20 January, 2021

Coronavirus Outbreak Casts Shadow On Chinese Dreams At Tokyo Olympics

Chinese athletes will be under-prepared for the Tokyo Summer Games given restriction on participation in preparatory events and even in mandatory Olympic qualifiers

Virus Spoiler
Host China’s preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympics are hit by the coronavirus epidemic.
Photographs by Getty Images
Coronavirus Outbreak Casts Shadow On Chinese Dreams At Tokyo Olympics

On a normal day, the roads and public parks in China’s sprawling metropolises are flooded with people exercising—jogging, running, free hand, Tai Chi et al. But now, they are rarely seen. The only race in China these days is medics in masks and virus-proof bodysuits dashing from ambulances to save victims of an epidemic for which there is still no established cure—the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, which has killed more than 2,000 and infected 72,000 people worldwide. And, for the first time since the epidemic exploded in January, the number of patients who had recovered and been discharged from hospital was greater than the number of new cases reported. The WHO applauded China’s drastic measures such as its lockdown of millions of people in numerous cities, especially epicentre Wuhan. But normality is a long way off—it will take time for the people to return to the parks, and for the ‘quarantined’ championships and derby matches to resume in one of the world’s sports powerhouses.

Several sports events, scheduled in China or...



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