Tokyo Olympics test event cancelled over virus: reports

By AFP |   06 April 2021   |   9:47 am  

The Olympic Rings logo are reflected in the windows of the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne on March 18, 2020, as doubts increase over whether Tokyo can safely host the summer Games amid the spread of the COVID-19. – Olympic chiefs acknowledged on March 18, 2020, there was no “ideal” solution to staging the Tokyo Olympics amid a backlash from athletes as the deadly coronavirus pandemic swept the globe. The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to run between July 24 and August 9, 2020. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

A Tokyo Olympics water polo test event has been cancelled because sports officials cannot enter Japan due to coronavirus restrictions, reports said Tuesday.

The event is only the latest victim of virus restrictions, which have forced the cancellation or postponement of a series of Olympic qualifiers and tests.

The two-day water polo event was supposed to open on Saturday, but has been scrapped because of Japan’s strict travel regulations, which bar virtually all foreign nationals from entering the country, local media reported.

The restrictions mean time-keepers and record-keepers who were due to travel to Japan cannot take part in the event, although Kyodo news agency said it may be rescheduled to a later date.

Tokyo Olympics organisers declined to comment.

Test events for the virus-delayed Games resumed last weekend for the first time since the pandemic began, with a wheelchair rugby event held at Tokyo’s Yoyogi National Stadium.

But there are doubts over whether the remaining 17 test events can be held as scheduled.

Last week, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) said it was considering moving its Olympic qualifiers from Japan.

Those events include the Diving World Cup scheduled for this month and the Artistic Swimming qualifier scheduled for May.

FINA’s competition calendar already lists both events, along with the May 29-30 Olympic marathon swim qualifier in Japan’s Fukuoka, as cancelled.

The governing body reportedly told member nations last week that it had received “worrying” information about the organiser’s proposed Covid-19 countermeasures.

On Monday, the Japan Triathlon Union also announced that a triathlon World Cup event due to be held in Osaka in May has been cancelled because of virus restrictions.

The competition was not an Olympic test event but helps decide which athletes will qualify for the Games, and was meant to feature 130 triathletes from 30 different countries.

You may also like

31 Dec
The number of Covid-19 cases spiralled by more than a half across the world this week, while pandemic-linked deaths dropped nine percent.
31 Dec
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes his side's crucial match against Chelsea will go ahead on Sunday despite three new coronavirus cases in his camp as another Premier League fixture was called off.
31 Dec
Southampton's home match against Newcastle on Sunday is the latest Premier League fixture to be called off after a coronavirus outbreak in the visitors' camp.