Tokyo re­ac­tion

‘I feel like cry­ing’

The Guardian - - News Coronaviru­s - Justin McCurry

The host na­tion greeted the IOC’s de­ci­sion to post­pone the Games by up to a year with a dis­ap­point­ment and res­ig­na­tion.

Opin­ion polls taken be­fore the an­nounce­ment sug­gested Ja­panese peo­ple had al­ready ac­cepted that Tokyo 2020 would be sport’s big­gest vic­tim of the coro­n­avirus pan­demic. Ac­cord­ing to a Kyodo news poll last week, al­most 70% of re­spon­dents said they did not ex­pect the Games to go ahead this sum­mer.

One Twit­ter user re­acted with hu­mour, post­ing an im­age of the “new” Tokyo 2020 logo with the zero crossed out in tra­di­tional Ja­panese style. Oth­ers voiced dis­ap­point­ment that they would have to wait an­other year to watch their favourite ath­letes com­pete in

Tokyo. “I’ve been look­ing for­ward to the Olympics and feel like cry­ing,” one user tweeted.

“But I un­der­stand it’s in­evitable un­der the cir­cum­stances. My heart goes out to the ath­letes who have been striv­ing to make the Olympics over the past four years – or even six-and-a-half years since Tokyo was cho­sen as the host city.”

Yuji Ota, vice pres­i­dent of the Ja­pan Fenc­ing Fed­er­a­tion, thanked ev­ery­one who had been in­volved in the prepa­ra­tions for the Olympics, telling them in a post: “What you have done means a lot.”

He added. “But first we have to get through coro­n­avirus. Health must come first.”

Benoît Vêtu, the head coach of the Ja­panese track cy­cling team, said the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee had made the right de­ci­sion. “It’s only just been an­nounced, so I don’t know ex­actly how the rid­ers feel about it, but we’ll dis­cuss it in the morn­ing dur­ing train­ing,” Vêtu told the Guardian.

“I know for sure that they will stay mo­ti­vated for an­other year. We have a very big group with some tal­ented rid­ers, and now they have an ex­tra year to keep im­prov­ing.”

▲ In 2013 Shinzo Abe cheered the IOC de­ci­sion to award Ja­pan the Games

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