Organizers Of Tokyo Olympics Announce ‘Test Events’ Will Begin In March

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Local organizers of the postponed Tokyo Olympics announced during an online news conference Friday that 18 test events would take place beginning in March.

The series of test events will run through May, the Associated Press reported. Test events in swimming, gymnastics, diving, and volleyball are planned and will involve athletes from abroad, and a track and field meet is scheduled for May 9 at Tokyo’s new National Stadium. It’s unclear whether the track and field meet will involve international athletes. (RELATED: 2020 Tokyo Olympics To Happen ‘With Or Without COVID,’ Olympics Official Shares)

As a cost-saving measure, some events will not involve athletes and only test “operations.”

“No, we will not have spectators from abroad,” said Hidemasa Nakamura, the games delivery officer. Spectators from Japan will be allowed at some events, but it’s not clear how many fans will be allowed, the Associated Press reported.

“As for the number of spectators, we have to take the guidelines of the Japanese government into consideration,” said Yasuo Mori, who works on games delivery with Nakamura, according to the report.

Sporting events have been held recently in Japan with spectators present. Around 19,000 fans showed up to watch the final game of the Japan Series of professional baseball in Fukuoka. In early November, a few thousand spectators were allowed to watch an international gymnastics event in Tokyo.

The coronavirus pandemic has made planning an event as large as the Olympics extremely difficult for organizers, who already had to deal with the event being postponed until July 23, 2021.

Organizers are expected to announce in December a “toolbox” of precautionary measures and preliminary steps against the coronavirus, which will be subject to change throughout 2021, according to the report. A vaccine and rapid testing would not be a “silver bullet,” said International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, but would be helpful along with social distancing, mask requirements, and quarantine.