Olympic Games 2021: schedules, broadcasters, stars, French chances of medals … the guide to the Tokyo Olympics

The Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games begin Friday with the opening ceremony scheduled for 1 p.m. Schedules, channels, stars, French chances … follow the guide to find out what you need.


With seven hours of jet lag (when it’s 8 p.m. in Japan, it’s 1 p.m. in France), the 2021 Tokyo Olympics events will take place much of the night. They will start between midnight and 2 a.m. depending on the day and the discipline. They will then continue continuously to conclude around 4:30 p.m., most often with team sports or athletics. Swimming finals are scheduled at night (from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.) during the first week. It will also be necessary to be early in the morning to follow the qualifiers in judo. The finals will take place later at more pleasant times for French viewers (10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.). To follow the course of Teddy Riner for example, you will have to get up early on July 30 (4 a.m.) unless you wait more wisely for a possible quarter-final at 6.12 a.m., a half at 10.51 a.m. and the final at 11.59 a.m. From July 30, the athletics finals will punctuate the midday and early afternoon times in France.


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What channels to watch the Olympics on

Two media share the TV broadcasting rights in France: France Télévisions for unencrypted rights and Eurosport. They will rely on their many channels to ensure exhaustive monitoring of the events: France 2, 3 and 4 for the public group, Eurosport 1, 2 and 3 as well as seven Eurosport 360 channels for the group belonging to Discovery.


New disciplines

The Tokyo 2021 Olympics welcome seven new disciplines compared to the previous edition in Rio. For baseball and softball, this is a comeback. They had disappeared after the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and will not return to Paris in 2024. Five other disciplines are making their big debuts: surfing, skateboarding, climbing, karate and 3×3 basketball (two teams of three players compete on a half court and a basket).

The objectives and bonuses of French medals

After the 42 medals won in Rio in 2016, the objective of 40 charms was set for French athletes even if the projections were made difficult by the health crisis and the cancellation of several preparatory events, not offering a great hindsight . Athletes who know the joys of the podium will be rewarded financially: 65,000 euros for a gold medal, 25,000 euros for silver and 15,000 euros for bronze. The coaches will receive 35,000 euros for Olympic gold, 15,000 euros for silver and 15,000 euros for bronze.


The chances of French medals

There are those who have already known Olympic gold, others not yet crowned but brilliant in their disciplines and the pleasant surprises that we expected less. In the front row, the eagerly awaited Teddy Riner, already double Olympic champion (plus one in bronze in 2008) in search of a resounding treble. Charline picon (sailing) will also put his title back on the line. In silver in 2016, Renaud Lavillenie (perch), Clarisse Agbegnenou (judo), Kevin Mayer (decathlon), Elodie Clouvel (modern pentathlon) and Sofiane Oumiha (boxing) will aim for a return to the podium, if possible on the highest step. Sacred as a team in Brazil, Yannick Borel (fencing) aims at individual consecration, just as Ysaora Thybus (fencing), mountain bikers Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and Loana Lecomte, the boxer Maïva Hamadouche, the wrestler Koumba Larroque or the triathlete Vincent Luis, dominators on the world stage in their sport.

This also applies Steven da costa (Karate), Johanne defay (surf) or Samir Aït-Saïd (gymnastics), standard bearer with Agbegnenou. The great return of Florent Manaudou – who took a break between September 2016 and 2019 with a handball experience – will also be closely scrutinized even if the Olympic champion in the 50m in London in 2012 (silver in 50m and 4x100m free in Rio) only has the 9th best time of the year over the distance in 2021. A medal would be an achievement. The French basketball, volleyball and handball teams are also contenders for a podium. It seems more complicated for footballers, deprived of all their stars despite the presence of André-Pierre Gignac and Florian Thauvin.


The stars of the games

Without Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or the big stars of the NBA, the Olympics are a little deprived of headlining. There will still be beautiful people with Novak Djokovic in search of an unprecedented Golden Slam (winning the four Grand Slam tournaments and the Olympics over one year). The gymnast Simon biles – four Olympic titles, 19 world titles – will inevitably be one of the most followed athletes. This will also be the case for the swimmer Caeleb Dressel vying for six or seven medals.

His compatriot Katie Ledecky is also highly anticipated in the pools. In athletics, the Swedish pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis arouses wants to hit hard (a new world record?) just like the Norwegian Karsten Warholm, new holder of the 400m world record (46”78). Over 100 meters, the Jamaican Yohan blake and the American Trayvon Bromell are applying to succeed Bolt. Over 200m, the American Noah lyles leaves with the favor of the predictions. In cycling, Tadej Pogacar, recent winner of the Tour de France, will also be among the favorites.


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