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Tokyo hosts Olympic test event

Olympic organizers hosted a track meet on Sunday to test COVID-19 protocols ahead of the Games

2020 Olympics

Throughout the last month, Olympic organizers have held 11 test events in Japan, including volleyball, diving and a road race. On Sunday, they added track to that list. Hundreds of athletes competed in a test meet at the Olympic stadium in Tokyo to give organizers an opportunity to fine-tune their COVID-19 protocols ahead of the Summer Games.

Photo: Twitter/Saudi24N

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According to Reuters, the event included 420 athletes, nine of whom came from abroad. The most recognizable athlete to North American track fans present was 2004 Olympic gold medallist, U.S. sprinter Justin Gatlin, who won the men’s 100m. There were no spectators at the meet.

The event comes at a time when COVID-19 cases in Japan have been on the rise, forcing the country into yet another state of emergency. Despite this, there have been no cases of the virus associated with any of the test events so far. In an interview after his race, Gatlin said he was pleased with the protocols the event put in place, which included eating all his meals in his room and being tested daily.

“Obviously I think this competition was a precursor to see exactly how the Olympics can go off, maintaining a bubble for the athletes to be able to stay healthy, and also the citizens of Japan to be able to stay healthy with foreign athletes coming into the country,” he told reporters. “I think it was a success.”

There is a lot of opposition to the Games among the Japanese public, with many believing they should be postponed again or cancelled. Organizers have made it clear that the Games will be going ahead, and the hope is that the success of these test events will be an indication of how the Olympics will play out this summer.

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