Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Start date, key events, Team GB chances & what to know

Tokyo 2020

It may be a year after we anticipated, but the Olympics are now just around the corner.

Tokyo 2020 will be a Games like no other. Numerous restrictions will be in place throughout the competition as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nonetheless, with over 300 medals events due to take place, the stage is set for an action-packed, exhilarating summer.

Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s Games:

Where are the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games happening?

This year’s Olympics will take place in Tokyo, Japan. The hosts beat out Turkey and Spain to stage the Games for a second time, with the Asian city preferred to both Istanbul and Madrid.

Japan boasts a number of impressive sporting venues and has spent an extensive sum of money (over 100 billion yen) on renovation for both the Games and the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The Tokyo National Stadium will be the centrepiece for the Games, with 42 venues set to be used in total.

Tokyo

When are the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games?

The official Opening Ceremony will take place at the Tokyo Stadium on Friday 23rd July. However, some events are actually scheduled to start before then, including baseball and football.

Team GB's first women’s football match against Chile is on Wednesday 21st July at the Sapporo Dome.

The Games will run until Sunday 8th August, with the Closing Ceremony happening later that day.

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How can I watch the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games?

All the biggest moments from the Games will be available to watch on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and the BBC Sport website and app.

Tokyo is eight hours ahead of the UK meaning the majority of the action will take place during the middle of the night and the early hours of the morning.


Will there be fans at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games?

There will be no fans in Tokyo this year. Originally, 10,000 fans were set to be admitted to events, while foreign fans were banned back in March.

Last week, however, the Japanese government declared a new state of emergency with rising COVID-19 cases across Tokyo.

Seiko Hashimoto, the Tokyo 2020 President, outlined the decision to ban supporters in a news conference:

“The priority will be to determine a safe and secure Games.We wanted a full stadium so community people could get involved in welcoming the athletes so we could have a full presentation of the power of sports," she added.

"However, now faced with COVID-19 we have no other choice but to hold the Games in a limited way."

There is still a chance, though, that some fans may be able to attend events held outside of Tokyo, particularly in areas that are not in a state of emergency.


How many events are there at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games?

This year’s Olympics will feature 339 medal opportunities across 33 different sports.

GiveMeSport Women will cover all of the biggest news throughout the Games in our daily Olympic Digest, but for particular focus on the biggest events, see below:

21st July - 7th August: Women’s football
24th July - 1st August: Women’s tennis
30th July - 8th August: Athletics
24th July - 3rd August: Artistic gymnastics
24th July - 8th August: Women’s boxing


When is the 100 metre final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games?

The 100 metres remains the most prestigious sprinting race at elite level and is among the highest-profile events at the Olympics.

Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson is the reigning champion, having stormed to a 100m and 200m double at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith will hope to be in contention this year, though she may fancy her chances more in the 200m. There is stiff competition from the likes of world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce over the shorter distance.

The women’s final is scheduled to take place at 13:50 BST on Saturday 31st July.


Who are Britain’s main hopefuls at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games?

Dina Asher-Smith (Athletics -100m and 200m)

Asher-Smith has a 100m silver and 200m gold from the 2019 World Championships and has a very realistic chance of picking up at least some silverware in Tokyo.

There is reason to argue the postponement of this year’s Games may have hampered her chances, but the sprinter has spent the last year doing strength work and appears to be getting even faster.

Holly Bradshaw (Athletics - Pole Vault)

Holly Bradshaw is a pole vault specialist who currently holds the British record both indoors and outdoors with clearances of 4.87 metres and 4.90 metres respectively.

Winner of the 2018 Athletics World Cup, Bradshaw will be right in contention if she can replicate what she achieved at the British Championships.

Laura Muir (Athletics - 1500m)

Having competed in four World Championship 1500m finals and the last Olympic final as well, this could finally be Muir’s year.

In Doha in 2019, the Scot ran her third-fastest 1500m time ever, which would have been enough to clinch any Olympic final this century. Notably, it was also two seconds quicker than Kelly Holmes’ gold medal-winning time in 2004.

Caroline Dubois (Boxing)

The 20-year-old is the sister of British professional heavyweight boxer Daniel and is just as talented.

Dubois is a four-time European Youth champion, World Youth champion and Youth Olympic champion.

The boxer was also named the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2019.

Laura Kenny (Cycling)

Kenny already has four Olympic gold medals to her name and just one more would see her become the most decorated British female Olympian.

There were question marks over the cyclist's inclusion at the Games after she broke her shoulder and arm at last year’s World Championships, but her return to competition speaks volumes about her desire to add to her medal haul.

Sky Brown (Skateboarding)

There are no age restrictions on competitors this year, so 13-year-old Sky Brown will be Britain’s youngest Olympic hopeful.

Having come third at the 2019 World Skateboarding Championship, all eyes will be on the youngster as she bids to make history in Tokyo this summer.


Are there any new sports at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games?

Baseball and softball featured at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and are back again this year, while karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing are all making their Olympic debuts.

There are new mixed team events in athletics, archery, judo, shooting, swimming, table tennis and triathlon.

BMX freestyle and 3x3 basketball are also new disciplines across both sports.


Who are the main athletes to watch out for at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games?

Simone Biles (Gymnastics)

Biles is the most decorated gymnast in history with 30 Olympic and World Championship medals.

As she competes in her second Games, the 24-year-old is vying to become the first woman in 53 years to defend an Olympic all-around title and be the oldest winner in the event's history.

simone

Katie Ledecky (Swimming)

A five-time Olympic gold medallist, Ledecky has become almost impossible to beat in the pool.

As the current world record holder in the 400, 800 and 1,500-metre freestyle events, the American will be the favourite to add to her already impressive medal tally.

Allyson Felix (Athletics - 400m)

Felix will try for her 10th Olympic medal at this year’s Games in the 400m and will also race the 4x400-metre relay.

At 35 years old, this will likely be her last Olympics, but expect her to bow out in style.

Naomi Osaka (Tennis)

The world number two withdrew from the French Open and Wimbledon for mental health reasons but is scheduled to play in Tokyo.

The Japanese star will not have the benefit of a home crowd to cheer her on, but she is a hard court specialist, having won four Grand Slams on the surface.

The only question will be her lack of match practice, given her significant time away from the game.

naomi

Megan Rapinoe (Football)

The football legend has won virtually every honour possible already, including an Olympic gold medal in 2012.

The US are heavily favoured to win another Olympic title in Tokyo and Rapinoe will no doubt be an integral part of the side in what could prove to be her final major tournament.

Laurel Hubbard (Weightlifting)

Hubbard will be the first openly transgender athlete to compete in the Olympic Games despite controversy over her inclusion.

Ranked seventh in the women’s +87 kilogram division, she won the gold medal in this event at the Roma 2020 World Cup in Italy.

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