Tokyo 2020 Day 1 preview: Race to top of podium begins

The long wait is finally over and Friday sees the start of the Tokyo 2020 sitting volleyball competition at the Makuhari Messe Hall A. Two weeks packed with some fantastic matches to look forward to with the best men’s and women’s teams vying for the Paralympic Games’ holy grail – the gold medal.

On Wednesday, a rehearsal match took place between Germany and Iran, giving the LOC and Tokyo 2020 volunteers to get a feel of the action at the competition hall.

Germany’s Dominik Albrecht gave a positive feedback on his experience so far at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

“This (facility) is very impressive. It’s great, big and I am trying to imagine how many people could be inside and the great people of Japan and Tokyo who would like to see this event,” Albrecht said.

“I want to have big and great results in this tournament with my team and I think this rehearsal match was great. It’s a great chance to find out where we stand to get us motivated. I can say that we are not playing a 100 per cent, but let’s see the results if we won the first set and come back after a hard situation at the beginning of the second set. I think if we play this way, we have a good chance in our group.

“We are aiming to finish second in the group, at least, and then the knockout rounds. We will see who will play next – RPC or Bosnia.

“All in all, it’s very good here, it’s all greatly organised. I feel very safe.”

Both teams of Japan are starting the competition against first time participants Italy in the women’s event at 10.00 local time and experienced RPC in the men’s event at 14.00.

The second women’s match will seen World Top 5 teams, as Rio bronze medallists Brazil play Canada at 18.30. A rematch of the Rio 2016 semifinal between Egypt and Bosnia and Herzegovina will highlight the conclusion of the opening day with their match at 20.30.