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The torch relay for the Tokyo Olympics started Thursday in Fukushima Prefecture, as organizers try to build momentum for the opening of the global sporting event in late July amid public health worries over the coronavirus pandemic.

Members of the Nadeshiko Japan soccer team that won the 2011 Women’s World Cup were the first runners of the relay after a ceremony held without spectators at the J-Village national soccer training center, located in the towns of Naraha and Hirono.

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