Japan has backtracked from its earlier prediction of winning 30 gold medals in the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics, which will be held on its soil. Predicting performance in the Tokyo Olympic Games can be a problem for many countries, not just Japan. The deadly coronavirus pandemic has disrupted many qualifying competitions and players did not get the right environment and conditions to practice for their actual matches. The doping tests around the world are also under the scanner for the last few months.
The Japan Olympic Committee said that it was their target to win 30 gold medals until a few months before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the globe. Japan Olympic Committee president Yasuhiro Yamashita said ‘that is no longer the goal’.
“With regard to whether it is important to get 30 (gold) medals, I have to answer clearly - no," Yamashita said at a press conference on Monday. He said that now the focus has shifted to the total number of medals.
“I think it is a common understanding (in the Japan Olympic Committee) that we want every athlete to be able to do their best and put their full force,” he said.
As per the predictions from Olympic experts, the United States and China may finish first and second respectively in the gold-medal standings of Tokyo Olympics 2021. China had topped the United States in the gold medal tally at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Japan had won 12 gold medals five years ago in Rio de Janeiro. Japan’s best performance was 16 gold medals in 2004 at Athens Olympics and in 1964 when Tokyo was also the venue.
The Tokyo Olympics 2021 is scheduled to be held amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Japan has reported about 14,500 deaths to COVID-19 so far. The authorities in Japan have fully vaccinated about 9 percent of their citizens in the last few weeks.