Senior JOC member wants Olympics postponed

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TOKYO -- The Tokyo Olympics internatio­nal sporting calendar, the ideal that sports bring about should be postponed, according raising doubts about whether world peace,” she said. to a senior member of the Games can open as scheduled The Olympics should not the Japan Olympic Committee, on July 24. be held “if people across the adding her voice to a growing Organisers have scrapped world can’t enjoy themselves,” chorus calling for Tokyo 2020 qualifiers and scaled back test she said. to be delayed due to the coronaviru­s events, while many countries “What I’m most scared of pandemic. have imposed travel bans. is that we force an opening “It should be postponed under The Internatio­nal Olympic and have people question the the current situation where Committee, which will take Olympics, asking, ‘Why only athletes can’t be well prepared,” the final decision on whether the Olympics’?” she said.

Kaori Yamaguchi, a JOC executive to proceed as scheduled, has She also urged the IOC to at board member, told the voiced its commitment to the least set a deadline for its final Nikkei daily in an interview Games going ahead. decision. published on Friday. Yamaguchi criticised the Yamaguchi said she plans

Yamaguchi, who won a IOC stance, saying the body “is to argue her position when the bronze medal for judo at the putting athletes at risk.” JOC meets Friday next week, 1988 Seoul Olympics, is the “By asking them to train under the business daily added. first JOC board member to call these conditions, the IOC is Her comments came as the openly for a postponeme­nt of opening itself up the criticism Olympic flame was landing the Tokyo Games. that it is not putting athletes in Japan to a muted reception

The coronaviru­s pandemic first,” Yamaguchi told the newspaper. as organisers have scaled back has killed nearly 10,000 globally “Unlike other sporting events surroundin­g the torch and played havoc with the events, the Olympics symbolise relay due to the virus. British sports leaders say they won’t endanger athletes LONDON -- British Olympic Associatio­n chiefs insist With Euro 2020 and the Copa America postponed they will not “endanger the health” of athletes by because of the virus, there have been calls encouragin­g them to prepare for Tokyo 2020 if the to cancel the Olympics or push it back, given the coronaviru­s makes it unsafe. widespread chaos in the global sporting schedule at

The Internatio­nal Olympic Committee remains present. committed to the Olympics going ahead in Japan on The BOA support the IOC’s decision-making schedule on July 24. process but said: “We can be categorica­lly clear that

But many athletes have raised concerns that current we will not endanger the health and well-being of the social distancing restrictio­ns imposed due to athletes or wider delegation at any point. the pandemic are making it impossible to prepare “It is imperative to preserve competitiv­e integrity properly. for athletes, but it is clearly only wise for athletes to

Guy Learmonth, hoping to be picked in the continue to prepare for the Games where it is safe 800m, this week became the first British athlete to and appropriat­e to do so, within relevant Government warn that the risks of going to Tokyo are too high in and public health guidelines.” the circumstan­ces. Officials from the BOA and British sports federation­s

Athletes’ frustratio­n was not reserved for the British, returned from Tokyo this week following a series with Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi of venue and athletes’ village visits, and reported also blasting the IOC. that preparatio­ns appeared to be on track.

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