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British long jumper: Olympics athletes understand it is a competition despite fans absence

As the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games nears, a host of teams and big names are making their way to the Japanese capital.

During their stay, athletes from all over the world will gather at the Olympic village, which has presented a unique challenge to organisers, who have put in place strict safety measures to combat the risk of Covid-19 infection.

To know more about the athletes’ conditions in Tokyo and what ii might be like for them to compete in empty stadiums, euronews met up with British long jumper Abigail Irozuru.

“At the moment, the restrictions in place mean that we have daily Covid testing each morning before 10 am just to make sure that we are all healthy and we are only able to leave the hotel to access the training venue that’s at the athletics track where we also have weights and everything like that but the mood still is very positive and hopeful and exciting because ultimately we are having the honour of representing our country, Team GB, at a major sporting event, Irozuru explained.

Having no spectators at such a big event for many will be surreal but maybe more so for athletes. The British long jumper says though this is disappointing, it won’t take away the shine from the games.

Having no spectators is certainly very disappointing but ultimately I think that athletes will understand that they are competing at an Olympic Games. They know that there will be so many millions of fans from across the world watching them on TV screens, on phones, and on monitors globally and I think even just having that awareness will be enough to feel that fire and to make people jump far, throw far, run fast and pull out big performances.”

Alongside classic Olympic sports such as athletics, fencing, gymnastics, swimming, and archery, six sports will be making their debuts including skateboarding and surfing

(The surfers will battle the breaks at Tsurigasaki Beach, situated around an hour’s drive from Tokyo. There will be 20 competitors in each class in Tokyo.)

The games will run until August 8.