Tokyo Olympics: A Games in a pandemic, new sports, British medal hopes and global stars to watch

The Tokyo Olympic Games are upon us. They look and feel different to any other Games of times gone by, but they are here. At last.

By having an unpredictable additional year of preparation under their belts, greater than 11,300 athletes from 207 nations will compete within the next handful of days, all vying to get hold of the medal they have labored such a long time for.

Once the Games were postponed in July 2021, organizers stated the Olympic flame “turn into the sunshine in the finish from the tunnel”. Using the Covid-19 pandemic still raging worldwide, that metaphorical tunnel continues to be traversed, but Friday’s opening ceremony provides a glimmer of this light.

“It is a moment of pleasure and relief when entering the stadium, a minute of pleasure particularly for that athletes because I understand how much they’re desiring this moment,” stated Worldwide Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.

“They can finally exist, they are able to love this particular moment under special conditions.”

An Olympics in a pandemic

Masks, quarantine, saliva tests. Make no mistake, they are an Olympic games unlike any other.

With Tokyo, japan inside a condition of emergency through the Olympic games following a spike in Covid-19 infections, the Games came under huge critique in the Japanese public, nearly all whom have stated they need the Olympic games to become cancelled or postponed again.

But safety factors are vital for that organizers, and big safeguards are now being taken, including holding the Games behind closed doorways without any fans, from either Japan or overseas, being allowed inside venues.

When it comes to athletes, they’re under strict limitations too. They have to put on a nose and mouth mask whatsoever occasions – except when eating, consuming, training, competing or sleeping – and minimize physical interaction with other people, and therefore are being tested for Covid-19 every single day.

But regrettably herpes has affected the Games already, before they’ve formally began.

On Friday, 19 new installments of Covid-19 were reported, getting the entire of cases associated with Games personnel to 106. There has been 11 positive cases among athletes in Tokyo, japan.

Six Team GB athletes have experienced to isolate within their rooms after being recognized as close contacts of somebody on their own flight who later tested positive for Covid-19.

US tennis player Coco Gauff needed to take out of her debut Games after testing positive before coming in Tokyo, japan, while Team GB’s Dan Evans and Johanna Konta and world number 1 shooter Amber Hill withdrew for the similar reason.

What’s new?

There will be a record 339 medal events held across 33 sports, with five new sports – and 34 new events in total – added to the Tokyo 2021 programme by the IOC. Some 48.8% of athletes competing at the Tokyo Olympics are women – a record figure.

The five new sports are karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, baseball/softball and surfing. Baseball and softball technically aren’t ‘new’ sports on the Olympic programme, but they haven’t been contested at a Games since Beijing 2008.

New events have been introduced to the boxing, canoe slalom, canoe sprint, cycling, rowing and swimming programmes, while there are new mixed-gender events including a 4x100m mixed medley relay in swimming and a mixed relay in triathlon.