Team Fiji set for Olympics start – Bower

Team Fiji judoka, Tevita Takayawa all set to check into Olympic Village after receiving his 2nd jab in Tokyo, Japan. Picture: TEAM FIJI FACEBOOK

All are safe and well at the Olympic Games Village in Japan, says Team Fiji chef de mission Patrick Bower.

The former Suva school teacher said Fiji’s athletes and officials had been strictly following the games protocols laid down by Japan amidst the rise and scare of the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan.

“We are all safe and healthy,” Bower said from the Games Village in Tokyo yesterday.

“Please let everyone know that we are all safe. There are strict protocols being laid down by the government here and we have all been told to follow the protocols strictly or face being sent back home.

“We thank you for your prayers and well wishes and we ask that you continue to pray for us as we prepare for the games to start and also as we go through one of the biggest challenges in any Olympic Games.”

Bower said Team Fiji contingent and officials were yesterday getting ready for today’s opening ceremony.

He said only six officials and the athletes already in the village would be part of the ceremony.

“Fiji 7s captains Jerry Tuwai and Rusila Nagasau, who were part of the 2016 Rio Games, would be the flagbearers in the opening ceremony.

“There has been a change where they will both hold the flag. Japan should be commended for ensuring that the games are safe and the whole world is waiting for something positive such as opening ceremony to happen.

“It is sad that there will be no spectators at the games but there will be screens around the ground during the ceremony showing live faces cheering during the opening.”

He said athletes and officials were not allowed to have visitors, wander around or go to shopping malls.

“We remain focus and we are strictly adhering to protocols which include no visitation from family members here in Japan, members of the Fijian community, wandering around or even go shopping.

“If anyone is caught not following government’s protocols, he or she will be immediately brought back to the games village and will also be sent home. We are all safe and the last thing we want is to miss the games. We ask for your prayers daily.”

The Team Fiji men’s team, meanwhile entered the games village yesterday afternoon to join other athletes such as Sally Yee of table tennis and swimmers Taichi Vakasama and Cheyenne Rova.

The games start with the opening ceremony tonight and will have live telecast on MAI TV.

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