New Olympic softball schedule announced for Tokyo 2020 Games

New Olympic softball schedule announced for Tokyo 2020 Games
17/07/2020
Softball will have the honour of being the first event to take place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games next year after the Organising Committee unveiled today the details of the updated Olympic softball competition schedule following the unprecedented postponement of the Summer Games to 2021 as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.

After presenting to the 136th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee officially announced today the new Olympic softball schedule as part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games competition programme in 2021. The Olympic softball event will commence on Wednesday 21 July 2021, at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium, with the Gold Medal Game scheduled for 27 July at Yokohama Baseball Stadium.

The six qualified teams -- Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico and USA -- will play each other during the Opening Round from 21-26 July. The top two teams in the Opening Round will play for the Gold Medal, while the third- and fourth- place teams will compete for bronze.

Australia will take on the hosts and defending Olympic champions Japan to open the softball event on 21 July, at 9 am (all times Japan Standard Time - JST). This match will serve as the very first official Olympic competition of the Tokyo 2020 Games.

In Game 2 of the Olympic softball event, Italy and top-ranked USA will meet at 12:00 pm.

Game 3, which concludes the first day of competition, features Mexico and Canada at 3 pm.

The Gold Medal Game will be played on Tuesday, 27 July, at 8 pm JST at Yokohama Baseball Stadium, while the Bronze Medal Game will be held at 1 pm JST.

No games are scheduled for Friday, 23 July, with softball athletes joining the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Japan’s second Summer Olympic Games are expected to be remembered as a strong symbol of recovery and resurgence, being held after the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Olympic baseball and softball events are set to play a special role, with a total of seven games - the first six softball games and the opening baseball fixture - scheduled in Fukushima, a region that has been undergoing a continued regeneration following the devastating 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. 

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were originally planned for 24 July - 9 August 2020, before being rescheduled in light of the global coronavirus pandemic.