The opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium will be spectacular but has been shrouded in secrecy so far. Because of Covid restrictions fewer athletes than usual will be joining the parade of nations. As usual Greek athletes will lead the march behind the flags with the Americans and French last before the entry of the host Japanese team. Like the final event of the Games it will be a marathon and a lump in the throat is inevitable.
That opening ceremony does not leave a lot of time for events on the first real day of competition although Britains rowers are quickly into action on the Sea Forest Waterway. The womens quadruple sculls, Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne, Hannah Scott, Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne and Lucy Glover are a strong combination and Team GB expect another healthy haul of medals.
The other events on the first Friday are the individual ranking rounds for men and women in archery at Yumenoshima Park. The six-strong British team includes Naomi Folkard who is competing in her fifth Games with the 18-year-old James Woodgate competing in his first Olympics. India will be hoping to build on their recent impressive World Cup displays.
The start of the mens and womens tennis competition at Ariake Tennis Park and all Britain will begin to will Andy Murray on to a third successive gold medal. Since Rio, of course, Murray has been beset by injury problems and his hip surgery two years ago means that winning gold will be a monumental task but with Murray nothing seems impossible. Win or lose, expect plenty of tears.
Back on the Sea Forest Waterway the womens pairs heats feature two-time Olympic champion Helen Glover who is seeking to become the first British rower to compete at an Olympics after having children. Glover partners Polly Swann, who won silver in the womens eight in Rio. The 35-year-old Glover gave birth to twins in January last year and to a boy in 2018.
Charlotte Dujardin, who began riding horses as a two-year-old, is the most successful British dressage rider in history. The team event begins today and the 36-year-old is hoping to add another gold to the two she won in London and the one in Rio. Her horse Valegro has retired and Dujardin will be riding Renai Hart in Tokyo.
Britain is sending a team of 11 boxers seven men and four women to Tokyo and all expect to win medals. The womens middleweight competition starts today and 2019 world champion Lauren Price has every chance of picking up a gold. It has been my dream to compete at the Olympic Games since I was eight years old, said the former Wales international footballer, who took gold in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, so to finally have the opportunity is amazing.
Weather permitting, this day also sees the introduction of a new sport to the Games. Forty surfers from 17 different countries are taking part in the surfing competition at Tsurigasaki Beach. Kanoa Igarashi and Hiroto Ohhara are the home hopes in the mens event and Mahina Maeda and Amuro Tsuzuki in the womens. Not surprisingly, Americans and Brazilians are favourites for medals with Brazils Gabriel Medina looking hard to beat.
Britains mens eights won gold in Rio five years ago and on Sunday morning they begin their quest for a repeat as the heats begin. Mohamed Sbihi, one of those medallists in Brazil, is competing in his third Games. It will be a difficult achievement to repeat Rio but the British team are confident they can triumph in what has been a successful event in the past.
When Adam Peaty won in Rio it was the first gold medal at an Olympics by a male British swimmer for 24 years. The 26-year-old Peaty is a red-hot favourite to successfully defend his 100m breaststroke title at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Peaty is the world-record holder and an eight-time world champion.
In the pool we will also get the chance to see Ariarne Titmus, a 20-year-old from Tasmania. Titmus is known as The Terminator and at the Australian trials swam the 200m and 400m freestyle faster than the great Katie Ledecky. As ever, the main rivalry in swimming will be between the Australians and the Americans, who have chosen the youngest squad in their history.
Yorkshires Tom Pidcock celebrates his 22nd birthday during the Games and he has high hopes in the cross-country mountain bike event. He has returned to racing after breaking his collarbone in a training crash. Pidcock recently won a World Cup event in the Czech Republic, comfortably ahead of rival Mathieu van der Poel, who has been making a name for himself in the Tour de France.
The football tournament started two days before the opening ceremony andthe womens match against Canada will be a stiff test for a Great Britain squad under new coach Hege Riise. Riise won gold as a player with Norway in Sydney in 2000 and has a strong squad that includes 11 players from Manchester City, including Fifas 2020 player of the year Lucy Bronze. Gold for Bronze is a headline waiting to be written though the Americans may have something to say about that.
Great Britains mens hockey team have only four players who competed in a disappointing Rio campaign and their captain, Adam Dixon, says they are ready to ruffle some feathers. The meeting with Germany in a Pool B game at Oi Hockey Stadium will be an acid test for the British men who famously won gold in 1988.
Who can defeat the all-conquering Chinese at table tennis? This day in the Metropolitan Gymnasium sees the mens and womens singles round of 16 and Britain are represented by Chesterfields Liam Pitchford, who is in his third Olympics, and Tin-Tin Ho who is in her first. Ho is a 22-year-old medical student at the University of Nottingham and the pair have played mixed doubles for England, winning silver at the last two Commonwealth Games.
Katie Ledecky is the worlds best female swimmer and her best event, the 1500m freestyle, is now in the Olympic programme. The American will not be as dominant as she was in Rio but, at 24, she will still be the overwhelming favourite in the 1500m and in the 800m which she won by an astonishing 11 seconds back in 2016.
Tao Geoghegan Hart did not defend his Giro dItalia title this year. One reason was that he wanted to compete in Tokyo. Today he and former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas compete in the mens time trial. The 26-year-old Londoner has recovered from a bad crash in the Paris-Nice race and expects to be at the peak of fitness in time for Tokyo.
Naomi Osaka missed Wimbledon but the No 2-ranked woman in the world, who was born in Japan to a Haitian father and Japanese mother, would not miss Tokyo for the world. It would be a major shock not to see her reach the quarter-finals, especially in the absence of other leading women such as Serena Williams. It would be a shock too if Osaka didnt go on to win gold.
Simone Biles, Americas phenomenon, is trying to become the first female gymnast in more than half a century to win consecutive all-around Olympic golds. This is expected to be one of the real spectacles of Tokyo and the 4ft 8in Biles, who won four medals in seven days in Rio, is set to be the biggest star of the Olympics.
Great Britains women kick off their Rugby Sevens programme at the Tokyo Stadium with high hopes of success although New Zealand, who they meet in the pool stages, will be favourites for the event. The Wasps pair Meg Jones and Celia Quansah are in the British squad. They are a same-sex couple but not the first to compete for Team GB Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh won hockey gold in Rio.
Great Britains women hockey players face a pivotal match in the competition against the strong Netherlands team in their quest to defend that gold medal. The British team includes Laura Unsworth, whose 276 caps make her the most experienced player in her countrys history. The young 16-strong British squad contains nine players making their first Olympic appearances but they look powerful enough to fight for medals.
The business end of any Olympics is track and field. It begins with a highlight, the mens 10,000m final. Sam Atkin, from Grimsby, is Britains sole representative but Mo Farah has gone and his title is certainly Africa-bound. The Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei is the world champion and firm favourite.
Back in the pool Freya Anderson, a 20-year-old from Birkenhead, is a freestyle sprinter who has attracted plenty of attention since her 100m win in the world juniors in Indianapolis four years ago. Anderson won five golds at the Europeans in Budapest last year and will be eyeing at least a place in todays 100m final.
It may be a good opportunity to watch one of the Olympic greats at the Nippon Budokan. Teddy Riner, who was born in Guadeloupe, is Frances star judoka. The 32-year-old Riner won gold in London and Rio in the +100kg category. Kokoro Kageura, one of the few to have beaten Riner, is the world champion and will have the whole of Japan in his corner.
The race to decide who is the worlds fastest woman, the 100m final, pitches Jamaicas Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the second quickest woman in history after her recent 10.63 run in this event, against the likes of Britains Dina Asher-Smith, the 200m world champion. The flamboyant American ShaCarri Richardson is banned and misses out.
The Olympic Stadium will also see the final of the 4×400 mixed relay. Doha in 2019 was the first event of its kind. The men usually start and end the relay but that is not compulsory. In Doha the world-record holders USA beat Jamaica to gold. That will be a pointer in Tokyo with Britain hoping to mount a challenge in this fascinating event.
Team GB, as usual, have medal prospects in sailing. This day seesthe mens and womens finals of the RS:X class. Both British windsurfers Tom Squires and Emma Watson are Olympic newcomers with 20-year-old Watson the youngest in the British squad. Britain have won 28 golds since sailing made its Olympic debut in Paris in 1900 and this team can ride that wave.
Scotlands Laura Muir has been the standout British hope in the 800m for some time but she has a new rival in a 19-year-old from Manchester, Keely Hodgkinson, who powered past her to win in the British Championships in her home city earlier this summer. The pair are likely to be medal contenders in this final.
This will also be the moment Dina Asher-Smith hopes she can run into the history books. The world 200m champion is the fastest British woman ever with national records in both the 100m and 200m. The competition will be fierce and the margins for success and failure wafer-thin but the 25-year-old Blackheath & Bromley Harrier can provide Britain with one of its highlights in Tokyo.
Away from the athletics stadium, British eyes will turn to the Enoshima Yacht Harbour where Giles Scott will be hoping to repeat his dominant display in Rio and retain the gold medal in the Finn class. Scott won in Rio with a day to spare and has six world titles as evidence that he will be a favourite again.
The beginning of an eagerly-awaited heptathlon sees Britains Katarina Johnson-Thompson compete in her third Olympics. The Liverpudlian scored a British record 6,981 points on her way to a world title two years ago but has been hampered by injury problems which will put her gold-medal prospects in the balance.
Who will be the next Usain Bolt? The American Noah Lyles is convinced it will be him. Lyles has the stats to back him up. He is the reigning 200m world champion and his 19.74sec the fastest time this year. This day sees the final of the 200m and the 23-year-old from Florida looks unbeatable. TEam GBs Adam Gemili is an outside prospect for a medal.
Some of the top women golfers in the world are in the first round of the womens individual stroke play. Nelly Kordas first major win in the Womens PGA Championship put the American on top of the Tokyo rankings ahead of the South Koreans Ko Jin-young and Inbee Park. Melissa Reid and Jodi Ewart Shadoff are the British challengers in a field of 60.
Skateboarding takes its bow in the Olympics and Sky Brown is Team GBs great hope. The 12-year-old Brown is set to become Britains youngest ever summer Olympian. Only a year ago she suffered a head injury after a fall in training but she has recovered and is joined in the Ariake Urban Sports Park by 15-year-old Bombette Martin.
Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa is the Olympic champion and world record-holder in the 400m and near the end of the day this prestigious event has its final. Despite tearing an anterior cruciate ligament playing in a charity rugby game in 2017 he still thinks he can run below 43sec after shattering Michael Johnsons record in Rio. It could be one of the great comeback stories.
The beach volleyball at Shiokaze Park enters its semi-final stage. This was one of the most joyous events in Rio. This summer because of Covid restrictions on crowds it may be less fun. The Brazilians are expected to challenge for medals again with the Canadian pair Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes favourites for gold.
Karate at the Nippon Budokan is sure to be a big draw for Japanese spectators but perhaps has only novelty value for the rest of the world. This new Olympic sport may, though, see a Spanish winner in Sandra Sánchez, a current world and European champion in the discipline of kata which has its womens final bout.
The final of the super-heavyweight boxing comes on the last day of competition and Frazer Clarke is looking to follow in Anthony Joshuas footsteps. The 29-year-old captain of the British team is from Swadlincote in Derbyshire, oddly the birthplace of former British heavyweight Jack Bodell. Surely an omen there.
Jason Kenny already has six Olympic gold medals, a figure only matched by Chris Hoy. The final day of the Olympics can see Britain add to their medal tally and in the mens keirin final Kenny could be stepping back on the middle of the podium.
The traditional end of the Olympics sees the mens marathon final at Sapporo Odori Park with the medals presented during the closing ceremony at the Olympic Stadium. Kenyas Eliud Kipchoge is the greatest marathon runner of the modern era and, at 36, can successfully defend his crown.