Tokyo Olympics: The events to get in your diary as Games reach 50-day milestone

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There are now just 50 days to go until the Olympics get underway in Tokyo. A record number of female athletes will compete in the Japanese capital, with the Games set to be an exciting celebration of women’s sport.

With this in mind, GiveMeSport Women runs through the events we are most excited about and when to watch them.

100m final

On the evening of Saturday 31st July, the eight fastest women in the world will line up at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo to race for gold.

It is set to be an intriguing contest, one which could represent a changing of the guard in women’s sprinting. Three-time world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and reigning Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah will likely book a place in the final. But the Jamaicans are not the ones lighting up the track so far this season.

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Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith set a benchmark for her opponents at last month’s Diamond League meeting in Gateshead. In wet and windy conditions, she finished in 11.35 seconds. Although the winning time was nothing to write home about, Asher-Smith was triumphant against Fraser-Pryce and emerging talent Sha’Carri Richardson.

Since turning professional in 2019, America’s Richardson has put herself in with a strong chance of an Olympic medal. She is now looking likely to be Asher-Smith’s main rival in Tokyo.

The 21-year-old particularly impressed at the USATF Golden Games in May, clocking back-to-back times of 10.74 and 10.77 seconds in the 100m. She also ran a time of 10.72 last month, making her the sixth fastest woman in history.

Football gold-medal match

Twelve teams will contest the women’s football at Tokyo 2020. With places in the tournament limited, each nation had to overcome a difficult qualifying process to reach the Games. As a result, every side will be raring to go and very difficult to beat.

The event will culminate with the final at the Olympic Stadium on Friday 6th August. All eyes will be on who reaches the gold medal match.

Could it be the United States, already four-time winners of the tournament, or Japan, the hosts and 2011 World Cup champions? Team GB return to the contest after an appearance at London 2012, while 2016 runners-up Sweden are also set to feature. Surprisingly, Germany will not be there to defend their title.

One thing’s for sure, some of the best female footballers in the world will be on display in Tokyo. We can’t wait!

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Tennis tournament

Home favourite Naomi Osaka has thrown doubt on an appearance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after she withdrew from the French Open. The world number two pulled out of the Grand Slam following a furore around press duties, and suggested she may be absent from the court for some time.

Serena Williams, the most successful Olympian in tennis history alongside her sister Venus, has also declined to confirm her participation in Tokyo. A ban on international spectators means her daughter Olympia would be unable to attend the Games.

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Even if the tournament is missing some of the big names in tennis, it will still be worth watching. Competition is scheduled to run from July 24th to 31st, and will take place at Ariake Tennis Park.

The hard court surface would be of benefit to Osaka, who has won two Grand Slams at both the US Open and Australian Open. Japanese fans will be hoping she returns in time for the Olympics.

Otherwise, look out for the likes of reigning champion Monica Puig, Iga Świątek, Ashleigh Barty, Sofia Kenin, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitová, Aryna Sabalenka and Elina Svitolina. The field is packed with talent. 

Artistic Gymnastics

Ariake Gymnastics Centre will host the artistic gymnastics competition this summer, with the women’s events running from July 25th to August 3rd.

All eyes will be on Simone Biles, who will be looking to add to the four Olympic gold medals she earned at Rio 2016. The 24-year-old triumphed in the team, all-around, vault and floor exercise in the Brazilian city, also finishing third in the balance beam.

Fans won’t just be hoping for a medal haul. Biles has been working on a number of new moves for the Games, including the Yurchenko double pike. She pulled this move off at the US Classic last month, and will look to add it to her Olympic repertoire.

Biles’s performance at Tokyo 2020 could be groundbreaking, so should be essential watching.

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Skateboarding's debut

Skateboarding will be making its debut on the Olympic programme this summer, so if you’re after something new, this is the sport for you. The women’s street event will take place at Ariake Urban Sports Park on July 26th, with the women’s park at the same venue on August 4th.

Sky Brown, who looks set to become Team GB’s youngest ever summer Olympian, will compete in the park event. Despite being just 13-years-old when the Games come around, Brown will be considered a strong medal favourite.

In street, Brazillian Leticia Bufoni will be the favorite to win in Tokyo and add another gold medal to her collection. She is already a five-time street champion at the X Games, with her most recent victory coming in 2019. Both Brown and Bufoni will be incredible to watch.

Which Olympic event are you looking forward to most?

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