Sport Olympics-Tokyo crowds decision to be part of wider ruling on sport: Coates
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Three-time beach volleyball gold-medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and partner Brooke Sweat lost Wednesday, ending their 2021 Olympics chances.Three-time beach volleyball gold-medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and partner Brooke Sweat lost Wednesday in a qualifying match of the final qualifier tournament in Ostrava, Czech Republic, where they needed to finish third or better.
By Nick Mulvenney
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Senior Olympic official John Coates says a decision on whether spectators will be allowed at the Tokyo Games will be made at the end of June as part of a more general ruling for all sports events in Japan, the Australian said on Friday.
The Japanese government has already decided that fans from overseas will not be permitted because of the fourth wave of the COVID-19 which has forced Tokyo and other areas of the country into a state of emergency.
Coates, a vice president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the organisation's point man for the Games, said he hoped some spectators would be allowed.
When are the 2021 Olympics? Will they happen?
The Summer Olympics originally scheduled for 2020, now rescheduled for 2021, are set to begin July 23 in Tokyo. Here's what you need to know about the 2021 Olympics, including the likelihood that they happen at all. Will the Olympics happen in Summer 2021? The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo organizers have said that the Games are on. Most Japanese people, including doctors and prominent businesspeople, believe they should be canceled or postponed again due to the pandemic. With Tokyo under a state of emergency, opposition surged along with the virus throughout May.
"I'd love to see (crowds) and I think the athletes would love to see it," he told reporters in Sydney on Friday.
"I think the decision will be put off until a decision on the whole of sport at the end of the month. The national leagues are still going on ...
"The government will make a decision on crowds and I think it will vary from venue to venue, it won't be a fixed percentage for all."
Polls have shown a majority of the Japanese public opposes holding the Games this year, worried about the flood of athletes and officials arriving in a country that has effectively been closed to foreign visitors since the pandemic broke out.
Coates said he was confident that the health protocols put in place by local organisers would keep both the population and the athletes safe, a confidence boosted by the five test events held "successfully" in Japan this year.
"I'm very, very confident in the work undertaken by our Japanese hosts," he added.
"We've also got the experience since last November of some 240 international sporting events taking place around the world involving 50-60,000 athletes. It's on that basis that I'm confident."
The Games, which were postponed for a year because of the pandemic, will officially open on July 23.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)
Tokyo Olympics fiasco: Many in Japan say games will continue despite widespread opposition .
Although still weeks away, the Olympics are approaching with remarkable speed — and yet Japan remains mired in the coronavirus crisis. A poll by Yomiuri Daily Newspaper Monday showed that half of Japan thinks the games will go on as planned, despite escalating opposition. More than half of Japanese citizens — 60% — have called for a delay or cancelation of the games, and over 10,000 volunteers have dropped out due to COVID concerns. 10,000 VOLUNTEERS DROP OUT; TOKYO OLYMPICS OPEN IN 50 DAYS The coronavirus statistics are not trending in the right direction.