Tokyo 2020 Olympics: final countdown plus men’s football kicks off – live!
Although the opening ceremony is tomorrow, there is already a few things going on in Japan. In addition to the football, the softball is well under way.
Hosts Japan earned an extra-innings victory against Mexico on their ace’s 39th birthday and the second day of softball at the Tokyo Games, joining United States at 2-0 in the standings. Australia later on Thursday defeated Italy, who dropped to 0-2 and have yet to score a run in the tournament.
Mexico twice tied Japan, including in the seventh inning when a dropped ball by Japan’s center fielder let in a run and kept their ace Yukiko Ueno from a complete game and second-straight winning start. Japan reliever Miu Goto escaped loaded bases in the top of the eighth, leaving her team mate Mana Atsumi to drive in Eri Yamada, who started at second base under extra-innings rules, for a 3-2 walkoff win. Goto said wanting to deliver Ueno a birthday win helped in shutting down Mexico, and slugger Yamato Fujita described a homer she hit as a present for Ueno.
There is a shedload of stuff for you to read today, as the Olympics are very nearly upon.
Russia are here (sort of)
Japan’s great hopes.
There are eight games of football happening today in Japan as the men’s competition gets going. There are a decent amount of players who appeared at the Euros in Spain’s squad, which shows it is being taken very seriously by some, even those many nations have ignored it down the years.
Elsewhere eyes will be on Covid, with the number of athletes testing positive increasing by the day, causing plenty of concern for organisers who are ploughing on regardless. The opening ceremony takes place on Friday, so the hosts will be hoping for no more controversy or high-profile dropouts.