We’ll be in Tokyo

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has one of the highest daily cases per capita in the world but rest assured, the country can participate in the Tokyo Olympics next month.

Malaysia at one point registered 185.3 new Covid-19 cases per million people based on a rolling seven-day average, exceeding India (184.99) and the United States (76.31) just before the full lockdown was imposed.

Malaysia has been included in the list of countries where its citizens are not allowed entry to Japan.

Other countries on the “no entry list” also include India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

However, Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria said the list does not cover those entering Japan to participate in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Tokyo will host the Olympics from July 23-Aug 8 and then the Paralympics from Aug 24-Sept 5.

“The travel advisory is a general ruling. We don’t have to worry as all the countries invited can participate in the Olympic Games and exempted under the ruling.

“We hope to finalise the Malaysian contingent by early next month after all the qualifying competitions end and get ready to bring the team to Tokyo.

“Our athletes bound for Tokyo have also been vaccinated and they will have to abide by the Playbook recommendations issued by the International Olympic Committee, ” he said.

Japan already announced that no foreign fans will be permitted to watch the competitions in Tokyo and is expected to decide by the end of this month whether to ban the locals from attending also.

Malaysia have only missed out on participation at the Olympics when they did not take part in the 1980 Games in Moscow in protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

A total of 22 Malaysian athletes from seven sports – archery, badminton, diving, track cycling, artistic gymnastics, equestrian and sailing are confirmed for the Tokyo Games so far.

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