Tokyo Olympics relay opens in 100 days with 10,000 torchbearers

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By: AP | Tokyo |

December 15, 2020 3:41:45 pm





The Olympic flame at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Matsushima Base in Higashimatsushima. (AP)

The torch relay for the postponed Tokyo Olympics is to start out in simply over three months, and it faces the identical questions because the Olympics about being held safely throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers mentioned Tuesday the relay is to start on March 25 from the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima. This was additionally to have been the place to begin for the relay earlier than the Olympics have been postponed 9 months in the past.

This coastal space of Japan was devastated virtually 10 years in the past by an earthquake and tsunami and the next meltdown of three nuclear reactors.

The relay will journey throughout Japan and contain 10,000 runners and tens of hundreds of officers. This doesn’t embrace native residents who will wish to see the torch go by.

“The COVID-19 countermeasures will be worked on continuously for the torch relay; the audience, the torchbearers as well as the officials who are related to the program,” Yukihiko Nunomura, vice director-general of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, mentioned Tuesday throughout a web based information convention.

The relay is sponsored by Toyota and Coca-Cola — two heavyweight Olympic sponsors. There was some dialogue early about the potential of eliminating the occasion for value and security causes, however that concept gave the impression to be rapidly discarded.

The relay will final for 121 days and cross by means of 859 municipalities — just about as was deliberate earlier than the postponement.

“We wanted to simplify the program as much as possible, trying to minimize the number of vehicles and audience as well,” Nunomura mentioned.

“As you know the torch relay will go all over Japan and we will have a lot of participants.”

The Tokyo Skytree, the tallest tower in Japan, was lighted in gold on Tuesday to commemorate 100 days till the relay begins.

The postponed Olympics are to open on July 23, 2021, and are set to incorporate the total complement of 11,000 athletes. The Paralympics will add 4,400 extra.

Organizers of the Olympics and torch relay are ready till early subsequent 12 months to offer particular particulars about countermeasures for the coronavirus. They have been inspired in regards to the latest roll out of vaccines.

“A few vaccines are now being distributed and are actually being used,” Yuriko Koike, the governor of Tokyo, mentioned in an interview Monday with Associated Press. “It’s a ray of hope.”

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