T&T Olympic Committee president, Brian Lewis says he will be in full support of the delayed Tokyo Olympic Games set to come off within the next two months go-ahead even if it has to be done within the realms of a State of Emergency (SoE) in Japan.

On Friday, Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission chair John Coates said the Olympic and Paralympic Games would be able to take place should state of emergency measures be in force at the time of the event.

Coates was speaking remotely at the end of the final three-day Coordination Commission meeting ahead of the Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president said that it was now "clearer than ever" that the Games would be safe for everyone participating, as well as the general public in Japan.

Coates was asked whether the Games would be able to take place should Tokyo be under a state of emergency restrictions.

Nine areas in Japan, including Tokyo, are currently under a state of emergency measures until May 31.

Okinawa will be added to the state of emergency on May 23.

The measures were aimed at combatting a rise in COVID-19 cases in Japan earlier this month.

New cases have declined in recent days with 5,710 reported across the country yesterday, while Tokyo reported a drop to 649.

Coates highlighted the successful staging of recent test events during the state of emergency measures as evidence the Games could take place should restrictions be in place while the event is held.

"We’ve successfully seen five sports hold their test events during the state of emergency," Coates said.

"All of the plans that we have in place to protect the safety and security of athletes and the people of Japan are based around the worst possible circumstances, so the answer is absolutely yes.

"The advice we have got from the World Health Organization and all of the scientific advice is that all the measures we have outlined in the playbooks, the current iterations of all those measures are satisfactory to ensure a safe and secure Games in terms of health, and that’s whether there is a state of emergency or not."

It is hoped the figure will be above 80 per cent by the time of the Games.

Coates added that consideration was being given to vaccinating people who will have close contact with athletes during the Games.

Coates said some National Olympic Committees may vaccinate other personnel travelling to the Games, including media representatives, as the Australian Olympic Committee - an organisation he leads - have already done.

The Coordination Commission added that the IOC has also developed a programme which will see medical personnel from abroad travel to the Games to assist the event.

The initiative is aimed at reducing fears in Japan that medical staff could be reallocated to support the Games.

Private organisations are also set to conduct COVID-19 testing during the Games to keep supply separate from the public system.

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto confirmed that the number of Games participants from abroad had been reduced to 59,000, compared to the expected 180,000 from last year.

These will include 23,000 Games-related officials, including from the IOC and International Federations.

Olympic Broadcast Services representatives and rightsholders will account for 17,000 people during the Olympics, with 6,000 members of the media expected.

Around 19,000 people are expected for the Paralympic Games, including 9,000 officials, 4,000 for broadcast and 2,000 media officials.

Reached for comment yesterday via telephone and asked whether he was in support of an SoE held Olympic Games, Lewis said, “Yes I am in full support of the IOC’s position.

He added, “I know that they are being guided by Public Health experts and the scientist from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and that Japanese Government and The Tokyo Metropolitan Government are also being guided by science and scientist experts epidemiologist and virologist.

“So that they have indicated and we trust the assertions being made by the Japanese Government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the IOC in respect of the WHO indicating that the counter-measures, the testing and tracing that will be in place for the games as well as the isolation and strict restrictions.

With regards to having so many teams and athletes in one region, Lewis said the fact that it’s a bio-secure environment and that the safety of the Team TTO delegation and all the delegations and teams coming to the Tokyo 2020 are a priority and paramount to the organisers he is confident in the Games coming off without any major hiccups.

“Each team must do their part, so the T&TOC we will be doing our utmost to comply and prepare our athletes, officials and the TTOC Operation Staff led by Chef de mission, Lovey Santana, and our medical team comprising the Dr Rudy Ramsarath and Dr Naila Adams that we are ready and that we are prepared in all aspects mentally, physically and psychologically for what is going to be a very different and unique Olympic Games that there is no choice in terms of it being very restrictive and bio-secure because of the unprecedented covid-19 pandemic.

"And I believe that it is extremely important that the Olympic Games be held given the realities that covid-19 is not going to going away any time soon and that it is important to vaccinate our way out of this war with covid-19 and it is also setting a template for the Olympic Games and the multi-sport Games in the post-covid-19 world.

With an eye on feature major international events, Lewis said he thinks the upcoming Games can set the tone.

“I believe that the measures that the IOC and the Japan Government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government are putting in place for Tokyo 2020 is the new normal and the new template for the Olympic Games, ended Lewis.

Source: https://guardian.co.tt