Tens of hundreds of individuals flocked to a cauldron with the Olympic flame in northeastern Japan over the weekend despite considerations in regards to the coronavirus pandemic.
The flame arrived in Japan to a scaled-down welcoming ceremony on Friday as doubts grew over whether or not the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will go forward on schedule because the lethal virus causes chaos around the globe.
The pandemic has already shredded the worldwide sports activities calendar, with prime sports activities leagues suspended and main tournaments postponed.
More than 50,000 individuals on Saturday queued to watch the flame displayed at Sendai station in Miyagi, chosen as a part of the “Recovery Olympics” to showcase the area’s revival after the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.
Some had to keep in a 500-metre (1,650-foot) queue for a number of hours, native media mentioned.
Many of them wore masks as they took footage with the cherry blossom-shaped cauldron.
“I queued for three hours but watching the Olympic flame was greatly encouraging,” a 70-year-old girl advised public broadcaster NHK.
But organisers, involved in regards to the bigger-than-expected gathering, have warned the viewing occasion could possibly be suspended if a crowd turns into “extremely dense”, native media reported.
The nationwide torch relay begins on March 26, ranging from the J-Village sports activities complicated in Fukushima that was used as a base for employees in the course of the 2011 nuclear catastrophe.
But organisers have been pressured to cut back the relay, closing day by day ceremonies to the general public and urging spectators to “avoid forming crowds” alongside the route.