Tag Archives: 2020

Olympics: New Zealand begins vaccinating bonded athletes in Tokyo | Instant News


MELBOURNE (Reuters) – New Zealand has started giving COVID-19 vaccinations to athletes ahead of their departure for the Tokyo Olympics, the country’s Olympics chief said Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: A woman holding a small bottle labeled with the sticker “Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine” and the medical syringe in this illustration taken on October 30, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic

“We are absolutely satisfied the government can place us in that category of national significance, so it is now under way and athletes are being trained according to when they might depart,” New Zealand Olympic Committee Chief Executive Kereyn Smith told reporters in Auckland.

“Some still qualify and some still have events and activities to prepare, so over the next few months we’ll see it roll out in stages.”

More than 200 athletes are expected to represent New Zealand on 23 July-August. 8 Games.

The New Zealand government said last month it would allow athletes to jump the queues for the country’s vaccine launches to allow them to participate in events of “national importance”.

New Zealand has been one of the countries most successful at containing the virus and started the second round of launching its vaccine to border and quarantine workers last month.

Australia also hopes that all their athletes are vaccinated in time for the Olympics, even though the national launch was hit by major obstacles with AstraZeneca’s vaccination restrictions.

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) chief executive Matt Carroll said the AOC was “pretty sure” all Australian athletes would be vaccinated before Tokyo.

“We are talking about a group of athletes and officials of about 1,400 people so it is not a big number but it is very important,” Carroll told reporters in Sydney.

Wednesday marked 100 days until the opening ceremony in Tokyo, and scores of New Zealand athletes gathered in Central Auckland for a photo shoot on a skateboard the size of a bus.

The New Zealand team will tour the country on “super-sized” skateboards to generate interest in the Olympics, where skateboarding will make its Olympic debut.

“Today’s Olympic Games have a more extreme, more urban, youth-focused event and New Zealand’s traveling council represents this,” said Smith.

“This year, we desperately need the support of all New Zealanders and that’s why these skateboards are going around the country when we ask the Kiwis to come on.”

Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Additional reporting by Cordelia Hsu in Sydney; Edited by Peter Rutherford

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70% of Japanese want the Tokyo Games to be canceled or postponed: poll | Instant News


TOKYO (Reuters) – More than 70% of people in Japan want the Tokyo Olympics to be canceled or postponed as the coronavirus pandemic continues, a Kyodo News poll showed on Monday, more than 100 days before the start of the Olympics.

The survey showed 39.2% wanted the Olympics to be canceled, while 32.8% wanted another postponement. Only 24.5% of respondents wanted the biggest sporting event in the world to go on schedule.

Tokyo on Monday started a month-long period of quasi-emergency action to blunt a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections driven by the virulent mutant strain.

More than 92.6% of respondents feel anxious about a recurrence of the infection, a Kyodo survey conducted from April 10 to 12 showed.

While vaccination shots for people aged 65 and over started in about 120 locations across the country on Monday, imported doses are still limited and the speed of injection appears unlikely to stop the latest wave of infections.

The survey found that about 60% of people were dissatisfied with Japan’s progress in vaccination.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s cabinet approval rate rose 1.9 percentage points from the previous month to 44%, while his disapproval rating was at 36.1%, the survey showed.

Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Edited by Hugh Lawson

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Olympics: Australia withdraws from athletic relay championships due to COVID-19 | Instant News


MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Athletics Australia has said they will not send athletes to next month’s World Athletics Relay Championships in Poland because of the COVID-19 situation, a decision that may put their hopes of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in doubt.

The decision was made “in light of the COVID-19 situation in Poland and the greater Europe, with the safety and well-being of Australian participants at the forefront,” AA said.

“It is always disappointing to withdraw a team from a major event, but we believe the decision is in the best interests of the health and safety of our athletes, staff and coaches,” said AA Chief Executive Darren Gocher in a statement.

The AA said it will host a “special relay event” in June with the support of Oceania Athletics, so that the Australian relay team can work towards meeting qualification standards for the Tokyo Olympics, which start on July 23.

Australia hopes to enter the men’s and women’s teams in the 4×100 meter and 4×400 relay at the Olympics but has not yet qualified.

The top eight nations on the May 1-2 World Athletics Relay in Silesia qualify for Tokyo if they have not yet qualified through the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

The remaining places will be allocated according to the World Athletics rankings on 29 June.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Edited by Peter Rutherford

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The toll road for the Easter weekend rose to seven, critically one person | Instant News


A pedestrian and motorcyclist were among the seven people killed since Thursday evening. Photos / Files

The Easter toll roads have reached seven – almost double the combined 2019 and 2020 Easter tolls of four.

The newest death is a motorcyclist who collided with a car north of Te Kao, on Far North Road or State Highway 1, around 11.30 this morning.

The other two suffered moderate injuries and were being treated at the scene.

The road remains closed.

On the other end of the North Island, a driver died of their wounds in hospital after hitting a power pole on Tasman Rd in Ōtaki, Kāpiti Beach, at around 9:30 p.m. last night.

In nearby Wellington 30 minutes later, a male pedestrian died after colliding with a bus on Taranaki Street

The police spent the night inspecting the scene and the roads didn’t reopen until after 7 this morning.

A police spokesman said it was a “significant” accident site in terms of area size and took time to process.

A spokesman for the Greater Wellington Regional Council confirmed the vehicle involved was a Metlink bus, but said they could not provide further details as the problem was with the police.

Earlier on Saturday, a motorcycle and car collided in Waimangu, south of Rotorua.

One person was killed and another injured in the collision on SH38 at the Okaro Rd intersection at around 11.00.

On Good Friday, Kellie Jane Greer, 49, a local resident of Tauranga, died in a two-car accident at the intersection of State Highway 30 and 32 near Whakamaru. Greer is the driver of one of the vehicles.

One of the vehicles caught fire after an accident at an intersection at midday.

On Thursday night, a man was killed on SH2 in Mangatawhiri, 60 km south of Auckland.

The victim was Kalam Safari Watkin-Mamode, 22, who lived in Mangatawhiri.

About 90 minutes earlier on Thursday, at 8 p.m., someone died in an accident involving trucks and cars on SH27 in the Waikato settlement of Kaihere.

Three other people were lightly injured in the accident.

In South Auckland this afternoon a person has been taken to Middlemore Hospital in critical condition following a car crash in Papakura.

Emergency services responded to the accident at the intersection of Liverpool St and Settlement Rd at around 14.30.

Motorists have been told to avoid the area.

The seven deaths marked the rise of the Easter road toll last year when no fatalities were recorded while the country was on a level-4 lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19.

In 2019, New Zealand’s Easter highway tolls totaled four.

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Olympics: Australia believes in vaccinating athletes before Tokyo | Instant News


SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia believes all of its athletes will be vaccinated against COVID-19 before they leave for the Tokyo Olympics, said Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman at the unveiling of the uniforms for the Olympics on Wednesday.

Australian Olympic athletes pose in front of the Sydney Opera House at the unveiling of the team uniforms for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, in Sydney, Australia March 31, 2021. REUTERS / Nick Mulvenney

Vaccinations are not a prerequisite for athletes competing in the delayed Olympics, but Chesterman said it “makes sense” to add a “layer of security” around delegates and ensure they don’t take the virus home with them.

“We are very confident that we will be vaccinated before we go, I think that’s what the Australian government wants us to do,” he told Reuters.

“We are also aware that we don’t want to skip the queue so we don’t get it now. But everyone is sure that by the time we need it, we will be in the queue to make it possible. “

Australia has been more successful than Japan in containing COVID-19 and only started rolling out its vaccine towards the end of February.

Chesterman believes organizers will implement health protocols to protect competitors in Tokyo but feels it is important athletes do not focus too much on aspects of what will become a very different Olympics.

“Obviously, we just need to keep our athletes in a positive frame of mind,” he added.

“If they have the right mindset and don’t let COVID control dominate their outlook, if they can maintain a positive mindset, then I think we can have a really good game.”

Chesterman, who has switched to the Summer Olympics after leading Australian teams at six Winter Olympics, said he was now fully confident that the Olympics would go ahead as scheduled from July 23 to August 8.

“The absolute focus is on giving a generation of athletes the right to become Olympic athletes,” he said.

“They have worked hard to become that, and in many cases have met the conditions, and it would be disastrous for them if the Olympics were canceled. So for me, it’s all about creating those moments for athletes. “

Marina Carrier, who was eligible to represent her country in a modern pentathlon at her first Olympics before the Games were postponed for a year, is clearly looking forward to her moment.

“I was standing here in my uniform today and it gave me goosebumps, I’m so grateful,” the 24-year-old medical student told Reuters.

“As long as there are flights there and flights home and the competition between them, that’s all I care about.”

Edited by Peter Rutherford

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