Tokyo Olympics: With less than two months to go until the July 23 opening ceremony, Tokyo is under a third coronavirus state of emergency, but organizers continue to say they are still not considering canceling the Olympics.
Already postponed for a year, the Tokyo Games will be very different to anything seen before with fans and volunteers from outside Japan barred from attending the event. As we draw closer to the marquee date, let’s take a look at 5 big stars who will miss out on the Games this time.
David Rudisha (Athletics)
Kenya’s David Rudisha, the two-time defending Olympic 800m champion, will not compete at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics due to recurring injuries. Rudisha set the world record (1min 40.91sec) in the 2012 London Olympics final. Rudisha was involved in a serious car accident in 2019. “I have not been able to return to the track for a long time, and as such I will not be ready to defend my title in Tokyo,” Rudisha, the 800m world record holder said.
Christian Coleman (Athletics)
World 100-metre champion Christian Coleman will miss next year’s Tokyo Olympics after being banned for two years for breaching whereabouts rules, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Tuesday.
The American sprinter had claimed at the time that anti-doping officials had not followed procedure when he missed them after going Christmas shopping on December 9, 2019 at a time when he had said he would be at home.
Saina Nehwal (Badminton)
Former World No 1 Saina Nehwal is set to miss the Tokyo Olympic Games. After the cancellation of India Open and Malaysia Open due to recent surge in the number of covid cases, Singapore Open was the last qualification event before the June 15 deadline for the aspiring qualifiers.
The BWF has confirmed that the Singapore Open will not be rescheduled. That means, there are no more qualification tournaments before the Tokyo Games.
Roger Federer (Tennis)
Tennis great Roger Federer has called on Olympics organisers to end the uncertainty around the Tokyo Games, with the 20-times Grand Slam winner saying he was still in two minds whether to compete.
The Olympics are set to run from July 23 to August 8 after being postponed in March last year over the coronavirus pandemic.
“Honestly I don’t know what to think. I’m a bit between the two,” Federer, who won a doubles gold in the 2008 Beijing Games and a silver in singles four years later in London, told Swiss television station Leman Bleu on Friday.
North Korea (as a nation):
The announcement makes North Korea the first major country to skip the delayed 2020 Games because of the pandemic. The event is due to begin on 23 July.
This will be the first time North Korea has missed a Summer Olympics since 1988, when it boycotted the Seoul Games during the Cold War.