Day 1: What to watch Friday night, Saturday morning at the Tokyo Olympics

Day 1: What to watch Friday night, Saturday morning at the Tokyo Olympics
Posted at 3:47 PM, Jul 14, 2021

Each day of the Tokyo Games, NBC Olympics will provide a rundown of the biggest athletes and the biggest events to watch across a variety of sports. Every single event can be streamed live on and the NBC Sports app, and many can also be seen on the television networks of NBC. For even more events, visit the Olympic schedule page to find listings for specific sports or TV networks.

After a day of celebration and ceremony, the Olympics open with a packed slate of competition, where the first medal of the Games is on the line in women's air rifle, the U.S. women's soccer team looks to get their first win of the Games, basketball 3x3 makes its Olympic debut and swimming gets underway with preliminary heats.

Here are the big events, listed in chronological order, to follow on the first full day of competition at the Tokyo Games.

Primetime on NBC

Celebrate the official start of the Tokyo Olympic Games by watching NBC's Primetime broadcast of the Opening Ceremony. This broadcast will include special coverage of Team USA and athlete interviews not seen in the live show that was aired on Friday morning.

Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony

  • Start Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Live Stream: Watch

Men's Gymnastics

Gymnastics competition opens up with men's qualifying on Saturday. This qualifying session will set the field for the team final, all-around final and event finals.

For qualifying, athletes have been split into three different subdivisions, and the U.S. gymnasts — Brody Malone, Sam Mikulak, Yul Moldauer, Shane Wiskus and Alec Yoder — are part of the third and final group. Their subdivision starts at 6:30 a.m. ET, and in addition to the primary coverage of qualifying, the option of a special Team USA Tracker will also be available for viewers.

Subdivision 1

  • Start Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • Live Streams: Watch

Subdivision 2

  • Start Time: 1:30 a.m. ET
  • Live Streams: Watch

Subdivision 3
(includes the United States)


The first medal of the Tokyo Games is at stake in the women's air rifle final (9:45 p.m. ET). American Ginny Thrasher, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist, did not qualify to compete in Tokyo, but the U.S. once again has a gold medal contender in the form of 20-year-old Mary Tucker. The Florida native is ranked No. 2 in the world in the discipline.

Later on, the men will have their first medal event with the air pistol final. South Korea's Jin Jong-Oh, who won gold in this event at the 2012 London Games, is seeking a seventh Olympic medal. It would make him the most decorated South Korean Olympian in any sport.

Women's Air Rifle Final

  • Start Time: 9:45 p.m. ET
  • Live Stream: Watch

Men's Air Pistol Final

  • Start Time: 2:30 a.m. ET
  • Live Stream: Watch

Road Cycling

Fresh off winning his second-straight Tour de France title, 22-year-old Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogacar is looking to add Olympic gold to his collection in the men's road race. Also in the field is Belgium's Wout van Aert, who impressed by winning three stages (including the final one) during the Tour. The question is: After three intense weeks of racing in France, how will they fare in Tokyo with such a quick turnaround?

The course in Tokyo will take racers through the slopes of Mount Fuji.

Men's Road Race

  • Start Time: 10 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: USA
  • Live Stream: Watch


The first weightlifting medal is awarded in the women's 49kg competition, which concludes with Group A lifters at 11:50 p.m. ET. Jourdan Delacruz holds the American record (200.0 kg total lift) in this weight class and is ranked third among the Olympic entrants, giving the U.S. a solid medal hopeful in this event.

Women's 49kg
Group A

  • Start Time: 11:50 p.m. ET
  • Live Stream: Watch

Women's Water Polo

Team USA begins its quest for a third consecutive Olympic title with a group-stage match against host nation Japan. The Americans — who have also won the last three World Championships, the last three World Cups and the last seven World League Super Finals — are the heavy favorites in the tournament.

The U.S. attack is led by Maggie Steffens and Maddie Musselman, and Ashleigh Johnson provides a veteran presence in goal. Steffens (17 goals) led the team in scoring at the last Olympics.

United States vs. Japan

  • Start Time: 1 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN
  • Live Stream: Watch


Archery at the Tokyo Games begins from Yumenoshima Park Archery Field with the Olympic debut of the mixed team event. In this event, pairs of one man and one woman from each country will compete in head-to-head matches in a single-elimination bracket.

Qualifying was determined by Friday's individual ranking rounds, and Team USA enters as the No. 2 seed. Brady Ellison (second in men's qualifying) and Mackenzie Brown (fifth in women's qualifying) form the U.S. duo and have medal-winning potential.

Mixed Team Event
Quarterfinals, Semifinals, Finals

  • Start Time: 1:15 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN (starts 3:30 a.m. ET)
  • Live Stream: Watch


The United States and Japan remain unbeaten through the first two days of round-robin play, and both teams can move another step closer to qualifying for the final by winning Saturday's matches. The United States plays continental rival Mexico, who sits at the bottom of the standings at 0-2 but nearly pulled off an upset against Japan on Thursday. Meanwhile, Japan faces Italy, the tournament's other winless team.

United States vs. Mexico

  • Start Time: 1:30 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN (starts 2:10 a.m. ET)
  • Live Stream: Watch

Japan vs. Italy

  • Start Time: 7 a.m. ET
  • Live Stream: Watch


Judo was born in Japan and remains extremely popular there. It's also the country's best Olympic sport, as Japanese athletes have won more gold medals in judo (39) than in any other sport, and no country has won more judo medals than Japan.

There's a good chance that the host nation's first gold medal of these Olympics comes from judo on Day 1. Japanese judokas Tonaki Funa (women's 48kg) and Takato Naohisa (men's 60kg) are legitimate gold medal contenders in the sport's opening-day weight classes.

Women's 48kg Semis/Final
Men's 60kg Semis/Final

  • Start Time: 4 a.m. ET
  • Live Stream: Watch

Women's Soccer

The U.S. Women's National Team is back in action with a match against New Zealand at Saitama Stadium. Expect the American women to come back in full force as they try to right the ship from a shutout loss to Sweden just a few days ago. That loss was the U.S. team's first in two and a half years, but they'll look to start a new streak against a squad of Kiwis that struggled against Australia in Group G play during a 2-1 loss on Wednesday.

The rest of Saturday's schedule is loaded with intriguing matchups as the top two teams in each group face off head-to-head.

In Group G, Sweden will be flying high as they head into a matchup with an Australia team led by Sam Kerr, and in Group E, Great Britain can clinch their spot in the knockout round with a win over second-place Japan.

One of the day's biggest matchups, though, will be a Group F showdown between the Netherlands and Brazil. Both teams are coming off monster performances from the opening matchday. Vivianne Miedema scored four goals in the Dutch squad's 10-3 takedown of Zambia, and Marta netted two goals to lead the Brazilians to a big 5-0 win over China.

To find the times and stream links for all of Matchday 2, visit the soccer schedule page.

Sweden vs. Australia

  • Start Time: 4:30 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN
  • Live Stream: Watch

Japan vs. Great Britain

  • Start Time: 6:30 a.m. ET
  • Live Stream: Watch

Netherlands vs. Brazil

  • Start Time: 7 a.m. ET
  • Live Stream: Watch

United States vs. New Zealand

  • Start Time: 7:30 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN
  • Live Stream: Watch

Basketball 3x3

Basketball 3x3 makes its Olympic debut on the first day of the Tokyo Games. The faster-paced, half-court game features a different set of rules than the traditional 5-on-5 game, though many of the fundamentals are similar.

The U.S. men surprisingly did not qualify for Tokyo, but the women will be the gold-medal favorite. The team experienced a last-minute shakeup this week when Katie Lou Samuelson had to be replaced by Jackie Gray after a positive COVID test. Gray joins three other WNBA players — Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray and Kelsey Plum — in forming the American roster.

United States vs. France (W)

  • Start Time: 4:55am ET
  • Live Stream: Link

United States vs. Mongolia (W)

  • Start Time: 8am ET
  • Live Stream: Link


The first fencing medals will come in women's individual epee and men's individual sabre. Eli Dershwitz, a 25-year-old from Massachusetts, is a medal favorite and could contend for gold. He's currently ranked No. 2 in the world in men's sabre and won a silver medal at the 2018 World Championships.

Standing in his way are Hungary's Aron Szilagyi and South Korea's Oh Sang-Uk. Szilagyi is the two-time defending Olympic gold medalist in men's sabre and could become the first male fencer ever to win three gold medals in the same individual event. Oh is the reigning world champion and is considered the gold medal favorite.

Women's Epee Semis/Final
Men's Sabre Semis/Final

  • Start Time: 5 a.m. ET
  • Live Stream: Watch


Six events will hold prelims during the first swimming session of the Tokyo Games. Among the prominent Americans in action: 2016 silver medalist Chase Kalisz (men's 400m IM), 18-year-old Torri Huske (women's 100m fly) and American record holder Michael Andrew (men's 100m breast). For Andrew, who broke the American record twice during the course of Olympic Trials, the 100m breaststroke will be the first of at least three events he competes in.

Men's 400m IM Heats
Women's 100m Butterfly Heats
Men's 400m Freestyle Heats
Women's 400m IM Heats
Men's 100m Breaststroke Heats
Women's 4x100m Freestyle Relay Heats

  • Start Time: 6 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: USA
  • Live Stream: Watch

Beach Volleyball

Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena open their Olympic men's beach volleyball campaign with a Pool D preliminary matchup against Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands. Dalhausser, the 2008 beach volleyball gold medalist, enters his fourth Olympics. The two were also paired at the Rio Games but lost in the quarterfinals. The duo from the Netherlands make their second Olympic appearance after winning bronze in Rio. 

Lucena/Dalhausser (USA) vs. Brouwer/Meeuwsen (NED)

  • Start Time: 8 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: USA (starts at 8:30 a.m. ET)
  • Live Stream: Watch

Men's Volleyball

Five years after winning a bronze medal in Rio, the U.S. men begin the volleyball tournament with a preliminary-round match against France. The team returns eight athletes from the Rio team, including David Smith and Matt Anderson, who will make their third appearance. Due to COVID, the major players in men's volleyball have had very few international competitions to play in, but the U.S. enters the Games ranked No. 5 in the world. France, ranked No. 4, is seeking its first men's volleyball medal ever. 

United States vs. France

  • Start Time: 8:45 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBC (starts at 9 a.m. ET)
  • Live Stream: Watch


With three Grand Slam titles already under his belt this year, Novak Djokovic is in contention for a Calendar Golden Slam (all four Grand Slams plus an Olympic title), something that no male tennis player has ever accomplished. All that's left are the Tokyo Olympics and U.S. Open. The Serbian star begins his bid for a first gold medal against Bolivia's Hugo Dellien on Day 1 of the Olympic singles tournament.

To find the stream links for a specific court or a specific match, visit the tennis schedule page. Tennis will also be featured in Olympic Channel's daily TV coverage.

Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs Hugo Dellien (BOL)
Men's Singles Round 1

  • Start Time: 4th match on Center Court
  • Live Stream: Watch