Olympic Games: Kenya back IOC move on Olympics

By Jonathan Komen: Wednesday, March 25th 2020 at 14:10 GMT +3 | Athletics
FILE: Acting Secretary General National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) Francis Mutuku during the launch of NOC-K Elite Youth Camp in Nairobi On Monday, Nov 25 2019. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The National Olympic Committee-Kenya (NOC-K) yesterday backed the decision by the International Olympic Committee to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"We at the National Olympic Committee of Kenya are delighted to support the International Olympic Committee move to postpone the Olympic Games.

"In the wake of the challenges posed by the spread of Covid 19, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were unfeasible and too risky to undertake," NOC-K said in a statement signed by the acting secretary-general Francis Mutuku yesterday.

Meanwhile, Japan postponed the Olympic torch relay yesterday after the Tokyo 2020 Games were delayed for a year over the coronavirus outbreak, extending what has already been a troubled journey for the ceremonial flame.

The torch, lit earlier this month in Greece, had been due to start its nationwide tour tomorrow from Fukushima, an area devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.

"The Olympic torch relay, which was scheduled to start from 26th (March), will not start," Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori told reporters.

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Mori said the flame will remain in Fukushima for now, but it was not clear how long it will stay there.

Covid-19 has overshadowed the flame's progress after the elaborate lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia proceeded without spectators, to avoid spreading the disease.

The Greek leg of the torch relay was then scrapped when large crowds mobbed Hollywood actor Gerard Butler as he lit a cauldron in the city of Sparta.

The flame arrived to a muted welcome in northern Japan in front of a few dozen officials and guests, after plans to invite 200 schoolchildren were abandoned.

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