Former Japanese judoka and current Olympic Committee board member – Kaori Yamaguchi has expressed her believes that the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo should be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 1988 Olympic bronze medalist think athletes won’t be able to prepare themselves in the best wat possible because of the COVID-19 outbreak. All major and pro sports around the world canceled their events, with combat sports not being the exception.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 organizers have repeatedly said that the Tokyo Games, due to start on July 24, will run as scheduled. However, the spread of the coronavirus and successive cancellations of sporting events and qualifiers has raised questions over the plans, including among athletes.
“As far as I can see in news from the United States and Europe, athletes aren’t in a position where they can continue their training as usual,” she was quoted as saying.
Officials at the JOC were not immediately available for comment.
One IOC member has called the group “irresponsible” for insisting on holding the Games as scheduled, while several athletes have said the IOC decision puts athletes’ health at risk.