The Tokyo Olympics are still not certain of taking place, with organizers refusing to rule out a last minute cancellation.
Many runners have already arrived in Tokyo ahead of the rescheduled 2020 Games, with both men’s and women’s road races scheduled to take place this weekend after Friday’s opening ceremony.
However, as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Tokyo, event organizers have expressed continued concerns about the pandemic, with most events already scheduled to be held behind closed doors.
At a press conference on Tuesday, the head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, Toshiro Muto, was reportedly asked if the Games could still be canceled, and he refused to say no.
“We cannot predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases. So we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases,” he said, according to Air sports.
“We have agreed that depending on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again. At this point, coronavirus cases may increase or decrease, so we will think about what to do when the situation arises. . “
Despite the uncertainty, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, insisted that “cancellation was never an option”.
Besides the pandemic situation of the general public in Tokyo, which is still in a state of emergency, there have already been numerous cases of COVID-19 in the Olympic Village.
According to the latest figures released by organizers on Monday, 59 positives had been recorded since July 1 in the Olympic bubble of more than 20,000 people, ranging from athletes and coaches to the media and those working for the organization.
Despite the rigorous testing before departure and after arrival in Tokyo, IOC official Christophe Dubi said “it is inevitable that there will be cases” but insisted that “everything is in place for limit mixing and keep the risk to a minimum “.
The men’s road race takes place on Saturday and the women’s road race on Sunday, with the time trials taking place the following Wednesday. The mountain bike races take place on Monday July 26 and Tuesday July 27, while the track races are scheduled from August 2 to 8.