The International Olympic Committee has said the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will proceed as planned despite the mass outbreak of the Coronavirus in China.

President of the Organizing Committee of this year’s Yoshiro Mori said Thursday “I would like to make it clear that we are not considering a cancellation or postpone Games. Let me make that clear”.

The Olympics are set to run from July 24 until August 9. 

The casualties from China’s Hubei province increased to more than 1,300 this week. Japanese broadcaster NHK reported Thursday that a taxi driver in Tokyo has tested positive for the Coronavirus.

NHK also reported that a woman became the first person in Japan infected with the virus to die. The woman, who was in the 80s, died in the Kanagwa prefecture, just south of Tokyo.

Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said last week he was “seriously worried that the spread of the infectious disease could throw cold water on the momentum toward the games.”

However, he backtracked the following day and issued a similar message of confidence that the Games will go ahead as normal. During the event, the Olympic Village will be home to around 11,000 athletes as well as thousands of staff and volunteers.

Just one athlete from Sri Lanka has qualified for the Olympics so far, that too making it a country’s first. Mathilda Karlsson qualified to the Games in the Show Jumping category as Sri Lanka’s first participant to qualify in the Equestrian discipline.

National trials for the Sri Lanka Athletics team will be held in two sessions, first in April then the final trial in June. The Sri Lanka Athletics Association will focus on qualifying for at least three events this year in the likes of the Men’s 4x400m Relay, Mixed Relay and the 400m events.

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