Tokyo Olympic organizers reiterated their message on Thursday at the start of two days of meetings with the International Olympic Committee: The 2020 Games will not be waylaid by the virus that is spreading from neighboring China.
"I would like to make it clear again that we are not considering a cancellation or postponement of the games. Let me make that clear," organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said, speaking through an interpreter to dozens of top IOC officials gathered in Tokyo.
The Olympics opening in just over five months, and the torch relay begins next month in Japan — a clear signal the games are getting close.
Although there have been no deaths in Japan attributed to the coronavirus, Tokyo and IOC officials are clearly jittery. Sitting among the officials this time was Dr. Richard Budgett, the IOC's medical and scientific director.
Last week Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the Tokyo organizing committee, said he was "seriously worried that the spread of the infectious disease could throw cold water on the momentum toward the games."
On Wednesday, the virus forced the cancellation of a Formula One race set for April in Shanghai, which draws more than 100,000 over a race weekend.
The Hong Kong and Singapore rounds of the World Rugby Sevens Series were rescheduled from April to October on Thursday, with organizers saying the decision was taken "in response to continued health concerns relating to'' the outbreak of the virus. Also, the SportAccord conference, an event with close ties to the Olympic movement, will not take place in Beijing in April as scheduled, organizers said Thursday.
Source : VOA