Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori has raised questions over whether the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and local organizers have taken appropriate measures, should a scenario arise where hundreds or thousands of coronavirus infections break out at the Tokyo Olympics later this year. Nishikori also asked if it was right to host the games in the Japanese capital when the city is itself struggling to contain the virus spread. Tokyo has been in a state of emergency for several weeks now, however, there is still no evidence of consistent declining cases. Nishikori is currently participating in the Italian Open and made his comments after winning his match in the first round of the tournament.
“I don’t know what they are thinking, and I don’t know how much they are thinking about how they are going to make a bubble, because this is not 100 people like these tournaments,” Nishikori said.
“It’s 10,000 people in the village. So I don’t think it’s easy, especially what’s happening right now in Japan. It’s not doing good. Well, not even (just) Japan. You have to think all over the world right now.” he concluded.
The Japanese is not the only one in the global tennis fraternity to oppose the Olympic games in Tokyo this year. Serena Williams, one of the most popular tennis players in the world said that she would not participate in the Olympics if coronavirus protocols did not allow her to bring her 3-year-old daughter with her. “I haven’t spent 24 hours without her, so that kind of answers the question itself,” she said.
“There is this pandemic and there is so much to think about.”
Second-ranked seed Naomi Osaka also voiced concerns over the games, stating that there should be a discussion if the pandemic was making people uncomfortable.
“Of course I would say I want the Olympics to happen because I’m an athlete and that’s sort of what I’ve been waiting for my entire life,” she said.
“A lot of unexpected things have happened and if it’s putting people at risk, and if it’s making people very uncomfortable, then it definitely should be a discussion, which I think it is as of right now,” she concluded.