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The first event at Tokyo 2020 is the women's softball, two days ahead of the opening ceremony
The first event at Tokyo 2020 is the women's softball, two days ahead of the opening ceremony

Just when we have got used to the idea of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics being in 2021, the organisers have thrown another curve ball our way.

The official opening day of the Games is Friday, July 23, but the first actual event begins on Wednesday, July 21, when the baseball/softball gets underway.

Both sports were last contested at Beijing 2008 and they return as one hybrid event in Tokyo — baseball for the men, softball for the women. 

The softball pitches in first, with hosts Japan facing Australia at the Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium at 9am local time (1am BST). 

All six teams will play each other once leading up to the final on July 27, with the baseball beginning the following day. 

Team GB women's football team are competing in the Olympics for just the second time
Team GB women's football team are competing in the Olympics for just the second time

Wednesday also sees the start of the women’s football tournament, with Great Britain facing Chile at the Sapporo Dome at 4.30pm (8.30am BST). 

There are 12 teams competing in three groups, attempting to qualify for the quarter-finals. 

It is just the second time Team GB have entered, having previously reached the quarter-finals at London 2012. 

A hugely experienced squad includes Manchester City and England captain Steph Houghton, who scored three goals in five games in London.

She is one of three co-captains for Team GB, along with Scotland’s Kim Little, who wears the armband for Arsenal, and Wales skipper Sophie Ingle.

Since arriving in Tokyo, GB beat New Zealand 3-0 in a friendly on July 14. Experienced City striker Ellen White bagged two goals and Arsenal’s Nikita Parris completed the scoring.  

Click here to see the full day's schedule on the official Tokyo 2020 Olympics site.

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22:20 (+00:00)16 Sep 2021 (Thu)