Oly committee official calls for postponement of Tokyo Games

March 20, 2020
Tokyo: A member of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) has called for the Tokyo Olympic Games to be postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Retired judo athlete Kaori Yamaguchi, who is also a member of JOC executive board, told Japan’s Nikkei newspaper that athletes are not able to prepare adequately for the Olympic Games scheduled to start from July 24.

“The Olympics should not be held in a situation people in the world can’t enjoy,” Yamaguchi said.

“As far as I can tell, athletes in the United States and Europe are unable to train as normal and finish their qualifying matches. That makes it impossible for them to appear well prepared at the start, with all the associated risks,” she added.

The 55-year-old also said she plans to raise this point at a JOC Board Meeting scheduled for March 27.

Yamaguchi’s comments came after the athletes were asked to continue to train as usual by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach.

World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe has said that it is possible to postpone the 2020 Olympics if necessary.

The IOC has claimed there is no need for “any drastic decisions at this stage” regarding this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, despite growing concern over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. IANS