The rose-gold, cherry blossom-shaped Tokyo Olympic torch relay finally begins in tsunami-hit city of Fukushima after year-long corona virus delay.
Here is everything that you need to know:
- Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto looks on as actor Satomi Hishihara and Paralympian Aki Taguchi light the celebration cauldron.
- Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto said she hoped the Olympic flame would serve as “a ray of light at the end of the darkness”. “This little flame never lost hope and it waited for this day like a cherry blossom bud just about to bloom,” she added.
- The torch is prepared to be lit during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay Grand Start in Naraha, Fukushima prefecture, Japan.
- Japan’s women’s national soccer teams look joyful as they lead the torch relay in Naraha.
- 10,000 runners ferrying the beacon across 47 prefectures before the Games begin on July 23.
- Most Japanese people will also have to resort to small screens to follow the relay over the next 121 days.
- People lucky enough to watch a leg or two in person will have to wear masks and observe social distancing rules. They will not be allowed to shout enthusiastically, but clapping will be allowed.
With overseas spectators barred from the Games and limits likely on domestic fans, the relay is seen as a vital opportunity to build enthusiasm.