Tokyo Olympics 2021
All the latest news and reports about the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer.
Olympics 2021 - Latest news and updates
- The Independent
2020 Games have already been postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic
- Associated Press
In 1964, less than two decades removed from World War II, Japan used the Summer Olympics to showcase its astonishing recovery from a horrific defeat. This time, the Tokyo Games will be a multibillion-dollar test of survival in the midst of a lingering pandemic. Despite the mixed messages coming from top officials, not to mention the steadfast opposition of the vast majority of Japanese citizens, these Olympics will take place this summer.
- Associated Press
The head of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday was again forced to assure the world that the postponed games will open in just over three months and not be canceled despite surging COVID-19 cases in Japan. Organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto was asked at a news conference if there were any conditions under which the Olympics would be canceled. The question comes as the general secretary of ruling LDP political party, Toshihiro Nikai, raised the possibility the day before.
Japan's inability to contain the COVID-19 pandemic means that plans to hold the Olympics in Tokyo should be reconsidered, health experts wrote in a commentary. The 2020 Games, already delayed by one year, are due to begin in fewer than 100 days, even as Japan expands quasi-emergency measures to halt a fourth wave of infections. Japan has exhibited "poor performance" in containing virus transmission, along with limited testing capacity and a slow vaccination rollout, according to the commentary published in the British Medical Journal on Wednesday.
- Evening Standard
A senior official in Japan's ruling party said that cancelling this year's Olympic Games is "of course" an option if coronavirus cases continue to rise. Toshihiro Nikai, secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party said that if coronavirus cases rise to the point that hosting the event became "impossible" then "we would have to give up". It comes as Japan is grappling with rising Covid infections, with new cases in Tokyo jumping to 729 on Thursday, the most since early February.
- The Telegraph
Caster Semenya has ditched her bid to compete over 200 metres at this summer’s Olympics and admitted “it’s not the end of the world” if she fails to qualify for Tokyo. Semenya, the double Olympic and three-time world champion, is unable to defend her 800m title unless she takes medication to lower her naturally-occurring high levels of testosterone. With rules preventing her racing internationally at distances from 400m to the mile, Semenya last year announced her intention to try and compete over 200m - a distance for which she would not need to take any medication - at the Tokyo Games. She only managed a time of 23.81 seconds, ranking her just 165th in the world for 2020 despite many leading athletes skipping the year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Her other option is to go up to 5,000m, and she claimed the South African title over that distance on Thursday before revealing she has given up on the shorter sprint. “We had to look into whether we can do 200 (metres) for the next five years. It was not really in our favour,” said the 30-year-old South African. “I’m getting old‚ I’m scared to tear my muscles. We had to sit down and make sure that the decision that we make makes sense. Distance makes sense.” Semenya’s 5,000m winning time in Pretoria was 15:52.28, well outside the Olympic automatic qualification mark of 15:10.00, although the altitude generally adds time to performances.
- The Telegraph
There may be plenty of ongoing uncertainty around Tokyo 2020 but at least the delayed Games remain on course with one thing: the inevitable split opinions when a country unveils its Olympic attire. With Team GB's contribution - kit by Adidas, opening ceremony wear by Ben Sherman and formal wear by Simon Jersey - not expected to be unveiled until next month, British fans might be wise to keep one's own counsel until then. But then again, when the likes of big-hitters Canada and the USA go and provide plenty of discussion points with their own choices, it's hard not to get involved... Team USA and their astronauts... The Americans, like their Canadian counterparts, had already launched some of their uniform earlier this year. Sporting behemoth Nike, keen to show it's athletes it too can be ahead of the field, unveiled the clothing that would be worn by athletes competing in track and field, basketball, football and skateboarding during a special event in New York in early February. Nike was keen to especially promote the fact that a lot of the pieces were made from recycled materials, including including the podium outfits (jackets = 100 per cent re-engineered polyester, trousers = constructed using recycled nylon). The problem was that despite all the claims around sustainability, it was really, really hard to escape the serious astronaut vibes being given off. And so when Ralph Lauren, to coincide with the 100 days to go marker, this week unveiled Team USA's outfits for the closing ceremony and Olympic Village attire, the space comparisons went into into stratosphere. Again, the jackets are made from recycled plastic bottles and the tags on the jeans are made from plant-based leather, but that wasn't enough to keep the Twitterati from poking fun at the fact the athletes look like they're heading for space, rather than the Olympic Stadium.
- Evening Standard
Cancelling the Tokyo Olympics remains an option less than 100 days out from the rescheduled Games, according to a top official from Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). After being postponed for the very first time last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Olympics are due to take place between July 23 and August 8, with the Paralympics then being held from August 24 until September 5. Last month, it was announced that no overseas spectators would be permitted to attend the Olympics or Paralympics, though doubts over the viability of both events have risen again since then due to surging coronavirus cases in Japan.
- The Guardian
Cancelling Tokyo Olympics ‘remains an option’ says top Japanese politician. Toshihiro Nikai’s comments are at odds with the united front presented by the Japanese government
- PA Media: Sport
Peaty’s world-leading time of 57.39 seconds ensures he now holds the top 20 fastest times in the event.