The Tokyo Olympics will get under way in a few weeks as the world’s best athletes prepare to finally go for gold.
The 2020 Summer Games had to be postponed by a year following the worldwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, the International Olympic Committee are working hard to make sure the Games go ahead in Japan this summer.
Despite plenty of criticism from around the globe, Tokyo is preparing itself to host the showpiece global event.
And so, as the finest sports men and women 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 32nd Olympiad on March 30, 2020 following news of the postponement.
The opening ceremony for the Games is now scheduled for Friday, July 23. It will start at 12pm UK time with Japan eight hours ahead.
There will then be two weeks for sporting competition before the closing ceremony on Sunday, August 8.
The Games will still be known as ‘Tokyo 2020’ and has the motto of ‘United by Emotion’.
It will see over 11,000 athletes from 205 nations compete in 33 sports.
Tokyo Olympics: Bidding process
Tokyo was joined by Istanbul and Madrid as the final three candidate cities to host the 2020 Olympics.
Baku and Doha failed with their bids while Roma decided to withdraw their application.
Tokyo beat Istanbul in the final selection process with votes of 60 to 36.
Tokyo previously hosted the 1964 Olympics and is set to become the fifth city to host the Games more than once.
The next Olympics will be held in Paris in 2024 followed by Los Angeles in 2028.
Tokyo Olympics: Venues
Japan’s capital Tokyo is the host city with the new 68,000-capacity Japan National Stadium being the showpiece venue.
Other key arenas include the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, the Izu Velodrome, the Tokyo Stadium and the International Stadium in Yokohama.
The Olympic Village will be based in Tokyo and features three venues that were originally constructed for the 1964 Olympics.
The ‘Tokyo Bay Zone’ will be the busiest area of the Games with 13 venues hosting action.
Tokyo Olympics: Sports
The Games will hold 339 events in 33 different sports with a total of 50 disciplines.
This Olympics will see the introduction of four new sports with karate, sport climbing, surfing and skateboarding making their debuts.
Baseball and softball will return 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.
At Rio 2016, a total of 973 medals were awarded including 307 golds.
The United States topped the charts after winning 121 medals including 46 golds.
Team GB finished second in the medal table after claiming 27 golds in a total of 67 while the upcoming hosts Japan won 41 medals including 12 golds.
There was one podium sweep in 2016 as Team USA claimed gold, silver and bronze in women’s 100 meters hurdles thanks to Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali and Kristi Castlin.
All-time Summer Olympic Games medal table
- United States: 1,022 golds, 2,523 total
- Soviet Union: 395 golds, 1,010 total
- Great Britain: 263 golds, 851 total
- France: 212 golds, 716 total
- Germany: 191 golds, 615 total
- Italy: 206 golds, 577 total
- China: 224 golds, 546 total
- Australia: 147 golds, 497 total
- Sweden: 145 golds, 494 total
- Hungary: 175 golds, 491 total
Tokyo Olympics: Can fans attend?
Officials have confirmed that no international spectators will be allowed to attend the Olympic or Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
There will also be fixed spectator limits for the event with only a maximum of 10,000 allowed in.
The decision was taken following a meeting involving local organisers, the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees, the Tokyo metropolitan government and the national government.
Japan’s top coronavirus advisor had told organisers that the best way to limit the risk of spread was to hold the events behind closed doors, but organisers have opted to follow the existing government limits for sports events in the country.
“In light of the government’s restrictions on public events, the spectator limit for the Olympic Games will be set at 50 per cent of venue capacity, up to a maximum of 10,000 people at all venues,” a statement from Tokyo 2020 read.
Organisers said students in the schools’ spectator programme would not be considered within these limits, and would be treated separately.
The competition schedule remains unchanged.
Spectators must refrain from shouting or speaking loudly, the statement said, and must travel direct to the venue and return immediately home afterwards.
Tokyo Olympics: What has been said?
IOC President Thomas Bach: “The entire Olympic movement is looking forward to the opening ceremony on July 23.
“I had the opportunity to speak with all the 206 National Olympic Committees of the world and they are all fully committed and looking forward to the Games.
“We are enjoying the full support of the Japanese government.
“Everybody is really determined to make these Olympic Games the light at the end of the tunnel.
“All the 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 robust measures and plans we have in place, the Games can and will go ahead safely.”