• Saturday, Dec 04, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:47 pm

IOC chief praises Tokyo preparation as Olympic Village opens

  • Published at 02:17 pm July 13th, 2021
Olympics
The Olympic rings is displayed near the National Stadium, main venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo AFP

International Olympic Committee President Bach, who arrived in Japan last week and spent three days in quarantine, told Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto that organisers were "doing a fantastic job"

Olympics chief Thomas Bach praised Tokyo on Tuesday as the "best-ever prepared" host city, as athletes began entering the Olympic Village 10 days before the opening ceremony.

The final countdown to the Games comes with Tokyo under a coronavirus state of emergency and spectators banned from attending all Olympic events in the city and surrounding regions.

International Olympic Committee President Bach, who arrived in Japan last week and spent three days in quarantine, told Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto that organisers were "doing a fantastic job".

"You have managed to make Tokyo the best-ever prepared city for an Olympic Games," he said.


Also Read: Not just Covid: earthquakes, typhoons pose threat at Tokyo Olympics


"This is even more remarkable under the difficult circumstances we all have to face."

The pair met as the first athletes began entering the Olympic Village, which opened Tuesday without any of the welcome ceremonies or media opportunities often seen at the Games.

Organisers declined to even specify which teams were entering or how many athletes were now in the Village.

Strict coronavirus rules mean athletes can only enter the Village five days before their events and must leave within 48 hours of winning or being eliminated.


Also Read: Chinese athletes complain about lax virus measures at Olympics hotel


Despite the low-key opening, Bach said organisers could "be confident that the stage is set".

Aside from the spectator ban in Tokyo and surrounding regions, the public will also be kept out of almost all venues elsewhere in Japan.

Athletes, media and officials are subject to regular virus testing and limits on their movement.

Polls have regularly found most Japanese would prefer the Olympics to be postponed further or cancelled outright, though opposition has softened in recent weeks.

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