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Tokyo Olympics can be delivered ‘safely and securely,’ says World Athletics president Seb Coe

Japan is at present battling a fourth wave of coronavirus infections and Tokyo, together with a number of different prefectures, stays below a state of emergency till the top of May.

Against that backdrop, a petition calling for the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics has been submitted to organizers after garnering a whole lot of 1000’s of signatures, and the CEO of main Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten has referred to as plans to host the Games a “suicide mission.”

But Coe stays assured that the Olympics, already postponed by a yr amid the pandemic, will be in a position to get underway as scheduled on July 23.

“Should we’ve the Games? Yes, we must always. Can we’ve them safely and safe? I imagine we can,” Coe, a four-time Olympic medalist and president of World Athletics since 2015, informed CNN Sport.

“I’m not cavalier about that. But I do assume there are methods that at the moment are tried and examined. We know a lot extra about these methods than we did a yr in the past.”

Coe attends a news conference after a test event for the Olympic marathon in Sapporo on May 5.

Organizers have outlined strict plans within the hope that the Games can be staged safely, together with rigorous take a look at and hint measures and restricted actions for athletes.

“For the athletes, it’ll be a sterile expertise,” added Coe.

“I believe we’ve to just accept that. Their day will virtually definitely be village to venue, venue again to village and possibly coaching tracks in between.

“There goes to be no sightseeing, there are going to be no karaoke bars. I imply, the intense athletes wouldn’t be on the lookout for that anyway, however it’ll be robust.”

Coe, who was chairman of the London 2012 organizing committee, mentioned he “can’t actually speculate” on a situation the place the Games would be canceled — a choice that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has mentioned rests with the International Olympic Committee.

He additionally highlighted the significance of internet hosting the Olympics for the 1000’s of athletes who qualify to compete in Tokyo.

“There’s a somewhat sobering statistic: 70% of opponents which might be chasing an Olympic slot are solely going to have one likelihood of this,” mentioned Coe.

“To pull the plugs on an Olympic Games when soccer, tennis, rugby and so many different sports activities at the moment are up and working — and some even with crowds — the place cities are popping out of lockdown and are transferring in the direction of normalcy, I can see no good cause why you would not need to do every thing you probably can to just be sure you’re not discarding a era of athletes who’ve spent over half their younger lives in pursuit of this one second which is actual life for them and their households and their pals and the methods which were in place to assist them.”

With an infection charges and vaccine rollouts various world wide, there are fears that some nations might not be able to ship athletes to Tokyo come July.

Organizers have mentioned that vaccines are a part of a “toolbox” of countermeasures for the Games to be held safely, but additionally mentioned that they will not be obligatory for athletes in an effort to compete.

“I do assume that the majority of the world will be on the Games, and I actually hope that they’re able to avail themselves if they’ve vaccines going of their communities,” mentioned Coe.

“At the second, the National Olympic Committees world wide are in dialog with their very own governments in several methods.

“I’ve not been one which has really favored mandating it, that athletes should be vaccinated to be there, however I do encourage them if they’re accessible to avail themselves of them.”

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