The Tokyo Olympics kick off this week as the world’s best athletes finally prepare to go for gold.
The 2020 Summer Games had to be postponed for a year following global lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Now the International Olympic Committee is working hard to make sure the Games take place in Japan this summer.
Despite much criticism from around the world, Tokyo is preparing to host the flagship global event.
So, as the best sportsmen and women alike gear up for the action, here’s everything you need to know about Tokyo 2020 …
Tokyo Olympics: dates
The IOC revised the dates for the Games of the 32nd Olympiad on March 30, 2020 following the announcement of the postponement.
The opening ceremony of the Games is now scheduled for Friday July 23. It will start at 12 p.m. UK time with Japan eight hours early.
There will then be two weeks of athletic competition before the closing ceremony on Sunday August 8.
The Games will continue to be known as “Tokyo 2020” and have the motto “United by Emotion”.
It will see over 11,000 athletes from 205 nations compete in 33 sports.
Tokyo Olympics: bidding process
Tokyo has been joined by Istanbul and Madrid as the last three candidate cities to host the 2020 Olympics.
Baku and Doha failed with their offers while the Roma decided to withdraw their candidacy.
Tokyo beat Istanbul in the final selection process with votes of 60-36.
Tokyo previously hosted the 1964 Olympics and is expected to become the fifth city to host the Games more than once.
The next Olympic Games will be held in Paris in 2024 followed by Los Angeles in 2028.
Tokyo Olympics: venues
The capital of Japan, Tokyo, is the host city, with the new national stadium of Japan with a capacity of 68,000 seats being the highlight.
Other key arenas include the Tokyo Aquatics Center, Izu Velodrome, Tokyo Stadium, and Yokohama International Stadium.
The Olympic Village will be based in Tokyo and includes three venues that were originally built for the 1964 Olympics.
The “Tokyo Bay Area” will be the busiest area of the Games with 13 venues hosting actions.
Tokyo Olympics: sports
The Games will organize 339 events in 33 different sports with a total of 50 disciplines.
These Olympics will see the introduction of four new sports with karate, sport climbing, surfing and skateboarding making their debuts.
Baseball and softball will be back for the first time since 2008.
There will also be new disciplines including 3 × 3 basketball, freestyle BMX and Madison cycling.
Tokyo Olympics: medal table
The Tokyo medal table will follow.
In Rio 2016, a total of 973 medals were awarded including 307 gold.
The United States topped the charts after winning 121 medals including 46 gold.
The GB team finished second in the medal table after winning 27 gold medals out of a total of 67 while the next host country Japan took home 41 medals including 12 gold.
There was only one podium in 2016 as the USA team won gold, silver and bronze in the 100m hurdles thanks to Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali and Kristi Castlin.
All-Time Summer Olympics Medal Table
- United States: 1,022 gold medals, 2,523 in total
- Soviet Union: 395 gold medals, 1,010 in total
- Britain: 263 gold medals, 851 in total
- France: 212 gold medals, 716 in total
- Germany: 191 gold medals, 615 in total
- Italy: 206 gold medals, 577 in total
- China: 224 gold medals, 546 in total
- Australia: 147 gold medals, 497 in total
- Sweden: 145 gold medals, 494 in total
- Hungary: 175 gold medals, 491 in total
Tokyo Olympics: Can Fans Attend?
Officials have confirmed that no international spectators will be allowed to attend the Tokyo Olympics or Paralympics.
There will also be fixed spectator limits for the event with a maximum of 10,000 spectators allowed.
The decision was made following a meeting involving local organizers, the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the National Government.
Japan’s top coronavirus adviser had told organizers the best way to limit the risk of the spread was to keep events behind closed doors, but organizers chose to follow existing government limits for sporting events in the country.
“In light of government restrictions on public events, the spectator limit for the Olympics will be set at 50% of venues capacity, up to a maximum of 10,000 people at all venues,” a statement said. of Tokyo 2020.
Organizers said students in the schools spectator program would not count against these limits and would be treated separately.
The competition calendar remains unchanged.
Spectators should refrain from shouting or speaking loudly, the statement said, and should proceed directly to the venue and return home immediately thereafter.
Tokyo Olympics: what was said?
IOC President Thomas Bach: “The entire Olympic Movement is looking forward to the Opening Ceremony on 23 July.
“I have had the opportunity to speak to the 206 National Olympic Committees around the world and they are all fully engaged and looking forward to the Games.
“We have the full support of the Japanese government.
“Everyone is really determined to make these Olympic Games the light at the end of the tunnel.
“All prospects are good, we are working hard, and for these Games the first priority will be to make them safe and secure for all participants.”
An IOC statement added: “We believe that with the solid measures and plans we have in place, the Games can and will be played safely.”
Tokyo Olympics: key statistics
29 – this will be the 29th modern Summer Olympics – although officially the Games of the 32nd Olympiad, with the events of 1916, 1940 and 1944 canceled due to the two world wars.
19 – days of competition at this year’s Olympics, with football and softball events starting two days before the official opening ceremony.
33 – sports featured in the Games, including the return of baseball / softball and the first appearances of karate, rock climbing, surfing and skateboarding.
339 – total of events in these 33 sports.
376 – athletes announced in the final squad of the GB team, with representation in 26 sports. There were also 22 selected reserves.
201 – women in the selection, the first time that they outnumber men in a summer Olympic team of the GB team.
205 – teams participating in Tokyo. Russian athletes will compete as ROC, using the acronym and flag of the Russian Olympic Committee, while North Korea has pulled out due to concerns over Covid-19.
41 – places that organize events this summer.
68,000 – capacity of the main Olympic stadium.
0 – spectators present due to the state of emergency in Tokyo caused by the coronavirus.
£ 4.24 billion – the estimated cost of the one-year postponement of last summer’s Games, according to a report produced by Kansai University in Osaka which puts the figure at 640.8 billion yen.
3 – Candidates to host the Games, in the vote in 2013. Tokyo won 42 votes in the first round and beat Istanbul by 60 votes to 36 in the second round after the elimination of Madrid.
10 Team GB stars who should shine in Tokyo
Having jumped under 57 seconds and clocking the 20 fastest times in history, Peaty seems virtually certain to defend his title in the 100 breaststroke – more than likely with a new world record on top. Such is the extent of his dominance that his rivals are already resigned to fighting for money.
The Edinburgh shooter heads to Tokyo as the reigning world number one and 50m supine world champion, and a solid medal bet in the women’s 3 × 50 rifle event. McIntosh, who will also compete in the 10m air rifle, also won Britain’s first World Cup gold in 2019.
Dina asher smith
Already the fastest Briton in history, Asher-Smith is used to rising to the occasion and she’ll have to be in the shape of her life in Tokyo to face second-fastest American Gabby Thomas. the fastest in history. more than 200m in the USA
and Jamaican veteran Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who did the same in the 100m in Kingston.
McCormack has proven to be a class apart from most of his Olympic rivals during this extended cycle and will start off as a clear favorite for gold in welterweight boxing. His recent victory against Russia
Andrey Zamkovoy – who denied him world gold in 2019 – was a clear sign of his intention to go all the way in the Japanese capital.
Jason and Laura Kenny
History is at the rendezvous for the golden couple of cycling in Tokyo. Laura Kenny is one spot behind Dame Katherine Grainger’s five gold medals on the all-time national list, while Jason currently has seven Olympic medals, one short of Sir Bradley Wiggins’ career total of eight. with every chance that the two records are at least matched.
After winning two amazing gold medals in Rio, Whitlock focused on his favorite tree for Tokyo. Despite his recent downfall on his return to competition at the European Championships, the 28-year-old will start as the favorite – but could be pushed to the limit by rising Irish star Rhys McClenaghan.
Brown, who turns 13 this month, will become Britain’s youngest summer Olympian when she takes part in the skateboard park competition. But the young prodigy has every chance of winning a medal, having qualified in third place and having also won a bronze medal at the World Championships in Sao Paulo in 2019.
Glover won back-to-back rowing gold medals with Heather Stanning in 2012 and 2016 before retiring to start a family. Tempted to initiate a comeback, Glover and her new partner Polly Swann rushed to European gold in April, raising the prospect of a remarkable third medal for the 35-year-old in Japan.
Jones was a teenager when she won her first Olympic gold medal in taekwondo in London 2012, and continued her triumph in Rio four years later. Now 28 and also the reigning world champion, Jones is a big favorite to win an unprecedented third consecutive Olympic title.