Osaka wants ‘discussion’ on Olympics amid virus surge


Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka said Sunday she favoured a “discussion” taking place over the Olympic Games taking place as Tokyo reels from a new coronavirus surge.

A virus state of emergency in Japan’s capital city and other parts of the country was extended on Friday, less than three months before the delayed Games are due to begin.

There has been increasing pressure from the Japanese public to cancel the Olympics, which have already been postponed once from its original dates last summer due to the pandemic.

“For me, I feel like 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,” the four-time Grand Slam winner said ahead of the Rome WTA tournament.

“Of course I would say I want the Olympics to happen, because I’m an athlete and that’s sort of what I have been waiting for my entire life.

“But I think that there is so much important stuff going on, and especially the past year, I think a lot of unexpected things have happened. “At the end of the day I’m just an athlete, and there is a whole pandemic going on.”

More than 10,000 athletes from 200 countries and regions are set to travel to Tokyo for the Games, with a decision on how many domestic fans—if any—can attend to be taken in June.—APP

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