Competition at the Tokyo Olympics kicked off Wednesday morning local time with a softball game between Japan and Australia.
The game took place at Fukushima Azuma Stadium, located about 180 miles north of Tokyo. It was the first of three games set to play throughout the day. Italy will play the U.S. and Mexico will take on Canada.
Only six nations are competing in the softball event at the Olympics. The top two teams out of the initial group stage will play in the gold medal game and the third and fourth-place teams will compete for the bronze medal.
The group state games are played July 21-22 and July 24-26. The final is set to take place on July 27. It’s the first time since 1996 that the opening event of the Olympics is something other than soccer.
It’s the first time since the 2008 Beijing Games that softball is being considered an Olympic event. It was rejected for inclusion at the 2012 and 2016 Games.
In 2008, Japan picked up the gold medal against the U.S. in the finals. Japan won the game 3-1.
Japan’s Yukiko Ueno, Yukiyo Mine and Eri Yamada are the gold medalists from 2008 who are in the current Olympic team competing for another first-place finish.