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It is the second day of Olympic competitors in Tokyo. Here is what it is best to know

Kelsey Jenkins #1 of Crew Canada high-fives teammates earlier than their recreation in opposition to Crew United States throughout the Softball Opening Spherical of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium on July 22. Yuichi Masuda/Getty Picture

The Olympics formally kick off Friday evening in Tokyo with the opening ceremony, however competitors on the pandemic-delayed Summer season Video games is already underway.

Here is what you want to know forward of the second day of occasions:

Covid retains coming: The challenges of holding one of many world’s most prestigious sporting competitions throughout a pandemic have by no means been extra clear. A number of athletes have seen their desires dashed after testing constructive both of their house nations or upon arrival in Japan. Dozens of instances in Japan have been tied to the Video games.

With a bit greater than 24 hours to go till the opening ceremony, organizers proceed to exude confidence the Olympics will be held efficiently with the protection measures in place.

Nonetheless, issues look remarkably completely different than years previous. The practically empty stadiums through which athletes are competing are a continuing visible reminder of the pandemic’s toll. Tomorrow’s festivities might look much more barren. Organizers stated solely 950 VIPs will attend the opening ceremony, held in a stadium with 68,000 seats.

Japan’s prime Olympic official didn’t rule out a last-minute cancellation, however issues look like going forward as deliberate.

“The world wants now greater than ever a celebration of hope,” World Well being Group Director Normal Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated in a speech in Tokyo forward of the Video games. “The celebrations could also be extra muted this yr, however the message of hope is all of the extra necessary.”

Activist athletes: 5 ladies’s soccer groups protested in opposition to racism forward of their opening matches: Nice Britain, Chile, the US, Sweden and New Zealand. Australia’s staff remained standing with their arms locked collectively and posed for a pre-game photograph with the nation’s Indigenous flag.

Swedish defender Amanda Ilestedt stated after the match they had been standing up for human rights.

Softball, soccer and capturing: The schedule at this time is lighter than a standard Olympic day, however listed below are among the highlights:

  • The highest-seeded US softball staff takes on Canada, which is ranked third
  • Males’s soccer begins with eight matches within the afternoon and night Japan time
  • Official capturing coaching will happen on the Asaka Capturing Vary.
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