Tokyo Olympics news LIVE: All the latest as Team GB’s women’s football beat Chile two days before the opening ceremony, while more athletes are ruled out of the Games because of Covid
After a year-long delay, the Tokyo Olympics is finally here with the Olympic Ceremony set to take place on Friday.
The competition had been due to take place last summer but was pushed back by 12 months due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
The Games will be like none other seen in the past, with fans prohibited from the venues with Tokyo under a fourth state of emergency, while head of the organising committee Toshiro Muto has still not ruled out a last-minute cancellation.
Nonetheless, with fans absent it’s the athletes that will take centre stage. And though the Opening Ceremony is not until Friday, the action has already started with a number of disciplines getting underway on Wednesday, including Team GB‘s women’s football team.
With the Olympics taking place in Japan, a large proportion of the action will take place between midnight and 3pm BST for UK viewers.
But not to worry, as Sportsmail will keep you up-to-date with all the latest news and updates right through until the closing ceremony on August 8.
Seb Coe rails against ‘different standards’ with fans banned from Tokyo Olympics events due to Covid-19 despite thousands attending Euro 2020 matches – as he reinforces the Games are safe ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony in Japan
World Athletics president Seb Coe (inset) has criticised the double standards taking place regarding the return of spectators at big sporting events. The Euro 2020 semi-finals and final had 60,000 fans in attendance (left), Wimbledon operated half full and then operated with a capacity crowd for the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals. However, the delayed Tokyo Olympics, which finally got underway today, is being held behind closed doors (right).
Team GB claimed a stunning 27 gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics in what was their most successful Games since 1908 as they finished second in the medal table… but who are the British athletes defending their titles in Tokyo this year?
Team GB are looking to make their mark in Tokyo this summer on the back of a highly successful Games in Rio in 2016. They defied all prior expectation by claiming a staggering 67 medals – 27 of which were gold – as they finished behind only the United States in their most successful Games since 1908. Now, after a year-long delay due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the Olympics are set to return, with the Tokyo Olympics officially getting underway with the opening ceremony on Friday. A mass of uncertainty remains, with a recent survey published by the Asahi newspaper revealing that two-thirds of people in Japan do not believe the country can host a safe and secure Games. With such apprehension, it’s the athletes to will have to renew the excitement with their performances. And after such a successful Games last time out in Rio, Team GB will be looking for another historic tournament in Tokyo. Below, Sportsmail takes you through all the Team GB Olympians (such as Andy Murray, left, Laura and Jason Kenny top-right, Max Whitlock bottom-right, Adam Peaty (inset, bottom-right) looking to defend their titles this summer.
Kate Richardson-Walsh’s fractured jaw, Manteo Mitchell’s broken leg and Derek Redmond being helped over the finish line by his DAD… when extraordinary athletes pushed through the pain in pursuit of Olympic glory
Athletes are known for their ability to play through pain, but the Olympic Games have showcased some of the most extraordinary acts of courage over the years. Injuries in sports are inevitable but after four years of training for their one moment, Olympic athletes are unlikely to give up on their dream without a fight. Over the years, we’ve witnessed famous faces battle through everything from fractured jaws to broken legs and torn ligaments in order to achieve their goal.
‘Devastated’ world No 1 and shooting gold medal hope Amber Hill is OUT of the Olympics after testing positive for Covid just before setting off for Japan
MIKE KEEGAN IN TOKYO: Amber Hill, world number one and strong gold-medal hope in the shooting, is out of the Olympics after testing positive for Covid-19. The ‘devastated’ skeet specialist, 23, was found to be infected before she departed the UK for Japan. ‘There are no words to describe how I’m feeling right now,’ Windsor-born Hill, who was a finalist in Rio 2016, said. The news came less than a day after Hill posted an Instagram video showing a house decked out in British flags and good luck messages (right) in what she described as ‘the best send-off’. But her next Instagram update was the word ‘Broken’ on a black background (bottom right) after receiving news of the positive test.
Spanish Olympic swimmer condemns organisers for making her choose between achieving her dream or caring for her one-year-old because of their ban on children
Ona Carbonell, 31, captain of Spain’s synchronised swimming team, said she was forced to leave 11-month-old son Kai at home after Tokyo Olympics bosses refused to let him travel with her to the Games. Carbonell, a strong advocate of breastfeeding since giving birth in August last year, said she wanted to continue feeding her son during the competition but strict Covid rules meant Kai was unable to enter the Athletes’ Village with her. Instead, he would have been forced to stay at a hotel with father Pablo with Carbonell visiting them to feed – breaching the Covid-secure athlete’s bubble and potentially exposing her teammates to infection. In the end, Carbonell said she decided it was not worth the risk and left Kai at home – but urged other athletes to help bring attention to an issue ‘which is not yet normalized but should be.’
Meet the Litchfields! Yorkshire siblings Max and Joe are known as ‘the Brownlees of swimming’ and will be striving for similar success in Tokyo as they become the first brothers to represent Great Britain in the pool at an Olympics since 1952
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW by DAVID COVERDALE: Two brothers from West Yorkshire competing together at the same Olympics. Now where have we heard that one before? The sibling success of Leeds triathletes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee (bottom inset) has been one of the best British stories to come out of the last two Games. But with Jonny going it alone in Tokyo, the attention turns from the Brownlee brothers to the Litchfield lads – and Pontefract swimmers Max (left in main image) and Joe (right in main image) know they have a lot to live up to.
SIR ANDY MURRAY: For many athletes, Tokyo 2020 should have been the biggest moment of their sporting lives, but the pandemic means some are not even here at the Olympics. We now need sport to be a beacon of hope after so much misery
SIR ANDY MURRAY: The Olympics mean a huge amount to me and it’s a massive honour to be able to compete at a fourth Games in Tokyo. Leading Team GB at the opening ceremony in Rio was one of the highlights of my career and winning in 2012 on home ground was an incredible moment. Going to a second Olympics as defending champion is exciting and I am looking forward to the challenge. The Games are the biggest competition in the world and as athletes we train hard for moments like this.
US and Team GB women’s football teams take the knee before their opening Tokyo 2020 matches – but Olympic social media teams ‘are BANNED from showing it’
All players took part in the gesture prior to kick-off between four-time Olympic champions the US and Sweden in Tokyo, an hour after Team GB and Chile did likewise in Sapporo. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently relaxed the rules for protests at the Games, softening a long-standing ban on political protests at the global sporting event. But it was revealed today that the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organisers have forbidden their social media teams from sharing photos showing athletes taking the knee. No images of the gesture have been posted on the official Tokyo 2020 live blog or its social media pages, nor on the IOC’s platforms.
Team GB are off to a flyer! Hege Riise’s women’s football side beat Chile in their Group E opener at the Tokyo Olympics as Manchester City forward Ellen White scores a brace to seal comfortable victory
TEAM GB WOMEN 2-0 CHILE WOMEN – MIKE KEEGAN IN SAPPORO: Team GB has got talent. They knew it when they performed a variety show for kicks in the team hotel and they know it now after they opened their Olympic Games campaign with a comprehensive victory over Chile. Debuts are never easy. A training camp held in a Covid environment is not the norm and neither is a match before no fans in a stifling Sapporo dome. As captain Steph Houghton joked, smuggling a coffee into the camp has been an achievement on this most challenging of trips. To underline the point, on a press call to preview this match, manager Hege Riise was unceremoniously moved out of a café by a member of staff while speaking to journalists. But Riise, who herself won a gold medal with her native Norway in 2000, has high hopes for this group. And while they could have been more composed, more clinical, this was nothing other than a successful start. A brace of smart finishes from the lethal Ellen White, one in either half, did the trick. In reality, a dominant performance should have resulted in a wider margin.
First athletes quit Olympics due to Covid: Chilean taekwondo fighter and Dutch skateboarder test positive as number of cases linked to event reach 79 and WHO says virus risk at Games is ‘inevitable’
Fernanda Aguirre, a Chilean taekwondo fighter, (left) and Candy Jacobs, a Dutch skateboarder (right), are the first athletes forced to quit the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for Covid. Aguirre tested positive at Tokyo airport after arriving in the country from a training camp in Uzbekistan meaning she cannot compete in her event on Sunday, while Jacobs returned a positive test at Athletes’ Village and will miss her event on Monday. Three other athletes – two South African footballers and a Czech volleyball player – have also tested positive, but could technically compete once they have ended 10 days of isolation. It came as WHO chief Dr Tedros (top inset) said achieving zero Covid infections at the game was never a realistic prospect, even as organisers insist the showpiece event – which is due to kick off on Friday (main stadium, bottom inset) – will be safe.
Team GB athletes will produce a record low turnout for Olympic Games opening ceremony in Tokyo with just THIRTY choosing to attend over Covid fears… as a Chilean taekwondo player and Dutch skateboarder see their games ended after contracting virus
The Team GB delegation at the Opening Ceremony will only number around 30 – with concerned athletes choosing not to attend the showpiece event amid concerns over Covid-19. The development comes as Chilean taekwondo player Fernanda Aguirre and Dutch skateboarder Candy Jacobs were ruled out of the Games after testing positive for Covid-19. A record low turnout will walk behind the union flag on Friday night, at a show which will be broadcast to millions around the world. Officials had hoped around 50 athletes would take part, which would still represent a fraction of the usual 200 in non-pandemic times.
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