Japanese towns ‘abandon plans’ to host Olympic athletes amid Covod-19 surge.

Dozens of Japanese towns have abandoned plans to accept overseas athletes competing in the Olympics from July due to concerns about inadequate resources amid a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, national media reoprted.

Of 528 towns registered to welcome international competitors, about 40 have decided not to accept athletes for training camps and cultural exchanges before the global sporting showpiece, the Nikkei news outlet reported citing a government source.

Ibaraki prefecture governor Kazuhiko Ooigawa said on Wednesday that he rejected the Tokyo Olympics Organising Committee’s request to secure hospital beds for the athletes as the prefecture had to prioritise citizens over athletes.

He has said a further postponement of the games - originally due to be held last year - or outright cancellation should be considered if the pandemic worsened.

The United States’ track and field team has cancelled its pre-Olympics training camp in Japan out of concerns for their safety during the pandemic, the eastern prefecture of Chiba said on Wednesday.

Overseas athletes also will not participate in a test event for the Olympics BMX freestyle cycling, the Yomiuri newspaper said on Thursday, citing an unnamed source. The test event had been postponed from April to May 17th amid the pandemic.

Confident

The International Olympic Committee on Wednesday said it supported Japanese measures to counter Covid-19 and was confident the Tokyo Olympics would be a “historic” event.

Japan and the government have also repeatedly vowed to hold the games as scheduled from July 23rd to August 8th, despite rampant criticism.

Public opposition to the games is growing in Japan as the country struggles to contain a fourth wave of infections which is pushing medical resources to the brink. Japan reported more than 7,000 new infections on Wednesday, with 969 cases in host-city Tokyo.

The government has been criticised for not locking down the economy hard enough and bungling the vaccine rollout, with only 2.8 per cent of the population inoculated, the lowest rate among wealthy countries.

To forestall a virus outbreak during the event, Japan is preparing to offer vaccinations to about 2,500 Olympic and Paralympic athletes and support staff, using donated shots. - Reuters

The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Larry Elder: The lines to vote are long, that's good news.

Larry Elder: The lines to vote are long, that's good news.

California gubernatorial candidate discusses the recall election on 'Hannity' #FoxNews #Hannity Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service delive...

Analyzing California's governor recall election

Analyzing California's governor recall election

California voters headed to the polls on Tuesday to decide if Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom should remain in office. CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett, Washington reporter Dave Weigel and Orange County Register reporter Broo...

Understanding the constitutionality of California's recall vote.

Understanding the constitutionality of California's recall vote.

The recall vote has often been a matter of debate in this country. CBS News legal contributor Jessica Levinson joins CBSN's "Red & Blue" host Elaine Quijano and CBS News senior White House and political correspondent Ed O'Keefe about why Californi...

Local Matters: How the California recall is impacting state politics.

Local Matters: How the California recall is impacting state politics.

The special election to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom may have bigger implications on the future of the state's politics. He still faces the general gubernatorial election in November 2022. Dustin Gardiner, state politics reporter for th...

California congresswoman ‘hopeful’ Newsom survives recall challenge.

California congresswoman ‘hopeful’ Newsom survives recall challenge.

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., weighs in on the California recall election, and the latest on congressional debates on spending, criminal justice and voting reform. ABC News Live Prime, Weekdays at 7EST & 9EST WATCH the ABC News Live Stream Here: SUBS...

Does being high on marijuana help athletes perform better?.

Does being high on marijuana help athletes perform better?.

ABC News' Linsey Davis speaks with Josiah Hesse, author of the new book “Runner's High: How a Movement of Cannabis-Fueled Athletes Is Changing the Science of Sports.” ABC News Live Prime, Weekdays at 7EST & 9EST WATCH the ABC News Live Stream Here...