Technically, the Olympic Games in Tokyo commence on July 21 with the women’s softball and football preliminaries before the official curtain-raiser at the Opening Ceremony two days later.
While it can seem strange to have events prior to the Opening Ceremony, there are some big names in action in the women's football with Team USA and Team GB among the teams getting their campaigns underway.
You can see the full schedule below, plus our live coverage and all the events which are to follow later in the Games.
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Megan Rapinoe and Team USA will be kicking off against Sweden at the Tokyo Stadium in Women's Group C, while Team GB are facing Chile at the Sapporo Dome in Women's Group E.
The hosts Japan are also getting their women's football campaign underway in Group E as they face Canada at the Sapporo Dome, while the country's softball team are in action against Australia at the Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium.

Expert analysis

Team GB are ready to compete in Tokyo under the new management of highly decorated former Norwegian international, Hege Riise. The Norwegian was named England’s interim manager shortly before it was announced that she would also lead Team GB in Tokyo this summer. Many people have backed Riise as an ideal figure to guide Britain towards Olympic success, Anna Minter writes in her preview feature.
Boasting 188 caps and 58 goals for her country, Riise knows exactly what is required to be the best in the world, having won the World Cup, the European Championship, and Olympic gold with Norway.
Riise has found global success within her coaching roles too, as the former medallist assisted the USA coaching staff when they took home the 2012 gold medal at the London Olympics.

Hege Riise, Head Coach of Great Britain looks on during the Team GB Football Training Session at Loughborough University

Image credit: Getty Images

A total of 19 English players were selected for the 22-player squad that boasts a measured blend of both youth and experience.
Featuring in the 2012 London Olympics, Steph Houghton, Jill Scott, Ellen White and Kim Little are a number of the selected senior figures bolstering the Team GB squad.
The Tokyo Olympic Games will be an Olympic debut for 13 players, with Welsh International Sophie Ingle and Scottish midfielder Caroline Weir accompanying England’s Leah Williamson, Rachel Daly, Keira Walsh, Fran Kirby and Lucy Bronze.
England’s twenty-year-old forward Lauren Hemp was the youngest player to be selected following an inspired season with Manchester City.

Wednesday's action in Tokyo

Competition start dates and medal events below.
Wednesday July 21
  • Softball: first round starts (women)
  • Football: first round starts (women)

Football fixtures

  • Great Britain v Chile
  • China v Brazil
  • Sweden v USA
  • Japan v Canada
  • Zambia v Netherlands
  • Australia v New Zealand

How to watch the Olympic Games in 2021 live in the UK

You can watch the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo LIVE on Eurosport and the Eurosport app with a dedicated provision of all the best action from the Games.
Stream every unmissable moment of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 live on discovery+, The Streaming Home of the Olympics.
Remember, Tokyo is eight hours ahead of the UK when lining up your viewing plans, but this is definitely a Games you will not want to miss, even if that means losing out on a bit of sleep overnight.

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Highlights and top events in Games

Opening Ceremony: The Games will open in Japanese capital Tokyo at 20:00 local time (12:00 UK time) on July 23. Although technically, the Games start two days previously with the women’s softball and football preliminaries.
The first gold medal… will likely come in shooting, with the women’s 10m air rifle coming on July 24. British viewers? Set your alarms for 00:30 to catch all the action!
The road races: Concluding at the Fuji International Speedway in the shadow of the famous summit, the men's and women's road races on July 24 and July 25 respectively promise to be highlights on the summer calendar.
Adam Peaty: Yes, it's the 100m breaststroke! Can the Brit defend his Olympic title and maybe smash his world record in the process? He goes for gold on July 26, although it's an early start for British viewers with the day's swimming session beginning at 2:30 UK time.
Simone Biles: No preview would be complete without the unstoppable American, who will hope to add to her four Olympic titles in Tokyo. Her inevitable shining moment? July 29, 11:50 UK time, with the women's all-around final at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre.
The 100 metres: You’re undoubtedly aware but Tokyo 2020 marks the first Games without superstar Usain Bolt since 2004. On August 1, his successor is (belatedly) found in the 100 metres. As to the women? Dina Asher-Smith shoulders the expectations of a nation a day earlier, with the five-time world medallist gunning for glory at around 14:50 UK time on July 31, while American Sha’Carri Richardson is out after accepting a one-month doping suspension.
Tennis finals: Can Naomi Osaka deliver gold for an expectant home crowd? If she makes the final, expect Tokyo to come to a standstill on July 31. And Andy Murray? Can the recently-healed Brit make it three Olympic titles on the spin? The men's final is scheduled for August 1, although he will likely find familiar foe Novak Djokovic aiming for the title.
Closing Ceremony: The Games comes to a close on August 8 at 20:00 local time (12:00 UK time), with attention quickly turning to the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing (less than six months later!) and 2024 Summer Games in Paris.

How many sports and events in Games?

IOC chief Thomas Bach has kept his promise to not cull events due to the postponement, with organisers revealing an almost identical schedule for 2021 as the one planned for this summer.
That means a record 339 medal events across 33 sports and 42 venues.

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What are the new sports?

  • Baseball/softball
  • Karate
  • Surfing
  • Skateboarding
  • Sport climbing

Dates of Tokyo 2020 sports

  • 3x3 basketball (July 24-28)
  • Archery (July 23-31)
  • Artistic gymnastics (July 24 - August 3)
  • Artistic swimming (August 2-7)
  • Athletics (July 30 - August 8)
  • Badminton (July 24 - August 2)
  • Baseball/softball (July 21 - August 7)
  • Beach volleyball (July 24 - August 7)
  • Boxing (July 24 - August 8)
  • Canoe slalom (July 25-30)
  • Canoe sprint (August 2-7)
  • Cycling BMX freestyle (July 31 - August 1)
  • Cycling BMX racing (July 29-30)
  • Cycling mountain biking (July 26-27)
  • Cycling road (July 25-26; July 29)
  • Cycling track (August 2-8)
  • Diving (July 25 - August 7)
  • Equestrian (July 24 - August 7)
  • Fencing (July 24 - August 1)
  • Football (July 21 - August 7)
  • Golf (30 July - August 2; August 5-8)
  • Handball (July 24 - August 8)
  • Hockey (July 24 - August 6)
  • Judo (July 24-31)
  • Karate (August 5-7)
  • Marathon swimming (August 4-5)
  • Modern pentathlon (August 5-7)
  • Rhythmic gymnastics (August 6-8)
  • Rowing (July 23-30)
  • Rugby (July 26-31)
  • Sailing (July 26 - August 4)
  • Shooting (July 24 - August 2)
  • Skateboarding (July 25-26; August 4-5)
  • Sport climbing (August 3-6)
  • Surfing (July 25 - August 1)
  • Swimming (July 24 - August 1)
  • Table tennis (July 24 - August 6)
  • Taekwondo (July 24-27)
  • Tennis (July 24 - August 1)
  • Trampoline gymnastics (July 30-31)
  • Triathlon (July 26-27; July 31)
  • Volleyball (July 24 - August 8)
  • Water polo (July 24 - August 8)
  • Weightlifting (July 24-28; July 31 - August 4)
  • Wrestling (August 1-7)

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games schedule

Competition start dates and medal events below.
Wednesday July 21, 2021
  • Softball: first round starts (women) - the opening event
  • Football: first round starts (women)
Thursday July 22, 2021
  • Football: first round starts (men)
Friday July 23, 2021
  • Opening Ceremony
  • Archery: competition starts
  • Rowing: heats start
Saturday July 24, 2021
  • Artistic Gymnastics: competition starts
  • Badminton: group stage starts, singles and doubles
  • Basketball (3x3): group stage starts
  • Beach volleyball: preliminary round starts
  • Boxing: competitions start
  • Cycling: road race (men)
  • Equestrian: dressage team and individual starts
  • Fencing: sabre (men) and epee (women) competitions
  • Handball: preliminaries start (men)
  • Hockey: group stage starts
  • Weightlifting: start of competitions
  • Judo: -48kg (women), -60kg (men)
  • Shooting: 10m air rifle (women), 10m air pistol (men)
  • Swimming: competition starts, including heats in 100m breaststroke (men)
  • Table tennis: preliminary round starts
  • Taekwondo: -49kg (women), -58kg (men)
  • Tennis: singles and doubles first round
  • Volleyball: preliminary round starts (men)
  • Water polo: preliminary round starts (women)
  • Weightlifting: 49kg (women)
Sunday July 25, 2021
  • Archery: team medal matches (women)
  • Artistic Gymnastics: qualification (men)
  • Basketball: preliminary round starts (men)
  • Canoe Slalom: heats start
  • Cycling: road race (women)
  • Diving: synchronised 3m springboard final (women)
  • Fencing: foil (women) and epee (men) competitions
  • Handball: preliminary round starts (women)
  • Judo: -52kg (women), -66kg (men)
  • Sailing: competitions start
  • Shooting: 10m air rifle (women), 10m air pistol (men); heats in skeet
  • Skateboard: street competition (men)
  • Surfing: competitions start (subject to change depending on wave conditions)
  • Swimming: finals in 400m individual medley (both), 400m freestyle (men) and 4x100m freestyle relay (women)
  • Taekwondo: -57kg (women), -68kg (men)
  • Volleyball: preliminary round starts (women)
  • Water polo: preliminary round starts (men)
  • Weightlifting: 61kg (men), 67kg (men)
Monday July 26, 2021
  • Archery: team final (men)
  • Artistic gymnastics: team final (men)
  • Basketball: preliminary round starts (women)
  • Canoe slalom: C1 final (men)
  • Cycling, mountain bike: cross-country (men)
  • Diving: synchronised 10m platform final (men)
  • Fencing: sabre (women) and foil (men) competitions
  • Judo: -57kg (women), -73kg (men)
  • Rugby: group stage starts (men)
  • Shooting: skeet qualification and final
  • Skateboard: street competition (women)
  • Swimming: finals in 100m butterfly (women), 100m breaststroke (men), 400m freestyle (women), 4x100m freestyle relay (men)
  • Table tennis: doubles final (mixed)
  • Taekwondo: -67kg (women), -80kg (men)
  • Triathlon: men's race
  • Weightlifting: 55kg (women)
Tuesday July 27, 2021
  • Artistic gymnastics: team final (women)
  • Canoe slalom: K1 final (women)
  • Cycling, mountain bike: cross-country (women)
  • Diving: synchronised 10m platform final (women)
  • Equestrian: team finale
  • Fencing: epee team (women)
  • Judo: -63kg (women), -81kg (men)
  • Rowing: finals in quadruple sculls
  • Shooting: air pistol competition (mixed)
  • Softball: final (women)
  • Swimming: finals in 200m freestyle (men), 100m backstroke (both), 100m breaststroke (women)
  • Taekwondo: +67kg (women), +80kg (men)
  • Triathlon: women's race
  • Weightlifting: 59kg (women), 64kg (women)
Wednesday July 28, 2021
  • Artistic gymnastics: all-around final (men)
  • Baseball: preliminary round starts (men)
  • Basketball (3x3): medal matches
  • Cycling: time trials
  • Diving: synchronised 3m springboard final (men)
  • Equestrian: individual finale
  • Fencing: sabre team (men)
  • Judo: -70kg (women), -90kg (men)
  • Rowing: finals in double sculls, fours, eights
  • Rugby: medal matches (men)
  • Surfing: medal matches (subject to change depending on wave conditions)
  • Swimming: finals in 200m freestyle (women), 200m butterfly (men), 200m individual medley (women), 1500m freestyle (women), 4x200m freestyle relay (men)
  • Weightlifting: 73kg (men)
Thursday July 29, 2021
  • Artistic gymnastics: all-around final (women)
  • Canoe slalom: C1 (women)
  • Cycling, BMX racing: competition starts
  • Fencing: foil team (women)
  • Golf: opening day (men)
  • Judo: -78kg (women), -100kg (men)
  • Rowing: finals in pair, lightweight double sculls
  • Rugby: group stage starts (women)
  • Shooting: trap competitions
  • Swimming: finals in 800m freestyle (men), 200m breaststroke (men), 200m butterfly (women), 100m freestyle (men), 4x200m freestyle relay (women)
  • Table tennis: singles medal matches (women)
Friday July 30, 2021
  • Archery: individual (women)
  • Athletics: competition starts; 10,000m final (men)
  • Badminton: Mixed doubles medal matches
  • Canoe slalom: K1 (men)
  • Cycling, BMX racing: Finals
  • Equestrian, eventing: competition starts
  • Fencing: epee team (men)
  • Judo: +78kg (women), +100kg (men)
  • Rowing: finals in single sculls, eight
  • Shooting: 25m pistol (women)
  • Swimming: 200m breaststroke (women), 200m backstroke (men), 100m freestyle (women), 200m individual medley (men)
  • Table tennis: singles medal matches (men)
  • Tennis: doubles final (men)
  • Trampoline gymnastics: individual (women)
Saturday July 31, 2021
  • Archery: individual (men)
  • Athletics: finals in discus (men), 4x400m relay (mixed), 100m (women)
  • Badminton: doubles medal matches (men)
  • Cycling, BMX freestyle: competition starts
  • Fencing: sabre team (women)
  • Judo: team (mixed)
  • Rugby: medal matches (women)
  • Sailing: RS:X medal races
  • Shooting: trap (mixed), 50m rifle 3 positions (women)
  • Swimming: finals in 100m butterfly (men), 200m backstroke (women), 800m freestyle (women), 4x100m medley relay (mixed)
  • Tennis: singles final (women)
  • Trampoline gymnastics: individual (men)
  • Triathlon: relay (mixed)
  • Weightlifting: 81kg (men), 96kg (men)
Sunday August 1, 2021
  • Artistic gymnastics: finals in floor (men), vault (women), pommel horse (men), uneven bars (women)
  • Athletics: finals in shot put (women), high jump (men), triple jump (women), 100m (men)
  • Badminton: singles medal matches (women)
  • Cycling, BMX freestyle: park finals
  • Diving: 3m springboard (women)
  • Fencing: foil team (men)
  • Golf: final day (men)
  • Sailing: Laser medal races
  • Swimming: finals in 50m freestyle (both), 1500m freestyle (men), 4x100m medley relay (both)
  • Tennis: singles final (men), doubles final (women), doubles final (mixed)
  • Weightlifting: 76kg (women)
  • Wrestling: competition begins
Monday August 2, 2021
  • Artistic gymnastics: finals in rings (men), floor (women), vault (men)
  • Artistic swimming: competition starts (women)
  • Athletics: finals in long jump (men), 100m hurdles (women), discus (women), 3000m steeplechase (men), 5000m (women)
  • Badminton: doubles medal matches (women), singles medal matches (men)
  • Canoe sprint: competition starts
  • Cycling, track: competition starts; team sprint finals (women)
  • Equestrian: team final, individual final
  • Sailing: 49er FX medal race (women), 49er medal race (men)
  • Shooting: 25m rapid fire pistol (men), 50m rifle 3 positions (men)
  • Weightlifting: 87kg (women), +87kg (women)
  • Wrestling: finals in Greco-Roman 60kg (men), Greco-Roman 130kg (men), freestyle 76kg (women)
Tuesday August 3, 2021
  • Artistic gymnastics: finals in parallel bars (men), balance beam (women), horizontal bar (men)
  • Athletics: finals in long jump (women), 400m hurdles (men), pole vault (men), hammer (women), 800m (women), 200m (women)
  • Boxing: welter final (men)
  • Canoe sprint: finals in kayak single 200m (women), canoe double 1000m (men), kayak single 1000m (men), kayak double 500m (women)
  • Cycling, track: finals in team pursuit (women) and team sprint (men)
  • Diving: 3m springboard (men)
  • Sailing: medal races in Finn (men), Foiling Nacra 17 (mixed)
  • Sport climbing: competition starts (men)
  • Weightlifting: 109kg (men)
  • Wrestling: finals in Greco-Roman 77kg (men), Greco-Roman 97kg (men), freestyle 68kg (women)
Wednesday August 4, 2021
  • Artistic swimming: duet final (women)
  • Athletics: finals in 400m hurdles (women), 3000m steeplechase (women), hammer (men), 800m (men), 200m (men)
  • Boxing: light heavy final (men)
  • Cycling, track: team pursuit final (men)
  • Equestrian: jumping individual final
  • Golf: opening day (women)
  • Marathon swimming: 10km (women)
  • Sailing: 470 medal races
  • Skateboarding: park competition (women)
  • Sport climbing: competition starts (women)
  • Weightlifting: +109kg (men)
  • Wrestling: finals in Greco-Roman 67kg (men), Greco-Roman 87kg (men), freestyle 62kg (women)
Thursday August 5, 2021
  • Athletics: finals in triple jump (men), shot put (men), 100m hurdles (men), 20km race walk (men), pole vault (women), 400m (men)
  • Boxing: feather final (men)
  • Canoe sprint: finals in kayak single 200m (men), canoe single 200m (women), kayak single 500m (women), kayak double 1000m (men)
  • Cycling, track: keirin final (women), omnium (men)
  • Diving: 10m platform (women)
  • Hockey: medal matches (men)
  • Karate: finals in kata (women), kumite -67kg (men), kumite -55kg (women)
  • Marathon swimming: 10km (men)
  • Modern pentathlon: competition starts
  • Skateboarding: park competition (men)
  • Sport climbing: combined final (men)
  • Table tennis: team medal matches (women)
  • Wrestling: finals in freestyle 57kg (men), freestyle 86kg (men), freestyle 57kg (women)
Friday August 6, 2021
  • Athletics: finals in 50km race walk (men), 20km race walk (women), javelin (women), 5000m (men), 400m (women), 1500m (women), 4x100m relay (both)
  • Beach volleyball: medal matches (women)
  • Boxing: heavy final (men)
  • Cycling, track: finals in madison (women), sprint (men)
  • Football: gold medal match (women)
  • Hockey: medal matches (men)
  • Karate: finals in kata (men), kumite -61kg (women), kumite -75kg (men)
  • Modern pentathlon: finale (women)
  • Rhythmic gymnastics: competition starts (women)
  • Sport climbing: combined final (women)
  • Table tennis: team medal matches (men)
  • Wrestling: finals in freestyle 74kg (men), freestyle 125kg (men), freestyle 53kg (women)
Saturday August 7, 2021
  • Artistic swimming: team free (women)
  • Athletics: marathon (women); finals in high jump (women), 10,000m (women), javelin (men), 1500m (men), 4x400m relay (both)
  • Baseball: medal matches (men)
  • Basketball: gold medal game (men)
  • Beach volleyball: medal matches (men)
  • Boxing: finals in fly (both), middle (men), welter (women)
  • Canoe sprint: finals in canoe double 500m (women), canoe single 1000m (men), kayak four 500m (both)
  • Cycling, track: madison final (men)
  • Diving: 10m platform (men)
  • Equestrian: team jump final
  • Football: gold medal match (men)
  • Golf: final day (women)
  • Handball: medal matches (men)
  • Karate: finals in kumite +61kg (women), kumite +75kg (men)
  • Modern pentathlon: finale (men)
  • Rhythmic gymnastics: individual all-around (women)
  • Volleyball: medal matches (men)
  • Water polo: medal matches (women)
  • Wrestling: finals in freestyle 65kg (men), freestyle 97kg (men), freestyle 50kg (women)
Sunday August 8, 2021
  • Closing Ceremony
  • Athletics: marathon (men)
  • Basketball: gold medal game (women)
  • Boxing: finals in light (both), middle (women), super heavy (men)
  • Cycling, track: finals in sprint (women), keirin (men); omnium (women)
  • Handball: medal matches (women)
  • Rhythmic gymnastics: group all-around (women)
  • Volleyball: medal matches (women)
  • Water polo: medal matches (men)
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