Tokyo Olympics uncertain?
SPORTS EYE - Raffy T. Uytiepo (The Freeman) - June 2, 2020 - 12:00am

Don’t look now, but there’s a possibility that the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics might just be cancelled.  This, after 10C officials warned that holding the Games next year faces “real problems” until a vaccine is discovered to ward off the deadly Covid-19. IOC pointman John Coates said, it would be a big problem with 11,000 athletes coming from 206 countries arriving for the Games. There are also 5,000 technical officials and coaches, 4,000 on the organizing committee, 20,000 media and 60,000 volunteers. Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said the Olympics reset to July 2021 could not be delayed a second time. Coates said they have until October this year to decide if it’s a go or cancel the Games. Assuming that there will be a vaccine, it won’t be sufficient to share around the world.Abe should sing “It’s Now or Never”.

Golden Dream

In previous columns, I wrote that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be the realization of the country’s first gold medal which has eluded us since the birth of the Modern Games. In the last three Olympics, we were able to win just a silver medal, courtesy of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz in Rio De Janiero. Our best hopes for the gold are gymnast Caloy Yulo, boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno and pole vaulter EJ Obiena, who have all qualified for Tokyo. Diaz, Nesthy Petecio, Margielyn Didal, judoka Kyomi Watanabe and karateka Junna Tsuki are also potentials once they qualified. With the postponement, the athletes will have to adjust their training so it’s back to square one.  Let’s just hope and pray that we would soon find the vaccine or our dream of winning our first gold medal will remain just that, a dream.

Silay’s Pride

FIDE Master Sander Severino has become a force to reckon with in chess, despite his disability. The 34-year old Silaynon drew with GM Martin Tazbir of Poland and tied for first, but settled for second in the First FIDE Online Cup for People with Disabilities. A multiple gold winner in the Asian and Asean Para Games, Severino has won over titled players like IM Yuri Meshkov of Russia, FM Vit Valenta of the Czech Republic and WIM Natasha Morales- Santos. Severino is currently preparing for the IPCA World Championship in Israel and the First World Chess Olympiad for the Differently Able which was reset to next year.   Some of the best Ilonggo chess players include GM Eugene Torre, Rosendo Balinas, Manny Senador, Rodrigo Atutubo, Fernie Donginez and Luis Chiong.

124th Boston Marathon cancelled

Organizers of the Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest and most prestigious race has been cancelled.  The 124th staging of the race was moved from April to September due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said it’s really hard to do social distancing with 30,000 runners and at least a million people lining the course from Hopkinton to Boston Back Bay. The Boston Marathon began in 1897 with 15 runners. In 1918, the format was modified to a relay due to World War 1. The 2013 race was stopped when two bombs exploded at the finish line. In 2012, the race had to be adjusted when temperatures along the course approached 90 degrees  Fahrenheit (32 Celsius), causing a lot of runners to collapse. Ten years ago, ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland grounded air travel and prevented a lot of European runners from running in Boston but the Covid-19 pandemic stopped Boston on its tracks. Some Visayan runners who have run Boston include Jimmy Dela Torre, Eking Baisac, Roy Vence, Millete Chiongbian, Amale Jopson, Doc Yong Larrazabal, and Mary Joy Tabal.

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