First golds up for grabs as Tokyo 2020 Paralympics gets underway as Japan battles covid increase

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(CNN)Australian cyclist Paige Greco won the archetypal golden of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics connected Wednesday with the Games, delayed by a twelvemonth owed to the pandemic, yet underway arsenic caller coronavirus cases surge successful Japan's capital.

Greco crossed the enactment archetypal successful the women's C1-3 3,000 meters idiosyncratic pursuit astatine the Izu Velodrome up of metallic medalist Xiaomei Wang from China. Germany's Denise Schindler clinched bronze.

Among the dozens of medal events Wednesday, 16 golds are up for grabs successful swimming.

    Speaking aft qualifying for the men's 400 meters freestyle last connected Wednesday day successful Japan, Australian swimmer Alexander Tuckfield said getting into the excavation aft the agelong postponement felt similar having a "weight lifted from my shoulders."

      "Five years of conscionable training, grooming and grooming for this competition," Tuckfield said.

      Australia's Paige Greco claims golden  astatine  the Izu Velodrome connected  August 25, 2021.

      The wheelchair hoops and goalball competitions besides began connected Wednesday, with China's women's hoops squad beating Algeria 74-25 and the Netherlands defeating Team USA 68-58.

      Medal events successful wheelchair fencing are scheduled for Wednesday day successful Japan.

      The 2020 Paralympics kicked disconnected with a colorful and celebratory opening ceremony Tuesday night, including a parade of the participating nations led by the six-member Paralympic Refugee Team.

      One unpaid carried the Afghanistan flag, successful grant of Afghan athletes incapable to vie successful the Games aft flights retired of the state were canceled aft the Taliban seized power.

      Speaking connected Wednesday, IPC spokesperson Craig Spence said 2 Paralympians from Afghanistan had managed to fly the country.

      "I'm not going to archer you wherever they are, due to the fact that this isn't astir sports, this is astir quality beingness and keeping radical safe," helium said. "They are present successful a harmless place. They person been done a precise traumatic process, and they are undergoing counseling and intelligence wellness tests."

      Maryam Salehizadeh and Meghan Mahon of Canada successful  enactment   during a goalball lucifer  with the Russian Olympic Committee connected   August 25 successful  Chiba, Japan.

      Not each state attended the opening ceremony: New Zealand's Paralympic squad did not instrumentality portion owed to concerns implicit the dispersed of Covid-19.

      Japan has seen grounds coronavirus cases successful caller months, with much than 21,000 infections and 42 deaths nationwide reported Tuesday.

      Tokyo confirmed 4,220 caller cases connected Tuesday, taking the full fig of infections successful August to implicit 100,000 -- the archetypal clip a monthly tally has crested 100,000 cases. Last week, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said the concern was a "disaster-level" emergency.

      According to the Prime Minister's office, conscionable implicit 40% of Japan's colonisation has been afloat vaccinated arsenic of August 22.

      The Japanese authorities is acceptable to determine Wednesday connected expanding a authorities of exigency for Tokyo and 12 different regions to 8 much prefectures, according to nationalist broadcaster NHK.

        Like the Olympics, the Paralympics are being held astir wholly without spectators to curb the dispersed of the virus. Plans to let immoderate schoolchildren to be events were canceled successful immoderate parts of the state owed to the dispersed of the virus, Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Takaya Masa said Wednesday.

        At slightest 8 Paralympic athletes person tested affirmative for Covid-19 since August 12, according to the IPC, arsenic good arsenic 33 Games-related personnel.

        CNN's Emiko Jozuka successful Tokyo contributed reporting.

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