Tokyo Olympics

Olympic Games could create an 'Olympic strain,' warns head of Japan Doctors Union

Naoto Ueyama has repeatedly sounded the alarm about the Japanese government and International Olympic Committee's decision to hold the Tokyo Olympics in July despite rising cases in the country and an increasingly burdened health-care system.

"It is dangerous to hold the Olympics here in Tokyo this July," he warned in a news conference, saying that with people coming into Japan from over 200 nations around the world, "all of the different mutant strains of the virus that exist in different places will be concentrated and gathered here in Tokyo."

Japan's heat will impair Olympic athletes' performance, says report

In the report, titled Rings of Fire, it is argued that summer heatwaves in Tokyo during the past three years indicate that conditions will be tough.

Concerns over heat have caused the marathon to be moved from Tokyo.

Professor Mike Tipton said he expects Tokyo to be the most "thermally stressful Olympics" of recent times.

The University of Portsmouth professor helped to produce the report, which was backed by athletes, the British Association for Sustainability in Sport (Basis) and scientists from the Priestley International Centre for Climate at Leeds University.

Nadal has Tokyo doubts

Japan has extended a state of emergency in Tokyo and three other areas until the end of May as the country battles a surge in COVID-19 cases, raising new questions about whether the rescheduled July 23-Aug. 8 Games should go ahead.

Nadal, who won a singles gold in Beijing 2008 and added a doubles title in Rio de Janeiro eight years later partnering Marc Lopez, said that he is yet to firm up his plans on travelling to Tokyo.

Japan's top-ranked men's and women's players - Kei Nishikori and Naomi Osaka - have raised concerns about staging the Games amid the pandemic.

Dire warning that going ahead with Olympics will lead to deaths

Otago University professor Michael Baker says while safety procedures during the Games will be strict and athletes will be generally safe their participation in the Games will come at a cost.

"If we look at the times when the Olympics have been suspended or cancelled in the past it's been in times of war ... and in many ways now we are in that situation. We are at war with a global pandemic," Baker said.

Athletes from poorer nations may have been vaccinated against Covid-19 at the expense of vulnerable people in their home countries, he said.

World's oldest person pulls out of torch relay

Kane Tanaka, 118, was supposed to take part in the relay for Tokyo 2020 in Fukuoka, southern Japan, on 11 May.

The relay, which began in March, has been hit by a coronavirus outbreak, with eight cases linked to the event.

Last month, amid a surge in cases, Japan declared a state of emergency in major cities including Tokyo and Osaka.

Several celebrities have also pulled out of the torch relay over concerns about the virus.

Ms Tanaka, who was born in 1903, was recognised by Guinness World Record as the world's oldest living person in March 2019.

High marks for Olympic test event

The Sapporo Challenge Half Marathon 2021 was held on Wednesday as a dress rehearsal for the marquee Olympic event with less than three months before the Summer Games begin.

Six international athletes participated in the event in the northern city and had to go through stringent testing protocols before and after entering Japan.

Olympic organisers ask for nurses

Local media reported that the organising committee had asked the country's nursing association for assistance in staffing Olympic venues and the athletes' village before and during the July 23-Aug. 8 Games.

Olympic organisers are pushing ahead with their preparations as Japan struggles to contain a resurgence in the coronavirus pandemic. The country on Friday declared areas including Tokyo and Osaka to be in a state of emergency.

Japan to seek increased testing of Tokyo 2020 participants prior to arrival

According to Japanese agency Kyodo News, citing Tokyo 2020 sources, a requirement could be introduced for participants to undergo two COVID-19 tests within 96 hours prior to their departure.

An interim report from the Japanese Government in December had initially suggested one negative would be required within 72 hours before flying to the host nation.

Athletes and support staff, as well as National Olympic Committee, International Federation and International Olympic Committee officials and the media would be covered by the requirement.

Pacific Games Council looks to Tokyo

The Pacific Mini Games are scheduled to take place in the Northern Marianas next June, having been delayed by 12 months because of the global pandemic.

With the infrastructure and accommodation already in place, officials are closely monitoring the Covid vaccine rollout across the region and the prospect of less border restrictions.

Pacific Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue believed the upcoming Olympics would be a major litmus test.

Tokyo Olympics torch relay has first positive Covid-19 case

It is the first positive test connected to the relay since it began March 25 from northeastern Fukushima prefecture.

Organisers say the 30-year-old policeman was assigned to control traffic on the April 17 leg in southwestern Kagawa prefecture. They said the officer developed symptoms and tested positive the next day. Local health authorities are investigating.

Officials say the policeman was wearing a mask and taking social-distancing precautions and other measures.