Tokyo is ‘best-ever’ prepared city to host Olympics: IOC president

Tokyo, Jul 13 (EFE).- The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Tuesday that Tokyo is “the best-ever prepared city” to host the Olympic Games despite the coronavirus pandemic due to which the sporting event will take place amid unprecedented restrictions.

Thomas Bach made these remarks during a meeting with the heads of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee held on Tuesday in the Japanese capital, ten days before the Games’ opening ceremony.

At the start of the meeting, which was open to media, the IOC president said that the organizers “have done a fantastic job” to make Tokyo “the best-prepared city to host the Olympics.”

“This is even more remarkable taking into consideration the difficulties we face because of the pandemic, so you can be proud of the work you have done,” said Bach, who arrived in Tokyo on July 8 and underwent a three-day quarantine as all overseas participants will have to do.

“There’s still a lot of work to do” in the ten days remaining for the event, Bach added, announcing that the Olympic Village in Tokyo will open its doors to host athletes on Tuesday.

“Our first priority is to make the Games safe and secure for all the participants, and more importantly, for the Japanese people,” the IOC president said, in reference to concerns among the Japanese public over the holding of the event in the midst of a pandemic.

“The Japanese people can have confidence in all the efforts we are undertaking to make these games secure and safe for them, with all the intensive, most strict Covid countermeasures. We are taking all these measures in solidarity with the Japanese people,” he added.

For her part, the president of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, Seiko Hashimoto, said that despite there being many remaining issues and challenges, the hosts will do everything possible to resolve them before the Games.

During the two weeks following his arrival in Japan, Bach’s movement, like all athletes and others involved in the Games coming from abroad including representatives of committees and federations and journalists, will be restricted to a few pre-approved places, such as competition venues and hotels.

These restrictions are part of the measures put in place by organization to prevent Covid-19 infections, along with a decision to hold most competitions behind closed doors and ban overseas spectators. EFE


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