After the Women’s tournament kicked off football at the 2020 Olympics on Wednesday - Team GB picking up an impressive victory - the Men’s event has followed suit on Thursday with Mexico and New Zealand among the early winners.
Brazil served notice of their intent - and more importantly their ability - to retain the Olympic Gold medal in men’s football with an impressive 4-2 victory over Germany on Thursday.
Five years ago in Rio, these two sides met in the final and it took a penalty shootout to separate them; here in Yokohama there was an absolute gulf between them in terms of quality, despite the scoreline somehow looking as though it was a reasonably close affair. And while it is only the first match of six if Brazil plan to go all the way once more and emulate Neymar, Marquinhos and Co, there were few flaws on show - outside of errant finishing - to give an indication of how rivals could upset them, even factoring in conceding twice.
Follow all the reaction to Brazil against Germany and the latest Olympics news from Tokyo 2020 below:
Dina Asher-Smith hails England footballers for showing ‘moral leadership’
Dina Asher-Smith has hailed Marcus Rashford and the rest of the England football team’s “moral leadership” in the fight against racial inequality, and believes Olympic organisers would be “shooting themselves in the foot” by punishing athletes who use the platform of Tokyo 2020 to protest against racism.
Asher-Smith will be one of Great Britain’s strongest medal hopes when she takes to the track for the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay at the rearranged Olympics, which officially open with the Games’ opening ceremony on Friday.
“I think what Marcus and all the other players have been doing is fantastic,” she said, speaking to the media from Team GB’s base at the Olympic Village. “It made me so proud to watch them and see how they conducted themselves.
Lawrence Ostlere reports.
The Olympic Games has loosened its rules on protesting but still prevents athletes from taking a stand against issues like racism on podiums, something Team GB’s biggest track star says is impossible to enforce
Google Doodle launches series of games around Tokyo Olympics
With the Olympics set to be officially opened in Tokyo, Google is launching an interactive series of Doodle games based on events there over the next two weeks, writes Graeme Massie.
The Doodle, which is called Doodle Champion Island Games, has seven mini-games created by Japanese animation company Studio 4°C. Users can take part in the Olympic event-themed 16-bit games and contribute their scores to one of four teams, which will be tracked by Google.
Japanese animation company Studio 4°C designed the 16-bit games
Skippy, inflatable kangaroo, an Australia softball fixture
Skippy is getting an up-close view of the Olympics that fans aren’t getting to see.
A 3-foot tall yellow inflatable kangaroo with green paws has been a fixture at Australia’s softball games. He has a seat in the dugout and even accompanied coach Laing Harrow, pitcher Kaia Parnaby and left fielder Jade Wall to the postgame news conference after Thursday’s 1-0 victory over Italy.
“He loves to entertain, loves coming to the games. Everywhere we go he seems to be a fan favorite with the locals and it puts a smile on their face,” Wall said. “We want to bring entertainment on the field, and he’s got the enterainment off the field for us.”
“Skippy the Bush Kangaroo” was an Australian television series that aired from 1968-70 about a young boy and his brainy pet, and it was followed by the movie “Skippy and The Intruders.”
“They’re very special back home for us as Australians,” Wall said, “so to bring him on all of those trips, I know he gets a buzz out of it. We love him.” - ap
How London 2012’s Olympic opening ceremony found meaning in a divided nation
The Olympic opening ceremony in Japan will be sobering. Covid-19 has put a dampener on the excitement that usually accompanies the quadrennial festival of sport, writes Tony Evans.
“It is in stark contrast to the intoxicating mood that surrounded London’s prelude to the Games nine years ago. Danny Boyle’s Isles of Wonder show seemed to capture the essence of a nation. The rest of the planet looked on approvingly. ‘Britain presented itself to the world as something it has often struggled to express even to itself,’ The New York Times said. ‘A nation secure in its own post-empire identity, whatever that actually is’.”
The intoxicating mood that surrounded London’s prelude to the Games is far removed from Tokyo’s ‘sobering’ reality
Olympians to follow on social media
With the games are getting into full swing athletes from around the world are posting their Ws and Ls on social media along with the high and lows of the Olympic Games.
A list of the 50 most active on social media compiled by the Associated Press will keep spectators up to date with the best of the behind the scenes drama of the games.
- Brady Ellison, United States: Three-time Olympic medalist nicknamed “The Arizona Cowboy.”
- Ana Paula Vázquez, Mexico: Young archer who began her career using the compound bow, but who has since switched to the recurve bow.
- Mete Gazoz, Turkey: Named the 2018 Male Recurve Athlete of the Year and Breakthrough Athlete of the Year by World Archery.
- Viktor Axelsen, Denmark: Bronze medalist at the 2016 Olympics.
- Bakhodir Jalolov, Uzbekistan: Carried the country’s flag at the 2016 Olympics.
- Jessica Springsteen, United States: Daughter of rock star Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa.
- C.A. Bhavani Devi, India: Became India’s first Olympic fencer in sabre.
- Yahia Omar, Egypt: His father also played on the Egyptian national team.
- Seonaid McIntosh, Britain: Continued her family’s tradition of competing in shooting, despite suffering from arthritis.
- Monica Abbott, United States: Named MVP of the Japan Women’s Softball League five times.
- Stephanie Gilmore, Australia: Seven-time World Surfing League World Tour champion.
TRACK AND FIELD
- Sydney McLaughlin, United States: Holds the women’s 400-meter hurdled world record.
- Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Jamaica: Two-time Olympic gold medalist.
- Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Norway: Pacemaker for Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-2 hour marathon.
- Dina Asher-Smith, Britain: Won a gold medal in the women’s 200 meters at the 2019 world championships.
- Noah Lyles, United States: Won gold medal in the 200 meters at the 2019 world championships.
- Johannes Vetter, Germany: Won gold medal in the javelin at the 2017 world championships.
- Mutaz Essa Barshim, Qatar: High jumper named the 2017 IAAF Male Athlete of the Year.
- Katerina Stefanidi, Greece: Pole vaulter who won Olympic gold medal in 2016.
- Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, France: Three-time medalist in the 60-meter hurdles at the World Indoors.
- Malaika Mihambo, Germany: German-Tanzanian long jumper and sprinter.
- Ryan Crouser, United States: Shot put gold medalist at the 2016 Games.
- Akani Simbine, South Africa: Won a gold medal in the 100 meters at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
- Kendra Harrison, United States: Broke the world record for the women’s 100-meter hurdles in 2016.
- Femke Bol, Netherlands: Competes in the 400 meters and the 400-meter hurdles.
- Anita Włodarczyk, Poland: Two-time Olympic gold medalist in the hammer throw.
- Ajeé Wilson, United States: Pennsylvania native who specializes in the 800 meters.
- Léa Sprunger, Switzerland: Competes in the 200 meters and the 400-meter hurdles.
- Anthony Zambrano, Colombia: Won a silver medal in the 400 meters at the 2019 world championships.
- Thomas Barr, Ireland: Finished fourth in the the 400-meter hurdles at the 2016 Olympics.
- Yomif Kejelcha, Ethiopia: Holds the indoor world record for the mile.
- Lukas Weißhaidinger, Austria: Won a bronze medal in the discus at the 2019 world championships.
Gaffes and mis-steps have overshadowed Tokyo Olympic preparations
It all began so well. Back in 2013 in Buenos Aires, Tokyo was selected as the host city for the Olympic Games in 2020, the second time the city was to host the summer Games since its first hosting in 1964. And yet it wasn’t long before the Tokyo Games began to miss a stride, writes John Amari.
“A public backlash in 2015 due to skyrocketing costs and a clash between the original design of the Olympic stadium and its surroundings led to an embarrassing swivel: British architect Zaha Hadid’s winning bid was scrapped in July and replaced by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma’s new creation.”
And the mis-steps kept coming:
From a controversy over the designs of the Olympic stadium to the latest resignation of the opening ceremony’s creative director, the Tokyo Games have been dogged by misfortune.
When is Adam Peaty competing in swimming for Team GB?
The favourite to win the men’s 100m breaststroke, Adam Peaty, is looking to become a double Olympic winner at Tokyo 2020 this summer.
Great Britain’s leading light in swimming events will be hoping for multiple medals in Japan, starting with retaining the gold medal he won in Rio five years ago - breaking his own world record along the way.
If that alone wasn’t enough to establish him as the dominant force in the event, he also holds 19 of the 20 fastest-ever times in the 100m breaststroke - he’s the clear front-runner heading into the pool in Japan.
Karl Matchett has everything you need to know about when to watch Adam Peaty in action at the 2020 Olympics.
Great Britain’s star of the swimming pool is looking to add to his vast medal haul
Japan PM gives commentary on Trump vs Biden ahead of Opening Ceremony
The host country’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, spoke to the Games’ US host network NBC to discuss the different styles of Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
The crux; Trump is an individualist while Biden focuses on the group. A rather standard observation of right vs left wing politics.
"is a president who tries to build a consensus among allies and like-minded countries in order to advance policies," he told NBC News.
"It’s a different kind of political method.”
What is Jill Biden’s schedule in Japan?
The First Lady will meet the Prime Minister in Japan, representing the US at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Ms Biden arrived on Thursday and will be in the city for 48 hours before returning after the Opening Ceremony.
One of her first events is dinner with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and wife Mariko Suga at Akasaka Palace. She returns to the Palace on Friday to be hosted by the prime minister’s wife.
The tour will include a video conference with Team USA, which makes it a long flight for a Zoom call. Also on the agenda is a meeting with the Japanese Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace.
She’ll close out Friday night at the opening ceremony for the Games.
On Saturday, she’ll “dedicate” a room in the US chief of mission’s residence to a deceased Senator and his wife, while also hosting a watch party for the US vs Mexico softball game at the US Embassy.
While she had a layover in Alaska on the way to Japan she is expected to stop into Hawaii on the way home, according to the AP.
Guinea now competing after reversing decision to pull out of Olympics
The number of countries at this year’s games just increased by one after Guinea walked back its plan to stay on the side-lines due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The country’s Minister of Sports, Sanoussy Bantama Sow, announced the decision on Thursday after international outcry at their absence.
Guinea had only just announced its cancellation on Wednesday, so Thursday’s flip-flop gets them back in before the Opening Ceremony (but after official competition began earlier this week).
“After obtaining guarantees from the health authorities, agrees to the participation of our athletes in the 32nd Olympics in Tokyo,” Bantama Sow said in a statement, according to the AP.
That allows the country’s five athletes return to the games in wrestling, swimming, judo, and the 100-metre sprint.
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