• REUTERS

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The Olympic teams of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan paraded mostly maskless through Tokyo’s National Stadium at Friday’s Games opening ceremony, marking an awkward contrast with other national teams who covered their faces in line with COVID-19 protocols.

Just one Kyrgyz athlete covered his face, with the other members of the around 15-strong delegation, including its two flag bearers — shooter Kanykei Kubanychbekova and swimmer Denis Petrashov — waving and smiling as they walked in.

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