The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) has revealed the official Olympic Softball game schedule.
Games will begin on 22 July at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium and close with the gold medal game on 28 July at Yokohama Baseball Stadium.
Softball will make it's long-awaited return to the Olympic stage with Australia and defending Olympic champions Japan to open the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games competition on 22 July.
In Game 2, Italy will meet top-ranked USA before Game 3, which concludes the first day of competition, featuring Mexico and Canada.
Spotlighting Fukushima’s recovery
On March 11, 2011 a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Tohoku, where Fukushima Prefecture is located, and triggered a devastating tsunami. The Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, have become to be known as the 'Reconstruction Games' and has seen a focus put into regenerating the region following the Great East Japan Earthquake through many different aspects, including sports.
Not only will the first six games of the Olympic Softball schedule be played in Fukushima but baseball and football will also play in prefectures which were affected by the earthquake and tsunami.
“We are humbled and honoured that softball will open the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and do so in a city that embodies, more than any other, sport’s unique power to unite and rebuild communities - this will send a powerful message of Olympic values to all spectators around the world,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari.
“And today with the announcement of the schedule for softball’s return to the Olympic Games, the athletes will know the path to Olympic gold as they continue preparing to realise their Olympic dreams.”
Road to Gold
All softball teams - Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico and USA - will play each other once in the Opening Round (round-robin) from 22-27 July. The top two teams in the Opening Round will play for gold, while the third and fourth place teams will compete for bronze.
No games are scheduled on 24 July, with softball athletes to join their full delegations and participate in the Olympic Opening Ceremony.
The final three days (25-27 July) of the round-robin will be played at Yokohama Baseball Stadium, where the medal matches will also take place.
The Gold Medal Game will be played on Tuesday, 28 July, at 8 p.m. JST, while the Bronze Medal Game will be held at 1 p.m. JST.
The full 17-game Olympic Softball schedule for the Tokyo 2020 Games can be found here .