Coronavirus: Japan to decide on Olympic torch relay next week

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizers will announce “at some point” next week how they are planning to hold the torch relay amid the coronavirus outbreak, the spokesman for the organising committee said on Friday.

The chief executive of the committee said last week it would scale the relay back to limit the spread of the virus, but the details have not yet been made public.

Numerous international sports events have been hit by the outbreak of a new coronavirus, with about 80,000 people infected, the vast majority in China, raising concern over the upcoming Games in Japan.

Team USA said in a written statement this week that it was “100% focused on maintaining our high standards of Games preparedness,” but acknowledged the recent uptick in “precautionary positions taken in both Japan and Korea over the past three days – along with confirmations of additional outbreaks in Italy and Iran.”

We don’t yet know the full impact of the new developments on Team USA athletes and staff,” the team said.

In Atlanta, runners said they were spending the precious few moments of downtime before Saturday’s competition focused on strategy and rest, and not on the headlines.

Organizers for the Tokyo Marathon, which is also scheduled to take place this weekend, have decided to bar all but the race’s elite field from participation, citing health concerns.