• Kyodo

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World Rowing said Monday the Asia and Oceania qualifier for the Tokyo Olympics will be held in early May at the games’ venue Sea Forest Waterway.

Around 100 athletes and staff from 25 countries and regions are expected to participate in the meet to be held without spectators, and Japan as host will be tasked with providing sufficient countermeasures for safety amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Official practice is scheduled for May 3 and 4 before single sculls and lightweight double sculls races are held for both men and women through May 7.

The qualifier was scheduled in South Korea in April last year but was canceled due to the pandemic. World Rowing contacted several countries and only Japan accepted the proposal to host the meet, which was confirmed in late January.

Athletes coming to Japan had been exempted from an entry ban on nonresident foreign nationals, but the government decided to end the exemption in mid-January until the end of the ongoing state of emergency.

The situation at the time of the event remains uncertain and the Japan Rowing Association and other organizing bodies will be asked to provide the right arrangements for foreign athletes’ entrance to the country as well as their travel, stay and countermeasures at the venue.

Japan has yet to secure spots in the two events and will look to seal them at the meet and the final world qualifier in mid-May in Switzerland.

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