Action at the delayed Tokyo Paralympics will finally get under way on Wednesday following an unprecedented build-up and an opening ceremony like no other.
Postponed by a year due to the the coronavirus pandemic, the Games are poised to take place behind closed doors, save for a handful of schoolchildren, volunteers, dignitaries and media.
Tuesday’s inspirational showpiece event inside an almost-empty Olympic Stadium launched 12 days of events across 22 sports involving around 4,400 athletes from 162 national committees.
ParalympicsGB have medal hopes in track cycling and swimming on day one, with competition also set to begin in wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, table tennis, goalball and wheelchair fencing.
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— Paralympic Games (@Paralympics) August 24, 2021
Great Britain flagbearers Ellie Simmonds, left, and John Stubbs pause for a selfie as they lead out the ParalympicsGB contingent at Tuesday’s opening ceremony.
What’s coming up?
Dame Sarah Storey could win GB’s first medal of the Games and move to within one gold of swimmer Mike Kenny’s British Paralympic record of 16. The cyclist will bid to retain her title in the C5 3000m individual pursuit at the Izu Velodrome, with team-mate Crystal Lane-Wright among the competition. Elsewhere, swimmer Ellie Robinson will look to add S6 50m freestyle gold to the 50m butterfly title she won at Rio 2016.