Tokyo 2020 Guide A-C

3×3 Basketball 

  • Sarah Gamal will make history at Tokyo 2020, becoming the first Arab and African woman to officiate a 3×3 basketball game at the Olympics.
  • In just seven years, the sport has gone from the street to the Olympic games
  • Play on half a regular five-a-side basketball court. Each team shooting into a single hoop. Team consists of four players – 3 on court and 1 substitute. The three-point line in conventional basketball serves as the two-point line with shots made outside the line earning two points and those inside one point. Winner is the team with the highest score at the end of the 10 minutes or first team to reach 21 points.


  • Dates back over 10,000 years when bows and arrows were used for hunting and was developed as a competitive activity in medieval England.
  • The most decorated archer in Olympic history is Hubert Van Innis of Belgium, who competed in 1900 and 1920, winning six gold and three silver medals.
  • Individual elimination matches see the loser leave the competition and the winner move to the next stage until it is down to two athletes 

Artistic Gymnastics 

  • The Greeks believes symmetry between the mind and body was possible only when coupled with intellectual activity. The term emerged in the early 1800s to distinguish free-flowing styles from techniques used in military training
  • Between 1896 and 1924, the sport evolved into what we recognise as modern gymnastics. In the early days of artistic gymnastics at the Games, participants often had a background in ballet, and would reach their peak in their 20s
  • Nadia Comaneci’s and Nellie Kim’s perfect scores of 10 at the 1976 Montreal Games, at the age of 14, heralded an era of younger champions, trained specifically in gymnastics from childhood

Artistic Swimming 

  • Annette Kellerman, an Australian swimmer toured the United States performing water acrobatics. Her shows proved very popular and a sport was born. The sport was developed further by Katherine Curtis, who had the idea of combining water acrobatics with music
  • Artistic swimming, also known as synchronised swimming, is a relatively new discipline that has its origins in water acrobatics. It is hugely popular in the United States.
  • A relatively recent discipline, synchronised swimming became an Olympic sport for the first time in Los Angeles in 1984, with solo and duet events. These events also took place at the Olympic Games in 1988 in Seoul and in 1992 in Barcelona. Atlanta replaced them in 1996 with a water ballet for eight people. Since the 2000 Olympic Games, the Olympic programme has included the team event and the duet.


  • Throughout recorded sports history, athletics has always been practised. The first event contested in the ancient Olympic Games was the stadium race, a sprint of about 192 metres. Winners in this event have been recorded from as far back as 776 BC.
  • The modern format of athletics, in which a variety of running, jumping, throwing, walking and combined events are competed at a single meeting, evolved in the late 19th century, when schools and military colleges began to incorporate sports and exercise as part of education programmes
  • Women’s events appeared for the first time at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam, while the men’s programme was standardised as of the 1932 Games in Los Angeles
  • The 1960s saw a boom in athletics in developing countries, with the success of African runners and sprinters of Caribbean origin


  • China has won a total of 18 gold medals — the most by any nation. At London 2012, they became the only country ever to win gold in all five categories 
  • At Rio 2016, the balance of power shifted, with Marin becoming the first non-Asian to claim the women’s singles title. A new generation of players from Europe have started to take centre stage at major tournaments and this edition of the Games could see a shift of what countries win medals
  • Okuhara Nozomi, the Japanese badminton player is intent on making up for her disappointing bronze medal at Rio 2016


  • Softball was introduced at the Olympic Games Atlanta 1996 as a women-only medal sport, with the US winning the sport’s inaugural gold medal 
  • Softball is played in 121 countries and territories across the world and is the women-only counterpart to the men-only baseball tournament in the Olympics 
  • Baseball and softball were absent from the Olympic programme following Beijing 2008. Since both disciplines are hugely popular in Japan, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee used its status as host country to include baseball and softball on the programme 


  • Basketball made its appearance at the Olympic Games in 1904 in St. Louis as a demonstration sport
  • Luka Doncic wants one thing – to take Slovenia to their very first Games in Tokyo 2020. In his only tournament with the national team, he won the 2017 EuroBasket. Now he is one of the biggest stars taking part in the 2021 Olympic Qualifier.
  • In 1992 at the Barcelona Games, famous players from the National Basketball Association (NBA) were allowed for the first time to represent the USA. This team, known as the Dream Team in the international media, was undoubtedly the best basketball team ever formed. It delighted the public and widely dominated the Olympic tournament in 1992.

Beach Volleyball 

  • Beach volleyball first appeared in the early 1920s in Santa Monica, California. Then what started out as just some family fun became a sport spreading rapidly across the world. By the 1930s, the game had reached countries like Czechoslovakia, Latvia and Bulgaria.
  • Beach volleyball really took off in the United States during the 1930s, perhaps as a little relief from the Great Depression. 
  • It was the crossover with popular culture that really launched the sport. In the 1960s, The Beatles appeared at the legendary Sorrento Beach in Los Angeles for a quick hit and U.S. President John F. Kennedy even went to watch a game. 


  • Lauren Price is part of the Team GB boxing team after securing qualification in Paris. Despite competing in multiple different sports and winning several golds, attending the Olympics is the “dream” for Price.
  • With the fall of the Roman Empire, boxing came to an abrupt end. It resurfaced in 17th century England, and organised amateur boxing officially began in 1880. Originally only five weight classes were contested: Bantam, not exceeding 54 kilos; Feather, not exceeding 57 kilos; Light, not exceeding 63.5 kilos; Middle, not exceeding 73 kilos; and Heavy, any weight.
  • Women’s boxing made its debut at the 2012 London Games in London. The traditional 11 men’s events were then replaced by 10 men’s and 3 women’s events.

Canoe Slalom

  • As with canoe sprint, canoe slalom also utilises canoes and kayaks, however, there are some significant differences. The sport was modelled from ski slalom and began in Switzerland in 1932. In its early days, it was first performed on flat water, but later switched to white water rapids.
  • Soudi and Jodar both successfully qualified for Tokyo 2020 when they finished their respective qualifiers as the fastest African athletes in the race, creating a watershed moment for the continent
  • Canoe and kayak racing became full medal sports at the 1936 Berlin Games. However, events were initially limited to canoe sprint until canoe slalom made its debut at the 1972 Munich Games. Slalom racing was not competed again in the Olympic Games until the 1992 Barcelona Games. Canoe slalom racers compete in four events, three for men and one for women, over the same course.

Cycling BMX Freestyle

  • In BMX Freestyle, riders perform routines consisting of sequences of tricks carried out on flat ground, in the streets, on dirt jumps, a halfpipe and/or on constructed ramps. In competition, riders are judged on the quality of their performance.
  • Hannah Roberts BMX Freestyle is making its Olympic debut in Tokyo and all the spotlight is on the 19-year-old American, who won two world titles in three years
  • At Tokyo 2020, BMX Freestyle cycling competitors will compete in the Park discipline. Riders will be given 60 seconds to execute tricks on obstacles such as walls, box jumps and spines. 

Cycling BMX Racing 

  • In 2008 in Beijing that BMX made its debut on the Olympic programme. The men’s event was won by Latvia’s Maris Strombergs. In the women’s event, it was France’s Anne-Caroline Chausson who took the first Olympic title in this discipline
  • Bicycle motocross (BMX) started in the late 1960s in California, around the time that motocross became a popular sport in the USA. 
  • In April 1981, the International BMX Federation was founded. BMX rapidly developed a unique sporting identity and it became evident that the sport had more in common with cycling than motorcycling. This was officially recognised in 1993, when BMX was fully integrated into the International Cycling Union (UCI)

Cycling Mountain Bike 

  • In the 1970s, mountain biking developed as a fringe sport in California. Taking a bike off-road was nothing new, but the development of a new bike that relished such terrain was; these bikes had fatter tyres, rapid-shift gears, drum brakes and ground-breaking suspension. 
  • The members of the Velo Club Mount Tamalpais in California generally receive the credit for establishing mountain biking as a sport. They invented the Repack Downhill race, held regularly between 1976 and 1979 just across the famous Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. 
  • The first national mountain bike championships were held in 1983 in the USA. 

Cycling Road

  • In 1885, cycling took a big leap forward when J.K. Starley devised the chain-and-gearing system. Since then, engineers have embraced modern technology to build ever faster, sleeker and lighter bikes.
  • Like fencing and athletics, cycling is among the rare sports that have always featured on the Olympic programme. Road cycling, however, was not on the programme of the Paris 1900, St. Louis 1904 or London 1908 Games.
  • Olympic cycling was added to the women’s programme in Los Angeles in 1984, with an individual road event. Later, in 1996, the individual time trial was included in women’s Olympic cycling, as it was for the men’s.

Cycling Track 

  • Track cycling events have been organised at all the editions of the Games since 1896, with the exception of the 1912 Games in Stockholm, when only the road race was staged. 
  • Women have competed in the track events since the Seoul Games in 1988
  • Husband and wife Jason and Laura Kenny are both on the cusp of making history – Jason is currently the joint-most-victorious British Olympian with six gold medals, while Laura could extend her record as the female with most wins in the velodrome, and even overtake her husband’s medal record.


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