BRITISH Olympic chiefs are pressing on with their Tokyo plans — despite growing questions over whether the Games could be cancelled.
Fears about the spread of the coronavirus from the outbreak hub in China forced International Olympic Committee bosses and Tokyo organisers into vows that the Games will go ahead in July and August.
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Despite the concerns and growing number of enforced postponements of other events, Tokyo organisers remain adamant there is no threat.
SunSport reported how Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike admitted Games officials were “going to regret it” if they did not step up preparations for coping with the virus spread.
But organising committee president Yoshiro Mori said: “I would like to make it clear again that we are not considering a cancellation or postponement of the Games. Let me make that clear.”
The last Games to be cancelled were in 1940, when they were first due to be held in Tokyo, although World War Two also meant the planned London Olympics of 1944 were delayed for four years.
Within hours of Mori’s announcement, authorities confirmed the first fatality from the virus on Japanese soil, an 80-year-old woman from Kanagawa Prefecture, to the south of Tokyo.
Team GB bosses insist they remain in a business as usual approach with more than five months to go before the Olympic flame is lit in the New National Stadium on July 24.
GB Games chef de mission Mark England is currently in Tokyo while an 80-strong British delegation is flying to Japan for a reconnaissance trip next month.
There have been no conversations around any potential postponement or cancellation of the Games and Team GB would only miss Tokyo if there was a worldwide withdrawal, a directive from the IOC or under government advice.
Team GB deputy chef de mission Mike Hay told SunSport: “We are not thinking about anything other than going to the Games.
“We are very aware of the situation and will continue to speak to the right organisations.”
Team GB chief medical officer Dr Niall Eliot is also compiling a daily update on the evolving situation and British team bosses will step up their preventative programme if required.
F1 bosses could also be forced to cancel the Vietnam Grand Prix — after confirming that the Chinese GP was off yesterday.
The Shanghai race was due to run on April 19, but that has now been shelved with F1 trying to squeeze it in later in the year.
SunSport understands that the Vietnam GP is now also in doubt, as the track in Hanoi is just 100 miles from the Chinese border.
Plus, F1 teams could also struggle to make the season-opener in Melbourne as travel routes to Australia are closed down due to the virus.
The rugby union sevens in Hong Kong and Singapore have been put back from April to October 16-18 and October respectively.
And the top tier of women’s golf will be forced into lockdown after this week’s Australian Open, as the Coronavirus takes a big chunk out of the LPGA Tour schedule.
The top women’s players face a month off, with three big money events cancelled by LPGA officials including the Blue Bay tournament on Hainan Island in China, the Honda LPGA Thailand event, plus the following HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore.
The top men are not due to tee off in Asia until the European Tour heads to Malaysia and China for two events, between April 16-26.
Plans for those tournaments, the Maybank Championship and Volvo China Open, are being reviewed by European Tour bosses.
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