The Citizen (Gauteng)

Osaka pleads for Tokyo ‘discussion’

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Rome – Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka said she favoured a “discussion” taking place over the Olympic Games taking place, as Tokyo reels from a new coronaviru­s surge.

A virus state of emergency in Japan’s capital city and other parts of the country was extended last Friday, less than three months before the delayed Games are due to begin.

There has been increasing pressure from the Japanese public to cancel the Olympics, which have already been postponed from its original dates last summer due to the pandemic.

“For me, I feel like if it’s putting people at risk and if it’s making people uncomforta­ble, then it definitely should be a discussion, which I think it is right now,” the four-time Grand Slam winner said ahead of the Rome WTA tournament.

“Of course I would say I want the Olympics to happen, because I’m an athlete and it’s what I have been waiting for my entire life.

“There is so much going on, especially the past year, A lot of unexpected things have happened.

“At the end of the day I’m just an athlete, and there is a whole pandemic going on.” –

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