Olympics: Diving, artistic swimming qualifiers to go ahead in Japan after all: Kyodo

TOKYO (REUTERS) – Diving and artistic swimming qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will go ahead in Japan, Kyodo news reported on Friday (April 9), just days after both test events looked to have been cancelled by the sport’s world governing body (Fina).

Fina had said last week it was reviewing the status of both events, as well as a marathon swimming qualifier, without specifying a reason, before marking the events as “cancelled” on its website calendar.

The BBC had reported that Fina was concerned organisers of the Diving World Cup had not done enough to protect athletes from Covid-19. TASS quoted the head coach of the Russian diving team as saying the event had been cancelled.

However, Kyodo, citing multiple unnamed sources, said on Friday that the diving event, which was scheduled to begin on April 18, would go ahead in Japan and that arrangements were being made to hold it in May.

The artistic swimming qualification tournament, set for May 1-4, would also go ahead in Japan. It did not mention whether it would be rescheduled.

Portugal, however, has been floated as a possible location for the Olympic marathon swim qualifier that was to take place in the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka in late May.

Kyodo said the relevant parties had agreed in talks on Thursday not to cancel the events, which have been changed to “TBC” (to be confirmed) on the Fina calendar from “cancelled”.

A Tokyo organising committee spokesman said Fina and other relevant parties were in talks and that any announcement would come from the swimming body.

Tokyo 2020 had no further comment.

Yasuo Mori, a senior Tokyo 2020 official, said on Sunday that Games organisers were aware Fina “intend to cancel” the events and that they would hold talks with the swimming federation this week.

The Tokyo Games, which were postponed by a year due to the pandemic, are set to run from July 23 to Aug 8.

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