There is still plenty of competition left as the Olympics head into their final weekend. But a storm, hot weather and an increase in coronavirus cases threaten the upcoming Tokyo Games final.
The Covid-19 surge continues: Tokyo reported 5,042 cases on Thursday, a new one-day high for the Japanese capital. Doctors and public health experts have increasingly expressed concern that the Olympics are contributing to the spike in infections, although Japanese leaders disagree.
“The flow of people into downtown Tokyo has not increased compared to the period before the opening of the Olympics. I don’t think the Olympics resulted in an increase in infection, ”Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference on Friday.
Although the Olympics end on Sunday, experts are unlikely to be able to analyze the effect of the Games on Covid-19 cases for at least two weeks due to the incubation period of the virus.
Belarusian coaches forced to leave the Games: The International Olympic Committee has revoked the accreditation of two Belarusian coaches who allegedly tried to force sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya to return home against her will.
The Olympic body declared that it had decided to withdraw the two coaches in order to safeguard “the well-being of the athletes of the NOC (National Olympic Committee) of Belarus who are still in Tokyo and on a provisional basis”.
Hasan’s quest continues: Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands will be aiming for her second gold in tonight’s women’s 1,500-meter final. She has already won the 5,000-meter race and is also expected to compete in the 10,000-meter final tomorrow. No woman has ever won all three races in the same Olympics
Football gold, delayed: Team Canada and Sweden will play the women’s football final in Yokohama, near Tokyo, tonight. The match was delayed from its original local start time of 11 a.m. due to the sweltering heat and humidity, which affected many athletes competing outside – and could pose problems for marathons male and female this weekend.
The races are held in the city of Sapporo in northern Japan, where temperatures are generally cooler than in Tokyo. Despite an early morning start, temperatures for the women’s marathon on Saturday are likely to be between 26 and 28 degrees Celsius (79-82 degrees Fahrenheit). It will be a little cooler on Sunday, when the men run, with a forecast of around 24 degrees Celsius (75 degrees Fahrenheit). The relative humidity values for both days should be between 70% and 80%, making the outside even warmer.
A tropical depression towards Tokyo could provide much-needed respite from the heat, but also threatens to rain during Sunday’s closing ceremony. However, the storm forecast is still uncertain.
Medal count: China leads with 34 gold medals, followed by the United States with 30 and Japan with 22. The Americans lead the total medals table with 92. China is second with 74 and the Russian Olympic Committee ( ROC) third with 58.
What’s on the tap:
- Athletics: It’s an action-packed penultimate night of competition at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. The medal events will begin at 8:50 pm Tokyo time with the women’s javelin throw, followed by three races: the men’s 5,000-meter final, followed by the women’s 400-meter and 1,500-meter finals. The evening ends with the men’s and women’s finals of the 4×100 meter relay.
- Basketball: The United States faces Serbia and Japan faces France in the women’s semi-final.
- Boxing: Cuban Julio la Cruz is fighting for a second consecutive Olympic gold medal against Muslim Gadzhimagomedov of ROC. La Cruz, who won light heavyweight gold at Rio 2016, has moved on to heavyweight this time around.
The full Olympic program is available here.
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