FILE PHOTO: The Olympic torch of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is displayed at a Torch Relay event to mark the 300-day milestone to the starting date of the torch relay, in Tokyo, Japan June 1, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
August 20, 2020
TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo Olympic organisers plan to follow roughly the same schedule, delayed by a year, for the nationwide torch relay preceeding the postponed summer Games, Kyodo News reported on Thursday.
The relay is expected to start on March 25, 2021, in Fukushima prefecture from the J-Village soccer training centre, a symbol of Japan’s reconstruction from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Kyodo said, citing unidentified officials with knowledge of the matter.
Runners are to pass through all 47 of Japan’s prefectures in the relay lasting 121 days, as originally planned, the news agency said.
The relay had been scheduled to start in J-Village on March 26 this year, but just days before that, the International Olympic Committee and Japanese government decided to postpone the Games by a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organisers aim to stick to the event as originally planned but could still make changes to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Kyodo said.
“We are continuing to respect the original framework as much as possible while we review how we organise the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay,” the organising committee said in an emailed statement in reponse to the report.
The Tokyo Olympics are now scheduled to run from July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021.
(Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by William Mallard)