Olympics official sees real problems
The Filipinos pin their hopes for the elusive gold on a handful of athletes who are either qualified or close to making the grade just before the qualifying meets were suspended and the Games proper eventually pushed back to July 2021.
AFP
Olympics official sees real problems
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - May 23, 2020 - 12:00am

Even then, Pinoy bets won’t waver in buildup

MANILA, Philippines — As a senior Olympics official voiced out “real problems” that might still jeopardize the rescheduled Tokyo Games next year, Team Philippines continues to chase the dream.

The Filipinos pin their hopes for the elusive gold on a handful of athletes who are either qualified or close to making the grade just before the qualifying meets were suspended and the Games proper eventually pushed back to July 2021.

Reigning world gymnastics champ Caloy Yulo, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, and boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno have all readjusted their Olympic programs following the postponement, getting an extra year of buildup.

Rio silver-winning weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz looks to join the contingent once the “Road to Tokyo” reopens, as do aspirants like world boxing titlist Nesthy Petecio, tracksters Kristina Knott, Eric Cray, William Morrison, and Natalie Uy, judoka Kiyomi Watanabe and karateka Junna Tsukii.

The Pinoy bets are currently riding out the pandemic and pursuing their aspirations even with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the 2021 Olympiad itself.

A senior Olympics official, according to the AFP, has warned that holding the postponed Tokyo Games next year faces “real problems,” with even a vaccine unlikely to stave off the threat of the coronavirus.

John Coates, the International Olympic Committee’s pointman for Tokyo 2020, indicated that officials would start deciding in October if and how the pandemic-hit Games could go ahead in July 2021.

He told a roundtable organized by Australian media giant News Corp that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been clear the Tokyo Olympics could not be delayed a second time.

“We can’t postpone it again and we have to assume that there won’t be a vaccine or, if there is a vaccine, it won’t be sufficient to share around the world,” Coates said.

Without the safety net of a widely available vaccine, there could be enormous challenges in screening tens of thousands of people from all corners of the world, he said.

“We’ve got real problems because we’ve got athletes having to come from 206 different nations,” said Coates.

“We’ve got 11,000 athletes coming, 5,000 technical officials and coaches, 20,000 media, we’ve got 4,000 working on the organizing committee there at the moment, there will be 60,000 volunteers coming,” he said.

“There’s a lot of people.”

Coates said if there are signs the pandemic is contained, even if not eradicated, by October, officials will start preparing “the different scenarios by which the sport could take place.”

TOKYO OLYMPICS
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