Olympics-IOC now in 'delivery mode' for Tokyo Games, says Team GB head

·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is seen through signboards, in Tokyo

LONDON (Reuters) - Olympic organisers are fully focused on delivering the Tokyo Games and there is no internal debate on whether they will happen, Team GB Chef de Mission Mark England said on Monday.

England sits on an IOC National Olympic Committee working group that met virtually on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week.

"The mood 100% is we are now in delivery mode for the Games," he told reporters at the announcement of Britain's male artistic gymnastics squad.

"There’s no debate or discussion around whether the Games will take place.

"It’s just how do we make the Games safe and secure for not just the overseas delegations but for the Japanese public as well," he added.

Britain plans to vaccinate all athletes and staff before they head to Tokyo for the Games that are due to run from July 23 to Aug. 8 and England said he was hopeful all would have had at least one dose.

The global sporting event faces mounting opposition from the Japanese public with the country's medical system under heavy strain due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly 70% of respondents to a Reuters company survey released last Friday said they wanted a cancellation or further postponement.

Britain's staff and athletes will go directly on arrival to a preparation camp at Yokohama and will train at Keio University or Kawasaki athletics stadium before moving to the Olympic village seven days ahead of competition.

England said everything was proceeding as planned and close ties had been established with the local hosts.

The four male gymnasts announced on Monday include double Olympic champion Max Whitlock and three debutants - world parallel bars champion Joe Fraser, James Hall and Giarnni Regini-Moran.

England said the Olympics, already delayed a year, represented hope and opportunity at a tough time.

"We do owe it to these athletes who have been training and competing under very, very challenging conditions to prepare an Olympic Games which is fit for everybody," he said.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Giles Elgood)

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