TOKYO : FIG President Watanabe says four-nation meet may help entry into postponed games.

''Hope Tokyo meet opens door''.

Morinari Watanbe is no stranger to pressure but the Internal Gymnastics Federation [FIC] president says he has never felt such responsibility ahead of a four-nation meet in November that could ''open the door'' to the Tokyo Olympics.

The Tokyo meet feature gymnasts from Japan, the United States, China and Russia and marks the first international event to be held at an Olympic venue since the games were postponed in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Watanbe is determined Tokyo will pass the first major test of its city's readiness when the athletes and officials arrive for the Nov. 8 meet at Yoyogi National Gymnasium.

''I feel pressure and responsibility at every event naturally, I feel the greatest pressure ever at this event in my life,'' Watanbe who is also an Internal Olympic Committee member, told Reuters via email.

''We want to open the door to Tokyo 2020.

Watanbe said the FIG began preparations in June and have been working with the Japanese Gymnastics Association and the government to make sure the meet can be held safely.

Foreign athletes are due to arrive in Tokyo four days before the event and will not have to go through the usual two-week quarantine period demanded of international visitors to Japan.

However, they will be quarantined for two weeks in their own country before leaving for Japan and will undergo regular Covid-19 testing in the build up to the meet.

While in Tokyo, their movements will be limited to the gymnasium and the team hotel. [Reuters]


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!