Tokyo 2020 is considering
downsizing the Torch Relay
for this year’s Olympic
Games because of the coro-
navirus outbreak, according to chief
executive Toshirō Mutō.
Japanese media quoted Muto as say-
ing the relay, considered an important
event in the build-up to the Games,
could be reduced in size as part of
measures to prevent the spread of the
Muto insisted the Torch Relay,
which begins in the disaster-hit Fuku-
shima Prefecture on March 29, would
not be cancelled despite the outbreak.
Scaling down the size of the depar-
ture and arrival ceremonies could
be among the measures put in place
by Tokyo 2020 amid fears over the
virus, which has so far killed 2,770
people and infected more than 81,000
“Bringing spectators together in
large numbers increases the risk of
infection,” Mutō said, according to
the Kyodonews agency.
“Downsizing is among the ap-
proaches we can consider.”
The virus has had a significant
impact on Olympic qualifiers and
sparked suggestions the Games may
be postponed or cancelled – claims
which organisers and the Internation-
al Olympic Committee (IOC) have
consistently played down.
Richard Pound, the IOC’s most sen-
ior member, told the Associated Press
this week they did not have to make a
decision until late May.
Pound said the Games could be
cancelled if the virus, given the offi-
cial title of COVID-19 by the World
Health Organization, is not under
control by that time.