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Ahead of its Olympic debut, skateboarding has become increasingly popular in Japan as an outdoor activity you can enjoy while maintaining social distance in the pandemic. But the sport’s surge has not been without trouble, Kyodo reports.

Cases of skateboarders riding in restricted areas or damaging cultural assets have become common, while some areas have seen increasing numbers of young skateboarders gathering at night and disturbing residents. Novices appear to be behind many of the problems, although even experienced skaters say the rules in Japan can be ambiguous.

Explore the roots of Japanese Skateboarding with the Osaka Daggers | GOING OLYMPIC [2018] | OLYMPICS
Explore the roots of Japanese Skateboarding with the Osaka Daggers [2018] | GOING OLYMPIC | OLYMPICS

Another sport getting ready for its Olympic moment is 3×3 basketball. The JT’s Jason Coskrey attended a test event for this fast-and-furious iteration of the sport, played on a half-court with a single basket.

Meanwhile, though a Japanese athlete has yet to withdraw from the upcoming games due to coronavirus concerns, more are weighing in on the risks and potential downsides of going forward with the Olympics during the pandemic, Kyodo reports.

Tennis stars Naomi Osaka and Kei Nishikori have both expressed concern about staging the Olympics in Tokyo with COVID-19 cases surging. Recently, Japan’s first Masters winner added his doubts to the mix. All three are still committed to taking part, although some other big names in tennis and golf are looking less likely.

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