Japan’s Nishikori raises questions about holding the Tokyo Olympics

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ROME — Japanese tennis participant Kei Nishikori has doubts about whether or not the IOC and native organizers are doing sufficient to plan for a worst-case state of affairs of “tons of” or “1000’s” of coronavirus circumstances on the Tokyo Olympics.

Or whether or not it is even nonetheless possible to carry the video games when a state of emergency has been prolonged in Tokyo and different components of Japan due to the pandemic.

“I do not know what they’re pondering, and I do not know the way a lot they’re serious about how they will make a bubble, as a result of this isn’t 100 folks like these tournaments,” Nishikori stated after successful his first-round match on the Italian Open on Monday.

“It is 10,000 folks within the village. So I do not assume it is simple, particularly what’s occurring proper now in Japan. It is not doing good. Properly, not even (simply) Japan. You must assume everywhere in the world proper now.”

Nishikori is certainly one of a rising variety of tennis gamers expressing reservations in regards to the video games.

Serena Williams recommended she will not go to Japan if coronavirus protocols imply she will be able to’t convey her 3-year-old daughter together with her.

“I have not spent 24 hours with out her, in order that sort of solutions the query itself,” Williams stated. “There may be this pandemic and there may be a lot to consider.”

And on Sunday, second-ranked Naomi Osaka sounded conflicted in regards to the video games’ standing.

“In fact I might say I would like the Olympics to occur, as a result of I am an athlete and that is kind of what I have been ready for my complete life,” Osaka stated. “Lots of surprising issues have occurred and if it is placing folks in danger, and if it is making folks very uncomfortable, then it positively needs to be a dialogue, which I believe it’s as of proper now.”

Japan has attributed 11,000 deaths to COVID-19, higher than many international locations, however poor for Asia. The virus and its spreading variants are taxing Japan’s health-care system with solely 2% of the inhabitants vaccinated.

Public sentiment in Japan continues to run in opposition to holding the Olympics in the course of a pandemic. Between 60-80% of Japanese folks in polls have stated the Olympics needs to be cancelled or postponed.

However native organizers and the Worldwide Olympic Committee insist the video games, which had been already postponed by a yr, will open as deliberate on July 23.

“I do know you continue to have two, three extra months. It is robust to essentially say proper now,” Nishikori stated, including that he thought organizers ought to “maintain” on making a call for now.

The Forty fifth-ranked Nishikori, a former U.S. Open finalist and Japan’s high male participant, stated that if the Olympics had been opening now, he thinks it might be “actually robust” to carry the competitors.

“If you happen to assume solely about athletes, I believe you are able to do it,” he stated. “If you may make an excellent bubble, possibly you are able to do it, however there may be some threat, too.”

“(What occurs) if there may be 100 circumstances within the village … (or) 1000’s?” Nishikori requested. “You must actually focus on how one can play actually safely.”

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