The rearranged Tokyo Olympics got under way on Wednesday with women’s football and softball action in Fukushima.
Coronavirus continues to cast a shadow over the Games, postponed by 12 months to this summer, and the opening softball games that were supposed to provide a boost to Fukushima a decade after its catastrophic tsunami and nuclear disaster were played in an empty arena.
But it was a winning start nonetheless for defending champions Japan, who emerged 8-1 victors over Australia as softball made its Olympic return for the first time since Beijing 2008.
Picture of the day
What happened today
The story of the day came in Tokyo, where USA’s 44-match unbeaten run was brilliantly ended by Sweden. In Britain’s group, Japan missed a penalty but scored a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Canada, while Vivianne Miedema scored four times in Holland’s 10-3 victory over Zambia.
Japan defeated the USA to win softball gold in Beijing 13 years ago, and the US also made a winning start on Wednesday with a 2-0 victory over Italy while Canada defeated Mexico.
Social media moment
— Olympics (@Olympics) July 21, 2021
Coming up tomorrow
The men’s football tournament begins, with reigning champions Brazil taking on Germany in the evening match in Yokohama. Japan face South Africa in Tokyo while Argentina, Ivory Coast, France and Spain are also in action.
The softball continues in Fukushima, with Japan looking for another big win over Mexico, while USA face Canada and Australia take on Italy.