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Tokyo Paralympics to be held without spectators

Tokyo Paralympics to be held without spectators

Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk in front of the National Stadium, the main stadium of Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan, on Jul 7, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon)

TOKYO: The Tokyo Paralympics will take place generally without spectators, organisers said on Monday (Aug 16), as the government was set to prolong COVID-19 emergency measures in the capital and other regions that will run through the Games.

Organisers said municipalities will still be able to have school children attend events as long as proper COVID-19 safety measures are implemented, while taking into account the wishes of caregivers.

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto apologised for the move following talks between government officials, Tokyo organisers and Paralympic representatives, calling on people to watch the Games at home and avoid attending road events.

"We sincerely apologise to all ticket holders who were looking forward to watching (the Games) at the venues, but please understand that it was unavoidable to implement these measures to prevent the spread of infection," Hashimoto said.

The Paralympic competitions - to be held Aug 24 to Sep 5 - include swimming, table tennis, wheelchair fencing and basketball, with more than 4,000 athletes with various impairments set to participate.

The Japanese government was set to extend its state of emergency lockdown measures in Tokyo and other regions to Sep 12 and expand the curbs to seven more prefectures, media reported earlier on Monday.

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Source: Reuters/aj

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