× Sports Football Rugby Olympics Volleyball and Handball Cricket Boxing Golf Hockey Tennis Gossip & Rumours World Cup 2018 Basketball Athletics Sports Premier League Eliud Kipchoge Women in Sports Unique Sports Opinion Motorsport Videos Podcasts E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
×
SPORTS

Japan committed to hosting Olympics on schedule even as virus spreads

ATHLETICS By Reuters | March 5th 2020
People wearing protective face masks, following an outbreak of the coronavirus, are seen in front of the Giant Olympic rings at the waterfront area at Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo, Japan, February 27, 2020. [REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo]

Japan's Olympics minister said the country is committed to hosting the summer games as planned from July even as the coronavirus outbreak spread to new parts of the country.

"Cancellation or delay of the Games would be unacceptable for the athletes," Seiko Hashimoto said in parliament on Thursday. "An environment where athletes can feel at ease and focus should be firmly prepared."

The minister had caused controversy earlier this week by saying the contract for the games "could be interpreted as allowing a postponement" within calendar 2020.

Japan's western prefecture of Shiga reported its first coronavirus infection on Thursday, a day after the announcement of a first case in the southern prefecture of Miyazaki.

Confirmed coronavirus infections rose to 1,036 nationwide as of Thursday morning, 36 more than the previous day, according to national broadcaster NHK. That was the biggest one-day increase to date, with new cases in locations ranging from Kumamoto prefecture in the southwest to Hokkaido in the north.

Twelve people have died from the disease, according to the health ministry.

The rapid spread of the outbreak has raised questions about whether Tokyo can host the Olympics as scheduled from July 24, with the effects being felt by other sporting events.

On Wednesday, the Japanese Rugby Football Union announced that next month's Asia Sevens Invitational, which doubles as a test event for rugby sevens at the Tokyo Olympics, has been cancelled due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

The Tokyo marathon was held this month without the participation of non-elite runners, and with fewer volunteers and spectators.

Hashimoto told the upper house on Thursday that organisers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) would continue to work together closely. She reiterated the final decision on holding the games as planned rests with the IOC.

On Wednesday, IOC President Thomas Bach said the words 'cancellation' or 'postponement' were not mentioned during a two-day meeting focused on preparations for the Games.

Asked what made him so confident the Games would go ahead, Bach said the IOC and 2020 Games organisers were receiving expert information, including from the World Health Organization.

Share this story
All Italian sporting events to be played behind closed doors
Coronavirus concerns force Serie A matches to be played behind closed doors until April 3 England's Six Nations match against Italy in Rome will also
Kenyans: Spare our Olympians from Internet trolling
It’s so big, the Olympic Games. You have to be there 100 per cent. The past few days has been a roller coaster of emotions for Kenyan Olympians.
.
RECOMMENDED NEWS
Feedback