JAPANESE Ambassador to Tanzania, Sinichi Goto has affirmed the commitment of Japan’s support to the Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC) and ‘Team Tanzania’ preparation for 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games.
Ambassador Goto made his commitment during his visit at the TOC headquarters in Dar es Salaam accompanied by Secretary of the Committee on Commerce and Industry of Japanese Society of Tanzania (CCIJT), Minoru Takao.
Both Ambassador Goto and CCIJT Secretary Takao also declared their support to Tanzania athletes seeking Olympics qualifications before for the Games, which are scheduled from July 24th to August 9th in Tokyo.
During the visit, Ambassador Goto and Takao handed over 1500 US dollar plus 600,000/-to TOC which, is part of the financial support from the Ambassador himself, CCJIT members and Japanese Women Society club in the country respectively.
Apart from that contribution, Ambassador Goto said the city of Nagai will facilitate Tanzania athletes with training camp, ahead of their qualifications campaign as well as for preparations for the Games.
TOC President, Gulam Rashid said that at least six Tanzanian Judokas will take part in the qualification event in Morocco from April 16th to 19th this year.
He said the team will travel to Nagai city for training ahead of Morocco event. He further said that six runners are also expected to camp in Nagai for the same purpose ahead of the Tokyo Games. Currently, only two athletes– Alphonce Felix Simbu and Failuna Matanga have met qualifications standard for Marathon event.
TOC Vice-President Henry Tandau acknowledged the support from Ambassador Goto, CCIJT and Japanese community in Tanzania, urging local stakeholders to come forward and support the athletes.
Meanwhile, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are going ahead, organisers said on Wednesday, even as the government called for major events in coming weeks to be postponed, cancelled or scaled back over the new coronavirus.
According to AFP, the fate of the Summer Games has been in the spotlight as the outbreak of COVID-19 (Corona Virus) forces the cancellation and delays in Japan of everything from football matches to the rituals that mark the opening of the March sumo tournament.
However, organisers have been at pains to insist that Olympics and Paralympics scheduled for the summer are not in danger of being scrapped.
“We have not thought about it. We have not heard about it. We have made inquiries, and we were told there is no such plan,” Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told reporters. “Our basic thinking is to conduct the Olympics and Paralympics as planned.
That's our assumption.” Muto said organisers would consider how to respond to the call from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday for organisers of major events in the next two weeks to cancel, postpone or downsize the gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.