At nine in the morning after Friday’s opening ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the volleyball competition gets under way.
We have already seen reports that such is the heat outdoors that organisers have had to hose down the beach courts to prevent athletes from burning the soles of their feet. Spare a special thought for playing in the second and third of the three shifts each day. These start at 9.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m. with four matches during the morning slot and three in the others. Thus the first day will give us: Japan v Czech Republic, women, Brazil v Argentine, men, Brazil v Argentina, women and Canada v Netherlands, women, in the morning: Switzerland v Germany, women, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) v Spain, men and Switzerland v Germany women in the afternoon, and in the evening Canada v China women, Netherlands v USA men and Norway v Australia men.
Indoors, the men and the women play on alternate days. This means that on Saturday, Italy play Canada, followed by Brazil against Tunisia, ROC against Argentina, Japan v Venezuela, Poland v Iran and USA v France in the men’s pools and next day in the women’s it’s ROC v Italy, USA v Argentina, Serbia v Dominican Republic, China v Turkey, Japan v Kenya and Brazil v Korea. As on the beach, there will be three sessions but with two morning matches, two in the afternoon and two in the evening – local time. Nine in the morning in Japan is 1.00 a.m. BST so I suspect most of us won’t be viewing the early matches live.
The full fixture lists can be found on both the FIVB and Games web sites. I found the former slightly easier to navigate and I trust London volleyball will enjoy these most unusual of games and the picture of the volleyball venue courtesy of the European Volleyball Confederation. What a shame we can’t be there!
Contributor, Douglas Barr-Hamilton