NBA player Hashimura will be the Japanese flag at the Tokyo Olympics

The Japanese Olympic Committee announced Monday that basketball player Rui Hachimura and two-time world champion wrestler Yui Susaki will be the flag bearers of the Japanese delegation during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on July 23.

“It’s a great honor,” said Roy Hachimura, 23, of a Japanese mother and a Benin father.

In May, the NBA’s Washington Wizards appealed to Japan to raise awareness of the problem of racism, and they admitted receiving degrading messages “almost every day” on social media.

Details of the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics are still confidential. Pandemic powers, announced more discreetly than those of the previous Olympics, and it has not yet been decided how many spectators will be able to watch it live, but it could be very limited.

Organizers had established in June a capacity of 50% of the stadium capacity for Olympic events, with a maximum capacity of 10,000 people.

But last week, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and regulators warned that the closed door remained, given the recent spike in coronavirus cases in Tokyo.

– Uncertainty in the number of spectators –

This week, the government is likely to extend coronavirus restrictions in Tokyo and other departments in the country, which were originally supposed to run until the end of this week. This should be followed by new announcements regarding audience attendance at the Games.

The Tokyo Olympics organizers had already stopped receiving spectators from abroad in March.

Despite this measure and the strict restrictions expected for all participants, Japanese people fear that the event will become a “super-contagion”.

Several cases of COVID-19 have already been detected among the athletes participating in the Games upon their arrival in Japan in recent weeks: a Serbian tested positive last weekend upon his arrival in Japan, while a member of the Ugandan delegation tested positive for the second time. in Japan. Japan after the end of the quarantine period.

Due to uncertainty about how many Japanese-based spectators will finally be allowed to attend the games, organizers on Monday postponed the draw to Saturday to exclude some ticket holders, a process initially scheduled for Tuesday.

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