Tokyo 2020 Olympics LIVE: Opening Ceremony COUNTDOWN, Murray hits with Djokovic, Daley final prep – updates

THE Olympics have finally started!

And the Tokyo opening ceremony starts on Friday lunchtime with NO fans present – while Team GB's flag bearers have been named.

Elsewhere Tom Daley and Andy Murray have been seen getting into their final preparations and Australia have stunned Argentina in the men's football with a win against all the odds.

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Stay up to date with all the updates from Tokyo in our live blog…

  • Joe Brophy

    GET ZAK BACK

    Team GB chiefs are desperately trying to bust steeplechaser Zak Seddon and the other Brits in isolation out of Covid 'jail' as Tokyo 2020 bosses turn a deaf ear to their pleas.

    Seddon, hurdler Jessie Knight and four others were pinged after a 'close contact' on their flight from London tested positive.

    While all six are now allowed to train, they have to return immediately to their rooms and cannot mingle with team-mates until they have been negative for 14 days.

    That already feels like a prison sentence for the 27-year-old Seddon, who publicly moaned on Twitter: “We’ve been stuck inside for six days now with 11 negative tests and all double vaccinated.

    “Shocked we’re not allowed back into a Covid-safe environment.

    “My Olympic experience will be spent alone, bar a few socially distanced hours a day.”

  • Joe Brophy

    GOING FOR GOLD

    Team GB have it all to do to improve their medal haul from Rio in Tokyo…

  • Joe Brophy

    OLYMPIC RING

    Olympic boxing has introduced some of the most legendary names ever to grace the sport.

    The Games is the ultimate prize for every amateur boxer and the perfect way to sign off before heading into the professional ranks.

    Over the years, dazzling performances, shock decisions and even history-making bouts have lit up the Olympics.

    Here, SunSport runs down some of the most iconic moments and bouts in Olympic boxing history.

  • Joe Brophy

    MORE FROM MURRAY

    The Scot has claimed his current condition is the healthiest he's been for the longest period in the last year.

    “I want to keep playing because I enjoy it. I still think I can play at a good level, at a high level.

    “There have been difficult moments obviously in the last few months, in the last year and everything with the injuries and stuff.

    “But right now, I guess this is the healthiest I’ve been for the longest period in the last year.

    “I’ve got to practice way more than I had been in the build-up to the grass in Wimbledon and everything. So I’m getting better. And I’m improving. And hopefully that stays that way through to the end of the year.”

  • Joe Brophy

    GOLDEN WORDS

    Andy Murray will go down fighting in Tokyo but reckons one more Olympic medal would represent his ‘best achievement’ after a pep talk from his daughter.

    And the tenacious Scot insisted the words from his eldest girl, aged five, encouraged him to make the 5,900-mile trip to the Far East.

    He said: “When I got home, the day after my Wimbledon match, my daughter said to me: ‘Daddy, you’re home because you lost another tennis match?’

    “I said: ‘Yeah, I did. But what do you do when you lose at something?’

    “And she said: ‘You try and try again?’ I was like: ‘Yeah, that’s what I want to do.’"

  • Joe Brophy

    RICH PICKINGS

    Richarlison gave new Everton boss Rafa Benitez a reminder of what they will miss if he is sold with a first half-hour hat-trick as Brazil smashed Germany in their Olympic opener.

    The Goodison goal-getter is known as “The Pigeon” in his homeland.

    And he could not have pecked more ferociously as he terrified the lightweight German back line with his pace and power, scaring Bielefeld centre-back Amos Pieper absolutely witless.

    But while the holders looked ominously good as they eased cantered to a 4-2 win, the rest of the big guns in the men’s draw stuttered or fell.

  • Jake Lambourne

    LAUR AND ORDER

    English winger Lauren Hemp has revealed she was sparked into Tokyo 2020  life by her “embarrassing” parents.

    The flying Hemp was the star of the show, tearing lumps out of the Chilean rearguard as Hege Riise’s side got off to a superb Olympic start.

    Hemp admitted to nervousness before the start of her tournament bow, although it was hard to believe she had any with a stunning display of pace, trickery and delivery.

    But the 20-year-old Manchester City starlet was left red-faced before the game by her “good luck” message from home.

    Hemp said: “We all had a montage of clips from our families to watch but mine was so embarrassing.

    “My parents said they’d tried to do it 300 times but they were just in hysterics every go.

    “They kept on getting it wrong – and ended up just sending one when they were laughing too much to speak. I definitely went all red – but it was good to see it.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    DALE ME IN

    Tom Daley has been training ahead of the diving competition at the Olympics.

    Tom Daley has won two bronze medals at the Olympic GamesCredit: EPA
    Daley, 27, first competed at the Beijing Games in 2008Credit: EPA
  • Jake Lambourne

    TOKYO THRILLER

    Brazil survived a nervy finish to beat Germany 4-2 in their opening match.

    Richarlison's half hour hat-trick set Brazil on their way to what looked like being a famous victory.

    Nadiem Amiri got Germany back into it in the second-half before skipper Arnold was sent off.

    Ragnar Ache then headed Germany right back into it with seven minutes to play.

    But Paulinho wrapped it up in stoppage time with a goal on the break.

  • Jake Lambourne

    GREAT SCOT

    Warrior Andy Murray will go down fighting in Tokyo but reckons one more Olympic medal would represent his “best achievement”.

    Muzza, 34, is the defending two-time singles champion and has won three Slam titles, including two at Wimbledon.

    Yet he has arrived in Tokyo on the back of two hip surgeries, aborted comebacks and concerns over his future.

    Murray, a former world No.1, said: “The goal is to try and win another medal.

    “I’m aware that it’s not going to be easy. And I’m also in a slightly different position to what I was four or five years ago, when I would have been expected to get one. Maybe that is not the case this time around.

    “For me, it would be probably my best achievement if I could do that after everything that’s gone on the last few years.

    “So I’m motivated for that reason alone. And I still believe that I can do that. I still believe that is possible.I know that this could be the last one for me."

    Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have been training ahead of their Olympic tiesCredit: Getty
    Murray and Djokovic have been involved in great battles over the yearsCredit: Getty
  • Jake Lambourne

    SICKENING

    Former Arsenal star Dani Ceballos’ Olympic Games look to be over already as much-fancied Spain were held by Egypt to an opening match stalemate.

    The 24-year-old midfielder was forced off during the first half after he was caught by a naughty challenge from Taher Mohamed at the Sapporo Dome.

    Ceballos, who has spent the last two seasons on-loan with the Gunners from Real Madrid, went in for the tackle during the closing stages of the opening period.

    Taher was receiving the ball on the turn and appeared to be unaware of the Spaniard closing in behind him.

    The Egyptian’s foot subsequently planted onto the ankle of Ceballos and sent it sickenly bending in a freakish direction.

    Referee Adham Makhadmeh was advised to check the VAR pitchside monitor as medics rushed on to treat the stricken ace.

    Dani Ceballos went off injured in the first half of Spain's clash against Egypt
  • Jake Lambourne

    AUSSIE DELIGHT

    Australia have shocked Argentina by beating the South America nation 2-0.

    Lachlan Wales banged in a strike in the 14th minute, before Marco Tilio secured the victory in the 81st minute.

    Meanwhile Brazil currently lead Germany 3-0 with Richarlison grabbing a first-half hat-trick.

  • Jake Lambourne

    THIRD TIME LUCKY

    Geraint Thomas to make it third time lucky at the Olympics for Team GB.

    The Welshman said: “In the road race, so much can happen. Cav [Mark Cavendish] was the hit favourite back in London and obviously we saw what happened there.

    “In Rio, I was there and then unfortunately crashed on the last corner of the descent and that put me out of it. Hopefully it is third time lucky.

    “It is something I don’t lose sleep over it now but it’s still one of those things where it was there for the taking almost. A great opportunity.

    “But as Steve Peters always tells me, life is not fair. You don’t always get what you deserve at that moment.

    “It just happened and it was super frustrating. Obviously I’d love to put that right here on Saturday.

    “But as I said, there are so many factors that come into play. We will go out there and do our best as a team. We have a strong team on paper.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    SAMBA STARS

    Just seven minutes into Brazil's Group D clash against Germany and the South American nation have taken the lead.

    Follow all the action with the SunSport LIVE blog.

    Click HERE to follow.

  • Jake Lambourne

    CHECK YOUR CHANGE

    It's worth having a dig down the back of the sofa for rare coins, which could be worth up to £720.

    In honour of the 2012 Olympics in London, the Royal Mint launched 29 new 50p coins featuring various sports in the games.

    The series sparked the interest of collectors, and if you have one of these coins it could be worth hundreds if you sell it on eBay.

    The Royal Mint estimates that as many as 75% of the Olympic 50p coins have been removed from circulation by collectors, pushing their value up.

    And coin valuing website ChangeChecker.org is predicting that the Tokyo Olympics could push prices even higher.

    According to ChangeChecker.org, the football coin is the rarest, with just 1,125,000 entering circulation.

    But in terms of price, the most expensive recently sold listing we could find on eBay was £720 for a 2012 Olympic aquatics coin.

    Here are the rarest coins from the 2012 Olympics
  • Jake Lambourne

    ARGIE BARGIE

    Argentina's Group C clash against Australia has kicked off in Tokyo.

    And you can keep up to date with all of the action with the SunSport LIVE blog of the match.

    Click HERE to follow.

  • Jake Lambourne

    FOOTBALL ROUND-UP

    Burnley striker Chris Wood scored the only goal of the game in the Group B clash between New Zealand and South Korea.

    The 29-year-old fired home in the 76th minute to secure the victory for the All Whites.

    And the Group D fixture between Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia ended in a 2-1 victory for the African outfit.

    Ivory Coast took the lead in the 39th minute after Saudi Arabia defender Abdulelah Alamri scored an own goal.

    But they were back on level terms five minutes later after Salem Al-Dawsari got on the score sheet.

    AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie then put his country back in front in the second half, with the scoreline remaining 2-1.

  • Jake Lambourne

    VIVA LA MEXICO

    Mexico have thrashed France 4-1 in their Men's football Group A opener.

    Both teams went into the break on level terms, but it was Mexico that came out the block fast in the second period.

    Alexis Vega got on the end of a Diego Lainez cross to head the opener before Cordova added a second eight minutes later.

    Frace halved the deficit in the 70th minute after Andre-Pierre Gignac tucked home a penalty.

    But substitutes Uriel Antuna and Erick Aguirre added goals in the final ten minutes to wrap up an emphatic win.

  • Jake Lambourne

    ALL OVER

    Spain's football opener against Egpyt has ended in a 0-0 draw at the Sapporo Dome.

    Spain were the better team in Toyko, who lost both Oscar Mingueza and Dani Ceballos to injury in the first half.

    Mingueza limped off on 22 minutes following a rough challenge while Ceballos hobbled off during stoppage time due to a clash with Taher Mohamed.

    The former Arsenal loanee also rattled Mohamed Elshenawy's post when his wonderful curling shot just missed the bottom left corner.

    Both teams will now wait and see what Group C rivals Argentina and Australia do in their upcoming encounter.

  • Jake Lambourne

    OLYMPIC VILLAGE BAN

    US fencer Alen Hadzic has been banned from the Olympic Village – because he is accused of sexual misconduct.

    Hadzic, 29, is confined to a hotel away from the main US team as a direct result of the allegations by three women.

    Epee fighter Hadzic has been branded by three women over incidents that allegedly took place between 2013 and 2015 and another in 2019.

    The first complainant reported Hadzic when both were on the fencing team at Columbia University. He was suspended by college chiefs for 12 months.

    Hadzic is also accused of groping a different woman in 2015, also at Columbia, after he pulled up in his car and invited her and a friend back to his home.

    Quizzed by USA Today, Hadzic denied the allegations, insisting: “Frankly, they’re untruths. They’re just frankly not true.’’

    Read more HERE.

    US athlete Alen Hadzic has been banned from the Olympic Village
  • Jake Lambourne

    TRAILBLAZER

    Rower Moe Sbihi will become the first Muslim to carry the Union Jack into the Olympics Opening Ceremony.

    The selection of 33-year-old Sbihi, in particular, is a statement of intent by Team GB bosses.

    Sbihi, from Kingston Upon Thames, is the only survivor of the four that won gold in 2016 and took bronze in the eight in 2012 and the fourth rower to carry the flag, with Steve Redgrave and Matt Pinsent recent predecessors.

    He said: "It is such an honour to be invited to be the flagbearer for Team GB. It is an iconic moment within the Olympic Movement – people remember those images.

    "I certainly remember the images of Andy Murray from Rio and even before I was a rower I remember seeing Sir Matt and Sir Steve, so it is something I am incredibly proud of.

    "It is going to be a surreal experience actually going to an Opening Ceremony but this year with the racing schedule it is actually manageable even if I wasn’t a flagbearer. It will be really special and will complete my Olympic puzzle.

    "I’ve won a medal, been to the Closing Ceremony but now to actually turn up at an Opening Ceremony and be at the head of the team alongside Hannah it will be a lifetime memory that I will never forget."

    Moe Sbihi, 33, will be one of Team GB's flagbearers in Tokyo
  • Alex Terrell

    SIMONE THE ONE

    USA gymnastics star Simone Biles has been showing off aspects of her secret routine ahead of the Tokyo Games.

    The FOUR-TIME Olympic gold medallist, 24, is expected to be one of the biggest stars of this Tokyo Games.

    Credit: Getty
    Credit: AP
    Credit: Getty

     

  • Jake Lambourne

    ABBEY ROAD

    Britain's Abbey Wood has been given a massive 200m medley boost when Aussie world number one Kayleigh McKeown pulled out of the event.

    McKeown, 20, whose world best mark this year was three tenths of a second quicker than the rest of the field, announced she wanted to concentrate on the 100m and 200m backstroke and the relay events.

    The Aussie set a new world record of 57.45secs in the national trials in Adelaide and is also quickest over the longer distance.

    But it is good news for Wood, the 22-year-old from Buxton, who will now be the third-fastest in the start list in Monday’s heats.

  • Jake Lambourne

    OLYMPICS SHAME

    The director of the Olympic Games opening ceremony has been sacked – for historic jokes about the Holocaust.

    Kentaro Kobayashi was a comedian and in a show in 1998 he told the TV audience 'Let's Play Holocaust'.

    Those comments were widely discussed in Japan in recent days, with Kobayashi coming under sustained fire on social media.

    And now Tokyo 2020 organising head Seiko Hashimoto has confirmed Kobayashi has been booted – less than 36 hours from the ceremony taking place in the Olympic Stadium on Friday.

    It is the latest embarrassment for Games chiefs, even disregarding the Covid crisis that has left athletes on tenterhooks.

    On Monday, Keigo Oyamada, who composed the music to be used in the glittering ceremony, resigned after admitting in a magazine interview that he had bullied classmates with disabilities in his school days.

    Read more HERE.

    Tokyo Games exec Hiroshi Sasaki holds a picture of disgraced opening ceremony director Kentaro Kobayashi
  • Jake Lambourne

    AND HERE WE GO

    Andy Murray has hailed Tokyo 2020 as the most important Olympics ever — to lead sport out of Covid hell.

    Double gold winner Murray said: “This Games can be a beacon of hope for those still experiencing the worst of the pandemic and others that have lost so much over the last year.

    “It’s more important than ever that people get to reconnect to the raw emotion of sport. To watch incredible performances, celebrate achievements.

    “Sport isn’t just a fundamental human right — it is one of the most impactful tools to heal and strengthen society.

    “It supports mental health. It encourages increased physical activity. It exposes us to other cultures and peoples. It brings us together.

    “Overcoming barriers and difficulties defines competing at this level. An incredible amount of work has gone into ensuring the safety of everyone at the Games.

    “It’s going to be amazing playing in Tokyo and I think the Games have never been more relevant.”

    Source: Read Full Article