‘Tennis Empress’ Serina Williams, 40, mentioned the possibility of not attending the Tokyo Olympics scheduled for July. As the situation of the novel coronavirus infection (Corona 19) is still serious and the virus spreads, sports stars such as Williams are raising skepticism about hosting the Olympics one after another.
On the 11th (local time), the Washington Post (WP) reported that “if Williams cannot take his daughter, he will not participate in the Tokyo Olympics.” Williams, who participated in the Italian Open, replied to reporters asking if he would compete in the Olympics at a press conference the day before. “I have a lot to think about the pandemic (Corona 19),” he said. “I will answer by saying that I have never spent 24 hours without my daughter Alexis Olympia.”
As the Japanese government has announced that it will limit the number of players who can accompany the athletes due to Corona 19, it can be interpreted that Williams has in fact expressed his intention to absent. WP added, “Overseas fans will not be able to watch the Olympics because of Corona 19,” and added, “Athletes were also advised to avoid exchanges and avoid public transportation as much as possible.”
Recently, as concerns about the Tokyo Olympics have grown both inside and outside Japan, even their own national athletes have started to take issue. According to Jiji News, Naomi Osaka, 24, who is ranked second in the women’s tennis world rankings, announced on the 9th (local time) that “if people are in a dangerous situation, discussions about the hosting should be reconvened.” Naomi is a Japanese player born to a father from Haiti and a Japanese mother.
“I’m an athlete and I’ve been waiting my whole life, so I hope the Olympics will be held,” said Naomi. “With unexpected things happening in recent years, it seems like we need to discuss the Olympics.” According to foreign media such as the AP, Naomi is a strong gold medal candidate for the Tokyo Olympics and is considered the best player in all sports, including last year’s AP Women’s Player of the Year.
Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori (32), who is ranked 45th in the world, said on the same day, “I think there is a problem with holding the tournament with the number of deaths from Corona 19 one after another. He criticized, “The Olympics are different from these tennis tournaments in which more than 100 people participate.” Nishikori said that he had previously been infected with Corona 19 in Florida, USA in August of last year.
According to Japan’s Asahi Shimbun and others, the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee and others announced the quarantine rules to be followed during the Olympics at the end of last month. According to the rules, athletes must be tested negative for Corona 19 twice before coming to Japan 96 hours before coming to Japan, and they must be tested daily after entering Japan. In addition, only the stadium, training grounds, and lodging facilities can be accessed, and can only be moved using a dedicated vehicle. The size of the stadium spectators will be decided next month. Regarding this, Asahi criticized that “it seems difficult to respond to such a situation in the situation where there are more than 10,000 seniors.”
Reporter Kim Sun-mi [email protected]