Olympic athletes hard at training as Tokyo 2020 fast approaches - in pictures

Athletes across numerous sports continue to prepare for the start of the Games this weekend

The Tokyo Olympic Games finally swing into action this weekend and for the athletes taking part, preparations have been more challenging than ever.

The Games were postponed for 12 months in response to the coronavirus pandemic, so athletes aiming to peak for last summer have had to modify their training to ensure they now hit top performance this summer.

Now most athletes have arrived in Tokyo ahead of Friday's opening ceremony, they face unprecedented conditions in which to train and compete. Tokyo 2020 organisers have introduced a number of restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19, including limited freedom of movement for athletes around the Olympic facilities.

But as the saying goes: the show must go on - and athletes have been training hard to be ready for the start of the Games.

At the tennis park on Tuesday, two-time gold medallist Andy Murray hit the practice courts as did local hope Kei Nishikori. Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka - the four-time Grand Slam champion and one of the poster athletes for the Games - went through her paces as she bids to win gold for the host country.

Elsewhere, teams from softball, football, and beach volleyball were also training hard on Tuesday.

Take a look through the photo gallery above to check out some of the best pictures from athletes training ahead of the Olympics.

Updated: July 20th 2021, 9:23 AM