Jamaica’s top track and field coaches, Stephen Francis and Glen Mills have expressed different views on the staging of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The outbreak of coronavirus has caused many qualifying events to be postponed or cancelled in the last two months. Some athletes are unable to train due to the containment measures in their country.
Mills, who guided Usain Bolt’s career, called for the event to be staged in 2021.
“My recommendation would be to postpone the Olympics until next year,” Jamaican sprint coach Glen Mills told Reuters.
“This would be unprecedented, but we are in unprecedented time. Move everything up one year, and then everything will eventually fall back in place,” Mills said.
However, Francis, the coach for Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, in an interview with Radio Jamaica, said the dates – July 24 to August 9 should go ahead once host country Japan control the virus in a reasonable.
“So long as I know that things are in place, for the people (authorities) to ensure that the visitors, athletes and so on are safe, if the country at the time is almost virus-free, and you have things in place to stop the spread of the thing, then I don’t have a problem,” Francis said.
“I don’t see why it suppose to be fair for everybody. There have been Olympics in the past where individual countries, different countries have had problems,” he said.
As to the possibility of persons bringing in the virus, Francis said there are ways to prevent that, one he pointed to was testing everyone on entry.
Mills said: “But I don’t think that the Olympics will take place at the time that is specified (July and August) because the outbreak is worldwide and in some countries, it is just starting to accelerate.”
“I can’t see the Olympics going ahead; taking persons from all over the world and bringing them to one central point,” explained Mills.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has said the organisation is “not living in a bubble or on another planet” over its insistence this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo will go ahead as planned, and claims “different scenarios” are being considered.
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