• Reuters, AFP-JIJI, Staff Report

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Host nation Japan breathed a sigh of relief by winning the first event of the pandemic-postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics, crushing Australia 8-1 in a spectatorless softball game held against the backdrop of the lush hills of Fukushima.

"I feel relieved," said Japan's starting pitcher Yukiko Ueno, who surrendered just two hits over 4⅓ innings, but saw her team easily prevail with a trio of two-run homers, including a go-ahead shot by Minori Naito in the third inning.

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