Japan downsizes Tokyo 2020 torch ceremonies
BERLIN – Organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Games are scaling down an arrival ceremony for the Olympic torch as a result of the spread of the coronavirus.
Japan will also not send 140 children to Greece for a torch departure ceremony on March 19, a day before it is due to arrive in Japan, organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said Friday.
A four-month torch relay around Japan begins on March 26 from Fukushima prefecture, about 250 kilometres north-east of Tokyo.
The torch is due to arrive for the opening ceremony on July 24 at the Olympic stadium in Tokyo.
In other sport affected by the outbreak of the virus, the Milan to San Remo spring cycling classic on March 21 and two other Italian cycling races were called off.
The Paris marathon, due to take place on April 5, has been postponed until October 18.
Last weekend the city's semi-marathon was cancelled with less than 24 hours notice due to fears it could allow a spread of the novel coronavirus.
Danish football champions Copenhagen will play home games in March behind closed doors after the government recommended that all events with more than 1,000 people be postponed or cancelled.
Organizers of the March 22 Bahrain Grand Prix, the second race of the 2020 Formula One season, have stopped ticket sales as part of measures to prevent the spread of the virus.DPA