In order to connect with fans at home during the coronavirus pandemic, the Japan Fencing Federation has begun live streaming training sessions on its YouTube channel.

The videos feature Japanese fencers participating in virtual workout sessions from their homes amid Japan’s state of emergency over the virus. They include a guide for those wanting to follow along, while the fencers answer questions from their online followers during breaks in training.

“The athletes also get to be seen by a lot of people, so it’s a good way to deal with the tension (caused by the crisis),” said Yuki Ota, president of the Japan Fencing Federation.

The federation has released two videos so far. Ryo Miyake, a men’s team foil silver medalist at the 2012 London Games, and Nozomi Sato, who represented Japan at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, participated in the first session broadcast on April 23.

The pair gave some insight on how the global crisis has affected their training and Olympic preparation.

“It’s pretty tough not being able to practice (with a sword), but I’m getting encouragement while training with others. I hope I can do it with everyone,” Miyake said.

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