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Olympics newest: Australian softball staff begins coaching camp

TOKYO — The July 23 opening ceremony of the delayed Tokyo Olympics is drawing nearer, however there may be nonetheless a lot to be determined earlier than the world’s largest sporting occasion can go forward.

The Worldwide Olympic Committee is insistent that the Video games happen as deliberate, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says authorities will do their utmost to make sure a “secure and safe” occasion. However Tokyo remains to be beneath a state of emergency, polls present the Japanese public are against holding them this 12 months, and COVID-19 instances are rising once more in nations throughout Asia and elsewhere.

Listed here are the most recent developments on this fast-evolving story:

Saturday, June 5 (Tokyo time)

6:00 p.m. The Tokyo 2020 organizers are denying a report that some company sponsors have proposed delaying the video games, saying there was “no such request,” in accordance with Kyodo Information.

The Monetary Occasions on Friday reported that some sponsors had urged laying aside the occasion till later this 12 months, when extra followers would possibly be capable to attend.

5:15 p.m. Australia’s Olympic softball staff — the primary group of athletes to reach in Japan for the Tokyo Video games — has began its coaching camp, Kyodo Information experiences. 

The staff’s apply in Gunma Prefecture, north of Tokyo, was closed to followers and reporters to reduce the COVID-19 threat. The staff has been vaccinated and might be examined often as a precaution, the information company says.

Friday, June 4

11:45 p.m. Main Japanese sponsors of the Tokyo Olympics have referred to as privately for the video games to be delayed for a number of months extra in order that extra followers can attend, the Monetary Occasions experiences, quoting two folks as saying postponement would enable them to get well some worth if it allowed spectators and higher motion round venues. Learn extra right here.

7:20 p.m. The U.Okay.’s Olympic contingent will embody psychological well being professionals, Reuters experiences, citing The Occasions newspaper.

The report says 10 psychological well being consultants will come alongside and monitor the staff’s well-being beneath a sports activities psychologist and a physician.

“We already took psychological well being very significantly however we acknowledge such points have by no means been extra acute in on a regular basis life,” The Occasions quotes the British Olympic Affiliation as saying.

The plan involves mild the identical week Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open, saying she suffered from despair and struggled with compulsory press conferences. Her determination raised world consciousness of the psychological and emotional pressure on athletes.


The British Olympic staff on the Tokyo Video games will embody a squad of psychological well being professionals to observe over the athletes.

  © Reuters

6:00 p.m. Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee President Seiko Hashimoto brushes off criticism of the video games, saying organizers have a “mission” to arrange. Whereas a Japanese Olympic Committee board member earlier immediately wrote that the occasion had misplaced its which means, Hashimoto suggests the worldwide disaster provides “worth and which means to the video games.”

She does say that if different organizers decide that going ahead is troublesome, “then it’s also our mission to answer such judgments.”

The feedback come a day after Hashimoto mentioned that “we can not postpone once more.”

4:20 p.m. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi intends to “join” with the nation’s athletes by a web-based convention in July, in accordance with native media. Modi was reportedly briefed this week on measures being taken to ship the staff to Tokyo safely amid the pandemic.

1:30 p.m. With outstanding voices making important remarks concerning the video games on Friday, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga reiterates his intention to go ahead. “By realizing a secure and safe video games, we will ship hope and braveness to the world,” he says, in accordance with Kyodo Information.

12:35 p.m. Shigeru Omi, head of the Japanese authorities’s coronavirus advisory panel, says holding the video games beneath a state of emergency “should positively be prevented.”

Tokyo and a number of other different municipalities are presently beneath a COVID-19 emergency declaration that was prolonged to June 20. IOC Vice President John Coates brought on a stir final month by saying the video games can nonetheless be held even when the emergency stays in place.

However Omi just isn’t having it. “We must always ramp up our effort to keep away from [keeping] the state of emergency throughout the time left” earlier than opening day, he tells media.

11:25 a.m. Throughout Japan, 479 municipalities are nonetheless planning to host coaching camps and post-games interplay packages, Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukawa tells reporters. As a result of pandemic, 122 municipalities have determined to cancel these packages as of Friday.

10:15 a.m. Kaori Yamaguchi, a Japanese Olympic Committee govt board member and former judoka, says the Tokyo Olympics “have already misplaced which means and are being held only for the sake of them,” however that she believes it’s too late to cancel.

In an opinion article printed by Kyodo Information this morning, she writes that canceling with solely 49 days to go would “require an excessive amount of vitality to make and observe by with such a choice.” With public opinion strongly in opposition to the video games however the Worldwide Olympic Committee decided to go forward, she argues Japan has been “cornered” and is “damned if we do, and damned if we don’t.”

“‘The facility of sports activities’ is of little consolation to folks nervous concerning the medical scenario and their future lives,” she says.

Yamaguchi warns that even when the video games succeed at rousing feelings, they’ll depart a “bitter aftertaste.” However she expresses hope that “athletes will use this expertise to develop into individuals who can converse out and debate.”

7:00 a.m. Japan’s authorities intends to cancel a reception for abroad dignitaries deliberate for Aug. 8, the day of the Olympic closing ceremony, Kyodo Information experiences in a single day. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga was on account of host the occasion at a Tokyo resort with officers from the Worldwide Olympic Committee, however will probably be scrapped over coronavirus considerations and as a part of efforts to scale down the video games, the information company says, citing nameless sources.

3:10 a.m. Kenya’s Olympic committee plans to go forward with pre-training camp in Kurume, the Japanese metropolis that earlier this week had communicated its withdrawal from the host settlement, Reuters experiences.

“As of immediately, the data we’ve as of now’s that we’re on,” says Francis Mutuku, performing secretary-general of the Nationwide Olympic Committee of Kenya, in a phone interview.

The Japanese Embassy in Kenya says that information of the cancellation was “erroneously reported” and that Kurume’s mayor confirms that the town will proceed with preparations to obtain the Kenyan athletes, paying particular consideration to COVID-19 protocols.

2:50 a.m. The Worldwide Olympic Committee has introduced a brand new tackle collectible Olympic pins: a line of digital memorabilia within the type of nonfungible tokens.

The digital pins might be accessible for buy beginning midmonth — or to be “earned” beginning later this 12 months by enjoying an Olympic-themed online game.

NFTs use blockchain know-how to create one-of-a-kind digital property. Such tokens are getting used within the artwork world.

The hassle sees the IOC partnering with San Francisco recreation developer nWay, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Animoca Manufacturers, which claimed unicorn standing after a latest funding spherical.

Thursday, June 3

7:00 p.m. Organizers reveal gadgets for use throughout medal ceremonies, together with an official podium constituted of recycled plastic, Kyodo Information experiences — the most recent signal of officers’ willpower to forge forward with 50 days to go.

The revealing occasion at Ariake Area, an Olympic venue on Tokyo’s waterfront, consists of fashions sporting uniforms constituted of recycled fibers and carrying trays for the medals.

“For athletes standing on the rostrum and for others watching them, I imagine [the ceremonies] will enable us to comprehend the worth of holding the video games throughout this time,” Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto is quoted as saying.


Medalists will stand on podiums just like the one above, constituted of recycled plastic.

  © Reuters


The medals might be offered on trays like this.

  © Reuters

6:05 p.m. The top of the Japanese Olympic Committee expects round 95% of the nation’s Olympians might be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, in accordance with Kyodo Information.

The JOC goals to inoculate about 1,600 athletes, coaches and employees with two doses earlier than the video games start. Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita, who obtained a shot on Thursday, says the take-up price has been higher than anticipated for the reason that program began on Tuesday, because of sports activities organizations emphasizing that getting jabbed is “not solely to guard ourselves but in addition to not trigger bother to others.”

He acknowledges public opposition to the video games and the necessity to guarantee security, however says athletes shouldn’t really feel responsible for making ready.

3:05 p.m. A overseas athlete checks constructive for COVID-19 whereas in Japan, however not one headed for the Olympics. The Japan Soccer Affiliation says a member of Ghana’s under-24 nationwide staff had a constructive check on Thursday, simply two days earlier than he was set to play in opposition to Japan in southwestern Fukuoka Prefecture. Though the contaminated athlete has been quarantined and his teammates have examined damaging, officers haven’t determined whether or not to proceed with the Saturday match.

11:10 a.m. The president of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee has insisted the video games should go forward as deliberate, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We can not postpone once more,” Reuters quotes Seiko Hashimoto as saying, citing an interview with Japan’s Nikkan Sports activities newspaper.

The previous Olympian turned politician additionally rejected the opportunity of canceling the video games.


Lo Kuo-Hui of Chinese language Taipei readies himself within the outfield on the Beijing Olympics in 2008 — the final time baseball was included on the video games. 

  © Getty Photos

7:54 a.m. Taiwan’s baseball affiliation tweets that it’s withdrawing from the ultimate Olympic baseball qualifier in Mexico later this month — an occasion the island was on account of host itself earlier than tighter COVID-19 border guidelines prompted a venue change.

The choice comes with 50 days to go earlier than the video games open in Tokyo.

“Ultimately, the mountain was too massive to maneuver,” says the Chinese language Taipei Baseball Affiliation — the identify beneath which Taiwan competes. The tweet doesn’t go into element however consists of charts on Taiwan’s coronavirus scenario.

Baseball is certainly one of Taiwan’s hottest sports activities. However Japanese public broadcaster NHK says the island’s skilled league determined in opposition to sending its gamers to Mexico over well being considerations. The affiliation then thought-about sending an beginner squad, however Taiwan’s latest COVID-19 surge sophisticated the planning.

6:00 a.m. Waiting for the Winter Olympics in Beijing subsequent 12 months, American gold medalist velocity skater Apolo Ohno says the U.S. ought to compete relatively than politicize the occasion with a boycott.

“I imagine that America as a staff ought to go and characterize the best possible that we will,” Ohno tells Fox Enterprise. “We attempt to win in each single circumstance and scenario.”

He says the U.S. staff ought to deal with the “purity of sport” in Beijing.

Wednesday, June 2

9:36 p.m. The Japanese metropolis of Kurume has pulled out of internet hosting Kenya’s pre-Olympics coaching camp as native COVID-19 infections unfold quickly, Kenya’s Olympic committee says. Services for coaching camps have grow to be vaccination venues, the Kenyan assertion quotes Kurume authorities as saying, although Japan has supplied no fast affirmation.

Lots of Kenya’s athletes had been to reach July 7 within the metropolis on the southern island of Kyushu, however the committee says “various preparations” are being made. Greater than 100 Japanese municipalities have scrapped plans to host groups from overseas.

7:30 p.m. Round 10,000 volunteers who had signed as much as assist out on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Video games have stop as of June 1, Japan’s broadcaster NHK experiences, citing Tokyo organizers. Round 80,000 volunteers have been recruited. Those that had withdrawn did so with causes equivalent to considerations over the pandemic and private points, amongst others.

Tokyo Olympics organizing committee chief Toshiro Muto later confirmed that about 10,000 volunteers had withdrawn from the occasion.

6:30 p.m. Kyodo Information experiences, citing sources, that the G-7 will categorical help for the Tokyo Olympics in an announcement after a summit within the U.Okay. this month.

4:21 p.m. The Tokyo Metropolitan authorities formally proclaims it’ll scrap a plan to carry public viewing of the Olympics within the metropolis’s Yoyogi Park. As a substitute, police and firefighters might be vaccinated within the park from subsequent month.


A person poses for a portrait as he takes canines for a stroll at Yoyogi park in Tokyo on Could 2.

  © Reuters

3:59 p.m. A member of the Australian girls’s softball staff’s teaching employees praises Japan’s dealing with of Olympic arrivals, in an interview with Nikkei Asia.

The staff’s arrival yesterday was the primary check of Tokyo 2020’s COVID protocols, which took 5 hours in Narita Airport as athletes and coaches handed by COVID checks, immigration and customs.

“We’re getting many questions from different sports activities about what immigration was like. The Japanese have set it up very properly on the airport,” says Deidre Anderson, Softball Australia’s athlete wellbeing supervisor.

3:40 p.m. Shigeru Omi, head of the federal government’s coronavirus advisory panel, calls on organizers to strengthen management techniques and downsize the video games.

“Holding the video games beneath the pandemic is normally unthinkable,” Omi tells parliament. “If organizers need the video games to be staged, it’s their duty to ramp up its management system whereas minimizing the dimensions of the video games as a lot attainable.”

1:52 p.m. South Korea asks the Worldwide Olympic Committee to strain Japan to take away a reference to South Korea-controlled islands as Japanese territory on the Tokyo Video games web site.

The Korean Sport and Olympic Committee despatched a letter late Tuesday asking the IOC to “actively mediate” the dispute, which has sparked outrage and protests in South Korea.

Tuesday, June 1

5:50 p.m. Some 200 folks from seven Japanese sports activities organizations acquired vaccinated on Tuesday, JOC secretary-general Tsuyoshi Fukui and Senior Government Board members Mitsugi Ogata say at a press briefing. They’re the primary of round 1,600 folks together with athletes, coaches and employees of the Japan Olympic Committee to obtain doses.

5:16 p.m. South Korea summons Japan’s deputy ambassador to protest over a map on the Tokyo Olympics web site that confirmed a set of South Korea-controlled islands as Japanese territory. The small islands, referred to as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan, have been on the middle of a decades-long territorial dispute.

2:00 p.m. A promising Myanmar swimmer is looking on the Worldwide Olympic Committee to ban the Myanmar Olympic Committee from representing the nation within the upcoming Tokyo Video games, saying it “doesn’t share Olympic values.”

Learn Rurika Imahashi’s interview with Win Htet Oo right here.


The Australian staff arrives at Narita Airport in Chiba prefecture, Japan, on Tuesday.

  © Kyodo

1:50 p.m. Japan’s Digital Transformation Minister Takuya Hirai tells reporters that the estimated improvement price for a smartphone app to trace overseas guests’ whereabouts throughout the Olympics might be 3.85 billion yen ($35.2 million), down 47% from the unique estimate. It’s because features are lowered as a result of overseas spectator ban.

12:23 p.m. The Japan Soccer Affiliation says it has canceled a soccer recreation between Japan and Jamaica after ten Jamaican gamers had been unable to board flights to Japan on account of causes equivalent to COVID testing strategies.

11:29 a.m. Not many cities appear prepared to observe Ota in internet hosting overseas athletes. Over 100 native authorities have determined to cancel coaching camps, Japan’s Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukawa tells reporters. Often, the camps give visiting athletes a possibility to acclimatize to native circumstances and work together with residents.

10:43 a.m. Australia’s girls’s softball staff lands at Narita Airport, turning into the primary staff to reach in Japan for the Tokyo Olympics. The 23 athletes, together with 7 coaches and employees, arrived early to get a headstart on the required quarantine interval. They are going to stay in a bubble in Ota, Gunma Prefecture, for 2 and a half months, with solely apply video games with native groups on their schedule.

10:10 a.m. Vaccinations for Japanese athletes begins Tuesday at Tokyo’s Ajinomoto Nationwide Coaching Heart. Round 1,600 folks together with athletes, coaches and employees of the Japan Olympic Committee will obtain doses.

8:17 a.m. With attainable implications on whether or not she’s going to seem on the Tokyo Olympics, Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open after deciding to boycott post-match media duties, explaining she had been affected by despair for nearly three years.

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