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Tokyo Olympians play on UGA grass

An official walks across the infield during the Golden Grand Prix 2020 athletics event at the...
An official walks across the infield during the Golden Grand Prix 2020 athletics event at the National Stadium in Tokyo on August 23, 2020. - Japan's top athletes put the new Tokyo Olympic stadium through its paces at a track meet on August 23, one year ahead of the Games which have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP) (Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)(PHILIP FONG | AFP via Getty Images)
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 1:23 PM EDT
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TOKYO, Japan (WALB) - The Summer Olympics may be in Japan this year, but Team USA was on home turf when they took the field for Friday’s Opening Ceremony.

The Japan National Stadium’s field is currently sodded with TifSport Bermudagrass, developed in South Georgia. One of many grass varieties created and tested at the University of Georgia’s Tifton Campus, TifSport is a dense, medium- to fine-textured grass bred to withstand the high traffic sports fields see while tolerating herbicides.

“The turf program’s success is a huge team effort all the way from my 16-year-old brand new student worker to people who’ve been at the Tifton campus for longer than I have,” said Brian Schwartz, a professor of Crop and Soil Sciences in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “We’re here to serve the greater need of our society. It’s a neat mission of the land-grant system here that we can take our time and focus on making a difference in this industry.”

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