Fireworks light up the sky over the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo on Friday. AFP
Gulf Today Report
Following a one-year delay due to a coronavirus pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics began on Friday with the opening ceremony held amidst a nearly empty National Stadium.
With strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place, only about 900 dignitaries and other officials were in the stands of the 68,000-seat venue, including International Olympic
Committee President Thomas Bach, French President Emmanuel Macron, US First Lady Jill Biden, and Japan's Emperor Naruhito, who declared the Games open.
John Legend and Keith Urban performed as dazzling fireworks, drones and musical performances set the ball rolling for the pandemic-era Games.
The Games have faced opposition in the country over the fears that a global gathering of 11,000 athletes could lead to a surge in coronavirus cases. Despite tight security arrangements in place, hundreds of protesters holding the banners displaying ‘Lives over Olympics’ protested around the National Stadium.
They were demanding the authorities to stop the Olympics. For the first time in the history of Olympics, the overseas fans are banned from attending the Games.
The Israeli Olympic team members, who were killed by Palestinian gunmen at the 1972 Munich Olympics, were also remembered during the opening ceremony.
The Olympic flame for the 2020 Tokyo Games was lit in ancient Olympia on Thursday amid an unprecedented health lockdown as Greece registered its first death from coronavirus.
Kentaro Kobayashi's remarks in a video of a comedy sketch from 1998 emerged online overnight and sparked shock from some in Japan. He was fired a day before the Games were due to start.
France campaign at Olympics got off to a faltering start after a 4-1 defeat against Mexico while Richarlison scored a hat-trick as Brazil beat Germany on Thursday.
France, who are seeking first Olympic gold since 1984, stumbled in the second half and had to face a defeat in the opening game. Alexis Vega gave Mexico lead and
More than 1,200 cricketers from India and 18 countries across the world have registered to go under the hammer in Bangalore on Feb.12 and 13 for the 15th edition of the world's most lucrative cricket tournament.
The strong winds played havoc at Yas Links but Jamieson remained steady and composed as he battled to a two over par 74 to enter the weekend on a seven under leading total.
American giant-killer Amanda Anisimova sets up Ashleigh Barty showdown, Nadal repels Khachanov to reach last-16 of Australian Open.