It seems as though it was several months ago, but, in fact, it was just on February 25th we reported how the 2020 Japan Swim was most likely going to be held without spectators. The meet represents the nation’s sole qualifying opportunity for a home-nation based Olympic Games, still scheduled for this summer.
Today, the Japanese Swimming Federation has confirmed that the meet will continue, indeed without spectators, but also on a reduced schedule. The timeline of April 1st through April 8th is now contracted to April 2nd to April 6th, although the exact event lineup per day has not yet been published.
Takeshi Aoki, President of the Japanese Swimming Federation offers, “Condolences for those who died and their families due to the new coronavirus infection Represents. I pray that all affected persons will recover as soon as possible.”
His statement appearing on the federation website continues, “The Japan Swimming Federation considers the status of efforts to prevent the transmission of the new coronavirus in society as a whole, and, above all, puts the highest priority on the safety of players, family, stakeholders, and everyone else, The 96th Japan Championship Swimming Competition / Swimming Competition, which also serves as a representative athlete selection event for the Olympic Games (Tokyo Olympics), will be held with no spectators.
Athletes, families and stakeholders who have been preparing for this tournament, and swimming fans who have been looking forward to it, have been very inconvenienced and worried. Thank you for your understanding.”
The trailing caveat on the site reads, “Due to further deterioration in the future, this tournament may be postponed.”