The Tokyo Olympic Games detailed events schedule was recently announced and it features a record 33 sports and 339 events. It will officially run between 24 July and 9 August, but sporting action kicks off two days before the Opening Ceremony with preliminary women’s football matches as well as group games in one of the new sports recently added to the games, softball. IAAF Competitions Director Paul Hardy commented on the new schedule saying:
“The Tokyo 2020 schedule is substantially different from our previous Olympic timetables, but will offer the vast majority of athletics fans attending the Games the opportunity to see Olympic medals being decided, with finals scheduled in 15 of the 17 sessions in the main stadium. Having finals in the morning, as requested by the International Olympic Committee, will enhance the visibility of athletics across all time zones. The stadium-based distance events remain in the evening sessions to reduce the risk of very hot conditions for our endurance athletes, while the road events will start as early as practicable in the morning. The new schedule also accommodates both the traditional doubles and the historic addition of the mixed 4 X 400m relay, the first time that athletics has combined the talents of both male and female athletes in one event at the Games.”
Organizers confirmed that the schedule for the marathons to start earlier is following warning from Japanese medics that are saying running in mid-morning could “lead to deaths” from heatstroke, also, the possibility of extreme weather such as typhoons, is a “major issue”, according to Tokyo 2020 chief executive officer, Toshiro Muto.
The men’s 50 km race will begin at 05.30, while the schedules for triathlon, rugby sevens, and mountain biking have also been moved in order to avoid the highest temperatures. When Japan last hosted the Olympics in 1964 they were held in October to avoid the summer heat. This will be the 32nd Summer Olympic Games and will end on Sunday, 9 August.