The first day of full competition of the Tokyo Games could be a turning point for an uneasy Japanese public, which has strongly disapproved of the Olympics being held during the pandemic.
The first medal of the Games will go to the winner of the women’s 10m air rifle, with more hardware in the mixed team event, men’s cycling road race, fencing and weightlifting in archery’s Olympic debut on Saturday. Japan’s first opportunity to win gold is in a pair of judo events. Here are some things to see. (Eastern all the time):
This home game on the opening day of the Olympics could be an event that could give the Japanese public something to celebrate at these games.
Naohisa Takato (men’s 60kg) and Funa Tonaki (women’s 48kg) can both make their countries proud by claiming Japan’s first gold medals of these Games. The Japanese media focused heavily on the judoka of the early days, under the belief that strong performances could inspire citizens to support the Olympic Games.
Nippon Budokan is a respected region that has crowned countless martial arts champions since beginning with the first Olympic Judo tournament in 1964. Budokan will be mostly empty due to pandemic restrictions, but everyone in Japan will be watching. Medals will be awarded at the end of the season aired during USA Network’s full day coverage.
What is it you ask?
It is essentially a formal pick-up game between teams of three players on a court that is approximately half the size of a traditional court.
It is divided into two areas by a semicircle and the baskets made inside the arc are worth a point; Two points from outside the arc. The first team to score 21 points wins, but the game is only 10 minutes and whichever team is ahead on the win buzzer will win.
Nine days of swimming action begins at the Tokyo Aquatics Center with four finals airing during primetime on NBC.
The Americans won 33 medals in Rio – 16 gold – and have topped the medal tally at every Olympics since Seoul in 1988. The women’s 4×100 free relay kicks off Saturday night’s action with the Americans seeking their first win since 2000.
It should be an Australia vs US showdown, and the Australian team has won three of the last four Olympics.
Medals will also be decided in the men’s 400m individual medley, men’s 400 freestyle, women’s 400m IM and finally the women’s 4×100 relay at 10:45 pm.
One of the most popular Olympic events begins on Center Court in Shiokase Park when the new-looking American women’s beach volleyball team hits the sand.
Kerri Walsh Jennings failed to qualify for her fifth Olympics – she won gold medals in 2004, 2008 and 2012 with partner Misty May-Trainer. Walsh Jennings won bronze in 2016 teaming up with April Ross, but now it’s Ross’s show.
Ross is now partnered with Alix Klineman and both are ranked first in the FIVB Provisional Olympic Rankings. Ross and Klineman won a tournament in March to secure one of the American’s two spots for Tokyo. Ross is only the second American to qualify for an Olympic beach volleyball tournament with three different partners.
Americans play China at 8 p.m. on NBC.
for night owls
Skateboarding, another event designed to bring in new fans, makes its Olympics debut with men’s street qualifying.
The event must include high-flying tricks and stunts, and contestants must be between the ages of 12 and 47. US skater Nyjah Huston, possibly the most famous skater ever, will make her Olympic debut in Men’s Street, NBC’s decision of late. Night coverage.
The US women’s volleyball team will begin playing against Argentina in this time slot. The Americans are seeking their first Olympic gold medal since winning the bronze medal in Rio.
The women are led by Foluke Akinradev Gunderson, who is back for her third Olympics after giving birth to her first child in November 2019. The late night show starts at midnight.
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