The Organizing Committee of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the International Olympic Committee announced their revised competition schedule for the Tokyo Olympics which was postponed this year due to COVID-19; the opening ceremony will now be on July 23, 2021.
Unlike the previous edition in Rio de Janeiro, the men’s seven competition will be held first, playing over three days from July 26 to 28. The women’s competition will continue from July 29 to 31, which means that the gold medal match will fall on ‘Super Saturday’ – traditionally a featured day at the Games.
The Organizing Committee reconfirmed that there will be two sessions on each day of competition. The morning session will run from 9 a.m. (JST time) until 12:00 and the evening session will run from 4:30 p.m. with closing hours of 19 or 7:30 p.m. The matches for the medals will take place in the afternoon sessions.
Maintaining the pre-postponement policy, the schedules have been chosen with the interest in the welfare and safety of the player, avoiding the peak of the Japanese summer heat, maximizing the environment for the supporters and their relationship.
As previously announced, the rugby sevens will be played at the iconic Tokio Stadium, which was a successful venue for the Rugby World Cup 2019, with a fantastic atmosphere and great playing conditions.
The Rugby Sevens is anticipated to be one of the most sought-after events of the Games after the great success of the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, which generated enormous interest by breaking accumulated records of domestic audience (with 425 million) and the creation of one million of new rugby participants through the Impact Beyond program.
The race to the Olympic qualification to Tokyo is almost complete, with 21 of the 24 teams already assured of their passage to Tokyo. The two women’s teams and one men’s team will be defined in an Olympic Play-off event before the closing date of the qualifying process.
Rugby sevens was a milestone at the spectacular 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In the Olympic debut, the gold medals went to the Australian women and the Fijian men – the first rugby gold medals since 1924 and the first Olympic medal in Fiji’s history.
World Rugby President Sir Bill Beaumont said: “The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are the most important event for the best players in both genders; confirming the competition dates is a great clean-up for the rugby community ahead of what promises to be special Games. “
“Considering that it will be after the COVID-19 pandemic, I am sure that Tokyo 2020 will be a great celebration of sport and solidarity.”
Source: World Rugby