Guinea’s government has pulled its Olympic team out of Tokyo 2020 on the eve of the Games.
The official reason is because of concerns about coronavirus variants, although there are also reports that the country does not have the financial resources to send the five qualified athletes to Japan.
Swimmers Mamadou Tahirou Bah and Fatoumata Lamarana Toure were due to take part, as were wrestler Fatoumata Yarie Camara, sprinter Aissata Deen Conte and judoka Mamadou Samba Bah.
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“Due to the resurgence of Covid-19 variants, the Government, concerned with preserving the health of Guinean athletes, has decided with regret to cancel Guinea’s participation in the Tokyo Olympics," said Guinean Minister of Sports Sanoussy Bantama Sow.
Meanwhile, 91 coronavirus cases have now been confirmed which are associated with the Games. 12 new positive tests have been returned in the latest daily figures from organisers, including four inside the athlete village. They include the two which came to light yesterday - Dutch skateboarder Candy Jacobs and Czech table tennis player Pavel Sirucek.
Elsewhere, American beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb is out after testing positive on his arrival in Japan, having been negative before boarding his flight.
Russian European swimming champion Ilya Borodin will not travel to Tokyo, having returned a positive result at the team’s training camp in Vladivostok. The rest of the squad have all produced negative tests since then.
A day before the opening ceremony, the city of Tokyo has reported 1,979 new Covid cases - the highest 24-hour figure in six months.
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