• Kyodo

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The Australian national softball team is set to arrive in Japan next week to hold a pre-Olympic training camp northwest of Tokyo, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.

The team, which plans to hold its training camp from June 1 in Ota, Gunma Prefecture, will be the first group of athletes from overseas to arrive in Japan for the Tokyo Olympics following its postponement last year, the sources said.

According to city officials, the group will be comprised of around 30 athletes and staff, all of whom will be vaccinated against the coronavirus before coming to Japan.

To prevent the potential spread of the virus, the city plans to test all members of group for COVID-19 on a daily basis, as well as limit their movement to accommodation and training sites.

The Tokyo Olympics will mark the first time since the 2008 event in Beijing that softball will feature in the games, after it was removed from the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.

Japan, which won the gold medal for softball at the Beijing Olympics, will play against Australia in the opening round at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium on July 21, two days before the commencement of the Tokyo Games.

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