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
Tokyo 2020: GB pole vaulter takes a whack
Team GB pole vaulter Harry Coppell has posted some footage of him looking impressive as he gets some last-minute training in ahead of Tokyo… that was until he clipped the bar on an attempt and felt the full force of it as it fell and whacked him in the face.
As Harry says, here’s hoping the Olympic Games bubble in Tokyo has a good dentist!
Jamie Braidwood21 July 2021 16:26
Team USA chiropractor apologises for Covid-Nazi post
A chiropractor for the US wrestling team has apologised after comparing the Covid-19 protocols in place at the Tokyo Olympics to Nazi Germany.
Rosie Gallegos-Main made a post on Facebook and Instagram which read: “We went from ‘Flattening the curve in 14 days’ to ‘Going door-to-door to see your papers’ … Gotta admit, I did N-A-Z-I that one coming.” Gallegos-Main later deleted the post.
“I will never use this word again in any form that does not have a proper foundation for its usage, such as in a history lesson or in educating people about the past,” she said.
“I’m deeply saddened by this and wish to apologize for my poor judgment and my choice to share this message. I am also sorry that this may have been a distraction for the delegation which should be focused on supporting our athletes to the best of our ability.”
Jamie Braidwood21 July 2021 15:18
Tokyo 2020: First lady Jill Biden to attend opening ceremony
The first lady of the United States Jill Biden will lead an American delegation to the Olympic Games in Tokyo and will attend the opening ceremony on Friday, the White House has said.
Press secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden will be in Tokyo for 48 hours and will cheer on US athletes competing in several events following meetings with Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga.
US president Joe Biden will not be attending the Games.
The US team have also announced that basketball player Sue Bird and baseball player Eddy Alvarez will be the country’s flag bearers at Friday’s opening ceremony.
Jamie Braidwood21 July 2021 15:00
Team GB chief admits Olympics ‘won’t be an easy ride’
Mark England, Team GB’s chef de mission, also insisted that any British athlete who has to self-isolate following their arrival in Japan will be able to compete if they produce negative Covid tests.
“My message is that Team GB has almost 800 athletes and support staff in the country,” England said. “The athletes are fit, well and healthy. No one in Team GB has tested positive so there should be huge confidence in our Covid mitigating measures. We want everyone back home to buckle up.
“It won’t be an easy ride but it’ll be exciting and fun and there’ll be some memories I’m sure will live long. I’d be pretty confident in 19 days’ time we’ll be celebrating a very very successful campaign for Team GB.”
It has been reported that as few as 30 Team GB athletes will attend Friday’s opening ceremony due to Covid-19 concerns.
Jamie Braidwood21 July 2021 14:42
Tokyo 2020: Women’s football round up after day one
Hosts Japan salvaged a point against Canada in their opening game of the women’s football tournament, as Mana Iwabuchi scored a 84th-minute equaliser to cancel out Christine Sinclair’s early strike.
Japan play Team GB in their next match on 24 July, who have taken an early lead in Group E.
Sam Kerr was on the scoresheet as Australia began their campaign with a 2-1 win over rivals New Zealand. The Chelsea striker scored the Matildas second goal in the 33rd minute after Tameka Yallop had opened the scoring, before the Ferns pulled one back late on.
The win moves Australia level with Sweden in Group G after they defeated the USA 3-0 in the opening game.
In Group F, Netherlands reached double figures as they thrashed Zambia 10-3. Arsenal striker Vivienne Miedema scored four times while Zambia captain Barbra Banda scored a hat-trick.
Brazil defeated China 5-0 in the other match in that group.
Jamie Braidwood21 July 2021 14:17
Tokyo 2020: Every athlete that has tested positive for Covid-19 so far at Olympics
Covid-19 has already made an early impact on athletes at the Olympics with several participants across a number of sports ruled out of competiting in Tokyo due to positive tests.
Here are the athletes who have tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of Tokyo 2020:
Jamie Braidwood21 July 2021 14:00
Marta makes Olympic history in Brazil’s win
Brazil’s Marta became the first footballer to score in five consecutive Olympic Games as her country defeated China 5-0.
The 35-year-old scored twice in the win, which also saw team-mate Formiga become the first women’s football player to compete in seven Olympic Games.
Formiga, 43, has played in every tournament since women’s football was introduced at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Marta is also the only footballer to score in five World Cups.
Jamie Braidwood21 July 2021 13:48
Team GB ‘make a statement’ in opening win against Chile
Hege Riise was delighted with her side’s performance as Great Britain opened the Olympic Games with a 2-0 win over Chile in the women’s football tournament.
Ellen White grabbed a brace to secure the win but there were encouraging performances all over the pitch as Team GB played their first competitive fixture in nine years.
“I think how we started the game was exceptional,” head coach Riise said. The first 30 minutes was the best we’ve played and we kept it going. It wasn’t pretty for the whole game but fought and managed to get the win that we deserved and we wanted.
“We have been waiting for this game for a long time and were so eager to get started. You can see the energy on the field.
“Getting a good start, getting a win, keeping them away from our goal and scoring two goals, that’s a statement for the next games coming up.”
Jamie Braidwood21 July 2021 13:30
‘We got our asses kicked’ – Rapinoe reacts to USA defeat
Megan Rapinoe said there were no excuses after her USA side were comprehensively defeated 3-0 by Sweden in their opening game of the Tokyo Olympics.
The world champions come into the Olympic tournament on the back of a 44-game winning streak but that was shattered by a dominant display from the Swedes in Tokyo.
“We got our asses kicked, didn’t we?” Rapinoe, who was a second half substitute, said. “I think we were a little tight, just a little nervous. Just doing dumb stuff like not passing the ball, not tapping the ball.
“I don’t think we played a very good game and that’s to take nothing away from Sweden, I think they played a great game.
“They found a lot of space in our shape and were able to be very clinical when they got in for the goal and did very well taking their chances. Sometimes I feel like, if ever we lose or tie or anyone gives us a game, it’s unbelievable and that’s really kind of offensive to every other team.
“This is the highest level and these are the best teams in the world, Sweden being one of the best teams ever, certainly in Europe, so if we don’t play well, game in, game out, we’re not going to win these games.”
Jamie Braidwood21 July 2021 13:21