Sun, Aug

Tokyo Olympics Finally Kicks Off


The 2020 Summer Olympics (XXXII Olympiad) branded as the Tokyo Olympics has finally kicked off a year after pandemic delay with softball in disaster-hit Fukushima on Wednesday as the Games suffered their first drugs controversy. Japan thrashed Australia 8-1 in the first action of the 2020 Games, which are struggling for public support with Tokyo under a state of emergency following a surge in coronavirus cases. Fans are barred from most of the Olympics and the game took place in front of empty stands at Fukushima, which was ravaged by an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011.

The Olympics are being staged in biosecure "bubble" conditions, with athletes tested daily and under orders to stay socially distanced and wear masks when not competing, training, eating or sleeping.

However, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) chief told the International Olympic Committee session that the Games could never be "zero risks".

"There are no zero risks in life; there is only more risk or less risk. And you have done your best," he told the socially distanced, mask-wearing delegates.

"The mark of success in the coming fortnight is not zero cases... The mark of success is making sure that any cases are identified, isolated, traced and cared for as quickly as possible," he added.

Another eight Games-related coronavirus cases were announced, taking the total to 79.

Brisbane, Australia's third-biggest city, is the sole candidate and has been named as the "preferred bidder" for 2032, making it all but certain to be named as host. But the vote is "not a done deal", IOC communications director Mark Adams insisted.

"This is not a done deal because it's still up to the session to decide," Adams said on Tuesday.

"They can decide to put the issue back in the pot -- there are still a number of interesting cities."