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Tokyo Olympics: Kei Nishikori expresses concerns about staging Games amid surge in COVID-19 cases

Japan’s Kei Nishikori remains wary about the potential for a coronavirus outbreak in the athletes’ village during this summer’s Tokyo Olympics, saying: “What happens if there’s 100 cases in the village? Or it can be thousands”

Last Updated: 11/05/21 10:37am

Kei Nishikori has expressed concerns about staging the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer

Kei Nishikori has expressed concerns about staging the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer as Japan battles to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Naomi Osaka had raised similar concerns, saying that the risks of holding the Games amid the pandemic should continue to be carefully discussed, while there are a growing number of tennis players expressing reservations about the Games, including Serena Williams.

Japan has extended a state of emergency until the end of May, raising more questions about whether the Games should go ahead.

Nishikori has concerns about the potential for an outbreak in the athletes' village

Nishikori has concerns about the potential for an outbreak in the athletes’ village

Nishikori, who won bronze in the men’s singles at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, said there was still time before a decision had to be made but was wary about the potential for an outbreak in the athletes’ village.

“This is not like 100 people like these tournaments,” said the 2014 US Open finalist. “It’s 10,000 people in a village, playing a tournament. I don’t think it’s easy, especially [with] what’s happening right now in Japan, it’s not doing good.

“You can make a good bubble and maybe you can do it. There is some risk too. What happens if there’s 100 cases in the village? Or it can be thousands.”

The 2020 Olympics were postponed by a year due to the pandemic and organisers have stood firm in saying the global sporting showpiece would go ahead this summer.

Several test events with foreign athletes have been successfully held, most recently on Sunday, but a visit by International Olympic Committee head Thomas Bach scheduled for May 17-18 has been cancelled.

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