Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi has spoken out strongly in favour of going forward with the Tokyo Games, almost a yr after she led calls to postpone the occasion over the coronavirus pandemic. Stefanidi advised Japan’s Kyodo information company that it could be higher to carry the Olympics with out followers than under no circumstances, including that she thought athletes had been overwhelmingly in favour of competing. A surge in coronavirus instances world wide has renewed doubts over the postponed 2020 Olympics, that are scheduled to begin in July. With Tokyo underneath a state of emergency, polls point out plunging assist in Japan.

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“I feel if we’ve to have the Olympics with out spectators, I would favor that than not having the Video games in any respect,” Stefanidi, who’s a member of World Athletics’ Athletes’ Fee, was quoted as saying.

Stefanidi had voiced issues for athletes’ security earlier than the Worldwide Olympic Committee took the unprecedented resolution to postpone the Video games final March.

“The IOC desires us to maintain risking our well being, our household’s well being and public well being to coach daily?” she tweeted on the time.

The 30-year-old mentioned round 80 % of World Athletics athletes polled at the moment supported both cancelling or suspending the Olympics.

However she believes 80 % would now be in favour of the Video games if requested once more.

“I feel that it is a very totally different state of affairs than what we had final yr, the place we did not actually know something in regards to the virus,” she mentioned.

On Friday, Japan’s authorities denied a report in The Instances that mentioned officers see cancelling the Olympics as inevitable.

The American, Canadian and Australian nationwide Olympic committees additionally pressured they had been nonetheless getting ready their athletes for Tokyo.

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Stefanidi additionally mentioned she would favor the Video games to go be held with out spectators — one thing organisers have floated as a chance — than be cancelled.

“If we will have the Olympics with some spectators, that might be higher after all… for me the worst-case state of affairs could be to utterly cancel,” she mentioned.

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