On a truly bizarre and ultimately rather poignant evening in Japan's capital, the Tokyo Olympics officially got underway in an opening ceremony that was as strange as it was beautiful.
It did not try to match the power or scale of Beijing 2008, the charm or originality of London 2012 or the carnival of colour and samba beats of Rio de Janeiro five years ago.
As Tom Cary reports from Tokyo, instead it was a simple reflection of the times we live in, with constant reminders of challenges these Games face, such as the meagre delegations attending the athletes' parade in front of the deserted stands of the 60,000 seat National stadium.
The first day of official competition at the Games begins overnight tonight. Here is the full schedule and key events to watch.
The men's road race, which starts at 3am, takes place on a course that "could have been designed for the British team", according to their head coach.
The tennis competition also starts tomorrow, with Andy Murray and Heather Watson both due on court.
Judy Murray writes today that tennis does deserve its Olympic status but could be improved in one simple way.
Meanwhile, James Cracknell reflects on the tension that fuelled his Sydney Olympic rowing glory - and why he snubbed Tony Blair.
Big getaway: UK airports face busiest weekend of year
Airports and airlines are set for the busiest weekend of the year so far, as the start of the school summer holidays signals a mass departure to Europe's holiday hotspots. Heathrow Airport is expecting to welcome 128,289 passengers over the weekend, with more than 66,000 expected in its terminals on Saturday alone. It comes as the number of people with Covid-19 across the UK continues to rise, with an estimated three quarters of a million people in England having the virus last week. Here is how to navigate this weekend's holiday rush and read this Q&A on what happens if you get track-and-traced before your holiday. Meanwhile, a former minister has called for the quarantine exemption from August 16 to be brought forward amid the "pingdemic".
TV reporter caught smearing mud on herself at flood
Roving reporters love to get stuck into the stories they cover on the ground - but one German presenter may have taken things a step too far. Susanna Ohlen, a 39-year-old reporter for RTL, has been suspended after she smeared mud on her face and clothes while covering the country's dire floods, in an attempt to give viewers the impression she had joined the rescue effort. After smearing mud on herself, Ms Ohlen then presented a news package at the scene of floods in North Rhine-Westphalia under the heading, "RTL presenter Susanna Ohlen lends a hand in Bad Münstereifel". Watch her being caught out on video.
The end of lockdown: What Front Page readers think
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on how you will be approaching life after 'Freedom Day'. Your responses have been cheerful in many cases - and in others they have been thought-provoking. We hope you enjoyed reading them and we have published dozens more here.
"Nothing changes. My family feel unable to visit restaurants, theatres, and shops because our fifteen-year-old daughter has severe asthma and allergies triggered by viruses and is unvaccinated. I am grateful for my vaccination and the fact my husband and elderly relatives have all been jabbed. However, freedom is our daughter vaccinated and Covid safe."
Rachel Whitehouse, 50, St Albans
News briefing: Today's essential headlines
Giggs in court | Former Manchester United player Ryan Giggs allegedly kicked his ex-girlfriend in the back and threw her naked out of their hotel bedroom, a court heard. The claim forms part of what is said to be a pattern of controlling and coercive behaviour against Kate Greville, 36, between Aug 2017 and Nov 2020. Read the accusations against him.
Cancer breakthrough | Brain tumours detected in urine test
'Havana Syndrome' | CIA officers among 200 Americans afflicted
China floods | Mother dies after saving baby from mudslide
'Beer drought' | Drivers' strike could hit 40pc of lager deliveries
Picnic problems | Fast-food row at National Trust estate
Around the world: Asia turns away from Chinese jabs
Southeast Asia is reducing its reliance on Chinese Covid-19 vaccines, with some countries pivoting towards rival shots amid concerns about vaccine efficacy as the delta variant rips through their populations. Public doubts about the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines against the highly contagious mutation could deal a blow to China's vaccine diplomacy efforts in its own regional backyard. Read on for details.
'There are days when I don't want to get out of bed'
Brian May endured a cancelled tour, heart surgery and then a flood. But he’s found solace in old music, he tells Neil McCormick
Comment and analysis
Matthew Lesh | Half-baked exemption plans will cause utter chaos
Patrick O'Flynn | Bullying unvaccinated under 30s is a waste
Stella Creasy | Pregnant women have been left behind in jab rollout
Anne Jenkin | Why I changed my mind about gender self-ID
Robbie Collin | Hollywood is slyly pulling films – could Bond be next?
Major toll | 'Corporate life turned me into a cocaine addict'
John Stonehouse | How devious Labour MP faked his own death – twice
Business and money briefing
Accounting concerns | KPMG has been singled out by regulators over an "unacceptable" failure to meet required standards in its banking audits for a third consecutive year. Read on for details of its criticism.
Unpaid leave | Why Rolls-Royce is shutting down for a fortnight
Ask the expert | The arguments for and against leasing your car
On top of markets | Live stocks and shares updates 24 hours a day
Harry Kane | Manchester City remain determined to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham this summer but have no intention of paying £160 million for the England striker. Read the latest in the transfer saga.
Man Utd sign Sancho | How he will bring excitement to Old Trafford
The Lost Lionesses | 'It's taken 50 years to feel valued'
Will Greenwood | Gatland's Lions team selection left me astonished
Three things for tonight
And finally... for this evening's downtime
The Hollywood shark whisperer | Beautiful, fearless and handy with a spear-gun – Valerie Taylor grew up with a love for sharks. Tom Fordy reveals how she went nose-to-nose with Jaws.