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Tokyo to host international gymnastics event in November

Tokyo will host an international gymnastics competition in November, the Japan Gymnastics Association (JGA) has announced.

The one-day event, which could serve as a trial run for the postponed Olympic Games, has been sanctioned by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).

“This is a competition of hope. Friendship and solidarity will lead us towards better days,” said FIG President Morinari Watanabe.

“Gymnastics will once again light up the Olympic Games in Japan next year.

“After a challenging period, we are delighted to bring Gymnastics back to the Japanese public by welcoming many of our stars to Tokyo and giving them the chance for an innovative competition on a global stage,” he added.

The competition will see two teams compete – Team Friendship and Team Solidarity and will feature 32 athletes from Japan, China, Russia and the United States.

Three-time Olympic gold medallist Kōhei Uchimura of Japan and reigning world all-around champion Nikita Nagornyy of Russia are among the gymnasts entered into the competition.

For this competition non-Japanese athletes will be exempt from the country’s 14-day quarantine period. But the athletes’ travel will be restricted during their visit.

The JGA said that the overseas athletes will take a polymerase chain reaction test (PCR) before they leave home, and will also be tested daily in Japan.

Up to 2,000 fans will be allowed to attend the event on November 8 at Yoyogi National Gymnasium, the venue for the handball tournament at the postponed 2020 Games.

It is thought that the Tokyo 2020 organisers will study this event as part of their contingency plans for the Olympics, which are scheduled to open on July 23, 2021.

There is currently a question mark of how fans will be allowed to attend events, or whether non-Japanese fans will be allowed to enter the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said organisers expected to welcome spectators from around the world at next year’s Games.

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