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IOC expects only 6,000 athletes at Olympic opening ceremony – Yomiuri

Pedestrians wearing masks walk past the emblem of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games displayed on a wall of Tokyo Metropolitan Government headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, 28 February 2020. Organizers of the 2020 tokyo Olympics stated that planning for the games, scheduled to begin 24 July, is going ahead as scheduled. Recently, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) inferred that organizers would have until late May to make a decision in regards to whether to postpone the games, yet this deadline and general statement has been disputed by the Tokyo Organizing Committee and other members of the IOC. There have been concerns that the games will be affected by the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo: EPA-EFE/KIMIMASA MAYAMA)

TOKYO, Jan 18 (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) expects only 6,000 athletes to participate in the opening ceremony at the Tokyo Summer Games, more than half of initial estimates, as organizers implement measures to guard against coronavirus infections.

 

The IOC plans to scale back the ceremony because athletes will not be allowed to arrive at the Olympic Village, which can accommodate 18,000 people, more than five days before they compete and must depart within two days after their event finishes, the paper reported citing unidentified sources.

Around 11,000 athletes from 200 countries had initially been expected at the opening ceremony, the Yomiuri said.

The latest surge in coronavirus infections in Japan and elsewhere has cast fresh doubts over the future of the Tokyo Olympics, which were delayed from last year. Any cancellation, or scaled back event could impose a financial burden on the IOC because it relies on income from selling television rights for the major sporting event. (Reporting by Tim Kelly; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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