When it comes to a plethora of punting opportunities, nothing compares to the largest and most complex sporting event in the world.
After a forced postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Summer Olympics is finally set to take place in Tokyo from 24 July to 9 August – 56 years after the Japanese capital organised its first Games in 1964.
With more than 11 000 athletes and a total of 206 countries and states strutting their stuff across 33 Olympic and 22 Paralympic codes in Tokyo, there will be plenty of sporting action on offer, including newly introduced karate, sport climbing, surfing, and skateboarding events.
Under the motto “United by Emotion”, Tokyo 2020 will take place at 40 venues in and around the city in the future-focused Tokyo Bay Zone and Heritage Zone, which encompasses sites from the 1964 Games. This being Japan, viewers can also expect to see humanoid and car-like robots assisting spectators and athletes!
Team South Africa features a strong sprinting contingent, with the likes of the in-form Akani Simbine, reigning 400m Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk, Simon Magakwe, and Anaso Jobodwana, all expected to fare well.
South Africa has a great record in the pool and in 2021, the country’s hopes will be pinned on 23-year-old breaststroke specialist Tatjana Schoenmaker. The Johannesburg-born phenom has won virtually every other honour outside of Olympic recognition and will be gunning for gold in Tokyo.
Perennial World Surf League Championship Tour contender Jordy Smith will be looking to make a splash at the sport’s Olympic debut, while fellow Durbanite Henri Schoeman will be set on improving on his bronze medal performance at the 2016 Games in the triathlon.
The BlitzBoks flattered to deceive in Rio as favourites to capture the gold medal as sevens rugby made its Olympic entrance. Under Captain Siviwe Soyizwapi and with the likes of Branco du Preez, Justin Geduld, and Angelo Davids in the squad, the men in green and gold will be strong contenders to take top honours in Tokyo.
Of course, there will be plenty to capture the imagination outside of the South African contingent.
Look out for diminutive American dynamo Simone Biles in gymnastics, NBA superstar Kevin Durant, 12-year-old Syrian table tennis sensation Hend Zaza, New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, the first openly transgender athlete in the modern Olympics, and record-breaking Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge. And anyone with even a passing interest in sport will want to tune in to the sub-10 second drama of the 100m finals. Phew!
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