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Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Tokyo Olympics grapple with COVID-19 and heat as games kick off

Empty stands, press cordons and ice baths among precautions taken

The Zambian and Dutch women's soccer teams play at Miyagi Stadium on July 21. Spectators were spread out across the venue, and instructed to clap instead of cheer to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- As the first events of the Tokyo Olympics kick off, organizers are taking extra precautions to protect athletes and staffers from both the coronavirus pandemic and Japan's sweltering summer heat.

The clanging of bats hitting the ball echoed across Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium Wednesday morning, where the Japanese and Australian softball teams faced off in the very first sporting event for the Games.

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