Hosts Japan has kicked off the 2020 Olympic Games in style as they beat Australia 8-1 in softball. The initial two days of games are being held at a baseball stadium at the foot of lush hills in Fukushima, a region badly affected by the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster.

16 months after the decision was made to delay the Olympics and two days before the official opening ceremony in Tokyo, the games in Fukushima will, like most other Olympic events, be held behind closed doors due to surging infection figures.

Beijing 2008 gold medallist softball pitcher Ueno Yukiko, delivered the opening pitch of her nation’s Olympic Games last

night. She would go on to notch her eighth Olympic win as Japan defeated Australia in five innings, 8-1, in an opening round game.

Ueno worked around some first inning trouble, loading the bases with one out and conceding the first run to Australia on a hit-by-pitch. Japan immediately drew level in the bottom of the first on a Yamamoto Yu RBI single, then the hosts teed off with the long ball.

For 19 days, through 8th August, 11,000 athletes from 205 countries and regions, will compete at venues in and outside the Japanese capital, which is currently under a state of emergency.

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