Paralympics

Tokyo 2020 organizers considering fans at Paralympics

Tokyo Olympic organizers are holding out hope that the Paralympic Games might allow some fans.

Committee president says decision to come after Olympics finish on Aug. 8

International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates (far right) and Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto (bottom) listen to Olympic organizers during their venue inspection at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo. Organizers and the IOC banned fans from all Olympic venues due to surging COVID-19 cases in the area. (Koji Sasahara - Pool/Getty Images)

Tokyo Olympic organizers are holding out hope that the Paralympic Games might allow some fans.

Organizers and the International Olympic Committee on Thursday banned all fans from Olympic venues in Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures because of surging COVID-19 cases.

A smattering of Olympic venues in outlying areas of Japan will allow some fans. Fans from abroad were banned several months ago as too risky.

Organizing committee President Seiko Hashimoto, speaking at a Friday briefing, said a decision on Paralympic fans would be made after the Olympics close on Aug. 8. The Paralympics open on Aug. 24 and will involve 4,400 athletes. The Olympics involve 11,000.

Hashimoto speaks during a press conference on June 11 in Tokyo. Rising COVID-19 infections saw Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga impose a state of emergency that will end Aug. 22. (Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images)

A state of emergency imposed by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga goes into effect on Monday and ends on Aug. 22.

"After the Olympics Games close — as soon as possible — we would like to make a decision," Hashimoto said. "Because if it's postponed any further it will impact the preparations for the Paralympics."

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