Tokyo Olympics: Organisers to cancel water polo test event

Tolyo – Tokyo Olympic organisers are expected to cancel a water polo test event scheduled for this weekend, public broadcaster NHK reported, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt preparations less than four months before the start of the Games.

The water polo test event will be cancelled because overseas officials are unable to come to Japan amid strict Covid-19 countermeasures, NHK said in its report today.

The Tokyo 2020 organising committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A cancellation would be another blow for organisers just days after they restarted test events, which had been on hold due to the pandemic, for the first time in more than a year.

They were initially planning 18 test events in April and May, starting with wheelchair rugby April 3-4.

The International Swimming Federation (Fina) intends to cancel its Olympic qualifiers in Tokyo for diving scheduled for April 18-23, senior Tokyo 2020 official Yasuo Mori said on Sunday, meaning two of the first three test events would not be held.

Fina also intends to cancel its artistic swimming qualifiers scheduled for early May. Mori said organisers would hold talks with Fina this week.

Adding to organisers’ headaches, the city of Osaka has formally requested that their leg of the torch relay be cancelled as the western Japanese metropolis grapples with a spike in coronavirus infections. The relay is scheduled to pass through the city on April 14.

The NHK report did not say which overseas officials were not able to come for the water polo test event, which was expected to involve only Japanese athletes.

Mori said previously that international athletes would be present at five of the test events, including the Fina qualifiers. ― Reuters

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