global stand for greater racial equality,” Rob Waddell, New Zealand’s Chef de Mission in Tokyo, said in a statement.
“We fully support athlete advocacy where the New Zealand Team values are upheld.”
Britain’s women’s soccer coach Hege Riise also said last week that her players will take the knee before matches at the Tokyo Games to raise awareness about racism and all forms of discrimination.
Jack Rathborn21 July 2021 07:31
Great Britain vs Chile: Team news
Team GB XI: Roebuck; Bronze, Houghton, Bright, Daly; Walsh, Little, Weir; Stanway, White, Hemp
Subs: Telford, Stokes, Ingle, Parris, Williamson, Scott, Toone.
Kirby, Charles, Wubben-Moy and MacIver are the four players who do not make the squad of 18.
Chile XI: Endler; N. Lopez, Pardo, Guerrero, Saez; Zamora, Y. Lopez, Araya, Lara; Urrutia, Aedo
Subs: Campos, Ramirez, Acuna, Balmaceda, Toro, Grez, Mardones.
Jack Rathborn21 July 2021 07:48
Kirby out through injury for Team GB
Fran Kirby misses out today with a knock.
Jack Rathborn21 July 2021 07:57
Tokyo Olympics: ‘Dealing with emotions will be crucial’ – Riise
Team GB have gold medal-winning experience in the shape of their head coach Hege Riise, who won gold with Norway at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
“The emotions of being in an Olympics are quite big and the games come so quickly so you don’t have the time to be too overwhelmed or happy. You just need to get going,” Riise said before today’s opening game against Chile.
“You need to have confidence that you are well prepared but also know not every game will be a great game, you might win on a day which isn’t great.
“You can prepare for something and it doesn’t happen so you need to be adaptable to whatever comes. We have to be prepared for that.”
Jamie Braidwood21 July 2021 08:09
Tokyo Olympics: The path ahead for Team GB
After today’s opener against Chile, Team GB have two other group stage fixtures against hosts Japan (24 July) and Canada (27 July).
Should they finish as one of the top two teams in the group, or as one of the top two -third place finishers, they will advance to the quarter-finals.
The quarter-finals take place on 30 July, the semi-finals on 2 August, before the gold medal match is on Friday 6 August.
Jamie Braidwood21 July 2021 08:20