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As the early events at the Tokyo Olympics get begun, Japan thrashes Australia in softball.

As far as first pitches go, this one was far from ceremonial.
When Yukiko Ueno, a 39-year-old pitcher, hit the first pitch of Japan’s Olympic softball pool match against Australia, it finally signaled the start of a Games that had been delayed by a year and were still being questioned even as they began.
Only hours before, Toshiro Muto, the head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, had given a very flat-bat response, prompting a new round of headlines highlighting the possibility of the most 11th-hour of 11th-hour cancellations, and the argument will undoubtedly continue for the next three weeks, and most likely into next months Paralympics as well.
Although the Games do not officially begin until Friday night’s opening ceremony, there will be some relief that they are now begun in some sense, with baseball and football games slated to begin on “Day minus two.”
Recovery was made a primary subject of these Games long before the pandemic, and they were always scheduled to begin 150 miles from Tokyo in Fukushima, the site of the 2011 nuclear disaster, but the symbolic impact was nothing like what had been envisioned so long ago.
“It’s a bit of a letdown,” Ueno stated afterward.
“We wanted to demonstrate our performance in front of the people of Fukushima, who have put in a lot of effort to rebuild Fukushima.” We’ll have to get used to seeing empty bleachers again, just as we seem to have done in the UK, but the return of softball and baseball to the Olympic schedule for the first time since 2008 still promises to be a source of excitement.
Baseball is Japan’s most popular sport, and its premier league, Nippon Professional Baseball, is the world’s fifth most popular domestic league, trailing only the NFL, Bundesliga, Premier League, and AFL.
While the men will be vying for their first Olympic gold, the Japanese women are the defending softball champions, having defeated the United States in an upset victory in Beijing.
It was fitting that the lady who struck out the United States to take gold was back 13 years later to kick-off this tournament as Japan began their defense in excellent form, with a smashing win against Australia.
“I was actually trying to calm down before the game and not let myself get unduly enthusiastic about this opportunity to go back to the mound for the Olympics,” said Ueno, who got off to a rough start, giving up the opening run on a hit-by-pitch before recovering as Minori Naito and Yamato Fujita each hit home runs in an 8-1 rout that was called after five innings.

Categories
NFL News

As the early events at the Tokyo Olympics get begun, Japan thrashes Australia in softball.

As far as first pitches go, this one was far from ceremonial.
When Yukiko Ueno, a 39-year-old pitcher, hit the first pitch of Japan’s Olympic softball pool match against Australia, it finally signaled the start of a Games that had been delayed by a year and were still being questioned even as they began.
Only hours before, Toshiro Muto, the head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, had given a very flat-bat response, prompting a new round of headlines highlighting the possibility of the most 11th-hour of 11th-hour cancellations, and the argument will undoubtedly continue for the next three weeks, and most likely into next months Paralympics as well.
Although the Games do not officially begin until Friday night’s opening ceremony, there will be some relief that they are now begun in some sense, with baseball and football games slated to begin on “Day minus two.”
Recovery was made a primary subject of these Games long before the pandemic, and they were always scheduled to begin 150 miles from Tokyo in Fukushima, the site of the 2011 nuclear disaster, but the symbolic impact was nothing like what had been envisioned so long ago.
“It’s a bit of a letdown,” Ueno stated afterward.
“We wanted to demonstrate our performance in front of the people of Fukushima, who have put in a lot of effort to rebuild Fukushima.” We’ll have to get used to seeing empty bleachers again, just as we seem to have done in the UK, but the return of softball and baseball to the Olympic schedule for the first time since 2008 still promises to be a source of excitement.
Baseball is Japan’s most popular sport, and its premier league, Nippon Professional Baseball, is the world’s fifth most popular domestic league, trailing only the NFL, Bundesliga, Premier League, and AFL.
While the men will be vying for their first Olympic gold, the Japanese women are the defending softball champions, having defeated the United States in an upset victory in Beijing.
It was fitting that the lady who struck out the United States to take gold was back 13 years later to kick-off this tournament as Japan began their defense in excellent form, with a smashing win against Australia.
“I was actually trying to calm down before the game and not let myself get unduly enthusiastic about this opportunity to go back to the mound for the Olympics,” said Ueno, who got off to a rough start, giving up the opening run on a hit-by-pitch before recovering as Minori Naito and Yamato Fujita each hit home runs in an 8-1 rout that was called after five innings.