October Looms As Key Month In Guiding Plans for Tokyo 2020 Says John Coates

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TESTING TIMES: Olympic bosses say one of the key challenges for Tokyo 2020 would be the arrival of athletes from across the world into Japan, with several countries struggling to slow the spread of coronavirus. Photo Courtesy: Reuters.

Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission boss John Coates has revealed that October is looming as the key month in guiding plans for the postponed 2020 Tokyo Games, with possible quarantines and restrictions on spectators potentially necessary.

 Coates has warned that Tokyo 2020 would need to begin preparing for a “very different” Olympic Games if there were no signs of COVID-19 being eradicated over the next five months.

The Australian Olympic boss has told Australia’s News Corp editors that even if a vaccine is developed before next July it might not be enough to save the Games.

JOHN COATES

DIFFERENT GAMES: John Coates has warned that Tokyo 2020 would need to begin preparing for a “very different” Olympic Games. Photo Courtesy: AAP

Coates said one of the key challenges was arrival of athletes from across the world into Japan, with several countries struggling to slow the spread of coronavirus.

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

“Yesterday, there was 10,000 new cases in Brazil. Very few countries are as advanced in coping with this as Australia.

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

Coates again reiterated that “the Games can only happen in 2021.”

“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” echoing comments made by IOC president Thomas Bach yesterday.

Bach has admitted planning was needed for different possible scenarios due to the uncertainty over the pandemic.

Coates said organisers are developing a range of scenarios this year, but admitted the Games could be “very different” to what people are used to.

The rescheduled Olympic Games are due to take place from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, with the Paralympic Games following from August 24 to September 5.

 

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