Olympics News Highlights: On the eve of the Tokyo Games, organisers fired the director of the opening ceremony over comments he made about the Holocaust. Meanwhile, three athletes belonging to three different countries were ruled out of the Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19 here on Wednesday, less than two days before the showpiece opens amid mounting health safety concerns. Chilean Taekwondo player Fernanda Aguirre, Dutch skateboarder Candy Jacobs and Czech TT player Pavel Sirucek were on Wednesday forced to withdraw from their respective events and placed in quarantine.
Also, reports stated that American beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb too has tested positive for COVID-19 and is likely to be ruled out of competition. However, there was no official confirmation on this. Aguirre tested positive in an on-arrival test at the airport here, while Jacobs’ and Sirucek’s results were revealed at the Games village, taking the total number of cases at the high-security facility to seven.
Dutch Olympic Taekwondo competitor Reshmie Oogink has tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, as has a member of the team staff, the team said on Thursday.
Andy Murray has overcome career-threatening hip surgery to give himself a shot at completing a hat-trick of Olympic tennis titles, but the Briton has a tough first-round draw in Tokyo.
US first lady Jill Biden landed on Thursday in Japan, where she is leading the United States' diplomatic delegation to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
A series of recent scandals engulfing officials working on the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Games may have discouraged some people from watching the event, the president of Tokyo 2020 said.
So Sato, a transgender pole vaulter, expects to represent Japan at the Deaflympics next year in Brazil. But for now, he's closely watching Tokyo 2020, where transgender athletes will compete in the…
Several women's football teams including Britain, New Zealand, USA and Sweden took the knee before their games in Tokyo, in support of racial equality.
Japan Former PM Shinzo Abe to Miss Opening Ceremony
Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who memorably dressed up as the titular plumber from the Super Mario video game to promote the Tokyo Olympics in Rio, will not attend the opening ceremony, public broadcaster NHK and other media reported. Abe played an outsized role in attracting the Olympics to Tokyo, pledging in front of a banquet room full of International Olympic Committee members in 2013 that the lingering nuclear disaster at Fukushima was “under control" and pitching his nation as a “passionate, proud, and a strong believer" in the Olympics.
Our archers begin their journey tomorrow!
#Tokyo2020 starts tomorrow!— SAIMedia (@Media_SAI) July 22, 2021
Take a look at @Tokyo2020 events scheduled for 23 July
Catch #TeamIndia in action on @ddsportschannel and @SonySportsIndia and don’t forget to send in your #Cheer4India messages below@PMOIndia | @ianuragthakur | @NisithPramanik | @WeAreTeamIndia pic.twitter.com/Rn7XAwbYkq
Mary Kom and Manpreet Singh Will be Participating in the Opening Ceremony
India is being represented by more than 125 athletes in the Games with the overall contingent size being 228, including officials, coaches, other support staff and alternate athletes in view of the COVID-19. Along with the shooters, archers and the men’s and women’s hockey teams are also scheduled to compete the day after the opening ceremony. While Mary Kom is not scheduled to compete the next day, Manpreet will be leading the side out for the first Pool A game against New Zealand on Saturday.
About 30 Indian athletes to be part of Olympic Ceremony
Indian athletes from seven sports, including shooting, badminton, archery and hockey, will skip the Olympics opening ceremony on Friday because of Covid-19 concerns and competitions lined up the next day, leaving just about 30 in attendance at the event. From hockey, only flag-bearer, men's team captain Manpreet Singh, will participate in the ceremony. "Archery, Judo, Badminton, Weightlifting, Tennis, Hockey (men and women), Shooting, the above are not participating due to matches on 24th, practice sessions on 24th and staying safe," Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra said.
How have protests and demonstrations at the Games evolved over the years? Here's a brief rundown.
“You are going to the opening ceremony" John Coates Draws Flak for Mansplaining
International Olympic Committee VP John Coates left few in doubt about the power of sport in Australian politics as he publicly ordered Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to attend Tokyo's opening ceremony after the IOC awarded Brisbane the 2032 Games. With around 13 million people locked down in Australia due to COVID-19 outbreaks, Palaszczuk was criticised by home media for travelling to Tokyo this week as a representative of Brisbane's bid for the 2032 Olympics.
FULL STORY HERE
The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics will start at 4:30 pm IST (8:00pm local time) on July 23.
Novak Djokovic’s quest for Serbian Olympic glory will begin with a first-round match against Hugo Dellien of Bolivia
The Indian hockey teams are ready for the Tokyo Olympics, are you?
Every breath we have taken, every step we have made, has gone in preparing for the biggest stage.— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) July 22, 2021
With dreams in our eyes, Team India #HaiTayyar! 🇮🇳#IndiaKaGame #Tokyo2020 #TokyoOlympics #StrongerTogether #Cheer4India #HockeyInvites #WeAreTeamIndia #Hockey pic.twitter.com/G9iqVd8H5c
Russian Swimmer Ilya Borodin Out of Games After Testing Positive for Coronavirus
Swimmer Ilya Borodin will miss the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19, the Russian Swimming Federation said on Wednesday. The 18-year-old, the 2020 European champion in the men's 400 metre individual medley, tested positive for the coronavirus during a training camp in the city of Vladivostok in the far east of Russia before departing for Japan. (Image Credits: AFP)
44 Indian Athletes to Participate in Olympics Opening Ceremony
No more than 44 Indian athletes will participate in the Olympic Games opening ceremony on Friday in view of the COVID-19 threat. The athletes who have competitions lined up the next day have already been told to skip the event.
The 32-year-old plans to compete in the 200m and 400m individual medley events, the 200m backstroke and 200m butterfly in Japan.
Tokyo Olympics Tennis Draw Out
Sania Mirza & Ankita Raina will take on Kichenok twins from Ukraine, Lyudmyla Kichenok & Nadiia Kichenok in opening round on Saturday in the women's doubles category while Sumit Nagal will take on WR 197 (former WR 33) Denis Istomin in opening round. Nagal, if he manages to beat Istomin will likely face world number two Daniil MEdvedev in the second round.
The draw for the #Tokyo 2020 tennis tournament is complete. 🎾— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) July 22, 2021
So many great opening matchups:
Nishikori🇯🇵 v Rublev
Kohlschreiber🇩🇪 v Tsitsipas🇬🇷
Murray🇬🇧 v Auger-Aliassime🇨🇦
Zheng🇨🇳 v Osaka🇯🇵
Suarez Navarro🇪🇸 v Jabeur🇹🇳
Pliskova🇨🇿 v Cornet🇫🇷#UnitedByEmotion https://t.co/DsbOIpyzsP
Olympics Opening Ceremony Director Fired Over Holocaust Comments on Eve of the Tokyo Games
On the eve of the Tokyo Games, organisers fired the director of the opening ceremony over comments he made about the Holocaust, while media reported former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a memorable advocate for the Tokyo Games, would skip the showpiece event. The news is the latest in a series of embarrassments for Tokyo organisers that have sparked outrage at home and abroad, and comes just days after a well known musician was forced to step down as composer for the ceremony after old reports of his bullying and abusive behaviour surfaced.
Kishen Narsi, the veteran Indian boxing official has seen a number of champions including Vijender Singh and Mary Kom create history from close quarters.
Top Shooter Amber Hill of Britain Tests Positive, Will Miss Tokyo Olympics
Top-ranked shooter Amber Hill of Britain will miss the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19, she announced Wednesday. The No. 1 in women's skeet said she tested positive Tuesday night shortly before her scheduled departure for Tokyo, and that she was in self-isolation with no symptoms.
Broken is about the only way to describe the pain Im feeling right now, the 23-year-old Hill wrote on her Instagram account. British tennis players Johanna Konta and Dan Evans previously withdrew after testing positive.
(Image Credits: Twitter)
Indian Athletes' Participation in Olympic Opening Ceremony to Be Bare Minimum: IOA
The participation of Indian athletes in the Olympic Games opening ceremony will be kept to a “bare minimum" in view of the COVID-19 threat, while only six officials from the contingent will be allowed to take part in the event on Friday. The athletes who have competitions lined up the next day will be discouraged from attending the event, the country’s deputy chef-de-mission Prem Kumar Verma told PTI on Wednesday.
Here's today's schedule at the Tokyo Games, with the highlight of the day being the battle between Brazil and Germany in a tense rematch from the gold medal decider at Rio 2016.
Schedule - 2⃣2⃣ July 2021— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) July 22, 2021
Enjoy softball and football #Tokyo2020 action a day before the opening ceremony 😋
Brazil and Germany battle it out in what will be a tense rematch from the gold medal decider at Rio 2016 🔥
For the daily Olympic schedule: https://t.co/SG444p7mul pic.twitter.com/aNfM9eUS3O
COVID Scare at Tokyo Olympics
Three athletes belonging to three different countries were ruled out of the Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, less than two days before the showpiece opens amid mounting health safety concerns. Chilean Taekwondo player Fernanda Aguirre, Dutch skateboarder Candy Jacobs and Czech TT player Pavel Sirucek were on Wednesday forced to withdraw from their respective events and placed in quarantine.
“Fernanda Aguirre has tested positive for Covid-19 in the tests carried out on her arrival in Japan,” Chile’s National Olympic Committee said in a statement. Jacobs posted a message on her instagram page to announce that her Olympic campaign was now over.
“I am heartbroken. Unfortunately, I tested positive for COVID-19 this morning, which means my Olympic journey ends here…have done everything in my power to prevent this scenario and took all the precautions,” she posted. Sirucek’s test was confirmed by the Czech Olympic Committee in a statement, adding to the two cases in the contingent detected till Tuesday.
“He is currently in isolation, as are all three other members of the Czech team, in which antigenic and subsequently PCR tests have detected the presence of the virus in recent days,” the Czech NOC stated. The contingent’s sports director Martin Doktor said the situation is beyond their control.
“We are very sorry for the whole situation…none of us can completely control the spread of the virus, no matter how well we protect ourselves. I must say that I admire the attitude with which Pavel, Ondra Perusic (men’s beach volleyball) and Simon Nausch (beach volleyball coach), reacted to this situation,” he said. Due to the new case, several other Czech athletes who were in contact with previously infected people underwent PCR testing on Wednesday morning.
“At the moment, we know that two more athletes are waiting for a confirmatory PCR test,” added Doktor. Aguirre travelled to Tokyo from Uzbekistan with negative COVID report but tested positive in both the antigen and PCR tests conducted at the airport here, following which she was quarantined at a designated facility.
“The athlete is asymptomatic and in good health, but unfortunately she will not be able to compete in this event because the Japanese health authorities impose a quarantine of at least 10 days,” the Chile NOC stated. The Taekwondo event gets underway on Saturday.
Her coach Jose Zapata has also been quarantined despite negative tests as he was deemed a close contact. Aguirre was one of the eight COVID-19 cases among Games-related personnel revealed by the organising committee on Wednesday. Before Aguirre and Jacobs, five athletes, three of them residing at the Games village, were found to be infected by the virus but none of them on arrival at the airport. The total number of Games-related COVID-cases have risen to 75 with the addition of eight cases on Wednesday.
The COVID-hit Olympics will open on Friday and will go on till August 8 without any spectators. Despite the growing health concerns, the International Olympic Committee has insisted that cancelling the event is not an option.