The run of the Olympic torch relay participants was canceled throughout the Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan due to the situation around the coronavirus, the organizing committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo said on Friday.
According to the document, the run of torchbearers on public roads was canceled. The transfer of the flame will take place from one participant to another during the solemn ceremony. The ceremony itself will be held without an audience.
Until now, in the event of the cancellation of the run on the streets of Japanese prefectures, an alternative format of the run in closed parks was used. The decision to completely cancel the run was made for the first time.
On Friday, Fukuoka Prefecture was among the six prefectures that will have a state of emergency until May 31. The relay race was scheduled to take place on May 11 and 12 and take place in 20 cities. The Olympic torch relay began on March 25 in the Japanese prefecture of Fukushima, it will last 121 days, until July 23-the opening day of the Olympics. During this time, it will pass through 47 prefectures in 859 localities. 10 thousand torchbearers will attend it. However, the increase in coronavirus infections in some prefectures forced the authorities to abandon the run through the streets of cities. The Olympic Games in Tokyo were postponed for a year due to the coronavirus and will be held from July 23 to August 8. It should be the largest in terms of the number of sports – 33, and categories-339. Initially, it was planned to participate 10-12 thousand athletes, but due to the coronavirus, this number may be reduced. It was decided that the Olympics will be held without foreign fans. A decision on the Japanese fans is expected in June.