Rafael Nadal unsure about Tokyo Olympics participation amid COVID concerns

One of the best ever to play the game, Nadal's statement will have a rippling effect on the tennis world and on the Olympics' organizers.

Rafael Nadal in a file photo; Credit: ATP Tour Twitter page

Rafael Nadal has cast his doubts about being a part of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics over rising concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Tokyo, which has been in a state of emergency for several weeks now, is itself struggling to check the spread of the coronavirus. Despite the Japanese government and Internal Olympic Committee’s assurances, athletes are pondering pulling out of the tournament over health concerns. Nadal joins the likes of Kei Nishikori and Serena Williams to express their concerns regarding The Games.

“In a normal world, I would never consider missing the Olympics. There is no doubt about that,” said Rafael Nadal. “Under these circumstances, I don’t know. Let’s see what’s going on in the next couple of months. But I need to organize my schedule. I don’t know yet.

“Honestly, I can’t give you a clear answer because I don’t know. In a normal year, I know my schedule almost 100 percent from January 1 until the end of the season.

“This year is a little bit different, no? We need to be flexible. We need to adapt to the things that are happening. I don’t know, I can’t give you an accurate answer. Sorry,” he concluded.

Nadal echoes sentiments of others

Nadal’s statement will no doubt have a rippling effect on the tennis world and on the organizers of the Olympic games.

He is also, unsurprisingly, one of the great Olympians of his time. Nadal has won the singles gold medal in 2008 in Beijing and the doubles gold alongside Marc Lopez at Rio in 2016.

He, however, is not the first to raise concerns over The Games amidst the global pandemic. Kei Nishikori recently questioned whether the IOC and the local organizers were prepared to deal with the situation should the worst come to pass and there is a severe outbreak amongst those participating in The Games.

Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka are also amongst some of the biggest names in world tennis who have their reservations against The Games this year and it is unclear as of now as to whether these stars will take the decision to partake in the Olympics.

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