This bowl-shaped 35,000-capacity venue about a 45-minute drive from downtown Tokyo, with its steep, elegantly curving blue stands, is sadly empty – but no doubt there’ll be a big home audience watching on television as Japan look to retain their Olympic title. Which they’ve held for 13 years, given that Olympic softball was last seen in Beijing. And with Paris set to skip the sport, the winners tonight will be reigning champions for at least seven years, given that, as you’d expect, baseball and softball are expected to return in LA in 2028.

The good news is that it stopped raining a few hours back, so while the field may be a little slick, we should be set to complete the game without any weather delays, though it’s rather humid and hot – anticipated to be 28C/82F at first pitch.



The Guardian

By EDITOR

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