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Today at the Olympics: GB women off and running as football tournament starts

The story of Wednesday’s Olympic action in Tokyo.

Ellen White celebrates scoring Great Britain's second goal against Chile
Ellen White celebrates scoring Great Britain's second goal against Chile

The rearranged Tokyo Olympics got under way on Wednesday with victory for Great Britain’s women’s football team and softball action in Fukushima.

Two days ahead of the opening ceremony, Team GB launched the women’s football competition in Sapporo against Chile and emerged comfortable 2-0 winners while there was a major shock as world champions United States went down 3-0 to Sweden.

The day ended on a sour note for Britain though, with the news that shooting gold medal hope Amber Hill will not be able to travel to Tokyo after testing positive for Covid-19.

Ellen White scores
Ellen White scores (Silvia Izquierdo/AP)

Coronavirus continues to cast a shadow over the Games, postponed by 12 months to this summer, and the opening softball games that were supposed to provide a boost to Fukushima a decade after its catastrophic tsunami and nuclear disaster were played in an empty arena.

But it was a winning start nonetheless for defending champions Japan, who emerged 8-1 victors over Australia as softball made its Olympic return for the first time since Beijing 2008.

Picture of the day

Britain's biggest gold medal hope, Adam Peaty, dives into the pool during a training session
Britain’s biggest gold medal hope, Adam Peaty, dives into the pool during a training session (Mike Egerton/PA)

What happened today

Ellen White scored both goals for Great Britain against Chile while Brazil thumped China 5-0, with Marta grabbing a brace to become the first female footballer to score in five consecutive Olympics.

The story of the day came in Tokyo, though, where USA’s 44-match unbeaten run was brilliantly ended by Sweden. In Britain’s group, Japan missed a penalty but scored a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Canada, while Vivianne Miedema scored four times in Holland’s 10-3 victory over Zambia.

Japan defeated the USA to win softball gold in Beijing 13 years ago, and the US also made a winning start on Wednesday with a 2-0 victory over Italy while Canada defeated Mexico.

Social media moment

Coming up tomorrow

The men’s football tournament begins, with reigning champions Brazil taking on Germany in the evening match in Yokohama. Japan face South Africa in Tokyo while Argentina, Ivory Coast, France and Spain are also in action.

The softball continues in Fukushima, with Japan looking for another big win over Mexico, while USA face Canada and Australia take on Italy.

Covid update

Hill’s positive test is a huge blow to both the 23-year-old and Team GB. She was not the only athlete ruled out of the Games on Wednesday, with a Chilean taekwondo player and a Dutch skateboarder both testing positive for coronavirus in Japan.

Fernanda Aguirre, who was due to compete on Sunday in the same -57kg category as Britain’s Jade Jones, posted two positive tests after arriving in Tokyo from Uzbekistan. Meanwhile, Candy Jacobs, who was due to compete in the women’s street event on Monday, is also out after testing positive.

British hurdler Jessie Knight told the Guardian she is one of the six Team GB athletes forced to isolate after coming into contact with an infected passenger on their flight.

Thursday TV Guide

Football: Mexico v France - Eurosport 1 0850; Germany v Brazil -Eurosport 1 1220
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