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Tokyo Olympic head says Bach visit to Japan could be ‘tough’

TOKYO (AP) – The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee president said Friday that a visit to Japan this month by IOC President Thomas Bach seemed unlikely with a state of emergency order being extended by the government to Tokyo and other areas until May 31. Canceling the trip could be embarrassing for the International Olympic Committee and local organizers. They say they can hold a “safe and secure” Olympics during a pandemic as cases surge in Japan – particularly in Tokyo and Japan’s second metropolis, Osaka.

The postponed Olympics will open in only 11 weeks, on July 23, followed by the Paralympics on Aug. 24. “Frankly speaking, I think it would be quite tough for him to come now,” organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto said at a weekly briefing, adding that “nothing had been decided.” “But the extension of the state of emergency and having him visit during that time will mean that pPresidentBach will be visiting in quite a difficult time,” Hashimoto said. “I think that would be a tough thing for him.”

Tokyo Olympic

Bach said he hoped to go to Hiroshima to meet the torch relay – presumably to Tokyo – on May 17 and 18. But he has told me his plans were not finalized. Coincidentally, influential IOC member Sebastian Coe is in Tokyo for a track and field test event on Sunday at the new $1.4 billion national stadia. Coe is the president of World Athletics, the governing body of track and field, and the head of the 2012 London Olympics. He is seen as a potential successor to Bach when the German’s term ends in 2025 and a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 1,500 meters. Coe has been laudatory about a half marathon test event run earlier this week in Sapporo. He’s also sympathetic to Hashimoto trying to pull off the Olympics.Tokyo organizers are discussing a six-day diving test event that ended Friday. There was only one positive COVID-19 test among 438 participants – including 224 divers from 46 countries and territories. TOfficials said the positive test was for a team official, who was placed in quarantine, “Feedback from the competitors has been very positive,” the organizing committee and FINA, the governing body of swimming and diving, said in a statement. Last month’s editorial in the British Medical Journal said the Olympics should be “reconsidered.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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