Tokyo Paralympics to be held without spectators, organizers say
TOKYO – The Tokyo Paralympics will take place generally without spectators, organizers said on Monday, as the government was set to prolong COVID-19 emergency measures in the capital and other regions that will run through the Games.
Organizers said municipalities will still be able to have schoolchildren attend events as long as proper COVID-19 safety measures are implemented while taking into account the wishes of caregivers.
Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto apologized for the move following talks between government officials, Tokyo organizers and Paralympic representatives, calling on people to watch the Games at home and avoid attending road events.
“We sincerely apologize to all ticket holders who were looking forward to watching (the Games) at the venues, but please understand that it was unavoidable to implement these measures to prevent the spread of infection,” Hashimoto said.
The Paralympic competitions – to be held Aug. 24 to Sept. 5 – include swimming, table tennis, wheelchair fencing and basketball, with over 4,000 athletes with various impairments set to participate.
The Japanese government was set to extend its state of emergency lockdown measures in Tokyo and other regions to Sept. 12 and expand the curbs to seven more prefectures, media reported earlier on Monday.
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