Nahomi Kawasumi in action at Memorial Stadium, Seattle, Washington. File photo
Japanese soccer international Nahomi Kawasumi said on Monday she was withdrawing from the Tokyo 2020 torch relay, citing worry about the risk of being infected with the coronavirus, or infecting others, if she travelled back from the United States.
Kawasumi, a high-profile athlete in Japan known for helping her country win its first World Cup in 2011, plays for Sky Blue FC in New Jersey, near New York City which has seen a surge in coronavirus infections.
"Because of the new coronavirus, I am withdrawing from the torch replay," she said on Twitter.
"I have made the decision so I don't cause trouble for my team and my fans."
Kawasumi is the latest from the sporting world to voice fears about participating in the Summer Olympics or related events because of the coronavirus epidemic.
Team Canada announced it would not send its athletes to Tokyo 2020, after the International Olympic Committee said it would reach a decision within four weeks on whether to postpone the Games.Reuters
World athletics chief Sebastian Coe admitted on Thursday that the Tokyo Olympics could be moved to later in the year by the coronavirus outbreak, but said it was too early to make a definitive decision.
Olympic chiefs acknowledged on Wednesday there was no “ideal” solution to staging the Tokyo Olympics amid a backlash from athletes as the deadly coronavirus pandemic swept the globe.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Sunday after an emergency meeting that it is stepping up its "scenario planning" for the 2020 Games due to start on July 24, including a possible postponement.
Floward made the announcement at an extravagant event held at The Ritz Carlton Doha. Excitement electrified the attendees where the official licenced product line was unveiled.
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