Under close supervision, Tokyo welcomes foreign divers to test event

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 FINA Diving World Cup 2021 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics Aquatics Take a look at Occasion – Tokyo Aquatics Centre, Tokyo, Japan – Might 1, 2021 Kassidy Prepare dinner and Sarah Bacon of the U.S. in motion through the girls’s 3m synchronised springboard closing. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Tokyo, Japan—Diving and volleyball on Saturday turned the primary Olympic check occasions to incorporate worldwide athletes since such competitions resumed final month, as each obtained underneath manner underneath shut supervision in Tokyo.

The diving World Cup, additionally a qualifier for this summer season’s Video games this summer season, options greater than 200 athletes from 50 nations together with powerhouse China.

“We’re not allowed out of our rooms, the place you must keep… – no out of doors air, no human interplay,” stated U.S. girls’s diver Sarah Bacon. “However we’ve been making it work.”

With round 15,000 Olympians and Paralympians anticipated to compete in Japan this summer season, organisers are nonetheless grappling with easy methods to maintain the Video games safely through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Japanese authorities are decided to guard not solely Video games individuals, however an area inhabitants that opinion surveys have proven is basically against the occasion held this summer season as a result of presence of the virus.

Japan is battling a fourth wave of infections, and the federal government has declared states of emergency in Tokyo and different areas.

Throughout a warm-up earlier than Saturday’s males’s preliminary occasion, the announcer scolded divers for gathering too carefully, thus violating social distancing requirements, across the 3-meter springboard.

The occasion was additionally punctuated within the morning by an earthquake that shook the cavernous Tokyo Aquatics Centre, a reminder that the Video games are happening in one of many world’s most tectonically lively areas.

Diving athletes and coaches expressed gratitude for the prospect to compete but in addition some frustrations that precautions in opposition to contagion denied them the prospect to expertise the town or have some recent air.

Individuals are present process COVID-19 testing each morning and have to keep up well being info on smartphone apps. Moreover, they’re saved in a “bubble,” limiting actions to between the resort and venue.

“It might have been good if they may have rented a bus for the crew to do some sightseeing across the metropolis,” Patrick Hausding, a silver and bronze medal winner for Germany in two prior Olympics, instructed reporters from behind a glass window. “To be in Tokyo and never be capable of see something is an actual disgrace.”

The diving occasion, initially scheduled for April, was at risk of being cancelled amid stories the Worldwide Swimming Federation (FINA) was dissatisfied with the Japanese facet’s COVID-19 countermeasures.

FINA and Tokyo organisers agreed to reschedule it for Might 1-6 however the international swim physique cancelled a creative swimming qualifier that was scheduled to be held in Tokyo, and moved a marathon swimming qualifier from Fukuoka in southern Japan to Portugal.

As well as, Australia determined to withdraw from the diving as a result of worries about rising coronavirus circumstances in Japan.

Saturday’s volleyball concerned a pleasant between Japan and China.

The Tokyo Olympics, delayed by a 12 months due to the pandemic, are scheduled to open on July 23.

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