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We’ve waited an extra 12 months (thanks coronavirus…) but the Tokyo Olympics are finally here.
It’ll be a Summer Games like no other due to Japan declaring a state of emergency which means there’ll be no spectators in attendance.
A busy schedule lies ahead for the next fortnight and we’ve rounded up the key events and times for this week below.
Wednesday July 21
The Tokyo Olympics officially gets underway in the early hours of Wednesday morning with softball and women’s football.
It’s the first time since 1996 that football doesn’t kick off the Summer Games as there’s the opening round of softball matches instead starting with Australia vs Japan (1am).
Great Britain vs Chile (8.30am) is the opening fixture in the women’s football tournament and all 12 teams are in action over the course of the day.
Pick: Sweden vs USA – Women’s Football – 9.30am
Thursday July 22
Day two follows a similar pattern with softball in the early hours of the morning before all 16 teams in the men’s football tournament take to the pitch. Spain are the favourites with Paddy Power to win the gold medal and they kick off the action at 8.30am against Egypt. There’s also a tasty fixture at 12.30pm as 2016 champs Brazil take on Germany.
Pick: Brazil vs Germany – Men’s Football – 12.30pm
Friday July 23
The action begins to heat up with rowing heats from 12.30am and the ranking rounds of the men’s and women’s individual archery.
All eyes, however, will be on the three-hour opening ceremony from 12pm at the Japan National Stadium.
Pick: Men’s Double Sculls Heats – Rowing – 2.30am
Saturday July 24
It’s a hectic schedule on Saturday after three days of easing ourselves into the Olympics. You’ll have to avoid sleeping to catch all the action as the time difference to Tokyo means Saturday’s sport starts at 12.30am and concludes at around 3pm.
The first medals of the Games will be won in the early hours of the morning in the women’s 10m air rifle (2.45am) while there’s a gold up for grabs in the men’s road race (3am). Other sports dishing out medals on the first big day of action include archery, fencing, judo, taekwando and weightlifting.
There’s bound to be drama in the pool as the swimming heats get underway from around 11am while a number of other competitions including basketball 3×3, gymnastics (artistic) and tennis begin.
Pick: Men’s Road Race – Cycling – 3am
Sunday July 25
There’s no rest for the wicked on Sunday with plenty more medals being awarded amid a jam-packed sporting schedule.
Four gold medals are up for grabs in the pool while Great Britain’s superstar swimmer Adam Peaty is likely to be in action in the 100m breaststroke semi-finals (3.33am & 3.39am).
Iran and Czech Republic tip off the men’s basketball tournament while viewers in the United Kingdom and Ireland will be able to watch the USA’s NBA superstars in action against France (1pm).
Skateboarding is one of five new sports added to the Olympic program for the 2020 Games but you’ll have to stay up through the night as the men’s street final takes place at 3.25am.
Pick: Men’s Street Final – Skateboarding – 3.25am
Olympics Betting Guides
- Olympics Tips: 5 Rowing best bets for Tokyo 2020 Games
- Olympics Tips: Paddy’s complete guide to betting on the Games
- Olympics Tips: Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s 5 best gold medal hopes
- Olympics Tips: Ireland’s 2 best medal hopes at the 2021 Games
- Olympics Tips: 3 athletics best bets for track and field action at Tokyo 2020
- Tokyo Olympics: Best bets for the men’s 100m showdown
- Tokyo Olympics: Men’s football schedule, venues and gold medal favourites
- Tokyo Olympics: Who is the favourite to win the men’s 100m?
- Tokyo Olympics: What is the time difference to the UK and Ireland?