The World Baseball Softball Confederation unveiled the Tokyo Olympics competition schedule for women's softball on Thursday, saying Japan will square off against Australia in the opening game in Fukushima.
The opener will be played at Fukushima's Azuma Stadium at 9 a.m. on July 22, two days before the Olympic Games opening ceremony, when preliminary events begin.
The game between Japan and Australia will be the first sporting action of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
(Right-hander Yukiko Ueno of Japan pitches against the United States in the women's softball world championship final at Zozo Marine Stadium in Chiba Prefecture on Aug. 12, 2018.)
"We are humbled and honored that softball will open the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and do so in a city that embodies, more than any other, sport's unique power to unite and rebuild communities," said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari.
The softball tournament will feature a single round-robin of the six teams -- Japan, United States, Australia, Canada, Italy and Mexico -- followed by a bronze medal game and a gold medal game. The gold medal game is scheduled for July 28 at Yokohama Stadium.
This summer, Olympic baseball and softball games will be held in Fukushima Prefecture to showcase the region's recovery from the 2011 nuclear disaster. The games have been billed by organizers and the government as the "reconstruction Olympics."
Baseball/softball is one of five sports added to the program for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but they were not included among the shortlisted sports for Paris 2024.