Olimpiese Spele in Tokio 2020: Die openingseremonie vind in Japan plaas

Laat die Spele uiteindelik begin! Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony kicks off with brilliant display in near-empty stadium after a year of delays due to Covid

  • Opening ceremony of the Covid-delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has finally got underway in Japan
  • The sombre show, which was completely re-planned after the Games were delayed, featured few of the mass-dance routines that have become a fixture of opening ceremonies in the past amid fears of infection
  • In plaas daarvan, it featured just a handful of dancers and made heavy use of projections to add colour and pageantry
  • It was watched by just a few hundreds VIPs and world leaders inside the 68,000-seat main arena
  • Ontdek die nuutste Olimpiese nuus in Tokio, insluitend die skedule, medaljetabel en uitslae hier
  • Japan has finally kicked off the Covid-delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a symbolic show of hope and tenacity in the face of adversity at its Opening Ceremony on Friday night.

    Daar was net 950 VIPs and world leaders inside the 68,000-seat main arena in Tokyo to watch the display of light and colour on Friday night amid rising case totals in the country which forced organisers to ban crowds.

    Sombre and socially-distancedgone were the tightly-packed dance routines that traditionally mark opening ceremonies as directors instead made the best use of projection technology to add colour and pageantry.

    A large firework display did add a burst of sound to what was otherwise an eerily quiet event, after organisers opted against playing artificial crowd noises in the arena.

    A moment of silence for all victims of the Covid pandemic then followed, after which dancers representing Japanese woodworkers took the stage representing the country’s history and culture.

    They formed Olympic rings made from the wood of trees planted from seeds brought to the country the last time it hosted the Olympics in the 1960s, before the traditional Parade of Nations with athletes filing into the arena under the banners of their countriesthough their numbers were much-reduced from previous years.

    Plagued by the pandemic, scandals among officials, and strongly divided opinions among locals, Japan will hope the touching spectacle will help coalesce positive feeling around the £13billion sporting extravaganza.

    The Tokyo Olympics began with a bang as fireworks exploded over an otherwise eerily quiet arena after crowds were banned with less than 1,000 dignitaries, delegates, and VIPs in attendance

    The Tokyo Olympics began with a bang as fireworks exploded over an otherwise eerily quiet arena after crowds were banned with less than 1,000 dignitaries, delegates, and VIPs in attendance

    Fireworks explode over the main Olympic stadium in Tokyo as the Opening Ceremony gets underway, a year after the event was delayed due to the Covid pandemic

    Fireworks explode over the main Olympic stadium in Tokyo as the Opening Ceremony gets underway, a year after the event was delayed due to the Covid pandemic

    Fireworks go off during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic games

    Flag bearers Hannah Mills and Mohamed Sbihi of Team Great Britain leads their team out during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Flag bearers Hannah Mills and Mohamed Sbihi of Team Great Britain leads their team out during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Team GB enter the Olympic stadium in Tokyo, Japan, led by flagbearers Hannah Mills and Mohamed Sbihi after rules were changed to allow one male and one female flagbearer

    Team GB enter the Olympic stadium in Tokyo, Japan, led by flagbearers Hannah Mills and Mohamed Sbihi after rules were changed to allow one male and one female flagbearer

    Hannah Mills of Britain and Mohamed Sbihi of Great Britain lead their contingent in the athletes parade during the opening ceremony

    Hannah Mills of Britain and Mohamed Sbihi of Great Britain lead their contingent in the athletes parade during the opening ceremony

    Australia's flag bearers Patty Mills and Cate Campbell lead their delegation as they parade during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Australia’s flag bearers Patty Mills and Cate Campbell lead their delegation as they parade during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Australia's delegation parade during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Australia’s delegation parade during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Australia's athlete poses for pictures while parading during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Australia’s athlete poses for pictures while parading during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Wooden Olympic rings made from the wood of trees planted the last time Tokyo hosted the Olympics are brought into the main arena during the Opening Ceremony

    Wooden Olympic rings made from the wood of trees planted the last time Tokyo hosted the Olympics are brought into the main arena during the Opening Ceremony

    Performers take part in the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony, a year after it was scheduled due to Covid delays

    Performers take part in the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony, a year after it was scheduled due to Covid delays

    Olympic rings are formed during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium

    Olympic rings are formed during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium

    Fireworks go off inside the stadium during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

    Fireworks go off inside the stadium during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

    Fireworks go off and performers dance during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium

    Fireworks go off and performers dance during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium

    Japan's Emperor Naruhito, the Games' guest of honour, waves to the small crowd of VIPs and special guests in the stadium

    Japan’s Emperor Naruhito, the Gamesguest of honour, waves to the small crowd of VIPs and special guests in the stadium

    President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach (sentrum), Japanese Emperor Naruhito (tweede regs) and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (vêr regs) enter the Olympic arena as during the opening ceremony

    President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach (sentrum), Japanese Emperor Naruhito (tweede regs) and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (vêr regs) enter the Olympic arena as during the opening ceremony

    Trepidations throughout Japan have threatened for months to drown out the usual carefully packaged glitz of the opening. Inside the stadium after dusk Friday, egter, a precisely calibrated ceremony sought to portray that the Gamesand their spiritare going on.

    Vroegtydig, an ethereal blue light bathed the empty seats as loud music muted the shouts of scattered protesters outside calling for the Games to be canceleda widespread sentiment here. A single stage held an octagon shape meant to resemble the country’s fabled Mount Fuji.

    Organizers held a moment of silence for those who had died of COVID; as it ticked off and the music paused, the sounds of the protests echoed in the distance.

    Athletes marched into the stadium in their usual parade of nations, some socially distanced, others clustering together in ways utterly contrary to organizers’ hoop. They waved enthusiastically to thousands of empty seats, and to a world hungry to watch them compete but surely wondering what to make of it all.

    Their shouts raise a fundamental question about these Games as Japan, and large parts of the world, reel from the continuing gut punch of a pandemic that is stretching well into its second year, with cases in Tokyo approaching record highs this week: Will the deep, intrinsic human attachment to the spectacle of sporting competition at the highest possible level be enough to salvage these Games?

    Time and again, previous opening ceremonies have pulled off something that approaches magic. Scandalsbribery in Salt Lake City, censorship and pollution in Beijing, doping in Sochifade into the background when the sports begin.

    But with people still falling ill and dying each day from the coronavirus, there’s a particular urgency to the questions about whether the Olympic flame can burn away the fear or provide a measure of catharsisand even aweafter a year of suffering and uncertainty in Japan and around the world.

    Outside the stadium, hundreds of curious Tokyo residents lined a barricade that separated them from those enteringbut just barely: Some of those going in took selfies with the onlookers across the barricades, and there was an excited carnival feeling. Some pedestrians waved enthusiastically to approaching Olympic buses.

    A group of performers carry out a routine during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    A group of performers carry out a routine during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    A routine featuring traditional Japanese woodworkers which built much of Japan's infrastructure before the introduction of concrete and steel in the modern era

    A routine featuring traditional Japanese woodworkers which built much of Japan’s infrastructure before the introduction of concrete and steel in the modern era

    Performers play traditional Japanese woodworkers, symbolizing the country's history during the opening ceremony

    Performers play traditional Japanese woodworkers, symbolizing the country’s history during the opening ceremony

    Performers dance as the Olympic Cauldron is seen during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Performers dance as the Olympic Cauldron is seen during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    The national anthem is performed during the opening ceremony of the Covid-delayed 2020 Olympics in Japan

    The national anthem is performed during the opening ceremony of the Covid-delayed 2020 Olympics in Japan

    The Japanese flag is carried onto the stage during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    The Japanese flag is carried onto the stage during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Japan raises its flag in the Olympic Stadium as the national anthem is sung during the opening ceremony

    Japan raises its flag in the Olympic Stadium as the national anthem is sung during the opening ceremony

    The Japanese flag is raised over the main Olympic stadium in Tokyo during the opening ceremony

    The Japanese flag is raised over the main Olympic stadium in Tokyo during the opening ceremony

    The image of a single athlete rising from the ground with a plant shoot behind them began the opening ceremony, symbolizing hope that springs anew in the face of adversity

    The image of a single athlete rising from the ground with a plant shoot behind them began the opening ceremony, symbolizing hope that springs anew in the face of adversity

    An opening dance routine showed performers entangled in a web of red threads, symbolizing the fear and anxiety that many have been through in the last 18 maande

    An opening dance routine showed performers entangled in a web of red threads, symbolizing the fear and anxiety that many have been through in the last 18 maande

    Performers dance during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Performers dance during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    The theme of the opening segment was of athletics being used to overcome adversity, which organisers hope will be the lasting legacy of the Tokyo Olympics

    The theme of the opening segment was of athletics being used to overcome adversity, which organisers hope will be the lasting legacy of the Tokyo Olympics

    Performances dance during a light show during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Performances dance during a light show during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Dancers take part in the opening performance of the ceremony, which featured the theme of sport overcoming adversity

    Dancers take part in the opening performance of the ceremony, which featured the theme of sport overcoming adversity

    Performers are seen during the opening ceremony taking place in Tokyo after a year of pandemic delays

    Performers are seen during the opening ceremony taking place in Tokyo after a year of pandemic delays

    Performers during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Japan

    Performers during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Japan

    A group of performers carry out a routine during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    A group of performers carry out a routine during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    A performance paying tribute to all those who have died due to Covid and other causes in 2020 takes place before viewers were asked to observe a moment of silence

    A performance paying tribute to all those who have died due to Covid and other causes in 2020 takes place before viewers were asked to observe a moment of silence

    Performers take part in the Olympics opening ceremony in Tokyo on Friday night as the Covid-delayed games got underway

    Performers take part in the Olympics opening ceremony in Tokyo on Friday night as the Covid-delayed games got underway

    Performers at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games at the National Stadium

    Performers at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games at the National Stadium

    A group of performers carry out a routine during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    A group of performers carry out a routine during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Relief as Covid-hit Games get underway at last

    By Shekhar Bhatia and Nick Fagge

    Japan opened its much-maligned games today, a year late and with a bid to show the world that these will not be the so-called ‘Joyless Olympics’ as they have been dubbed.

    By all accounts of the 60,000 empty seats at the Opening Ceremony these will certainly become the ‘Ghost Games’ over the next fortnight as 11,000 athletes endeavour to put on a show the world will never forget, but with zero public support.

    These are the covid games where anyone who ventures near the £1 billion stadium is tested for the virus to within an inch of their life. And it is only the competitors, officials and media whjo are invited this time round.

    But as the scorching sun sank on the newly built stadium tonight, officials must have breathed a huge sigh of relief.as the festivities got underway at last.

    The pandemic was not to be forgotten as the curtain on the £12 billion games got underway and John Lennon and his Japanese wife Yoko Ono’s philosophy was used to ‘Imagine’ a beautiful post-pandemic world.

    The ceremony was told that Fifty years ago, in die lente van 1971, whilst in London, Madrid and Trinidad, John Lennon & Yoko Ono co-wrote the critically acclaimed anthem ‘Imagine’.

    ‘The lyrics, inspired in part by Yoko Ono’s ‘Event Scores’ in her 1964 book Grapefruit, encourage participants to imagine a peaceful world, without illusion, lived in the present moment; without the divisive control mechanisms of borders, nationalism, oorlogvoering, religious constructs or ownership, where life and all its riches are shared in peace and harmony worldwide.’

    Lennon’s anthem for peace was sung to the virtually empty stadium, but with the hope that it would help the global TV audience to look foreward when health and prosperity would return for all.

    Officials stated: John Lennon was not the first to say ‘Imagine No Countries’ or ‘Give Peace a Chance’, but we’re carrying that torch, like the Olympic torch, passing it hand to hand, aan mekaar, to each country, to each generation. And that’s our job.’

    Among the dancing and singing and fireworks, the enemy called coronavirus will be the cornerstone of the games.

    Die seremonie, which was attended by Hugh Robertson, chairman of the British Olympic Association and US First Lady Jill Biden , was further told that the Olympics’ mourned the loss of life through the pandemic.’

    ‘In 2013, Tokyo won the bid to host the Olympic Games, and the entire nation rejoiced.

    But in the years that followed, the world faced countless new challenges, including the global spread of COVID-19.

    ‘These challenges turned into obstacles that stood ominously in our way. But athletes never gave up. Each of them overcame their own obstacles, persevered through the year of postponement, and have reached the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele.

    Britain’s flagbearers were sailor Hannah Mills and rower rower Mohamed Sbihi, both gild medalists in Rio five years ago.

    The US athletes were led out by basketball star Sue Bird and baseballer Eddy Alvarez.

    The Japanese national flag was be lcarried into the Olympic Stadium, leading the way for the flag bearers—athletes, healthcare professionals,and people with impairments,

    The VIPs and officials were treated to Japanese dance and cultural art performances.

    They were told: ‘Sport has the power to move hearts across national, cultural and linguistic barriers, and the power to nurture the minds and bodies of future generations.

    ‘ We hope that these Games will inspire them to continue to uphold a world where we can all strive to be our best, one that respects differences and is filled with compassion.’

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    The ceremony was told that the Olympics would remember Covid victims across the world, but what was promised to be a minute’s silence only lasted a few seconds before the stadium announcer ended it.

    ‘They will forever half a place in our heartssaid the announcer. Crowds of Japanese peopleboth for and against the Gamesgathered in their thousands outside the stadium.

    While families with children stared up in awe as fireworks filled the sky, demonstrators called for Tokyo 2020 to be called off.

    A protest leader condemned the ever chanting ‘Stop the Olympics Nowthrough a megaphone.

    Earlier in the day hundreds of sports fans had gathered outside the main Olympic arena in Tokyo on Friday certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves, some dressed in traditional Japanese regalia while others posed for photos in front of the Olympicsfamous rings.

    Supporters were also treated to a fly-past by the Blue Impact military display team, whose jets streaked through the sky above the stadium trailing coloured smoke.

    Meanwhile Olympic torchbearers beamed as they took part in a final relay eventtaking just a few steps before passing the flame instead of the usual running due to Covid rulesbefore the flame is taken to the main arena where it will be used to light a cauldron and officially open the Games during tonight’s ceremony.

    Few know what to expect from the ceremony itself, which has been extensively re-planned since the Games were delayed from last yearcoming amid a pandemic which will make traditional routines of choreographed dancers nigh-on impossible to replicate.

    It will also take place in front of just 950 attendees including 15 heads of state after large crowds were banned due to Tokyo’s spiralling Covid case tolls.

    The show is expected to focus on Japan’s history as well as its contribution to modern culture and technology, though will have a less celebratory tone than previous years as it comes amid the pandemic.

    A tribute to those who are suffering from or have died of Covid is expected to feature as part of the performance, though how directors choose to handle the topic of the virus is sure to be much-talked-about.

    Adding a further unepected element to the performance is the fact that one of the directorsKantaro Kobayashiwas forced to resign just yesterday after a past comedy sketch he performed that included jokes about the Holocaust resurfaced.

    The Games were supposed to take place last year but organisers took a high-stakes gamble to postpone them due to the Covid pandemic, in the hopes that the virus would be under control by now.

    Officials now have the unenviable task of staging the Games while the most-infectious form of Covid to date is in circulation, causing cases to rise rapidly in Japan amid fears the Olympics will become a super-spreader event.

    Tokyo reported 1,359 COVID-19 cases on Friday, part of a wave of infection in the capital as the Olympic Games kick off, it’s highest one-day toll since January.

    Even this slimmed-down version of the competitionwith strict limits on who can stay in AthletesVillage and crowds banned from stadiumswill see some 50,000 people gather in the largest international event since the pandemic began.

    And while Covid cases driven by the Delta variant are rising rapidly in other countriessuch as the UKJapan has fully vaccinated just 20 per cent of its population, one of the lowest rates among developed countries.

    But comparison, the UK has fully vaccinated more than half of its population.

    That has made the Games unpopular with the Japanese public, with polls consistently showing a majority of people do not support the event going ahead and do not expect to enjoy watching.

    That anger was visible on Friday as locals waving banners that read ‘NOlympicsand ‘Cancel the Tokyo Olympicswere pictured in Tokyo at a torch relay event.

    Maar, even at the 11th hour, demonstrators furious that the event is going ahead during a pandemic and against the backdrop of rising cases in Japan gathered to call for the event to be scrapped.

    Verlede Junie het die Commons-komitee vir openbare rekeninge gewaarsku dat bedrog en foute in Covid-skemas belastingbetalers meer as £30 miljard gekos het 110 cases of Covid linked directly to the Games after another 25 were reported Thursday, bringing the total number of infected athletes to 13 including another member of the Czech teamroad cyclist Michal Schlegel.

    Flag bearers Malia Paseka and Pita Taufatofua of Team Tonga lead their team out during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Flag bearers Malia Paseka and Pita Taufatofua of Team Tonga lead their team out during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Zhu Ting and Zhao Shuai, nadat sy op haar eerste kombinasie triple flip-triple toeloop sprong getuimel het, carry their country's flag during the opening ceremony

    Zhu Ting and Zhao Shuai, nadat sy op haar eerste kombinasie triple flip-triple toeloop sprong getuimel het, carry their country’s flag during the opening ceremony

    Athletes of China celebrate as they are introduced during the opening ceremony

    Athletes of China celebrate as they are introduced during the opening ceremony

    Laura Ludwig and Patrick Hausding, van Duitsland, carry their country's flag during the opening ceremony

    Laura Ludwig and Patrick Hausding, van Duitsland, carry their country’s flag during the opening ceremony

    Flag bearers Anna Korakaki and Eleftherios Petrounias of Team Greece during the Opening Ceremony of Tokyo 2020

    Flag bearers Anna Korakaki and Eleftherios Petrounias of Team Greece during the Opening Ceremony of Tokyo 2020

    Argentina's flag bearer Cecilia Carranza Saroli and Argentina's flag bearer Santiago Raul Lange lead the delegation during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Argentina’s flag bearer Cecilia Carranza Saroli and Argentina’s flag bearer Santiago Raul Lange lead the delegation during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Athletes of Argentina during the athletes' parade at the opening ceremony

    Athletes of Argentina during the athletesparade at the opening ceremony

    Keet Oldenbeuving and Churandy Martina, of the Netherlands, carry their country's flag during the opening ceremony

    Keet Oldenbeuving and Churandy Martina, of the Netherlands, carry their country’s flag during the opening ceremony

    Athletes from the Netherlands, walk during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium

    Athletes from the Netherlands, walk during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium

    Flag bearers Harmanpreet Singh of India and Mary Kom Hmangte lead their contingent during the athletes' parade

    Flag bearers Harmanpreet Singh of India and Mary Kom Hmangte lead their contingent during the athletes’ parade

    Mireia Belmonte and Saul Craviotto of Team Spain lead their team in during the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games

    Mireia Belmonte and Saul Craviotto of Team Spain lead their team in during the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games

    Flagbearer Brendan Irvine of Ireland and flagbearer Kellie Harrington of Ireland lead their contingent

    Flagbearer Brendan Irvine of Ireland and flagbearer Kellie Harrington of Ireland lead their contingent

    Flag bearers Cecilia Carranza of Argentina and Santiago Lange of Argentina lead their contingent during the athletes' parade at the opening ceremony

    Flag bearers Cecilia Carranza of Argentina and Santiago Lange of Argentina lead their contingent during the athletesparade at the opening ceremony

    Flag bearers Farida Azizova and Rustam Orujov of Team Azerbaijan during the Opening Ceremony

    Flag bearers Farida Azizova and Rustam Orujov of Team Azerbaijan during the Opening Ceremony

    The Afghanistan Olympic team carrying the national flag during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Japan

    The Afghanistan Olympic team carrying the national flag during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Japan

    Flag bearers Kirabo Namutebi and Shadiri Bwogi of Team Uganda during the Opening Ceremony

    Flag bearers Kirabo Namutebi and Shadiri Bwogi of Team Uganda during the Opening Ceremony

    Flag bearers Samantha Roberts and Cejhae Greene of Team Antigua and Barbuda during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Flag bearers Samantha Roberts and Cejhae Greene of Team Antigua and Barbuda during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Kirabo Namutebi of Uganda leads her contingent during the opening ceremony

    Kirabo Namutebi of Uganda leads her contingent during the opening ceremony

    Flag bearers Olena Kostevych and Bogdan Nikishin of Team Ukraine lead their team out during the Opening Ceremony

    Flag bearers Olena Kostevych and Bogdan Nikishin of Team Ukraine lead their team out during the Opening Ceremony

    Mohammed Al-Khafaji of Iraq and Fatimah Al-Kaabi of Iraq lead their contingent in the athletes parade during the ceremony

    Mohammed Al-Khafaji of Iraq and Fatimah Al-Kaabi of Iraq lead their contingent in the athletes parade during the ceremony

    Fatimah Abbas Waheeb Al-Kaabi and Mohammed Al-Khafaji, of Iraq, carry their country's flag during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Olimpiese somerspele

    Fatimah Abbas Waheeb Al-Kaabi and Mohammed Al-Khafaji, of Iraq, carry their country’s flag during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Olimpiese somerspele

    Flag bearers Pol Moya of Andorra and Monica Doria of Andorra lead their contingent during the athletes' parade at the opening ceremony

    Flag bearers Pol Moya of Andorra and Monica Doria of Andorra lead their contingent during the athletesparade at the opening ceremony

    Flag bearers Varsenik Manucharyan of Armenia and Hovhannes Bachkov of Armenia lead their contingent during the athletes' parade at the opening ceremony

    Flag bearers Varsenik Manucharyan of Armenia and Hovhannes Bachkov of Armenia lead their contingent during the athletesparade at the opening ceremony

    Flag bearers Hedaya Wahba and Alaaeldin Abouelkassem of Team Egypt during the Opening Ceremony

    Flag bearers Hedaya Wahba and Alaaeldin Abouelkassem of Team Egypt during the Opening Ceremony

    Athletes from Austria are seen during the opening ceremony

    Athletes from Austria are seen during the opening ceremony

    Flag bearers Hanna Minenko and Yakov Toumarkin of Team Israel during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games

    Flag bearers Hanna Minenko and Yakov Toumarkin of Team Israel during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games

    Flag bearers Dina Ellermann and Tonu Endrekson of Team Estonia during the Opening Ceremony

    Flag bearers Dina Ellermann and Tonu Endrekson of Team Estonia during the Opening Ceremony

    Yusra Mardini and Tachlowini Gabriyesos, of the Refugee Olympic Team, carry the Olympic flag during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Olimpiese somerspele

    Yusra Mardini and Tachlowini Gabriyesos, of the Refugee Olympic Team, carry the Olympic flag during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Olimpiese somerspele

    Flag bearers Anna Korakaki and Eleftherios Petrounias of Team Greece lead their teammates out during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Flag bearers Anna Korakaki and Eleftherios Petrounias of Team Greece lead their teammates out during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    US First Lady Jill Biden speaks with French President Emmanuel Macron as they arrive at the opening ceremony

    US First Lady Jill Biden speaks with French President Emmanuel Macron as they arrive at the opening ceremony

    Athletes missed Covid tests due to lack of kits

    Olympians staying at Tokyo’s AthletesVillage have been missing some of their once-daily Covid tests due to a lack of kits, dit is gerapporteer.

    The Japanese men’s gymnastics team and several overseas competitors who arrived in the village were unable to take PCR tests because the kits ran out, Japanese news site NHK reported.

    Officials acknowledged that there had been problems ensuring a steady supply of kits, but insisted that all athletes had been tested at regular intervals to avoid infections spreading.

    Ten minste 13 competitors have so-far tested positive within Japan, including several at Athletes’ Jeanette Maus is oorlede, forcing some of them to withdraw from competition while they complete mandatory 10-day isolation.

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    Three members of the media were also included in the latest totalwhich only counts those who tested positive in Japan and not those who were diagnosed in their home countries before making the journey.

    Schlegel tested positive at the team’s training base in Izu and will miss Saturday’s road race.

    The Czech Olympic Committee said in a statement Friday that Schlegel is in isolation, and that Michael Kukrle and Zdenek Stybar will be its only two riders lining up at Musashinonomori Park for one of the first medal events of the Summer Games.

    Czech beach volleyball players Marketa Slukova and Ondrej Perusic and table tennis player Pavel Sirucek also tested positive earlier this week.

    That has prompted the Czech Olympic team to investigate whether the outbreak is linked to its chartered flight to Tokyo.

    Meanwhile a series of scandals has plagued organisers, with no fewer than five Olympic officials and artists linked to the Games being forced to quitmostly over claims of inappropriate past behaviour.

    The most-recent was Opening Ceremony director Kantaro Kobayashi who was forced to step down on Thursday after an old comedy skit in which he jokes about the Holocaust came to light.

    It was the third resignation just this week, after Opening Ceremony composer Keigo Oyamada was sacked over historic allegations of bullying, and children’s author Nobumi quit a cultural event related to the Games also over bullying claims.

    Despite Kobayashi’s resignation, organisers insisted the Opening Ceremonyalready re-planned at short notice due to Covidwould go ahead as planned.

    Even on the field the Games is running into controversy amid a growing backlash against anti-protest gestures by the International Olympic Organising Committee.

    The IOC has already watered down a 50-year-old rule on political gestures at the Games to allow footballers to take a knee against racial injustice before matches.

    Canada's flag bearers Nathan Hirayama and Miranda Ayim parade during the opening ceremony

    Canada’s flag bearers Nathan Hirayama and Miranda Ayim parade during the opening ceremony

    Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Ricardo Brown, of Jamaica, carry their country's flag during the opening ceremony

    Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Ricardo Brown, of Jamaica, carry their country’s flag during the opening ceremony

    Flagbearers Joseph Essombe Tiako of Cameroon and Albert Mengue Ayissi of Cameroon lead their contingent

    Flagbearers Joseph Essombe Tiako of Cameroon and Albert Mengue Ayissi of Cameroon lead their contingent

    Mercy Moim and Andrew Amonde, of Kenya, carry their country's flag during the opening ceremony

    Mercy Moim and Andrew Amonde, of Kenya, carry their country’s flag during the opening ceremony

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    Flag bearers Kimberly Ince and Delron Felix of Team Grenada (links) and athletes of the Cook Islands take part in the parade

    A member of team Egypt during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Olimpiese somerspele

    A member of team Egypt during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Olimpiese somerspele

    Flag bearer Abdelmalik Muktar of Team Ethiopia carries his country's flag during the Opening Ceremony

    Flag bearer Abdelmalik Muktar of Team Ethiopia carries his country’s flag during the Opening Ceremony

    Eke of Ghana and Sulemanu Tetteh of Ghana and team are seen during the opening ceremony

    Eke of Ghana and Sulemanu Tetteh of Ghana and team are seen during the opening ceremony

    Flag bearers Andri Eleftheriou and Milan Trajkovic of Team Cyprus

    Flag bearers Andri Eleftheriou and Milan Trajkovic of Team Cyprus

    Flag bearer Yousuf Almatrooshi of Team United Arab Emirates leads their team out during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Flag bearer Yousuf Almatrooshi of Team United Arab Emirates leads their team out during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    An athlete from South Korea during the athletes' parade at the opening ceremony

    An athlete from South Korea during the athletesparade at the opening ceremony

    The Georgia Olympic team during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    The Georgia Olympic team during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Athletes from Saudi Arabia walk during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium

    Athletes from Saudi Arabia walk during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium

    Vanuatu flagbearer Riilio Rii leads the team out during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Vanuatu flagbearer Riilio Rii leads the team out during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Flag bearers Matie Stanley of Tuvalu and Karalo Maibuca of Tuvalu lead their continent during the athletes' parade at the opening ceremony

    Flag bearers Matie Stanley of Tuvalu and Karalo Maibuca of Tuvalu lead their continent during the athletesparade at the opening ceremony

    Arbresha Rexhepi of North Macedonia and Dejan Georgievski of North Macedonia are seen during the opening ceremony

    Arbresha Rexhepi of North Macedonia and Dejan Georgievski of North Macedonia are seen during the opening ceremony

    Flagbearers Bogdan Nikishin and Olena Kostevych of Ukraine lead their contingent in the athletes parade during the opening

    Flagbearers Bogdan Nikishin and Olena Kostevych of Ukraine lead their contingent in the athletes parade during the opening

    Bakhodir Jarolov of Uzbekistan leads his contingent during the athletes' parade at the opening ceremony

    Bakhodir Jarolov of Uzbekistan leads his contingent during the athletesparade at the opening ceremony

    But on Friday a group of 150 atlete, academics, and social justice campaigners submitted a letter saying a ban on political gestures on podiums should be revoked.

    The letter said it was adding ‘a collective voiceto calls for amendments to Rule 50.

    ‘We believe the global sport community is at a turning point in matters of racial and social justice, and we call on you as leaders in the Olympic and Paralympic movements to make a stronger commitment to human rights, racial/social justice, and social inclusion,’ die brief gelees.

    Among the signatories were Black U.S. sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who were expelled from the 1968 Olympics after they bowed their heads and raised black-gloved fists on the podium to protest racial inequality.

    The Muhammad Ali Center also signed the letter, with the late boxing world and Olympic champion’s cauldron lighting at the Atlanta 1996 Games having become an iconic moment of Olympic history.

    The letter called for no sanctions to be imposed on athletes who protested on the podium in Japan and demanded a review of Rule 50 after next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics.

    British track and field medal hope Dina Asher-Smith also joined the chorus of opposition as she prepared for the Games.

    ‘Protesting and expressing yourself is a fundamental human right,’ she told reporters. ‘If you were to penalise someone for standing up against racial inequality how on earth would that go? How on earth are you going to enforce that?’

    ‘When people feel strongly about something, particularly when it’s something that’s so close to your heartand as a Black woman you think about racismI just think you can’t police people’s voice on that.

    Sports fans gather outside Tokyo's main stadium to take pictures in front of the Olympic rings and soak in the atmosphere ahead of the Olympics opening ceremony

    Sports fans gather outside Tokyo’s main stadium to take pictures in front of the Olympic rings and soak in the atmosphere ahead of the Olympics opening ceremony

    Olympic super-fan Kyoko Ishikawa, who has attended every Summer Olympics in the past 30 jare, celebrates outside Tokyo's main stadium as the Games finally comes to her country

    Olympic super-fan Kyoko Ishikawa, who has attended every Summer Olympics in the past 30 jare, celebrates outside Tokyo’s main stadium as the Games finally comes to her country

    Japanese display team Blue Impulse take part in an aerial show over Tokyo's Olympic stadium ahead of the opening ceremony

    Japanese display team Blue Impulse take part in an aerial show over Tokyo’s Olympic stadium ahead of the opening ceremony

    Blue Impulse display jets release coloured smoke over Tokyo hours before the main Opening Ceremony is due to take place

    Blue Impulse display jets release coloured smoke over Tokyo hours before the main Opening Ceremony is due to take place

    Crowds point their cameras at the sky as jets from the Blue Impulse display team perform in the skies over Tokyo

    Crowds point their cameras at the sky as jets from the Blue Impulse display team perform in the skies over Tokyo

    Japanese sports fans have put aside their worries about rising Covid cases in the city to gather outside the Olympic stadium

    Japanese sports fans have put aside their worries about rising Covid cases in the city to gather outside the Olympic stadium

    People take photographs as jets fly over Tokyo ahead of the official start of the Olympics

    People take photographs as jets fly over Tokyo ahead of the official start of the Olympics

    Tokyo is poised to kick off its Olympic Games after a year of delays due to the Covid pandemic and despite rising cases

    Tokyo is poised to kick off its Olympic Games after a year of delays due to the Covid pandemic and despite rising cases

    People stand outside the National Stadium before the opening of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    People stand outside the National Stadium before the opening of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    A woman in traditional clothing looks on from behind a fence prior to the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games

    A woman in traditional clothing looks on from behind a fence prior to the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games

    People excited about the arrival of the Games stand outside the National Stadium before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics

    People excited about the arrival of the Games stand outside the National Stadium before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics

    A giant digital clock in Tokyo counts down to the start of the opening ceremony as fans gather in front of it

    A giant digital clock in Tokyo counts down to the start of the opening ceremony as fans gather in front of it

    Japan's Emperor Naruhito delivers a speech to the guests including French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. First Lady Jill Biden at the Imperial Palace ahead of the official opening of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    Japan’s Emperor Naruhito delivers a speech to the guests including French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. First Lady Jill Biden at the Imperial Palace ahead of the official opening of the Tokyo 2020 Olimpiese Spele

    French President Emmanuel Macron is pictured arriving in Tokyo ahead of the Olympic Opening Ceremony, where he will be one of just 15 world leaders in attendance

    French President Emmanuel Macron is pictured arriving in Tokyo ahead of the Olympic Opening Ceremony, where he will be one of just 15 world leaders in attendance

    Amerikaanse. First Lady Jill Biden gestures as she arrives at Imperial Palace for a meeting with Japan's Emperor Naruhito in Tokyo

    Amerikaanse. First Lady Jill Biden gestures as she arrives at Imperial Palace for a meeting with Japan’s Emperor Naruhito in Tokyo

    Protesters opposed to the Tokyo Olympics gather outside a torch relay venue in the Japanese capital to express their anger just hours before the Games officially begin

    Protesters opposed to the Tokyo Olympics gather outside a torch relay venue in the Japanese capital to express their anger just hours before the Games officially begin

    Polls show most Japanese do not support the Games being held during Covid, particularly as cases rise across the country with a state of emergency declared in Tokyo itself

    Polls show most Japanese do not support the Games being held during Covid, particularly as cases rise across the country with a state of emergency declared in Tokyo itself

    A man holds a banner declaring 'shame' on 'greedy' Olympic organisers and athletes for pursuing 'money and honour' while ordinary Japanese only feel 'despair'

    A man holds a banner declaring ‘shameon ‘greedyOlympic organisers and athletes for pursuing ‘money and honourwhile ordinary Japanese only feel ‘despair

    Olympic organisers have vowed to push ahead with the event despite widespread opposition that has even seen some sponsors distance themselves from the Games

    Olympic organisers have vowed to push ahead with the event despite widespread opposition that has even seen some sponsors distance themselves from the Games

    Protesters gather outside Tokyo's main Olympic stadium carrying banners that demand the event is called off, just hours before it goes ahead

    Protesters gather outside Tokyo’s main Olympic stadium carrying banners that demand the event is called off, just hours before it goes ahead

    Protesters march outside the Tokyo Olympics' main stadium ahead of the Opening Ceremony

    Protesters march outside the Tokyo Olympicsmain stadium ahead of the Opening Ceremony

    Activists hold an anti-Olympics rally in Tokyo just hours before the Games are due to start

    Activists hold an anti-Olympics rally in Tokyo just hours before the Games are due to start

    Police officers gather outside a train station near the Tokyo Olympic stadium during protests against the Games

    Police officers gather outside a train station near the Tokyo Olympic stadium during protests against the Games

    Russian archer COLLAPSES in scorching Tokyo heat during Olympics qualification

    A Russian archer fainted in the Tokyo heat during a qualifying Olympic round on Friday as a 33C (91F) heatwave pushed coaches and staff to huddle under trees for shade.

    Svetlana Gomboeva collapsed as she checked her final scores and required assistance from staff and team-mates who put bags of ice on her head to cool her down.

    ‘We hope that she will be okay. It turns out that she couldn’t stand a whole day out in the heat,’ coach Stanislav Popov told reporters.

    A Russian archer fainted in the Tokyo heat during a qualifying Olympic round on Friday

    A Russian archer fainted in the Tokyo heat during a qualifying Olympic round on Friday

    ‘This is the first time I remember this happening. In Vladivostok, where we were training before this, the weather was similar. But humidity played a role here.

    Team-mate Ksenia Perova said later that Gomboeva was recovering well and would be able to resume competition.

    ‘Everything is fine with Sveta now,’ sy het gese.

    With temperatures expected to peak around 33 grade Celsius (91 Die James Webb-teleskoop en die meeste van sy instrumente het 'n werkstemperatuur van ongeveer) in the archery dome on the first day of competition, athletes had challenges with hydration and staying cool as well as those posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Gomboeva quickly regained consciousness after collapsing but needed to be taken off on a stretcher out of the arena by medical officers.

    South Korea’s Kang Chaeyoung, who came third in the individual ranking rounds, said she had not experienced anything like Tokyo’s heatwave conditions in other recent events.

    Australia’s Alice Ingley had some simple advice for her fellow competitors on how to beat the heat.

    ‘Cooling vest, slushies, aanhangers, umbrellas, just all that, just try to keep out of the heat as much as possible,’ Ingley told Reuters after her competition.

    ‘And drink water as much as possible.

    Svetlana Gomboeva (sentrum) collapsed as she checked her final scores and was seen to by staff

    Svetlana Gomboeva (sentrum) collapsed as she checked her final scores and was seen to by staff

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