Tokyo 2020 - Most of Team GB’s athletes to miss the opening ceremony of the Olympics due to Covid concerns - report
Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s flag bearers for Friday’s showpiece opening event are due to be announced tomorrow, but they are unlikely to be joined by many of their fellow athletes due to concerns about either catching coronavirus or being forced to isolate as a close contact. The Times reports Tom Daley could be one of two flagbearers.
Tom Daley's being tipped to be one of Team GB's flag bearers for the opening ceremony
It is understood that most of Team GB’s athletes will skip the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics due to concerns about coronavirus.
According to The Times, as few as 30 of a squad of over 350 will attend Friday’s showpiece event. One of those could be diver Tom Daley, who is being tipped as one of two flag bearers as he competes at his fourth Games.
Earlier this year, it was announced that Britain would pick a male and female athlete to carry the union flag for the first time. An announcement will be made by the British Olympic Association tomorrow.
But they are unlikely to be joined by many of their fellow athletes, as there is not only a worry about testing positive, but also being identified as a close contact and being forced to isolate in their rooms.
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Despite that, chef de mission Mark England has today said that no Team GB athlete will be denied from competing if they are forced into isolation, as long as they continue to produce negative test results.
The general public will not be at the opening ceremony, but VIPs associated with the International Olympic Committee will be in attendance.
"Our testing protocols are extremely robust, not only to get into the country but also whilst we are here," he said.
“As a result of that and following our negotiations with the Japanese government and the health services in the Yokohama prefecture, nobody will miss their Olympic competitions. They are entirely allowed, under the rules of Tokyo 2020, to compete.
"They are confined to their rooms, which are single occupancy, and they have their meals there. In terms of their mental health and wellbeing they can also travel, separately, to training with their peers.”
"We have had absolutely no conversations on the Games being cancelled at all with anyone within the Olympic fraternity," he said.
“We had a Chef de Mission’s meeting this morning and there was no conversational debate on that, but as I said competition started this morning and I’m very confident that competition will definitely still be going ahead in 17/18 days’ time and we’ll reflect on a wonderful celebration of sport."
Earlier on Wednesday, Dutch skateboarder Candy Jacobs and Chilean taekwondo player Fernanda Aguirre became the first athletes to be ruled out of the Games after arriving in Japan, after both tested positive for Covid-19.
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