Sapporo not ready amid virus resurgence

When Olympics organisers shifted the marathon event from Tokyo to the northern city of Sapporo, they did so because of concerns about the intense summer heat in the Japanese capital.

Two years down the track, critics say organisers have effectively leapt from the frying pan into the fire.

Sapporo is currently under a COVID-19 state of emergency amid a resurgence in coronavirus infections.

Officials in the city say they still don’t have key information, including the number of athletes to expect and details on health facilities, while opposition from residents to hosting part of the world’s biggest multi-sporting event has grown.

“There’s no action yet,” said Takashi Okugi, a Sapporo city official in charge of Olympic preparations. “We don’t have enough time.”

City officials and residents are nervous about the influx of athletes and support staff at a time when the city’s medical system is already stretched.

Okugi said officials have made repeated requests to the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee seeking essential details.

“So far a lot of answers that we are hearing are like no decision yet or still under consideration,” Okugi said.

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 1:41:32 AM |

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