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Sport Olympics-Gatlin feels 'beyond safe' thanks to COVID protocols

20:15  09 may  2021
20:15  09 may  2021 Source:   reuters.com

Olympics-Tokyo test events continue with track cycling, mixed zone scrapped

  Olympics-Tokyo test events continue with track cycling, mixed zone scrapped US-OLYMPICS-2020-TEST-CYCLING:Olympics-Tokyo test events continue with track cycling, mixed zone scrappedIZU, Japan (Reuters) - Tokyo Olympic test events continued with track cycling on Sunday but planned in-person rider interviews were changed to an online format, as a worsening coronavirus situation in Japan forces organisers to adjust their programmes.

By Chris Gallagher

Justin Gatlin on a court with a racket: Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Test Event - Athletics © Reuters/KIM KYUNG-HOON Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Test Event - Athletics

TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. sprinter Justin Gatlin said he felt "beyond safe" thanks to the COVID-19 protocols he needed to follow on his visit to Japan to participate in an Olympics test event for athletics.

Gatlin was one of nine international athletes who entered the country to take part in the event on Sunday at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium, in a warm-up for the Games with less than three months to go. Gatlin won the 100 metres at the event.

The 2004 100m Olympic gold medallist said he was tested for the novel coronavirus every day by either saliva or nasal swab and had barely been outside, but the price was worth it in order to compete.

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"I felt beyond safe," Gatlin told reporters.

"The bubble has been very successful. The only time I've ever seen the outside is when we get on the bus to go to the track. We work out then we go back to the hotel. We don't even eat in a cafeteria or a meeting ground, we take our food to our room and we eat in our room.

Justin Gatlin holding a racket on a court: Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Test Event - Athletics © Reuters/KIM KYUNG-HOON Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Test Event - Athletics

"I know a lot of athletes are not going to be happy with this but the measures are in place to keep everyone safe, I think it's working."

For Gatlin, the bubble means finding ways to unwind in his room.

"I love Netflix and Hulu, so just being able to sit in the room and relax and chill," he said, though he added that he missed going out and being able to eat local foods.

Gatlin, 39, said he recently had another son, and giving him the chance to see his father compete in the Olympics was one thing that was driving him.

"This will be my fourth Olympics and my last Olympics, so it'll be a special place for me," he said.

(Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

Cancel the Olympics? Japanese people say yes, IOC says no .
Backed by 350,000 signatures, amid a state of emergency, it arrived at Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike’s desk with a simple message. Despite growing opposition, the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 organizing committee have repeatedly said that the Games are on. “Our experts are satisfied that it can be done,” Dick Pound, the IOC’s longest-serving member, told Yahoo Sports in a phone interview. The Japanese government and organizing committee agree, Pound said, that “we can do this, and we should do it.” But a series of minor cancellations and COVID-related alterations have stimulated external concern that plans could still crumble.

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