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Coronavirus outbreak raises questions about Tokyo Olympics

Article image for Coronavirus outbreak raises questions about Tokyo Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics is just five months away and the rapid spread of the coronavirus has raised concerns about the international event moving ahead.

CEO of the Australian Olympic Committee Matt Carroll reassured Deborah Knight that, at this time, the Games would proceed as planned.

“The current advice from the World Health [Organisation] is there’s no need to consider the cancellation of the Games,” he said. 

Preparations for the Games have been impacted by the disease, with qualifier events and even athletes being moved out of China.

However, the Olympic Torch relay is expected to proceed as planned. It will start in Greece in two weeks and will then travel around Japan.

It is a large-scale event that would be difficult to move, but Mr Carroll believes there will be no need for a plan B.

“You don’t move the Olympic Games overnight from city A to city B.”

The CEO is full of praise for Japan’s approach to the Games even with the disease.

“I can assure you, Japan has been meticulous in their preparations, they’re ready to host the games now.

“The Japanese are very thorough, there’s no doubt the village will be pristine, as will all the venues. Regardless of whether the virus emergency passes or not, that will still be the case. They’re absolutely committed that athletes’ health and wellbeing is utmost.”

The Tokyo Olympics is set to start on July 24.

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Image: Getty/ Richard Heathcote

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