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Friday, June 18, 2021

Olympic torch relay barred from Osaka public roads — governor

Tokyo, Japan (AFP) — The Olympic torch relay is not going to be run on public roads in Osaka metropolis given rising virus instances, the Japanese area’s governor mentioned Friday, however a cancellation has not but been determined.

“We’re sorry for torch relay runners…however we cannot do the torch relay on public roads in Osaka metropolis,” Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura advised reporters.

“We’ll talk about with the Tokyo 2020 organising committee if there are any alternate options,” he added.

His feedback got here a day after he and town’s mayor referred to as for the torch relay leg to be cancelled given a latest spike in COVID-19 infections within the area.

Japan’s Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa expressed assist within the morning, saying it was “cheap” that the Osaka Authorities has proposed cancellation as they should include the unfold of infections.

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto advised reporters Friday that the destiny of the Osaka metropolis relay leg was nonetheless being mentioned.

We wish “to come back to a conclusion at our earliest comfort, however the discussions are nonetheless happening,” she mentioned.

“Though we wish to make conclusions as quickly as attainable, we additionally should be versatile in order that we can accommodate altering occasions which will come up.”

The relay started on March 25 from Fukushima, with organisers hoping it should assist construct enthusiasm throughout Japan for the Video games after a year-long delay brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s scheduled to journey via Osaka prefecture on April 13 and 14, beginning in Sakai metropolis and ending in Osaka metropolis.

Guidelines already require spectators lining the relay path to put on masks and keep away from cheering, and the organisers have mentioned legs of the route might be cancelled if overcrowding happens.

Coronavirus infections have been rising in Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi prefectures, and the Authorities introduced new restrictions for the areas on Thursday, permitting officers there to require companies to shut early or face fines.

Olympic officers have launched a sequence of rulebooks they are saying will permit the Video games to go forward this summer time regardless of the virus.

However they’ve already been compelled to postpone a number of check occasions, with Kyodo Information company reporting Friday {that a} diving check occasion would possibly now be cancelled.

The Diving World Cup, which can also be an Olympic qualifier, is scheduled to happen in Tokyo from April 18-23, however Kyodo mentioned some groups have been reluctant to journey to Japan.

FINA, the swimming federation that oversees the competitors, didn’t reply to a request for remark, and Hashimoto mentioned no determination had been taken but.

“Final evening we did obtain a letter from FINA however the particulars on the conclusion of whether or not they are going to be cancelling this occasion or not will not be but stipulated,” she mentioned.

Kyodo reported that FINA was involved about attainable an infection dangers to athletes and the equity of the competitors.

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