• Matt Johns

The 2021 Tokyo Olympics: What to expect from the postponed Games

The modern Olympic games have taken place since 1896, with athletes from across the globe competing in a diverse range of sports to crown the best of the best. However, due to the devastating coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 games in Tokyo were postponed.

This has had a widespread impact, affecting stakeholders including the athletes and the Japanese economy, with the postponement estimated to cost $5.8 billion according to a professor at Kansai University.

This is the second time Japan have hosted the summer Olympics, with Tokyo last hosting the event 57 years ago. This time round Tokyo comfortably outbid Madrid and Istanbul, to obtain the prestigious status of hosting the games.

The games are set to feature 339 events across 33 different sports, with the introduction of five new sports. Baseball/softball, karate, sport climbing, surfing and skateboarding have all been approved for the 2020 Olympics, with four out of the five new sports making their debut appearance at the summer spectacle in East Asia.

Despite the virus being under more control globally than a year ago, Japan is still in a state of emergency, with the vaccine rollout not being as smooth compared to other countries.

Subsequently, the original plan for just Japanese locals to be in attendance fell through and it was announced that the games would go ahead behind closed doors.

The games do appear to be in a bit of disarray with athletes testing positive in the Olympic village, despite the measures in place, with even beds being designed to prevent certain activities.

Six Team GB athletes have had to isolate due to an exposure of Covid-19, with tennis players Johanna Konta and Dan Evans not even making it to Japan, being forced to pull out before due to testing positive for coronavirus.

Most recently, world number one shooter Amber Hill tested positive, striking a real blow to Great Britain’s medal chances.

The head of the organising committee for the games, Toshiro Muto is still not ruling out a last-minute cancellation.

But despite all this uncertainty, there is still a 16-day extravaganza of sport to look forward to, with the Paralympics taking place just over a fortnight later.

There will be many stars at the 29th Summer Olympics, including four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles, 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic and Japanese poster girl, Naomi Osaka.

Osaka will be a heavy favourite for the title; however, she has taken some time out the sport, due to the media pressure taking its toll on her mental health.

Britain’s main medal hopes lie on the shoulders of cycling power couple Jason and Laura Kenny, in their bid to further cement their legacy as Britain’s most successful Olympians. As well as Adam Peaty, whose brilliant breaststroke kicked off Team GB’s 2016 gold medal haul.

Jade Jones will look to become the first taekwondo fighter to win three Olympic titles and the in-form Dina Asher-Smith will be looking to shock the world, by seeing off the likes of the legendary Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

The games are set to officially kick off on the 23rd July, with the Opening Ceremony taking place on the Friday.

However, the opening fixtures of softball and football have already began, with a shock result coming in the women’s football. USA’s 44 game unbeaten run came to an end, after being beaten comfortably 3-0 by Sweden.`


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