There is still a lot of competition as the Olympics go into their final weekend. But a storm, hot weather and rising coronavirus cases loom over the upcoming Tokyo Games final.
The rise in Covid-19 continues: Tokyo reported 5,042 cases on Thursday, a new daily record for Japan’s capital. Doctors and public health experts have raised concerns that the Olympics are contributing to the surge in infections, although Japanese leaders disagree.
“The flow of people in downtown Tokyo has not increased compared to before the Olympic Games opened. I don’t think the Olympics led to an increase in infections, “Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference on Friday.
Although the Olympics will end on Sunday, experts will likely not be able to analyze the impact of the Games on Covid-19 cases for at least two weeks due to the incubation period of the virus.
Belarus coaches have to leave games: The International Olympic Committee has withdrawn accreditation from two Belarusian coaches who allegedly tried to force sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya to return home against her will.
The Olympic body said it had decided to remove the two coaches in order to “protect the welfare of the NOC (National Olympic Committee) athletes who are still in Tokyo as a temporary measure”.
Hasan’s search continues: Sifan Hassan from the Netherlands will win her second gold medal in the women’s 1,500 meter final tonight. She has already won the 5,000 meter race and will also compete in the 10,000 meter final tomorrow. No woman has ever won all three races in a single Olympiad
Football gold, delayed: Team Canada and Sweden will contest the final of women’s football in Yokohama near Tokyo tonight. The game has been postponed from its initial local 11am start time due to oppressive heat and humidity, which has affected many of the athletes who competed outdoors – and could raise concerns for the men’s and women’s marathons this weekend.
The races take place in the northern Japanese city of Sapporo, where temperatures are usually cooler than in Tokyo. Despite the early morning start, Saturday temperatures for the women’s marathon are expected to be between 26-28 degrees Celsius (79-82 degrees Fahrenheit). It will be a little cooler on Sunday when the men are running, with a forecast of around 24 degrees Celsius. The relative humidity is expected to be between 70 and 80% on both days, which makes it feel even warmer outside.
A tropical depression towards Tokyo could bring a much-needed recovery from the heat, but it also threatens to rain the closing ceremony on Sunday. However, the forecast for the storm is still uncertain.
Medal table: China leads with 34 gold medals, followed by the USA with 30 and Japan with 22. The Americans lead the overall medal table with 92. China ranks second at 74 and the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) third at 58.
What’s on tap:
- Athletics: It is an action-packed penultimate competition night in the Tokyo Olympic Stadium. The medal competitions begin at 8:50 p.m. Tokyo time with the women’s javelin throw, followed by three races: the men’s 5000-meter final, then the women’s 400-meter and 1500-meter finals. The night ends with the final of the 4×100 meter relay for men and women.
- Basketball: In the women’s semi-finals, the USA will face Serbia and Japan face France.
- Boxing: The Cuban Julio la Cruz is fighting against the Muslim Gadzhimagomedov from the Republic of China for the second Olympic gold in a row. La Cruz, who won gold in the light heavyweight division in Rio 2016, has moved up to the heavyweight division this time.
You can find the full Olympic schedule here.