Softball will be the first event to take place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games next year. The Organizing Committee unveiled 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.
The Olympic softball event will commence on Wednesday, July 21 2021, at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium, with the Gold Medal Game scheduled for July 27 at Yokohama Baseball Stadium.
The six qualified teams -- Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico and the United States -- will play each other during the Opening Round from July 21-26. 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 July 21, at 9 am (all times Japan Standard Time - JST). This contest will serve as the very first official Olympic competition of the Tokyo 2020 Games.
In Game two of the Olympic softball event, Italy and top-ranked USA will meet at 12:00 pm. Game three, which concludes the first day of competition, features Mexico and Canada at 3 pm. No games are scheduled for Friday, July 23, 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 July 24 - August 9 2020, before being rescheduled in light of the global coronavirus pandemic.
-- Courtesy of WBSC