• SHARE

The Summer Olympics kick off in full on Saturday with 11 sets of medals to be awarded on Day 1. The number of sports included in the Games has only grown over the years, with karate, sport climbing and surfing among the competitions making their debut for Tokyo 2020.

Here are the key events to look for on the first full day of competition, all of which are available for streaming in Japan at gorin.jp.

Hoops with a twist

If NBA Jam was your game on the Super Nintendo, you’re in luck.

Fast-paced and high-flying 3×3 basketball action is coming to Aomi Urban Sports Park in Tokyo’s Koto Ward as the sport makes its Olympic debut. Japan’s women’s team will get things started at 10:15 a.m. with their first of two matchups on opening day. They’ll take on athletes competing for the Russian Olympic Committee in the opener before battling Romania at 2:25 p.m. Japan’s men have dates with gold-medal favorite Poland and Belgium in the evening session.

Games’ first gold

Viewers won’t have to wait long to see the first bit of Olympic podium drama: The final of the women’s 10-meter Air Rifle is set to take place not long after Japan has breakfast. In a sport that posed a challenge for organizers due to Japan’s ultrastrict gun laws, America’s Mary Tucker, a 19-year-old from North Carolina, is the favorite in the event after taking gold at the most recent World Cup. Final shots go at 10:45 a.m.

A race to Fuji

One of the most grueling events of the Olympics begins at 11 a.m. in Chofu, western Tokyo. The 234-kilometer cycling race with elevation changes of over 4,000 meters will take riders all the way to the foothills of Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak. Yukiya Arashiro and Nariyuki Masuda are the only two Japanese in the field. Favorites include Belgium’s Wout van Aert and back-to-back Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia.

The iconic Nippon Budokan will host the judo competition at the Tokyo Games. | REUTERS
The iconic Nippon Budokan will host the judo competition at the Tokyo Games. | REUTERS

Dominant on the mat?

Japan is aiming for a record medal haul at these Games and if they’re going to top the national high of 16 gold medals earned at the 1964 Tokyo Games and 2004 Athens Games, their quest begins at the iconic Nippon Budokan. Japan has won 39 gold medals since judo debuted in 1964, by far the most of any country, and a strong contingent of judoka has their sights set on more. The first golds for the host could come on Day 1, as Funa Tonaki and Naohisa Takato compete in their respective events. Tonaki, the 2017 world champion and two-time world silver medalist, is a good bet to take gold in the women’s 48 kilogram weight division, while Takato — a bronze medalist in Rio — is favored in the men’s 60 kg. Seminfinals and finals begin at 5 p.m.

Nadeshiko back in action

Japan’s women’s soccer team will look to build on a well-earned draw against Canada in their opener Wednesday night — made possible by Mana Iwabuchi’s game-tying goal in the 84th minute — as they take on Great Britain. The 2012 silver medalists have high hopes for a return to the podium this year, with new faces such as defender Saori Takarada and midfielder Honoka Hayashi leading a generational transition for the 2011 World Cup winners. Action gets underway at 7:30 p.m. at Sapporo Dome.

Mana Iwabuchi and Hina Sugita celebrate Japan's only goal in a 1-1 draw against Canada on Wednesday at Sapporo Dome. | REUTERS
Mana Iwabuchi and Hina Sugita celebrate Japan’s only goal in a 1-1 draw against Canada on Wednesday at Sapporo Dome. | REUTERS

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)