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Two-month training in Ethiopian town of Sululta will enable Turkish athletes to qualify for Tokyo Olympics, say team leaders

Turkey's top-notch athletes have been training in one of Ethiopia’s high-altitude training sites, Sululta, with hopes to clinch the qualifying time required to compete in the marathon and 3,000 meters steeplechase in Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The 2020 Summer Olympics Games, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are now scheduled from July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, team leaders Bilal Arslan and Elvan Abeylegesse said Turkey has selected 12 athletes with the best time in the marathon and 3,000 meters steeplechase.

"For a marathon, we have ten athletes, of which six are female. Two women athletes are also training to compete in 3,000 meters steeplechase," said Arslan.

Abeylegesse said that the primary goal of the two-month training in Sululta was to prepare the athletes to compete in the championship at Trabzon, northeastern Turkey, which will take place in mid-February.

"These athletes will run to get the qualifying time required for the Tokyo Olympics in their respective fields," she said.

"We will be back to Ethiopia with those who qualified for Tokyo and do further preparation, maybe for five months," she added.

Located 12 kilometers (7 miles) north of the capital Addis Ababa at an elevation of 2,700 meters, Sululta is surrounded by mountains. It has been attracting internationally acclaimed athletes across the world.

"Sululta is an ideal place for training. Due to its high altitude, it helps athletes to gain endurance and stamina," said Arslan. "The town is plain and it provides a natural running track," he said.

Further, since dietary habits in Ethiopia are similar to that of Turkey, it helps athletes to adapt quickly.

"Everyone in the town wants to help, and the Ethiopian Athletics Federation and local officials are also assisting us," said the team leader.

According to Abeylegesse, the team has been working under a rigorous training regime over the past month and it will continue.

"We have been training with second-level young Ethiopian athletes, who helped us to learn more skills and discipline," she said.

"We are confident that we will achieve what we want," she added.

Busra Recep, a 24-year-old marathon specialist, said she was making progress in every aspect of long-distance running.

"I am doing my level best and hope to register the qualifying time for Tokyo Olympics and represent my country," she added.

Omer Alkan, a 29-year-old athlete engaged in the marathon race for the past 12 years, also hopes to hit the qualifying time, so he returned to Sululta for further training.

(01/15/2021) Views: 47 ⚡AMP
by Seleshi Tessema
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Support for holding Olympics hits new low in Japan

Support for holding the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo Olympics this summer has hit a new low in Japan, a poll found Sunday as the country battles a third wave of infections.

Just over 80 percent of those asked by Kyodo news agency said the huge global event should be cancelled or postponed again -- a jump from around 60 percent in a December 6 survey by the same outlet.

Kyodo said the survey asked 1,041 participants nationwide, who were selected by random dialing.

Tokyo 2020 organizers have said another delay is out of the question and are insisting the Games will go ahead despite a state of emergency declared in the greater Tokyo area this week over a surge in Covid-19 cases.

In Sunday's national telephone poll, around 35 percent of people told Kyodo they favored outright cancellation, while some 45 percent said the event should be postponed a second time.

The month-long emergency in the capital and surrounding regions is less strict than harsh lockdowns seen elsewhere in the world and primarily targets restaurants and bars, which have been asked to close early.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said this week that Japan is committed to holding a "safe and secure" Olympics.

He said he believed the public mood will change when the country begins vaccinations, currently scheduled for late February.

But senior International Olympic Committee official Dick Pound told the BBC he could not "be certain" the Games will go ahead, because "the ongoing elephant in the room would be the surges in the virus".

Public sentiment towards the Olympics in Japan has been less than optimistic for months.

Two polls in July showed the majority thought the event should be postponed again or cancelled, while a survey released in December by national broadcaster NHK found that only 27 percent of respondents supported holding the Games in 2021.

(01/11/2021) Views: 62 ⚡AMP
by AFP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Tokyo 2020 organizers to continue preparation carefully for Olympics during the second state of emergency in the Japanese capital

Tokyo 2020 organizers announced here on Friday that they will continue to make preparation for the Olympic and Paralympic Games during the second state of emergency in the Japanese capital and three surrounding prefectures.

"We will continue to proceed carefully with all necessary work while adopting the required safety and security measures, in order to progress preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Games due to be held this summer," the organizers said in a statement.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared the state of emergency from January 8 to February 7 for the Tokyo metropolitan area including Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures on Thursday afternoon, authorizing tougher measures to fight a resurgence in COVID-19 infections.

Despite the mounting pressure from the worsening coronavirus situation, Suga promised that the Tokyo Olympic Games would be held from July 23 to August 8.

Suga, who became Prime Minister last September, told a press conference on Thursday, "I am determined to hold a safe and secure games," adding that he is optimistic that enthusiasm among the Japanese public will grow once vaccinations begin.

But Dick Pound, the longest-serving IOC member, told UK's state broadcaster BBC that the Tokyo Olympic Games might not take place.

"I can't be certain because the ongoing elephant in the room would be the surges in the virus," the 78-year-old Canadian said.

Ironically, it was also Pound who raised doubt as early as late February last year that the Tokyo Olympics would not take place in 2020.

Pound, who has been on the IOC since 1978, predicted 10 months ago in an interview with the Associated Press that the Games might be canceled because it could not be postponed considering its size.

"You just don't postpone something on the size and scale of the Olympics. There are so many moving parts, so many countries and different seasons, and competitive seasons, and television seasons.

"You're probably looking at a cancellation," he said in the interview.

The Olympics was pushed back by one year on March 24, nearly four weeks after the Pound interview.

Tokyo 2020 organizers are in a race against time to ensure that test events can restart on March 4 as rescheduled. The first event will be the FINA artistic swimming Olympic qualification tournament from March 4 to 7 at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Overseas athletes have been expected to attend some of the test events.

(01/08/2021) Views: 72 ⚡AMP
by Xinhua News
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Kenya's half marathon record holder Kibiwott Kandie says he is shifting his focus to the 10,000m and looks to earn a ticket for this year's Tokyo Olympics

Kenya's half marathon record holder Kibiwott Kandie says he is shifting his focus to the 10,000 metres as he looks to earn a ticket for this year's Tokyo Olympics and help end his country's 53-year wait for a gold medal in the event.

Kandie smashed the half marathon world record by 29 seconds at the Valencia Half Marathon last month, finishing in 57 minutes and 32 seconds and breaking the previous record of 58:01 set by compatriot Geoffrey Kamworor in September 2019.

Kenya's last Olympic gold in the 10,000m came in 1968 when Naftali Temu triumphed in Mexico City, and Kandie is hoping to go one better than Paul Tergat and Paul Tanui, who won silver in 2000 and 2016 respectively.

"I have the drive to prove to the world that I can also perform in track, that is why I made a decision to compete in a 10,000m event with the aim of securing an Olympic ticket," Kandie told the Xinhua news agency.

"I will be more than happy to see the Kenyan flag being hoisted for the 10,000m in Tokyo.

"I know we, as a country, haven't posted the best results in 10,000m recently but I believe with team work and early preparations we will be able to achieve good results in the Tokyo Games."

The Tokyo Olympics are due to take place from July 23 to Aug. 8 after being pushed back by a year because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

(01/07/2021) Views: 87 ⚡AMP
by Sportstar
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Tokyo Olympics torch exhibition has been postponed to prevent spread of COVID-19

The exhibition of the Olympic and Paralympic Games across the greater Tokyo area has been postponed due to the worsening situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced on Thursday in a statement that the decision is made to "reduce the flow of people and the further spread of COVID-19."

The torches have traveled to 14 places since Nov. 2 and was scheduled to be exhibited on Thursday in Akiruno City. The exhibition will be postponed until January 29.

Other exhibitions may also be postponed since Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has declared a state of emergency in the Tokyo metropolitan area including Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, authorizing tougher measures to fight a resurgence in COVID-19 infections.

The state of emergency will be effective from Friday to Feb. 7, with measures including urging people to stay at home and calling for restaurants and bars to stop serving alcohol by 7 p.m. and close by 8 p.m.

Gyms, department stores and entertainment facilities will also be subject to shorter hours

(01/07/2021) Views: 58 ⚡AMP
by Xinhua News
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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World half marathon record holder Peres Chepchirchir seeks inclusion in Kenya's Olympic marathon team

World women's half marathon record holder Peres Chepchirchir harbors an Olympic dream after her successful but COVID-19 pandemic upended year which saw her claim three successive marathon podiums.

The 27-year-old Kenyan broke her own world record in the women's half marathon by crossing the line in 1:05:16 at the 2020 World Half Marathon championships in Gdynia, Poland, before ending the year with victory at the Valencia Marathon timing 2:17:16, a time that saw her move up to positive five on the all-time world women list.

"I had a very successful year in 2020 despite all the challenges brought about by COVID-19 pandemic, I'm glad I was able to compete. My new year wish is to see if Athletics Kenya can consider my performance and make an amendment on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon team by including me in the squad," Chepchirir told Xinhua on Wednesday.

"I will love to compete at the Olympics; it will really make me a complete runner," she added.

Earlier in 2020, Athletics Kenya (AK) named world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei, world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich, Vivian Cheruiyot, a winner of the Olympic 5,000m title in 2016 to the Olympic team.

The 2019 Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei and 2014 world half marathon bronze medallist Sally Chepyego were named as reserves.

The 37-year-old, Cheruiyot aims to compete at her fifth Olympic Games, a record tally for a Kenyan athlete.

However, Paul Mutwii, Athletics Kenya senior vice president and director of competitions told Xinhua that the federation will make some adjustments to the marathon team in order to send a strong squad to the Games which is scheduled for July 23 to Aug. 8.

"Definitely, there will be some changes to the marathon squad depending on the athletes' current form. In fact, in the coming weeks, I will be chairing the technique committee that will determine who will be drafted into the team then make the announcement," Mutwii said on Wednesday.

The world men's marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, Lawrence Cherono, a two-time Amsterdam Marathon champion who also won in Boston and Chicago in 2019, and world bronze medalist Amos Kipruto, who has a best of 2:05:43 were named in the men's team.

Two-time Honolulu Marathon winner Titus Ekiru and 2016 world half marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki were drafted reserves.

(01/07/2021) Views: 66 ⚡AMP
by Xinhua News
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Senior International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Richard Pound claims prioritizing athletes for COVID-19 vaccine is the most realistic way of staging Tokyo 2020

Senior International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Richard Pound has claimed prioritizing athletes for the COVID-19 vaccine would be the "most realistic way" of ensuring the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games take place.

Uncertainty remains over whether year's Olympic and Paralympics in the Japanese capital will go ahead with less than 200 days to go before the event is due to open.

The Games were postponed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the health crisis seems to have worsened after the discovery of the new variant of the virus, thought to be up to 70 per cent more transmissible.

Host country Japan is one of the nations to detect the new variant and is now on the cusp of a state of emergency after reporting a record 5,307 daily coronavirus cases today.

There is hope the development of a number of COVID-19 vaccines will allow Tokyo 2020 to take place safely, however, with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine currently being administered in the countries such as the UK and the United States, while it is awaiting approval in Japan.

Pound denied prioritizing athletes for the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure the Games go ahead would cause a public outcry. 

"In Canada where we might have 300 or 400 hundred athletes - to take 300 or 400 vaccines out of several million in order to have Canada represented at an international event of this stature, character and level - I don't think there would be any kind of a public outcry about that," Pound told Sky News. 

"It's a decision for each country to make and there will be people saying they are jumping the queue but I think that is the most realistic way of it going ahead."

IOC President Thomas Bach has previously encouraged athletes to have a COVID-19 vaccination before Tokyo 2020 but insisted it would not be an entry requirement. 

He revealed the IOC was in talks with manufacturers and other health experts but said the organization would not jump the queue in front of those in greater need of a vaccination.

"We made it clear from the very beginning that the first priorities are for the nurses, medical doctors and everybody who keeps our society alive, despite the coronavirus crisis," Bach said during a visit to the Tokyo National Stadium in November. 

"These are the people who deserve to be the first ones to be vaccinated."

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are scheduled to run from July 23 to August 8, with the Paralympics due to follow from August 24 to September 5.

Organizers plan to have a number of COVID-19 countermeasures in place should the Games go ahead.   

(01/06/2021) Views: 59 ⚡AMP
by Nancy Gillen
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) has said there will be at least 100 athletes in the Tokyo Olympics this year

The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) has said there will be at least 100  athletes in the Tokyo Olympics this year, months after the global showpiece was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

NOCK said on Monday there are already programs and enough training camps for adequate preparations. This will help athletes resume training and prepare for the residential training camp scheduled to take place in April.

The Kenyan team is in July expected to proceed to the international training camp in Kurume City, Japan for at least 14 days.

“We expect to take at least 100 participants to the games with an expectation a higher medal haul than ever before. We also seek to deliver the best-resourced team Kenya in history.

“We are well set and all processes activated to ensure that we deliver an athlete-focused, well managed, well-financed Olympic team as well as provide a memorable Olympic experience for all Kenya. Our resolve to deliver an exemplary Olympic experience is so strong, that our teams together with the Ministry of Sports, Art and Culture have been burning the midnight oil during the holidays to ensure that everything is set to go,” NOCK said in a statement seen by The Standard Sport.

The Paul Tergat-led body further vowed to continue supporting the qualified teams and those in the qualification process.

“NOCK in conjunction with IOC and ANOCA is providing scholarships to at least 15 athletes to help them prepare for Olympic games.

“Further, we are providing team preparation grants to the Volleyball Ladies team and the Rugby ladies team. All the teams currently in the qualification pathways will be supported by the Government and NOCK to ensure that they qualify for the games,” NOCK pointed out.

NOCK added that the Government has developed various programs aimed at empowering young athletes as they prepare to become global superstars.

“To promote youth development, we expect to roll out a sports science centre comprising of a high-performance centre for all national teams as well as a youth sports centre.

“These sports science centre will be instrumental in developing talents as well as improving the performance of our athletes and teams through advanced technical capacity and research,” said NOCK.

Tokyo 2020 organisers said in December that all 68 domestic sponsors for the Summer Olympics agreed in principle to extend their contracts for the delayed games, as growing COVID-19  infections in Japan overshadow the event.

Recent Japanese newspaper polls show two-thirds of the public believe the showpiece should be postponed again or cancelled altogether.

But Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has repeatedly said he is determined to hold the Olympics as proof that humanity has defeated the deadly virus.

(01/05/2021) Views: 76 ⚡AMP
by Waweru Titus
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Ethiopian marathon ace Birhanu Legese sets sights on Olympic glory

While the staggering marathon feats of Eliud Kipchoge and to a lesser extent Kenenisa Bekele have quite righty earned the bulk of media attention in recent years, it would be a little churlish not to also acknowledge the feats of Ethiopian marathon ace Birhanu Legese.

Standing at 1.68m the diminutive Ethiopian, an NN Running Team team-mate of Kipchoge and Bekele, has claimed four successive marathon podiums which have included back-to-back successes in the Tokyo Marathon, a second place finish in the 2019 Berlin Marathon - to advance to third on the all-time marathon lists - and more recently a third place finish in the 2020 Valencia Marathon.

For sheer marathon consistency few can currently match the 26-year-old athlete, who according to his coach, Getaneh Tessema, has the potential to make history.

“There is no doubt Birhanu is a quality athlete,” explains Getaneh. “I see that every day in training. If everything goes perfectly, I know he can achieve the same results as Kenenisa and Kipchoge.”

Legese, the third eldest of seven siblings, enjoyed his breakthrough performance at the 2012 10km Great Ethiopian Run when placing second in 28:41 behind 2016 Olympic 5000m bronze medallist Hagos Gebrhiwet.

He continued to make steady progress for the next couple of seasons: in 2013 he clocked a slick 27:34 for 10km on the road in Taroudant and the following year posted a 5000m track PB of 13:08.88 in Shanghai.

Yet it was on the roads where Legese has most excelled and in 2015 he further hinted at his exciting potential by winning both the Berlin (59:45) and New Delhi (59:20) half marathons.

Notable marathon debut

The following couple of seasons he enjoyed intermittent success with victory in the 2016 RAK and 2017 New Delhi Half Marathons yet all too often he was hampered by ongoing shin splints issues, which prevented him from consistently producing his best.

In 2018 Legese made his eagerly awaited marathon debut in Dubai, running an outstanding time of 2:04:15 for sixth. Yet still he craved more.

“I was pleased with the time but not with the position,” he explains. 

Stomach issues hampered his efforts later that year at the Chicago Marathon when he wound up tenth in 2:08:41 – more than three-and-a-half minutes behind race winner Mo Farah.

“I was in a lot of pain but I kept on going because I thought the pain would go away,” he recalls. “I was disappointed with the performance but as soon as I returned to training my disappointment disappeared.”

Tokyo win ushers marathon breakthrough

Unlike many elite Ethiopian athletes, Legese has chosen not to live in Addis Ababa but just north of the capital city in the town of Sendafa, where he lives with his brother, Gezahegne, and training partner Tariku Kinfu.

Away from the pollution of the city and living closer to his regular training routes has cut down his commute time to and from training and aided his rest and recovery with the consequence that he enjoyed a smooth build up to the 2019 Tokyo Marathon. 

Competing in wet and windy conditions in the Japanese capital he made his winning move just before 35 kilometres, kicking clear of former world half marathon silver medallist Bedan Karoki.

Despite the inclement weather he crossed the line first in 2:04:48 to record the second fastest time in the history of the race and claim a victory, which was pivotal to his career development.

“Winning Tokyo gave me the chance to be invited to other big races and it was a big confidence boost,” he explains. “Financially, it was also a big change for me.”

Sub-2:03 in Berlin

Bolstered by his first Marathon Majors victory and enjoying a trouble-free build up for the 2019 Berlin Marathon, confidence was high he could produce a red hot performance on the course commonly regarded as the fastest in the world.

“I hoped to break the world record that day and that is why I broke clear of the field at 25-k,” explains Legese. “But a few kilometres later I had a problem with my hip, I was feeling pain and that caused me to slow.”

At 38 kilometres he was caught and passed by race winner Kenenisa Bekele, who went on to record victory in 2:01:41 – within two seconds of Eliud Kipchoge’s world record mark. Legese battled on bravely to the finish and was rewarded with a time of 2:02:48 to elevate himself to third on the all-time marathon lists.

Although, understandably, a little frustrated with the hip he was delighted with the time.

“The performance was wonderful,” said Tessema. “It was a good time and finishing position and a very good race from Birhanu. Maybe, he could have waited until 35-k to make his move. If he had then maybe the result might have been different, but that is all with the benefit of hindsight.”

Successful Tokyo defence

Further sheen was added to his growing reputation in the Covid-restricted elite-only 2020 Tokyo Marathon, where the Ethiopian became the first man in history to claim back-to-back wins in the race, recording 2:04:15 despite sustaining a hip injury after just one kilometre and being forced to manage the issue for the remaining 41. 

“Birhanu considered dropping out at 35-k but he has a strong mind and kept on running the race,” explains Tessema, his long-time coach.

Launching his winning move at 38.5km he went on to claim a memorable victory and a place in Tokyo Marathon history.

Shortly after his triumph, however, and with the world in the tightening grip of a global pandemic, restrictions in Legese’s homeland led to several weeks without training for the Ethiopian marathon star.

Optimistic of making the Ethiopian team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics he later learned of the Games’ postponement and rescheduling to 2021.

“It was hard that they had to reschedule the Olympic Games but on the other hand, there was no choice,” he explains. “Everybody’s health and safety was the most important thing.”

(01/05/2021) Views: 87 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei has said his focus is on becoming just the eighth man to successfully complete the 5,000m-10,000m double at an Olympic Games

The Ugandan, 24, set world records over both distances last year, adding to the 5,000m world gold he won at Doha 2019.

"It would be a mountain to climb, but the challenge is up to me," he told BBC World Service Sport.

"It is demanding a lot, in terms of racing and mindset but I want to give myself a try to win both gold medals."

Seven men have won both 5,000m and 10,000m golds at the same Olympics, with Britain's Mo Farah doing the double at both London 2012 and Rio 2016.

As a teenager, Cheptegei finished eighth and sixth in the 5,000m and 10,000m finals respectively in Rio.

"It would be really amazing to win the double, but if I win gold in the 10,000m I would still be grateful," Cheptegei added.

Uganda have won only two Olympic gold medals in their history, with John Akii-Bua winning the 400m hurdles in 1972 and Stephen Kiprotich winning the marathon 40 years later in London.

Cheptegei wears Nike's ZoomX Dragonfly spikes, which transplant the sportswear giant's controversial combination of highly resilient foam and carbon plates to the track.

However Cheptegei believes that, with the same technology available to all athletes if they want it, he doesn't have any unfair advantage.

"The shoes really do help," he said.

"But in this case the shoes are not only available to Mr Cheptegei.

"They are available for everyone who wants to attack the world record.

"You have seen the likes of Yomif Kejelcha, Selemon Barega...it is not about shoes only, but athletes having this period concentrating more on training and not traveling.

"I was focused on just this one thing. And that was breaking the world record."

(12/29/2020) Views: 83 ⚡AMP
by BBC Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Britain’s triathlete Tom Bishop gearing up for Tokyo 2021 challenge

At 29, Derby’s Tom Bishop is one of Britain’s leading triathletes and has his best chance yet to take part in the Olympics when, hopefully, they go ahead in Tokyo next year. Here, Bishop tells the story of his early career and preparations for Tokyo.

I grew up with my twin brother, David, on a cul-de-sac in Mackworth. We moved to Allestree and Woodlands Community School, as it was called then, was where my triathlon career really began.

As kids, we never took sport too seriously. Rather, we just did it and enjoyed ourselves. But there came a point when a decision had to be made about our dedication and commitment to triathlon and this choice came when we were 16.

You could say it was a coming of age moment and a few sacrifices had to be made. Growing up, we had joined numerous sports clubs, including school football and cricket teams, but these had to end.

We were also members of City of Derby Swimming Club and Derby Athletics Club and they were fundamental in developing our triathlon skill set.

As sixth formers, we had a bit more time in the week to train and began to get access to the British Triathlon Team in Loughborough, with early morning sessions three times a week before school and a general increase in training hours, eight to 18 hours. We also started to cycle with the local group De Uno, adding sessions at lunchtime and after school, too.

The load was tough to balance around A-level studies but we both achieved some solid grades earned spots at university, myself at Leeds and David at Loughborough.

Our A-level years saw us develop into the best junior triathletes in the country, winning  multiple medals, and I even represented Great Britain at youth and junior age groups. I said it was tough but we loved every minute, pushing each other to be the best we could.

At the end of my first year, I came second at the junior World Championships and the following two years I came third twice at under-23 level.  By the time I graduated, I had won three world medals as a junior and under-23 and turned pro, racing full-time for the GB squad.

Looking forward to next year, Tokyo is the big focus. The first few months will see me racing to gain qualification points, hopefully starting in Abu Dhabi on first weekend in March, though it is yet to be scheduled.

The next block of racing will take me to Asia, with a race in Chengdu, then Osaka and one of the Olympic selection races in Yokohama, Japan. Simply, I need to be at my best and battling for podiums if I want to score enough points to hit the British Team’s selection criteria.

It’s going to be challenging but I’m up for it. Obviously, there’s still huge uncertainty about what the year will look like but I have learned a lot this year about how to deal with these times.

(12/29/2020) Views: 75 ⚡AMP
by Colston Crawford
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Russia’s leading track and field athletes to compete at Olympics in Japan

Russia’s leading track and field athletes will have an opportunity of going next year at the Olympic Games in Japan next year, Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said on Thursday speaking at the Sport Forum Live event in Moscow.

"If we speak about the track and field athletics, I must say that our relations with World Athletics entered a constructive stage of relations," Matytsin said.

"We have accepted our mistakes from the past, elected the new leadership of the All-Russia Athletics Federation [RusAF] and are now actively cooperating about its membership reinstatement," the Russian sports minister said.

"I am positive that our leading athletes of track and field athletics will be cleared to perform at the upcoming international tournaments, including at the next Olympic Games," Matytsin added.

World Athletics, suspended RusAF’s membership in November 2015, following a wave of anti-doping rules violations and formed a special mission on the issue.

World Athletics, however, allowed clean athletes from Russia to participate in international tournaments under the neutral status or the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) until the membership of the RusAF is reinstated. The ANA status prohibits Russian athletes from participating in all international track and field tournaments under the national flag.

The suspension of Russia’s governing athletics body has been ruled to remain in force 15 times since its introduction in 2015.

The Russian sports minister also said that depriving Russia of the right to fly the colors of the national flag was a "dear price to be paid."

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled on the night of December 17 to keep in force a number of sanctions against Russia for the period of up to two years. The decision of the Swiss-based court was made within the frames of a legal spat between RUSADA (the Russian Anti-Doping Agency) and WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency).

According to the CAS decision last week, Russian athletes were deprived of their right to participate in all World Championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games under the national flag of Russia for the two-year period.

The national anthem of Russia was also ruled out to be played at international sport tournaments in the course of the next two years, including at the upcoming Olympic Games in Japan next year.

"It is a dear price that we must pay for the dark period if we speak about the national flag and anthem," Matytsin said. "I’m sure that this situation will bring us closer and unite us."

"However, taking into account all mistakes from the past, I would prefer to set my aim for the future," he continued. "The most important is to cultivate a respect for each other and to keep an attitude of intolerance regarding the use of doping in sports."

The IOC (the International Olympic Committee) and the IPC (the International Paralympic Committee) announced on March 24 a decision to postpone for one year the Olympic and Paralympic tournaments in Japan due to the continuous COVID-19 spread.

(12/26/2020) Views: 68 ⚡AMP
by Russian News Agency
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Amy Hunt looks forward to the Olympics in Tokyo

The delay of the Games to sprinter Amy Hunt and the teenage sprinter’s eyes light up and she smiles. “We’ve been given this extra year and it’s a year to get fitter and faster before trying to make our first Olympic team. So I think it’s worked out really well for me.

“There are no negatives for young athletes like me when it comes to having the Olympics pushed back because we’ll have a better chance of being selected when those trials come around.”

In 2019 Hunt won the European under-20 200m title and set world under-18 and British under-20 records at the distance. This year another great sequence of results has led to her being named AW readers’ junior female athlete of the year again in 2020.

In February she won the British indoor 60m title in 7.39 before improving to 7.36 for fourth at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow. Then, when outdoor track meets started, she raced exclusively at 100m instead of 200m at events ranging from the British Champs in Manchester, where she was fourth, to her first Diamond League in Doha, where she placed sixth.

“I can’t describe how good it was to go to my first Diamond League in Doha,” she says. “To experience the hype and energy there was really fun.”

She turns 19 in May and is looking forward to returning to her specialist distance of 200m after spending 2020 working on her ability get out the blocks quickly. “We also felt the biggest gains were to be made over 100m and we treated it almost as a freebie year,” she explains.

“We stripped back and focused on that start again and it definitely really helped and I saw an improvement in my start. At the British Champs I felt really confident and able to put together a first 20m.”

She adds: “It was interesting to have the focus on the 100m because going into an event knowing it’s not your favorite event and to be one of the slowest was an interesting process for me to learn. It was good to head into a race not being too star-struck and to just focus on my lane.”

She has also stepped up her training on the track and in the gym. “Heading into next year I’m in a really good position,” she says.”I have more confidence in my technical abilities and during what has been effectively a free year I’ve upped the amount of time I’ve done in the gym. Now three a week and I’m seeing a lot of gains from that.”

She adds: “This winter increased track sessions and gym so I now train six days a week. It was rough for my body to deal with for the first two weeks but I’m not getting used to that kind of exertions and I’m discovering recovery techniques that work for me.

“I really do enjoy winter training in a bit of a sadistic way. I’ve liked being back on the track and in the gym this winter. If you want to get to a certain level, you have to love what you’re doing. My coach Joe is always cracking jokes and creates a really good environment to be in.”

So what really motivates her to put on her kit and start training? Is it the Olympics or World Under-20 Championships next year? Or the idea of improving her PBs?

“I think it’s a combination,” she says. “But the most important to me is putting the work in so my idols become my rivals. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. I want to be the best that I can be and be up there with those people who I used to idolize and now want to race.”

As for those idols, she says: “A younger me definitely looked up to Allyson Felix a lot. I’ve always looked up to Dina (Asher-Smith) because she’s always such an amazing role model for the sport. She encompasses a lot of values that I hold dear to myself too.

“Shaunae Miller-Uibo is an amazing athlete and people like Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce have gone away and had a baby and returned to run well so there are lots of amazing female role models out there.”

So far she has not spent much time with any of them. The only time she has bumped into Asher-Smith, for example, was the Great CityGames in 2017. But she adds: “Hopefully I’ll be meeting most of them next year in Tokyo!”

(12/26/2020) Views: 60 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Seb Coe warns it will be harder than ever to cheat at Tokyo Olympics

Sebastian Coe has warned the biggest names in track and field that being “high profile no longer protects you from the investigative powers of the sport” – and predicted it will be harder than ever to get away with taking banned drugs at the Tokyo Olympics.

There has long been a suspicion that some countries have not done everything in their powers to catch their stars who cheat. However Coe, the World Athletics president, insisted things had now fundamentally changed and that drugs cheats would now be “fearlessly and ruthlessly weeded out” by the independent Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

Athletes need to understand why Russia is so important to the IOC

While Coe readily conceded it was not a good thing for the sport that its fastest man, the world 100m champion Christian Coleman, was serving a doping ban for missing tests, he said it showed the system was working.

“The AIU was a centrepiece in the reforms and that’s exactly why I pushed for that independent, dispassionate organisation that could remove the decision making from any undue political interference,” he said. “I like to think that it has shown the athletes that we’re not respecters or fearful of reputation. Where there is an infraction we’re not fearful of sitting there going: ‘Oh well that’s quite a big name.’

“The AIU is not always going to be on everybody’s Christmas card list, nor should they be. But I do think that it has restored some confidence among the athletes that we’ve got an organisation out there that will fearlessly and ruthlessly weed out the cheats when and where they surface.”

Coe said athletics now did more intelligence-led testing than any other sport – a fact that made him hopeful it will be harder than ever to cheat at the Tokyo Olympics.

Those comments will raise eyebrows in some quarters, given he also predicted before the London 2012 Olympics that it would be “the cleanest in history”. But Coe said he was confident that was the case. “Technology has improved, significantly even since 2012. Now, we’ve become much more sophisticated in the way testing takes place. It’s much more intelligence-led. And we’ve also got the AIU and that’s now 20-odd people with a good chunk of those people are sophisticated international investigators as well.

“I feel that I will be taking World Athletics as a federation to Tokyo with better systems in place than any other federation. I’m proud to be able to say that. And what I can say is if athletes do cheat there is a greater chance of them being caught in Tokyo than probably any previous Games.”

Coe also dismissed suggestions that the whereabouts system, under which athletes receive a two-year ban if they miss three drug tests in a 12-month period, was unduly harsh.

(12/24/2020) Views: 86 ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Kenya's David Rudisha says he is yet to decide whether he will try and win a third straight 800 meters Olympic title in Tokyo next year

Rudisha, who turned 32 on Thursday, has struggled with injuries since defending his title in Rio in 2016 and has missed the last two World Championships.

Ankle surgery meant that the world record holder would not have been able to compete if the Tokyo games had gone ahead this year, instead of being delayed until 2021 by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

"Because of this difficult time with Covid and I have been up and down with injuries, I have been off, I have not been training," he admitted to BBC Sport Africa.

"I am hoping maybe next year I will make my decision whether I will come back and see the level of my physical fitness.

"That's when I will be able to assess my level and my standard and that will gauge if I will come back or I will make another decision but I love sports.

"Once an athlete, I will always be an athlete - so I will always be running at some level even if it is professional, or not professional or for fun but I love the sport and I enjoy running," he insisted.

David Rudisha: Olympic 800m champion on personal struggles, and Tokyo comeback

He insisted he will not be rushing to make a comeback from his latest injury.

"I had a bad injury in the beginning of the year and it is taking quite sometime and coming back you need to prepare yourself very well," he explained.

"I know that time is everything, if you do not have enough time I don't think it will be possible because running is not easy.

"It is a process and if I cannot have the period good enough for training I don't think I will be able to be there and to be at that level of professionalism, so I am just trying my best.

"Even if I come the year after next year all well and good and I will be happy because running is all about fun and would love to come back and it will depend on so many aspects."

(12/22/2020) Views: 103 ⚡AMP
by Sport Africa
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Tokyo Olympics' budget has been increased by 22%

The final budget for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games has been increased by 22% to 1.64 trillion yen (15.8 billion US dollars) because of the postponement of the Games.

The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee said at a news conference on Tuesday that the additional cost caused by the postponement is about 294 billion yen (about 2.83 billion US dollars), with the operational cost for the delay 198 billion yen (about 1.91 billion US dollars), and the COVID-19 countermeasures cost of 96 billion yen (about 920 million US dollars).

Of all the costs, Tokyo 2020 will cover 45%, the metropolitan government 43%, and the Japanese central government will account for 12%.

The cost for COVID-19 countermeasures will be paid by the two governments, with the central government covering 58% and the Tokyo government 42%.

The Tokyo Olympics, postponed by one year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021.

(12/22/2020) Views: 80 ⚡AMP
by Xinhua News
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Charles Yosei and Sheila Chelangat are keen to run at both the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia and Olympic Games in Tokyo next year

Charles Yosei, who is a former Africa cross country bronze medalist  and Chelangat, a former  Youth Commonwealth Games 3,000m champion said this after winning the second leg of Athletics Kenya Cross country meeting at the Koileel Samoe University

However, junior winners in Nandi, Agnes Jebet (women's 6km) and newcomer Felix Korir (men's 8km), said they have their eyes fixed on the World Under-20 Championships set for August next year at the Moi International Sports Center (MISC), Kasarani.

Yosei won the senior men's 10km title in 30:38.3 ahead of Phenus Kipleting (30:40.3) and Nicholas Kimeli (30:43.2), who completed the podium. 

The race, which attracted over 300 athletes, saw Family Bank Half Marathon champion Daniel Simiu fail to impress despite winning the opening leg in Machakos a fortnight ago.

He placed fourth in 30:44.6 as Robert Kiprop (30:57.5) and Michael Bett (31:01.9) closed the top six positions in the race. 

“I am in good shape and hopefully, I will make the team to the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia on March 11 next year. I want to use cross country to prepare for the 2021 Olympic Games,” said Yose.

Kericho-based Chelang’at won the senior women’s 10km race in 34:25.6 while Joyce Jepleting (34:28.8) and Gladys Chepkirui (34:42.2) placed second and third respectively.

Former Africa junior 5,000m silver medallist Edina Jebitok (34:54.5), Mercy Jeptarus (34:55.7) and Eva Cherono (35:01.7) followed in that order for the top six places.

 

“The race was not easy. Beating 301 athletes was tough and I want to build on this as I focus on the Olympic Games,” he said.

(12/21/2020) Views: 83 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Fresh from winning Valencia Marathon with a course record, Evans Chebet is looking towards the Olympic Games

Chebet, who edged out experience marathoners like Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono for the title, said his focus has now shifted to the Olympic Games.

“Running at the Olympic Games will be good achievement for me. It has been a long journey and making the marathon team will be a dream come true for me,” he added.

The Elgeyo Marakwet-based runner returned home after winning Valencia 42km race in a personal best time of of 2:03:00 ahead of compatriot Cherono (2:03:04) and Ethiopian Birhanu Legese (2:04:53), who completed the podium. 

“It will be good if the team is named early to ensure we start our preparations on time. If I can make the team, I assure Kenyans that I will  return with a medal,” added Chebet, who competed alongside world marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto.

“I look forward to competing for my country at the Olympics Games after a good break and my prayer is that Athletics Kenya names the team early," said a jubilant Chebet. He said his biggest worry in Valencia was Legese but he is happy he shook him off.

Amos Kipruto, who has dominated in many marathons across the world, was named alongside Eliud Kipchoge and Lawrence Cherono in the Olympic Games marathon team.

“I managed to run my personal best because that was my target and I still believe I will be joining Team Kenya to the Tokyo show. The team that ran in Valencia was the best and we hope the federation will take note,” said Kipruto.

In 2019, Kandie 42:39 edged Kiplimo (43:00) in the San Silvestre Road Race in Brazil. Other entrants in men's category include Alexander Mutiso Munyao, Ethiopian Mosinet Geremew, Japan-based Bedan Karoki and Stephen Kiprop, winner of the 2019 edition. 

Geremew won the Dubai Marathon in 2018 and came second in the London Marathon in 2019 with a time of 2.02.55, clocking the 4th fastest time ever in that distance.

Meanwhile, Mutiso recently placed 4th in Valencia in 57.59 and was runner-up in the men’s 2020 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in 59:16.

In the women's category, World Half Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir will battle against World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei and 2019 World marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich.

Jepchirchir has fond memories of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, where she set her personal best time of 1:05.06 in 2017 on her way to victory.  Chepngetich recently clocked a remarkable time of 1.05.06 at the New Delhi Half Marathon.

At the 20th Dubai Marathon in 2019, she won in a course record breaking time of 2.17.08, securing the world’s 4th best marathon time ever. Ethiopia's Ababel Yeshaneh will also be in contention.

(12/18/2020) Views: 94 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Tokyo's governor can see, no circumstances under which the virus-postponed 2020 Olympics will be cancelled, despite rising coronavirus infections in Japan and continued public scepticism

In an interview with AFP, Yuriko Koike warned Tuesday that the fate of the Tokyo Games would impact future Olympic events, including the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing and the 2024 Summer Games in Paris.

She acknowledged that a majority of the Japanese public now opposes hosting the Games next year, but said she was convinced those concerns could be overcome.

"The Japanese public and Tokyo residents are looking at the current conditions," Koike said.

"We are preparing for the future."

The 2020 Games are the first in history to be postponed during peacetime, and organizers and officials have been at pains to insist that they can still be pulled off next year.

A further postponement has been ruled out by Olympic and Japanese officials and Koike said "there are no circumstances" under which she could envisage the Games being cancelled.

"Citizens of the world are seeing the Tokyo Games as a symbol that humanity will have defeated the coronavirus, that will lead to the Beijing Winter Games and then the Paris Games after that," she said.

"Unless Tokyo takes full efforts against the coronavirus, then what will happen to Paris four years from now?" she said.

"I think we have to make Tokyo a success first, otherwise it will leave a serious impact on Paris."

But domestic opinion appears at odds with the confident tones sounded by Japanese officials and organizers.

A poll released Tuesday by national broadcaster NHK found just 27 percent of respondents support holding the Games next year, with 32 percent backing cancellation and 31 percent favoring a further postponement.

Koike said she believed that would change, pointing to the extensive virus countermeasures that have been drafted by the government, Tokyo and Olympic organizers.

"I am convinced that people will come to see hope again, once coronavirus measures are firmly implemented," she said.

(12/15/2020) Views: 116 ⚡AMP
by AFP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Seb Coe says that athletes must take their place in the queue for the COVID-19 vaccine

Healthy Athletes should take their place in the COVID-19 vaccine queue behind people with more pressing needs despite events such as next year’s Olympics looking set to be highly dependent on competitors arriving free from the virus, the head of world athletics Seb Coe said on Friday.

Most athletes in their 20s and 30s, across all sports, would be just about last in line in most countries when it comes to handing out the vaccine but the pressure to create a COVID-safe environment at sporting events has raised the question of whether they should be treated as a special case.

Coe trod a careful line when asked about the issue at a media conference on Friday. “We have to be sensitive here - there are many claims on that priority,” he said.

“Most of us are dependent on our front line workers and our emergency services and we also recognize that there are vulnerable people in the community and we want to make sure that we look after them as much as possible.

“I’m not sure that it is for sport to be pressing the case for fit young people. I would like, on the other hand, that when the vaccine does become available and that the athletes have the opportunity to make use of it that they do.

“I’m not mandating it and I don’t think it’s my job to tell people what they should or shouldn’t do in that area - I think that has to be a very personal and individualistic view.

“I hope they do avail themselves of it, I certainly would if I had the opportunity in the lead up to a Games like that, but it’s very much a personal decision.”

Coe, who won double Olympic gold over 1,500 meters and was the driving force behind Britain’s hosting of the 2012 Games, was confident next year’s Tokyo event, postponed from 2020, would go ahead, and said that if any country could respond to the challenge of a re-arranged Olympics it was Japan.

“I think the Games will go ahead. I was in Tokyo a week ago and spent 48 very intensive hours talking to the organizing committee and the government,” he said.

(12/14/2020) Views: 98 ⚡AMP
by Mitch Phillips
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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IOC passes on cross-country, adds breakdancing to Paris 2024 program

The 2024 Games won't feature cross-country or 50K race walk events

In July, World Athletics (WA) said it would lobby to get cross-country included in the Paris 2024 Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) dashed any hopes of an Olympic cross-country race in Paris, though, as it was announced on Monday that breakdancing would make its Olympic debut instead. This decision comes as part of the IOC’s efforts to showcase more youth-focused events that are “inclusive, engaging and can be practised outside conventional arenas.” The IOC also noted that the 50K race walk has officially been cut from the 2024 program, and it will be replaced by a new (but so far undetermined) mixed-gender athletics event.

No XC in 2024

WA released a statement following news of the IOC’s decision to pass on cross-country for the 2024 Games. “Cross-country is an exciting and fast-growing sport around the world, so we are clearly disappointed it will not feature at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” the statement reads. “However, we have developed what we believe is a really exciting mixed relay product and have been encouraged by the commitment from the IOC that they will continue to work with us to realize our vision of seeing cross-country in a future Olympic Games.”

WA’s plan for the cross-country event, which was released in July, featured slots for 15 countries, each of which would have had a team of two men and two women. The race would have been a 20K relay in which each runner covered two laps of a 2.5K course. Had cross-country been approved for the 2024 program, it would have been the first time the sport was included in the Olympics since the 1924 Games, which were also held in Paris.

Replacing the 50K

Gender equality is the other main focus (in addition to youth) of the IOC heading toward 2024. The Tokyo Olympics are set to have females represent 48.8 per cent of all athletes competing at the Games next summer, but the IOC announced that it will be a 50-50 split in Paris with the same number of male and female athletes. Because of this, the 50K race walk was cut, as it has traditionally only been contested by men. The IOC has given WA until May 31, 2021, to propose a new mixed-gender event to replace the 50K race walk. In the WA response to the IOC’s news, it says officials are “only considering a mixed-gender race walk event” to replace the 50K.

(12/13/2020) Views: 100 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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A test event for the Olympic marathon in Sapporo is now due to take place during the Hokkaido-Sapporo Marathon Festival on May 5

The confirmation of the date is among updates made to the calendar of test events by Tokyo 2020.

Olympic marathons and walking races are being held in Sapporo, on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, because of concerns over the heat in Tokyo.

The test race will be organised by the Hokkaido-Sapporo Marathon Festival Committee.

This race on May 5 will test the course for the Games.

World Athletics officials visited the marathon course on August 8, exactly one year prior to the men’s marathon race at the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Air quality, heat stress, temperature and relative humidity were all measured as the officials cycled the route, and World Athletics said it was encouraged by the results.

A Para-athletics test event for track and field has also been given a date, and is now set to take place on May 11 at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.

Wheelchair rugby's test event has also been confirmed, and is scheduled for April 3 and 4 at Yoyogi National Stadium.

An artistic swimming test event is the first scheduled in 2021, due to run from March 4 to 7 at Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

The final test event is currently set to be for 3x3 basketball at Aomi Urban Sports Park from May 14 to 16.

Test events for skateboarding, gymnastics and volleyball, plus track and BMX cycling, are all scheduled as well.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are due to take place from July 23 to August 8 in 2021 following their postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Paralympics are timetabled to run from August 24 to September 5.

(12/12/2020) Views: 135 ⚡AMP
by Michael Houston
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Route approved for relocated marathon at Tokyo olympics

A route has been approved for the Olympic marathon, which is to be held in the northern city of Sapporo to avoid the Japanese capital's summer heat, Tokyo 2020 organizers said Friday. A dummy-run marathon will take place on May 5 to test the circuit, which starts and ends at Sapporo Odori Park in the city center, the organizing committee said.

The controversial decision to relocate the marathon and race-walking events was made in November 2019, before the Games were postponed by a year due to the coronavirus.

The Tokyo Olympics are now due to open in July 2021, and officials are insisting they will go ahead even if the pandemic is not under control.

The marathon will have three laps -- the first much longer, crossing the Toyohira River, while the second and third laps repeat a section of the first.

"Sapporo has a rich background in road running, particularly marathon events, and we want to inspire... fans around the world to travel to Sapporo for its future mass races," said Jakob Larsen, competition and events director for World Athletics, which has approved the route.

It is not exactly the same route as the annual Hokkaido Marathon in the city, but "it does follow much of the traditional course", he added.

Olympic officials first proposed moving the marathon after disastrous scenes at the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships, where dozens of athletes needed medical attention in hot and humid conditions.The Tokyo Olympics are now due to open in July 2021, and officials are insisting they will go ahead even if the pandemic is not under control.

The marathon will have three laps -- the first much longer, crossing the Toyohira River, while the second and third laps repeat a section of the first.

"Sapporo has a rich background in road running, particularly marathon events, and we want to inspire... fans around the world to travel to Sapporo for its future mass races," said Jakob Larsen, competition and events director for World Athletics, which has approved the route.

It is not exactly the same route as the annual Hokkaido Marathon in the city, but "it does follow much of the traditional course", he added.

Olympic officials first proposed moving the marathon after disastrous scenes at the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships, where dozens of athletes needed medical attention in hot and humid conditions.

It became a major sticking point between Tokyo officials and the International Olympics Committee, but eventually the city gave its grudging support for the move.

(12/11/2020) Views: 139 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Fresh from winning in Valencia, World Record Holder Peres Jepchirchir believes she deserves a Team Kenya ticket to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo

Speaking at her home in Kapsabet Wednesday upon arrival from Spain, the world half marathon record holder said her ambitions will be fulfilled once she gets an opportunity to fly the Kenyan flag in the Japanese capital.

 “My target is to run for Kenya at the Olympic Games next year. I have done a lot for the country and I think that's the only way to repay me,” said Jepchirchir.

Jepchirchir ran the fifth-fastest time over 42km while winning the Valencia Marathon on Sunday, clocking 2:17:16.

In Valencia, Jepchirchir defeated compatriot and New York City Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei in a Kenya 1-2 podium finish.

Jepchirchir latest heroics throws spanner into the work for Athletics Kenya, who have already named a team to Tokyo.

It comprises of world record holder Brigid Kosgei (2:14:04), world champion Ruth Chepngetich (2:17:08) and 2018 London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot (2:18:31) while Valary Aiyabei (2:19:10) and 2014 world half marathon bronze medallist Sally Chepyego (2:21:06) are the reserves.

“Just like Athletics Kenya included me in the world half marathon where I delivered the title in a world record, I believe I have what it takes to repeat the feat at the Olympic Games next year,” added Jepchirchir. 

"My target for the year was to run 2:17 at the Berlin Marathon to give myself a chance in the provisional team but unfortunately, that race was cancelled. I thank God I still did it in Valencia and I hope I will be considered."

(12/10/2020) Views: 147 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Half marathon world record holder Kibiwott Kandie eyes Olympics 10,000m title

Newly-crowned world half marathon world record holder Kibiwott Kandie is planning a stab at the 10,000m Olympic title at the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

Kandie is now hopeful of glory on the track although he has never run in the 10,000m race before. 

"I have run 10,000m in training but I never took it seriously. But I know that I have the tools to succeed on track and that is why I will be seeking a slot in Team Kenya to Tokyo," Kandie said

Nonetheless, Kandie believes that competing against seasoned athletes in 10,000m will be no child's play. 

Consequently, the man who broke Geoffrey Kamworor's half marathon record at this Sunday's Valencia Marathon has planned a rigorous training session ahead

"The key thing is to be committed in training and to work hard. It will not be easy but if I work hard for it, then I am confident of good results," Kandie said. 

Kandie set a new world record of 57:32 to smash the previous 58:01 mark set by his compatriot Kamworor at the 2019 World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Second-placed Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda clocked 57:37 as he lost out to the man he had beaten to the World Half Marathon title in October in Gdynia, Poland. 

Not satisfied with this feat, Kandie is dreaming big about his world record. 

"My next target in the half marathon will be to break this new world record by reducing it to 56:00. I know that it will not be easy to achieve but with hard work, it is possible," Kandie said.

(12/09/2020) Views: 132 ⚡AMP
by Omondi Onyatta
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Kyrgyzstani runner Maria Korobitskaya won a license to compete in the Tokyo Olympics

Maria Korobitskaya won a license to the Olympic Games in Tokyo after winning a gold at the Tashkent International Marathon on December 6 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Korobitskaya finished first in 42.195 km with the result of 2:26:42 (the Olympic standard - 2:29:30).

Korobitskaya became the sixth athlete from Kyrgyzstan to win a license to the Olympics in Tokyo.

Previously licenses were won by Aisuluu Tynybekova and Atabek Azizbekov in wrestling, Darya Maslova and Yulia Andreeva in marathon run, and Denis Petrashov in swimming. 

(12/07/2020) Views: 109 ⚡AMP
by AKIpress
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Aliphine Tuliamuk announces pregnancy and planning for Tokyo Olympics

Aliphine Tuliamuk, who won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb. 29, is due with her first child, a daughter, in January and plans to race at the Tokyo Games on Aug. 7.

Having a full pregnancy between qualifying for and competing in an Olympics is, of course, rare. The one-year Olympic postponement from July 2020 to July 2021, announced four weeks after the marathon trials, made it possible for Tuliamuk.

“My family plans were to race the Olympics [in 2020], and then run the New York City Marathon in November of this year and then, after that, start a family,” she said.Aliphine Tuliamuk, who won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb. 29, is due with her first child, a daughter, in January and plans to race at the Tokyo Games on Aug. 7.

Having a full pregnancy between qualifying for and competing in an Olympics is, of course, rare. The one-year Olympic postponement from July 2020 to July 2021, announced four weeks after the marathon trials, made it possible for Tuliamuk.

“My family plans were to race the Olympics [in 2020], and then run the New York City Marathon in November of this year and then, after that, start a family,” she said.

Tuliamuk will make a rare turnaround for a top-level marathoner. Many others returned from pregnancy to race 26.2 miles, but most after a longer break.

Notably in recent years, American Kara Goucher had son Colt in September 2010, then finished fifth in the Boston Marathon nearly seven months later. (Goucher also raced a half marathon less than four months after childbirth.)

Great Britain’s Paula Radcliffe had daughter Isla in January 2007, then won the New York City Marathon that November.

In diving, Pat McCormick had son Tim in March 1956, then, eight months later, repeated as Olympic champion on the springboard and platform.

“One thing that I’ve been craving in this period is to hear stories of women who were having families and still planning to get back into competitive sports,” Tuliamuk said, “and I’m so excited that I’m going to be one of those women that other women will look up to because we need role models.”

“When I’m running, I don’t even feel like I’m pregnant,” Tuliamuk said two weeks ago. “It’s mostly just running for the love of it.”

Rosario hasn’t written a workout for Tuliamuk in months.

“Wake up every day, try to get a run in,” he said. “If your body tells you not to, then don’t.”

Rosario leans on experience from coaching another NAZ Elite pro, Stephanie Bruce, who twice returned from childbirth to marathoning. Bruce was sixth at trials and is racing another 26.2-miler, The Marathon Project, on Dec. 20, before turning focus to the Olympic track trials 10,000m.

Bruce stressed that every pregnancy and return to elite running is different, but she is confident her teamate can run well in Tokyo.

“It’s not like in the past where women were told, well, you can just race until you’re done racing, and then you can start a family,” said Tuliamuk, who recently re-signed with apparel sponor Hoka One One for the next four years. “You can do both of them.”

(12/07/2020) Views: 123 ⚡AMP
by Nick Zaccardi
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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World Athletics has opened the door for Russia’s track and field stars to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year

World Athletics opens door for Russia to potentially compete at Tokyo Olympics – providing the country now fulfils its promises of serious reform.

The Russian Athletics Federation (Rusaf) looked close to being expelled from the sport in September but the election of a new president, Peter Ivanov, on Monday has led to cautious optimism that Russia could finally end its five-year suspension from the sport.

Rune Andersen, the chair of the World Athletics taskforce on restoring Russia’s membership, admitted there had been progress in developing “a meaningful reinstatement plan” to drive the cultural change required for Russia to return to full international membership of the sport by the deadline of 1 March 2021.

“A new framework agreement has been put in place,” he said. “The international experts have already begun working with the senior Rusaf management team, and have reported that that team has been very responsive and constructive in its approach.”

Rusaf was initially suspended in November 2015 following allegations of state-sponsored doping and appeared close to being kicked out of the sport after its former leaders attempted to cover-up an anti-doping investigation into Danil Lysenko, the 2018 world indoor high jump champion. It led to Dmitry Shlyakhtin, the president of the Russian track and field federation, being charged by the Athletics Integrity Unit and stepping down.

However, Russia was granted a reprieve after the sports minister, Oleg Matytsin, who promised they were committed to solving a number of issues, gave an “unconditional” promise to pay an outstanding fine of £5m.

The president of World Athletics, Sebastian Coe, said he would be “pleased” to see Russian athletes competing in Tokyo – even if it was under a neutral flag – but said that was dependent not only on the behaviour of Rusaf but on what the International Olympic Committee decided in the months ahead.

(12/04/2020) Views: 85 ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Laura Muir picked up another award as focus turns to Olympics

Laura, from Milnathort, was named MG Alba Sportswoman of the Year.

The local athlete’s victory comes in a year which has seen saw her leading the world rankings for 1500m, winning all three of her 1500m races in sub four-minute times.

Last month she was named joint winner of scottishathletic’s 4J Studios Performer of the Year award.

She was among four winners from the world of athletics and running on the night announced at the online event.

Like all sport, athletics has faced its challenges during the pandemic but Laura is delighted she was able to get some competitive running under her belt as she steps up her preparations for next summer’s Olympics in Tokyo.

She said: “We were so grateful that we could race given the circumstances so I guess we were wanting to make the most of every opportunity that we had.

“With athletics we were lucky that we could train to a certain level and compete too.

“I’m super chuffed with how the year went considering everything that was going on.

“We’ve been training in South Africa for a couple of weeks and have another couple of weeks yet.

“I’m working hard and training hard ahead of next year and hopefully doing well at the Olympics.

“It’s nice to have that little bit of sunshine and that little bit of heat.

“It means we can train better.

“Fingers crossed everything goes to plan and I’ll be in shape for next year.”

Laura’s form means she’ll head to the Olympics as one of the favorites to return with a medal.

(12/03/2020) Views: 73 ⚡AMP
by The Newsroom
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Athletes at the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo Olympics will face regular testing, restrictions on mingling and potential punishment for non-compliance with health rules

Athletes at the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo Olympics will face regular testing, restrictions on mingling and potential punishment for non-compliance with health rules, organisers said Wednesday as they outlined plans for holding the Games.

After months of talks, officials issued a 54-page report outlining how they believe the Games can go ahead, even if the pandemic is not under control by the new start date of July 2021.

Quarantine requirements will be waived for overseas spectators, who will also be able to use public transport, but they will have to observe rules ranging from mask-wearing and a ban on cheering to keeping their ticket stubs to help contact-tracing.

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto acknowledged strict safety measures will make the games "different", but expressed hope they can still be held in a celebratory atmosphere.

"It will be simple rather than festive, but I hope it will be something moving that encourages people through the power of sport," he said.

Athletes will be screened on arrival in Japan and then undergo regular tests every four to five days during their stay at the Olympic Village.

An infection control centre will also be set up to deal with positive cases, which organisers say they presume will occur.

However officials have not yet announced how competition rules would be affected if an athlete contracted coronavirus during the Games.

All athletes must sign up to a code of conduct that includes avoiding speaking loudly, avoiding physical contact with others and wearing masks when not training or competing.

They will also be asked to leave Japan as soon as their events are over, rather than stay on in the country for sightseeing.

Penalties for non-compliance have yet to be determined and will be drawn up in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee.

"This is not a law, but we need to be careful and ask people to lay out precautions," said Muto.

"We will create a system that allows team leaders or athlete representatives to provide cautions."

Concrete measures to determine how many fans will be able to attend will be decided in the spring, with infection rates around the world at the time taken into account.

Organisers have decided that imposing a two-week quarantine on visiting fans is "impractical" given the time constraints, and will instead ask them to download tracking apps and abide by rigorous safety guidelines.

Muto said organisers were working on the assumption that a vaccine will not be available by the time the Games begin, despite positive results in tests in recent weeks.

He added that the cost of the virus countermeasures had not yet been calculated, although reports last week estimated them at $1 billion.

The same report calculated that postponing the Games from their original date this year will add another $2 billion to the price tag.

Enthusiasm for the Games has been waning in Japan, with a poll in July showing just one in four people wanted to see them held in 2021. 

(12/02/2020) Views: 88 ⚡AMP
by AFP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Japanese Government considers private healthcare requirement for Tokyo 2020 visitors

The Japanese Government is reportedly considering making private health insurance compulsory for visitors attending next year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

According to Kyodo News, a proposal was presented by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

The proposal would reportedly see visitors required to take out private health insurance coverage, as well as testing negative for coronavirus.

Visitors may also be required to submit a report on their health status.

The proposal has been made due to the current system requiring the Japanese public to bear the financial cost of treating overseas visitors.

This became an issue earlier this year regarding the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The cruise ship was docked in Yokohama in February when it recorded around 700 coronavirus infections, with Japanese hospitals ultimately treating visitors with the infections.

Laws would need to be amended for private health coverage to be required, Kyodo News reported.

The Olympics are now scheduled for July 23 to August 8, followed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5.

Organisers are working on a series of coronavirus countermeasures to protect athletes and spectators during their stay in the Japanese capital.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has recently revealed her hopes of holding the Games with "full spectators present".

Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshirō Mutō has also previously said measures for fans, including non-Japanese residents, would be drawn up by the spring.

Hopes of a successful staging of the Games have been boosted by progress in the development of COVID-19 vaccines, although it may still be some time before they are available to the wider public.

(11/30/2020) Views: 84 ⚡AMP
by Michael Pavitt
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Best-case scenario for Games is venues full of spectators - Tokyo governor

•With Covid-19 infections on the rise in many countries around the world, Olympics organisers have yet to decide whether to allow spectators into venues next year and if so, how many.

•The Japanese government is preparing to pause the travel campaign in Osaka and Sapporo following sharp rises in Covid-19 cases

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said on Tuesday that the best case scenario for the 2020 Olympics postponed until next year is to have venues full of spectators, as organisers wrestle with how to plan for the Games amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

With Covid-19 infections on the rise in many countries around the world, Olympics organisers have yet to decide whether to allow spectators into venues next year and if so, how many.

Koike, speaking at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, said organisers were still hopeful venues could be filled with spectators when the Olympics begin in July.

“The best-case scenario ... would be when all athletes from all countries come here in safety and with peace of mind and the Olympics can, as in previous years, be held with full spectators present as well,” said Koike.

Organisers have said previously they will not make a decision on spectator numbers until the spring. Although Japan has largely avoided the huge numbers of COVID-19 infections seen in other countries, daily cases in Tokyo rose to records above 500 last week.

Koike warned that Tokyo was seeing a rise in infections among older residents, including cases where people had contracted the virus while eating out and brought it home to elderly relatives.

She is due to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga later on Tuesday to discuss a domestic travel promotion campaign introduced by the government earlier this year to try to stimulate local economies hit by the near-complete absence of foreign tourism amid the pandemic.

“It is clear that the movement of people is having an impact on the increase in cases,” Koike said. “It is necessary to look at what kind of restrictions on the movement of people might be needed.”

The Japanese government is preparing to pause the travel campaign in Osaka and Sapporo following sharp rises in Covid-19 cases, the minister handling the government’s coronavirus response said on Tuesday.

(11/28/2020) Views: 76 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon seeks to transition to 5,000m after Olympic Games

Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon is considering a new challenge after the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Speaking at her Global Sports Communication training camp in Kaptagat, Kipyegon said she will be upgrading to the 5,000m event  after a successful career in the three-lap race.

“My focus has now shifted and I want to compete in 5,000m after the Tokyo Olympic Games. This is my dream as I seek new challenges in my career,” said Kipyegon.

However, the reigning world 1,500m champion added she is not keen on doubling like her mentor, Vivian Cheruiyot — who dominated both the 5,000m and 10,000m races before heading for the roads.

“When I was young, I used to watch Vivian (Cheruiyot) running across the world and I admired her, hence started taking the sport seriously. Now that I have the opportunity to showcase my talent, I hope to make it to the top, like her, when I transit to the next level,” said Kipyegon, who was with former world 3,000m steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng.

Kipyegon has had a stellar career over 1,500m, which, in addition to the Olympic and world titles, saw her win numerous Diamond League Series legs, 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as well as cross country.

Elsewhere, the Diamond League on Tuesday released its provisional calendar for the 2021 season, which will consist of 14 athletics meetings beginning in Rabat in May and ending in Zurich in September.

(11/27/2020) Views: 108 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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British marathon trials for Tokyo 2020 to be held at Kew Gardens

The British Olympic marathon trials for Tokyo 2020 are scheduled to take place at Kew Gardens on March 26 next year.

British athletes usually fight for their spot on the GB team at the London Marathon, but after the 2021 event was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, British Athletics have decided to stage a new event.

The Olympic qualifying marks are 2:29:30 for the women and 2:11:30 for the men.

The new marathon trial event will also act as the British Marathon Championships for 2021.

Major events director of UK Athletics said: "We're delighted to confirm the British Championships incorporating the Olympic Marathon Trial race is to be held at Kew Gardens.

“It is an iconic venue and lends itself well to a marathon course over multiple laps.”

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are due to take place on July 23-August 8.

 

(11/23/2020) Views: 86 ⚡AMP
by Alicia Turner
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Belarus NOC claim preparations remain on course for Tokyo 2020 despite protests against its President

The National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus (NOC Belarus) has claimed preparations for next year's re-arranged Olympic Games remain on track, despite the widespread protests in the country which could threaten the team's under its own flag in Tokyo. 

Discussions were held between the NOC Belarus vice-president Viktar Lukashenka, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Igor Petrishenko and the Minister of Sport and Tourism, Sergey Kovalchuk.

Heads and representatives of sports associations attended the meeting, as well as coaches and athletes.

Along with discussions about the upcoming Summer and the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, issues surrounding the psychological climate of training during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many athletes have been at the forefront of the protests against the controversial re-election of Alexander Lukashenko as President.

The Beijing 2008 decathlon silver medallist Andrei Kravchenko among those arrested, despite not taking part in demonstrations against the Government.

Some athletes, however, have remained loyal to the Government and publicly thanked them for the help they have received. 

"We work on a scheduled basis in athletics, all our wishes are fulfilled," Maksim Nedasekau, the European Games high jump gold medallist, said. 

"We'd really like more of the competitions yet little depends on the athletes here.

"We use this time for recovery and treatment if necessary and our athletes have everything for it.

"They are currently training at the Raubichi sports complex which has excellent facilities even for high jumpers."

Head coach of the national athletics team, Yuri Moisevich claimed that facilities in the country had greatly improved in recent years and thanked the Belarusian Government for that.

However, the IOC continues to investigate the NOC Belarus following recent allegations of political discrimination against athletes.

Belarusians have been leading pro-democracy protests since August when Lukashenko was re-elected, despite evidence of an unfair contest.

Lukashenko has been the only leader of the country since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, holding his position since 1994.

He is often referred to as "Europe's last dictator", with the nation facing criticism for its human rights breaches.

Lukashenko is also the President of the NOC Belarus.

The IOC has warned the NOC Belarus could face sanctions - including a ban of the Belarus flag at Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 - if it finds the NOC has breached the Olympic Charter.

With the Tokyo 2020 Games being scheduled for July 23 to August 8 2021, Belarusian athletes have already secured 71 spots in 15 sports.

There are expected to be around 100 athletes at Tokyo 2020 by the end of qualification in June 2021.

(11/20/2020) Views: 88 ⚡AMP
by Michael Houston
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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The Tokyo 2020 Olympics may have limited spectators but the Games will be held at any cost in 2021

The head of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) has said he is "very confident" that spectators will be able to attend the Tokyo Olympic Games next year. 

Thomas Bach added that the IOC would take "great efforts" in making sure fans were vaccinated before arriving. 

He is currently in Japan to discuss how the Olympics can be held next year.

The Tokyo Games were originally due to start in July, but were postponed for a year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

More than 11,000 athletes from around 200 countries had been scheduled to take part in the Games, now due to begin in July 2021.

"We are putting really a huge tool box together in which we will put all the different measures we can imagine," Mr Bach told reporters after meeting Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, according to news agency AFP.

"This makes us all very, very confident we can have spectators in the Olympic stadium next year."

Mr Bach said he was 'very confident' some fans would be able to attend

Mr Bach's visit comes after Tokyo held a one-day gymnastics meet earlier this month, an event which saw several thousand fans and 22 athletes from various countries participate.

The international athletes were quarantined for two weeks prior to arriving in Japan and were largely kept in their Tokyo hotel in isolation. They were also required to take daily PCR tests - the virus test that has been used most commonly globally. 

Tokyo Olympics will happen 'with or without Covid'

Both Japan and the IOC have stressed that the Games will go ahead next year. 

Japan's Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto said earlier this year they wanted to avoid the possibility of having no spectators at all at the Games, adding it was possible events might be held with a "limited" audience, while the number of staff and delegates from each country could also be reduced.

Earlier last week, Mr Bach was asked if he was going to Tokyo to talk about contingencies for cancelling the Games, to which he firmly replied "no", with his deputy earlier vowing that the Games would go ahead "with or without Covid". 

Japan's Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto similarly said that they must be held "at any cost" in 2021.

There are now hopes that an effective vaccine against Covid-19 could be available within the next year, with a preliminary analysis showing that a vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech could prevent more than 90% of people from getting the virus.

 

(11/16/2020) Views: 108 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshirō Mutō has fuelled hope of foreign fans being allowed to attend the postponed Olympic Games by revealing a plan for spectators would be drawn up by next spring

Toshirō Mutō also confirmed athletes, coaches and officials would be exempt from Japan's 14-day isolation period and suggested fans travelling from overseas might not need to do it either.

But anyone entering the country is likely to face stringent measures to control the spread of coronavirus.

"By the spring, we will be coming up with measures for spectators, including non-Japan residents," said Mutō to a news conference.

"For non-Japanese, we need to be sure we secure a spectating opportunity for them."

Mutō was speaking after a meeting involving officials from Tokyo 2020, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Japanese Government.

A series of high-tech devices were recently tested at a packed Yokohama Stadium as Tokyo 2020 organisers bid to come up with ways to safely allow spectators into venues.

The 32,402-seater stadium – which will host the Olympic baseball and softball competitions – reached 100 per cent capacity during the three-day experiment with fans screened for body temperature and high-spec cameras tracking movement.

Mutō said spectators might be asked to be less vocal to avoid potentially spreading coronavirus.

"Whether we are going to have full capacity or not, the decision has not been made yet because various experiments are taking place," he said.

"There's a possibility that we may ask spectators to refrain from shouting and speaking in a loud voice."

Japan currently imposes a two-week quarantine period on foreign travellers, but Mutō revealed that rule would be lifted for athletes ahead of Tokyo 2020.

"Athletes, coaches and Games officials that are eligible for the Tokyo Games will be allowed to enter the country, provided significant measures are made before they get to Japan," said Mutō.

The chief executive said officials were also considering whether to ease travel restrictions for overseas fans attending the Olympics.

"Regarding spectators from overseas, whether they need to go through a 14-day quarantine or not, whether we can waive that or not will depend on the situation," said Mutō.

"There is a possibility this quarantine is waived if they meet certain conditions."

Mutō said routes between underground stations and nearby venues could be monitored, but conceded it would be "difficult to control their movement and behaviour".

"After the entry into Japan, we can't follow the spectators and general consumers like we do athletes, so what should we do?" said Mutō.

"We need to make sure the screening is sufficient before they enter into the country."

Around 4.48 million tickets for the Olympics have been sold as well as 970,000 for the Paralympics.

Tickets for the Games will be valid for 2021, but Tokyo 2020 will offer refunds to fans who are no longer able to attend.

"The spectators' anxiety of not knowing if they can actually go to the Games or not is understandable," added Mutō.

"We would like to be considerate of the spectators as much as possible while we take preventive measures at the same time to be able to accommodate as many as possible."

(11/13/2020) Views: 96 ⚡AMP
by Geoff Berkeley
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Japan's Kane Tanaka 117-year-old set to carry Olympic torch ahead of Tokyo Games

Kane Tanaka, the world’s oldest person, will take part in the Olympic torch relay ahead of the Tokyo Games, according to a report in the Japanese newspaper the Mainichi Shimbun. At 117, Tanaka is officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest person alive.

She was already scheduled to carry the torch in the 2020 relay, but those plans were put on hold when the Games were postponed due to COVID-19. Tanaka’s new date to carry the Olympic flame is set for May 11, by which time she will be 118 years, 129 days old. 

Tanaka was born in Fukuoka, Japan, on January 2, 1903, just seven years after the first modern Olympics in Athens. Now, more than a century later, she is ready to play a role in the 2021 Olympics. At her care home in Fukuoka, Tanaka will be pushed in a wheelchair for 200m as she carries the Olympic flame. She was added to the relay lineup when Nippon Life Insurance Co., a Japanese company that has sponsored the 2021 Olympics and Paralympics, suggested it to organizers. The Nippon team said they “wanted her to send a positive message about this time of long-living.” Tanaka’s 61-year-old grandson accepted on behalf of his grandmother, saying his family wants “people to see Kane happily carrying the Olympic flame.”

The Mainichi Shimbun report says Tanaka is in good shape, but notes that the plans may be cancelled if she isn’t feeling well on the day of the relay. Because of this, the torch relay is going to be a surprise event for Tanaka, who has not been informed of the plans. “When we were first approached about her doing it, we worried what might happen given her age, but we were getting worked up over nothing,” her grandson told the Mainichi Shimbun. “We’ll be happy if the people who see her holding the torch up and looking well can think, ‘There’s hope in going on living.'”

The last time the Olympics were held in Tokyo (which was in 1964), Tanaka was 61, as old as her grandson is now and almost half her current age. In her lifetime, she has lived through a total of 49 Olympics (both summer and winter editions), and the 2021 Games will be the 50th. 

(11/13/2020) Views: 114 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Tokyo Olympics organizers said news of a coronavirus vaccine was a relief on Tuesday but insisted their bio-security planning for the postponed Games remained unchanged

Olympic officials have regularly said that a coronavirus vaccine is not a precondition for staging the Games, now scheduled to open a year late in July 2021.

But they have acknowledged that a successful shot would make their task significantly easier, and welcomed the 90 percent effectiveness shown by one trial vaccine.

"The organising committee is not disconnected from society... and I heard the vaccine news," Tokyo 2020's Games delivery officer Hidemasa Nakamura told reporters at a briefing.

"And the organising committee is feeling the same as you probably felt, positive sentiment and relief," he added.

But he added: "What we are doing right now is not thinking about the vaccine, because we don't have a vaccine yet, but rather focusing on testing, social distance and also the cooperation between the athletes and the other stakeholders."

"I think that is what we need to do to create a safe Games."

Global markets and sentiment soared after US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said tests involving more than 40,000 people had provided results that were a "critical milestone" in the search for a vaccine.

The news is likely to be a shot in the arm for Japanese officials and their Olympic counterparts, who have faced continuing scepticism about whether the Games can be held next year if the pandemic is not under control.

On Sunday, Tokyo hosted its first international sporting event since the pandemic, a four-nation gymnastics meet that organisers hailed as proof the Games were possible despite the virus.

While the event involved only about 30 athletes and 2,000 socially distanced spectators, Nakamura said it was still evidence that the Olympic and Paralympic Games are feasible.

"Ultimately the Olympics and Paralympics are an accumulation of each competition in each venue, so the fact that a competition was held in November in a safe manner is a huge message," he said.

Sunday's event featured stringent rules for foreign athletes from the United States, China and Russia, who travelled on charter planes and were restricted to designated hotel floors, assigned buses and competition venues.

Athletes had to isolate themselves before coming to Japan, and test negative 72 hours before arrival. They were also tested every day after their arrival.

Spectators at the event had to wear face masks, sanitise their hands and undergo temperature checks, and were told not to shout or cheer.

International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach, who is due in Japan next week for the first time since the Games were delayed, said the event had set "an example that sports can be organised safely even under the ongoing health restrictions".

(11/10/2020) Views: 112 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Semenya and Van Niekerk among Athletics South Africa preparatory Olympic squad

Olympic champions Caster Semenya and Wayde van Niekerk are among 43 athletes included in Athletics South Africa’s preparation squad for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The preparation squad for the rescheduled Games features 32 men and 11 women, while a further 15 sprinters are in consideration for relay teams.

"We believe that we have assembled a very strong squad and we are confident that all the athletes are capable to be part of the final team, but that will be dependent entirely on them," Athletics South Africa President Aleck Skhosana told SuperSport.

"But they will have to stay focused to achieve that as they train in their various disciplines.

"Given the current global challenge caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we encourage athletes to take advantage of every available opportunity for competition because we don’t know what the future holds in terms of the fight against this virus.

"Whether it will get stronger or whether it will be defeated, we don’t know.

"So, we urge athletes to use opportunities at club, provincial or national level to prepare themselves."

Semenya is among the most well-known athletes in the squad.

The double Olympic champion last month lost an appeal to the Swiss Supreme Court over a World Athletics ruling which means she must take testosterone-reducing medication in order to be eligible to compete.

The current rules force athletes with differences in sexual development (DSD) to take drugs to medically reduce their naturally-occurring testosterone if they want to compete in women's events ranging from 400 meters to a mile.

She had previously appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over the policy, but was unsuccessful.

The ruling means Semenya is unable to defend her 800m Olympic crown at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games unless she takes medication.

Earlier this year Semenya expressed an interest in competing in the 200m at Tokyo 2020, an event not covered by the regulations.

Van Niekerk also features in the squad.

He set the 400m world record of 43.03sec when he earned Olympic gold at Rio 2016.

He competed in his first international race in more than three years last month.

Van Niekerk had been recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury picked up in 2017.

The preparatory squad also includes long jumper Luvo Manyonga and javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen, who both won silver medals at Rio 2016.

Manyonga won the men’s long jump world title in 2017.

Reigning Commonwealth Games men’s 100m champion Akani Simbine has been touted as a potential medal contender next year and also is included.

(10/31/2020) Views: 101 ⚡AMP
by Michael Pavitt
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Mo Farah's preparations for the rescheduled 2020 Olympics next summer could be hampered by a rumoured appearance on a reality TV show, says UK Athletics

Accoridng to reports in the UK media, Farah is set to go in to isolation this week so he can join the cast of the ITV show, before travelling to Gwrych Castle, north Wales, where the latest series is being filmed next month.

The reports also suggest Farah has accepted a £300,000 fee to appear in the show, but UK Athletics are more concerned about how it will affect Farah's training.

“It’s a knife-edge decision,” the UKA chief executive, Jo Coates, said. “For me as a marketer, to have athletes in mainstream TV shows is just perfection. We worked so hard to get netballers into these shows. However – and a big however – you would never want to do that to the detriment of performance.

Farah would join a long list of athletes who took part in the show. Former sprinter Linford Christie, who took home an Olympic gold medal in the 100m in 1992 took part in 2010. Silver medal javelin star Fatima Whitbread, 59, came third in 2011 with hockey star Samantha Quek, 32, coming 4th in 2016.

Swimmer Rebecca Adlington, 31, who won two golds at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, appeared on the show in 2013.

(10/30/2020) Views: 137 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Christian Coleman will miss the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year after the world 100m champion was banned for two years after two missed drugs tests and a filing failure in 2019

Coleman had disputed one of the missed tests, saying he had been out Christmas shopping but had returned during the one-hour window required to be tested. But an athletics disciplinary panel rejected the sprinter’s explanation and banned him until 13 May 2022.

The 24-year-old American earns close to a seven-figure salary from his sponsors at Nike and in July issued a lengthy defence of his actions, saying he was Christmas shopping “five minutes away” and should have been telephoned by testers “who didn’t even bother to call me”.

“I think the attempt on 9 December was a purposeful attempt to get me to miss a test,” he said. “I’ve been contacted by phone literally every other time I’ve been tested – why would the AIU tell him not to call me?”

However, the disciplinary panel ruled that testers were under no obligation to “invite an athlete to come for testing”.

“The athlete’s evidence was that he was out Christmas shopping, though he stated that he arrived home shortly before the end of the one-hour period because he recalled watching the kick-off of the Monday night football game, which starts at 8.15pm.

“His case was that the doping control officer must have left slightly before the end of the 60-minute time slot and he must have just missed him.”

Shopping receipts show that the athlete was shopping at least from 7.13pm, also purchased a Chipotle at 7.53pm and finally purchased 16 items from a Walmart Super Centre at 8.22pm. “The athlete’s evidence was that he returned home briefly some time between 8 and 8.10pm, ate his Chipotle while watching the kick off and then went out again. We do not accept the athlete’s evidence.”

The tester was there at his gated community residence from 7.15pm to 8.15pm, also taking a picture at 8.21pm to confirm the time.

A statement from the Athletics Integrity Unit, posted on social media, said: “The disciplinary panel has upheld the AIU’s charge and banned sprinter Christian Coleman of the USA for two years for three whereabouts failures in 12 months.”

Coleman is yet to comment but has always insisted that he has never used performance-enhancing drugs.

(10/27/2020) Views: 149 ⚡AMP
by Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge says that he will be back in big way

Olympics marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge is still recovering from the London Marathon setback in which he finished eighth on October 4.

“I will take time to recover from the London Marathon loss. I’m healing, I want to move on and focus on the future,” he said on Thursday after touring the Isuzu D-Max Pick-up assembly line in Nairobi.

The world marathon record holder, who had won 10 consecutive marathons since 2014 before this year's London debacle on October 4 in which a blocked ear thwarted his bid for a fifth title, signed a new partnership agreement with Isuzu East Africa that will run until after 2020 Tokyo Olympics that were postponed to next year. 

Kipchoge has been the Isuzu D-Max Pick-up ambassador for the last three years.

On Thursday, Isuzu East Africa hosted the legendary athlete who affirmed his commitment to making a comeback in the races ahead.

“If you despair, you lose what you have built over many years and miss future opportunities to come back stronger and better. If you train harder and build strength, you go to the track and run another race and rely on the strength you have built to propel you to another victory,” Kipchoge, who turns 36 on November 5, said.

He enjoys the use of a fully serviced luxury automatic Isuzu D-Max Pick-up in addition to two other vehicles that he was awarded for winning the 2018 Berlin Marathon in a world record time of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds, and for running under two-hours at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria last year.

Isuzu East Africa Managing Director Rita Kavashe said that Kipchoge has been a reliable and dependable Isuzu D-Max brand ambassador. 

“Through his record setting exploits, he has inspired a lot of people to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams,” she said.

Kipchoge thanked Isuzu for its demonstration of confidence in his capabilities and for supporting his dream.

Under the new deal, Isuzu East Africa will work with the Eliud Kipchoge Foundation to uplift the well-being of community through access to education, sports talent development and environmental conservation.

(10/27/2020) Views: 153 ⚡AMP
by Geoffrey Anene
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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British middle-distance runner Laura Muir refocuses on Olympic goals

Training and development are built around peaking at the end of a four-year cycle, so when the 2020 Tokyo Games were pushed back to 2021 there was much anguish.

For Laura Muir, a genuine medal prospect, it was a case of years of planning and preparation being tossed out the window.

Muir, a trained vet, had put the rest of her life on the backburner as she chased the Olympic dream.

“It was hard because I had set everything on hold really to focus on Olympics this year,” she explained. “My whole life was revolving around that goal, to be honest. I had no other plans.

“When that went there was that sinking feeling of ‘Oh, what now?’

“Then we had the Europeans still on just for a while and then they were cancelled, not even postponed. It was gutting because the Olympics only come around once every four years and it was something I was really looking to perform well at.

“At the same time, around March time, I could see the way Covid-19 was developing around the world and I wasn’t going to be surprised by a postponement.

“I’m just glad it wasn’t cancelled but was put back to next year. Hopefully, it can go ahead in 2021 as is now planned.”

Despite the disruption, Muir still managed to produce some outstanding performances in the truncated athletics season.

She delivered three sub-four minute runs over 1500 metres, including the world lead time of 3min 57:40sec which secured victory in a top-class field in Berlin last month. That race was her fifth win in a row. In the midst of it, she also set a new British 1000m record.

But Muir didn’t have it all her own way. A few days after Berlin, Jemma Reekie beat her in the 800m at the Diamond League meeting in Rome.

With Tokyo looming, Muir is uncertain about her winter programme and will take time to work out a plan with long-serving mentor Andy Young, who was named Performance Coach of the Year at the Scottish Athletics awards and also has Reekie in his stable.

“Putting any plans in place for the winter or the months ahead is so difficult right now,” said Muir.

“I’ve resumed training and hope to get in a strong block now. Whether that is here, or abroad, I don’t know – when and where are a bit up in the air in terms of a foreign camp. We will have to see how things go.

 

(10/16/2020) Views: 149 ⚡AMP
by Graham Bean
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Sebastian Coe has repeated his support for the right of athletes at next year's Tokyo Olympics to “take the knee” on the medal podium

Sebastian Coe stood at the edge of the track at Tokyo s new National Stadium on Thursday. Dressed in a blue suit and speaking in a light drizzle, he repeated his support for the right of athletes to advocate for social or racial justice at next year's postponed Tokyo Olympics.

“I’ve been very clear that if an athlete chooses to take the knee on a podium then I’m supportive of that,” Coe said, giving a boost to Black Lives Matter protests and other social- and racial-justice movements that are determined to use Tokyo as a stage.

Coe is speaking out in direct opposition to Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter that says "no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.”

Coe is not just any voice. He's an International Olympic Committee member, a two-time Olympic gold-medal winner, and the head of the world governing body of track and field known as World Athletics.

He also headed the 2012 London Olympics.

“Athletes are a part of the world and they want to reflect the world they live in,” Coe said. "For me, that part is perfectly acceptable as long as it is done with respect -- complete respect -- for other competitors, which I think most athletes properly understand.”

The Tokyo Games had to be postponed to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Coe is in the Japanese capital on a courtesy visit to Tokyo Olympics organizers. He met with its president Yoshiro Mori and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.

Tokyo is also the headquarters for the giant advertising company Dentsu Inc., which has been a major backer of World Athletics.

Coe pitched Tokyo as a possible venue for a future World Athletics world championship. Tokyo held the worlds in 1991, and Osaka was the host city in 2007.

“We don’t know what will happen in the next few months,” Coe said. "We are absolutely committed to work with the organizing committee for the delivery of a fantastic games. There may have to be some adaptations. There may need to be some differences. But I’m absolutely convinced that even under those circumstances they will still be fantastic games.”

(10/08/2020) Views: 132 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Canada’s Marco Arop sets sights on Tokyo

Canada tallied five medals at the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, so it was not surprising that Marco Arop’s excellent seventh-place finish in the 800m would be somewhat buried in the team’s performance review.

Just 21 years old at the time, the tall Sudan-born runner had earned the Pan American title two months earlier, running a then personal best of 1:44.25. But few expected him to survive the harsh preliminary rounds in Doha which required tactical nuance, stamina and most importantly experience at the highest level. Clearly the young man was up to the challenge and has immense potential.

Despite the uncertainty caused by a world pandemic, Arop has continued to make progress this year, setting a new personal best of 1:44.14 while finishing third at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco last month. That extraordinary result was followed by two second-place finishes in Bydgoszcz and Stockholm. In the latter he led down the home straight but couldn’t hold off world champion Donavan Brazier. Still, he ran a very good 1:44.67.

But it was the Monaco result which stoked his confidence, particularly since it was three seconds faster than his season opener in Atlanta, a four-and-a-half hour drive from his apartment in Starkville, Mississippi.

“I ended up running 1:47 high in Atlanta and I could feel there was so much more left in the tank,” he remembers. “Coming into Monaco I wanted to run fast and I was just lucky enough to be able to travel there and have that calibre of competition there. It was the perfect set up, the perfect race for me.”

Shortly after his brief European excursion, he returned to his training base in Starkville where he voluntarily quarantined for 14 days. Although he has a year and a half of academic studies in business information systems to complete, he chose to forego his eligibility at Mississippi State University to accept a contract from Adidas. Now, with a positive frame of mind, he believes an Olympic podium finish is attainable.

“Definitely! That’s just the way I have to look at it if I want to succeed,” he says. “It’s a long way from (now until) Tokyo 2021 and I am just hoping that I will be ready come the day and I am doing whatever I can to stay healthy, stay fit and become stronger.

“My goal is to win the Olympics. I know there are some really great competitors out there and I respect them all. But, at the end of the day, I want to win just as much as anybody else.”

That might be construed as youthful naïveté especially since he only became serious about athletics in his senior year at Edmonton’s St Oscar Romero Catholic High School – barely three years ago. Nevertheless, under the tutelage of Voleo Athletics Club coach Ron Thompson, Arop has become a quick study in 800-metre running, latching on to heroes from the past whose physical size equals his own 1.93m height.

“I have met (1984 Olympic 800m champion) Joaquim Cruz and I have watched him race in a couple of YouTube videos,” Arop says. “Guys like him and David Rudisha are huge role models and inspiration for me and I try to race like them. Front running is my strength.

“Coach Ron would say I can’t run the same as some of the other guys because I am not the same size. If I am in the front, it helps me stay out of trouble and control the race. That’s one thing I like to do – take the pace and decide when and where I should kick.”

“You can’t really take anything for granted,” Arop now says. “You never know who is going to come out on top.

“That’s one thing I want to take into Tokyo: not leaving anything to chance. Prelims and the semifinals and then, in the final – it’s who is having a good day.”

(09/30/2020) Views: 153 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Hellen Obiri ponders plans for Olympics and beyond

Hellen Obiri came close to walking away from the sport eight years ago.

The Kenyan, aged 22 at the time, was so disappointed with her performance at the 2012 Olympic Games, she considered quitting there and then. She had won the world indoor 3000m title earlier that year and went on to improve her 1500m PB to 3:59.68 at the start of the outdoor season, making her one of the fastest women on the startline for the Olympic final.

But she finished right at the back of the field in 12th place – later upgraded to eighth following the disqualification of four athletes from that race – and was unable to explain what had gone wrong.

Thankfully, however, she soon got over the disappointment and her career has gone from strength to strength.

She is now the only woman in history to have won world titles indoors, outdoors and at cross country. One medal is missing from her collection, though.

“I’ve won a lot but I’m not yet there,” she says. “Olympic gold is the only medal that's missing from my collection.

“At the start of the year we were training for the Olympics in 2020 but then of course we received the sad news that there would be no Olympics this year,” she added. “It’s hard to put your dreams on hold for another year when you wanted to achieve something good, but we have to be patient and train hard for 2021. The pandemic has affected the whole world. All we can do now is look ahead to 2021.”

Had the Games gone ahead this year, the 30-year-old would have been one of the big favourites over 5000m, the event in which she won world titles in 2017 and 2019. She has raced just three times on the track so far in 2020, but produced world-leading times in two of those appearances.

The 5000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting was her season opener and she won convincingly in 14:22.12, the fourth-fastest time of her career. Just earlier this week, in a high-quality 3000m that she described as being “like a championship final”, she triumphed again in 8:22.54, the second-fastest time of her career behind the outdoor African record of 8:20.68 on the same track in Doha.

In a year with no major championships and with world rankings and Olympic qualifying suspended, performances in 2020 may not count for much. But Obiri has sent a clear message to her competitors that, even in an off year like this one, she is hard to beat. And she will be an even more formidable opponent in an Olympic year.

“I have one more race in Nairobi (at the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting on 3 October), then I’ll take a break and start to prepare for the Olympics,” she said. “I hope to do even better in 2021.”

(09/28/2020) Views: 152 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Tokyo Olympics announces potential cost-reduction plan for 2021 event

Friday morning, the Tokyo Olympics organizers announced a proposal to cut the number of officials for next year’s event by 10 to 15 per cent in order to save money. Cutting the number of officials is just one part of their cost-reduction proposal, which reportedly includes 50 other measures to simplify the Games. 

Other proposed measures include reducing invitations for both the opening and closing ceremonies, cutting team welcome ceremonies at the Olympic Village, reducing the decoration budget, a shorter window for training venues and giving fewer officials access to official bus services (and instead encouraging them to take public transit).

According to Inside the Games, IOC President Thomas Bach addressed organizers this week, urging them to work diligently and comprehensively. “Nobody can expect from us that we know already, exactly what needs to be done in 10 months from now to ensure a safe environment for everybody,” he said.

Earlier this year, the IOC said that the Olympics wouldn’t happen without a vaccine. However, in recent weeks they’ve back pedalled on that statement, suggesting that it will go on either way. At a press conference this week, Bach cited the Tour de France as a sports event that was successful without a vaccine. 

The Games are scheduled to begin on July 23, 2021. 

(09/26/2020) Views: 161 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Tokyo 2020 organizers are planning to test all foreign athletes for COVID-19 when they arrive in Japan for the Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 organizers are planning to test all foreign athletes for COVID-19 when they arrive in Japan for the delayed Olympic Games, it was announced in draft measures on Wednesday.

Non-Japanese athletes should have tests within 72 hours before departure for Japan in their own country or region and will be tested again upon their arrival in Japan, according to the measures released after a joint meeting by Tokyo 2020, the Japanese government and the Tokyo metropolitan government.

From early July 2021, all athletes, including Japanese participants living in Japan, will be tested before entering the pre-Games training camp, the Olympic Village and competition venues.

Those expected to have physical contact with athletes will also have tests during the athletes' stay, the draft measures said.

The planned measures revealed that athletes will be advised not to take public transportation and to avoid contact with local citizens.

Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the Tokyo 2020, admitted that it will be difficult to ban athletes from shopping or sightseeing in Japan.

"By contacting the public, the athletes might spread COVID-19," he said. "That is the possibility. We must protect the citizens. So there are two aspects... It should be difficult. It is not realistic for us to consider not using public transportation by athletes."

Muto said that they have not reached any conclusion on any of the countermeasures and will "continue the discussion."

(09/23/2020) Views: 443 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Government announced its proposal for anti-coronavirus measures to Compete in Tokyo Olympics

On Sept. 15 the Japanese government announced its proposal for anti-coronavirus measures that would allow non-Japanese athletes wishing to compete at next summer's postponed Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games to enter the country. Along with at least five tests for COVID-19 prior to competition, foreign athletes must submit a detailed itinerary of their planned movements within the country and a written oath to abide by the submitted plan.

Rules and consequences for dealing with violations are still under discussion. The complete proposal is expected to be presented at a government planning meeting next week.Under the proposal, the first test must be carried out less than 72 hours prior to departure and must return a negative result. Another test must be done at the airport upon arrival in Japan, another when entering the team's pre-Olympic base or host town, another when entering the Athletes' Village, and another before competing. Beyond these five tests, athletes will be regularly tested depending upon the length of their stay in the Athletes' Village.Olympic officials, athlete support personnel and others who may come into contact with athletes will be required to undergo the same protocol.

Athletes who are Japanese citizens residing in Japan will have to undergo at least three tests, the same protocol excluding the tests before and after a flight. The Games organizing committee will have responsibility for testing in the Athletes' Village and at competition venues, with local governments bearing responsibility for testing in host towns.The itinerary and action plan detailing where athletes and personnel will be located and how they will travel is intended to allow them to continue to function during the 14-day self-quarantine period. Each country will have a manager assigned to ensure the system's effectiveness by monitoring compliance and dealing with violations as per the to-be-established regulations.

(09/15/2020) Views: 152 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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