Hunt for Olympic gold in times of Covid

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With only a few weeks to go until the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo open on July 23, Japan has reached the point of no going back in its decision to move the sporting spectacle forward.

The government Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga received criticism for deciding to hold the Games in the shadow of a Covid-19 emergency.

At least two medical organizations called Suga for ignoring warnings that the Games were being played with more than The 15,000 athletes, sports officials and media practitioners who gather in Tokyo could become a super-spreader for the coronavirus.

The major Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun wants to cancel the games, as do the 400,000 people who have signed an online petition .

Money could be the overarching reason. Japan already spent an estimated $ 15.4 billion on the games before they were postponed last year. Scrapping it means all of that money will go down the drain.

Save face could be another reason. The Suga government, already cornered, will not dare suffer the humiliation of abandoning the Olympic project at this late stage.

According to Dr. Aki Tonami, international relations expert, the Japanese system « is simply not designed to make a radical U-turn at this late stage ».

Now that Japan is firmly established, the next step is security of those who will appear for the Games.

Athletes and other participants (foreign spectators are prohibited) must be tested twice for Covid-19 within 96 hours of their departure and will be tested again on arrival in Japan . They are tested daily during the Games.

The Olympic Village and all event and training facilities are under a bubble where all anti-Covid protocols are strictly enforced.

As the Olympic Games last year canceled, many participating countries said they were willing to wait a year before returning to Tokyo.

Last week, the Australian softball team arrived in the Japanese capital to start training on site. Your early presence could reassure other delegations that a return to Tokyo is safe.

Our own delegation is preparing intensively for the games. First of all, the members of the delegation for the Covid-19 vaccination were prioritized.

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has budgeted 46.230 million pence to cover not only the airfare, hotel and accommodation as well as the delegation’s allowances, but also to cover the Covid-19 tests.

Nine Filipino athletes have so far qualified for the Tokyo Games: Pole vaulter EJ Obiena; Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz; Gymnast Carlos Yulo; Boxers Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Irish Magno and Eumir Marcial; Taekwondo Jin Kurt Barbosa; and rower Cris Nievarez.

The delegation is expected to include the new US Open golf champion Yuka Saso and golf colleagues Bianca Pagdanganan and Juvic Pagunsan as well as skateboarder Margielyn Didal.

Filipino sports officials are confident that they are a strong team To have put together that has the best chance of ending the country’s gold medal drought at the Olympic Games.

Twice we were missing a few blows to bag a gold. At the 1964 Games in Tokyo, boxer Anthony Villanueva lost in the final of the lightweight category against Snaislav Stepashkin from the Soviet Union.

At the 1996 Games in Atlanta, another lightweight boxer, Mansueto « Onyok » Velasco lost on points against Daniel Petrov from Bulgaria.

Our boxers have long been Olympic medal contenders, and the team going to Tokyo is no less impressive.

Diaz crowned her Olympic heat with an impressive performance at the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Obiena won the Folksam Athletics Grand Prix in Gothenburg, Sweden when he continued to compete in Europe before the Tokyo Games.

Artistic gymnast world champion Yulo has participated in several tournaments in Japan and was the first Won bronze at the All-Japanese Equipment Championships 2021 last Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Yuka Saso will have the advantage of having played on the Olympic golf course practicing while she was competing in the Japanese women’s professional round.

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