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Afghan Olympic Contenders 'Well-Prepared' for Tokyo Games

Afghan athletes said they feel well-prepared and ready for the Tokyo Olympic Games, which are scheduled to begin on July 23. 

Fahim Anwari will compete in swimming, Kmimia Yosefi and Shah Mahmood Noorzahi in athletics, Farzad Mansouri in taekwondo and Mahdi Yovari in the shooting category.

Farzad Mansouri, a member of the National Taekwondo Team, said: "I worked hard for these competitions for three years, and God willing, I will try my best to get a result from this global event."

Other athletes said they are ready and in good physical condition and will try to cheer up the people of Afghanistan by defeating their opponents.

"I am well-prepared, and July 30 is my time to compete and, God willing, I will achieve a good result for Afghanistan,” said a member of Afghanistan's national athletics team, Kmimia Yosefi.

The Afghan officials said that measures have been taken so “our athletes shine in these competitions.”

"We are fully prepared to be a good representative of Afghanistan and to win Afghanistan a medal once again,” said the coach of the National Taekwondo Team, Mohammad Bashir Taraki.

This comes as the chief of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee on Tuesday did not rule out cancelling the Olympics if COVID-19 cases spiked, as more athletes tested positive for the virus and sponsors ditched plans to attend Friday's opening ceremony, Reuters reported.

Asked at a news conference if the global sporting showpiece might still be cancelled, Toshiro Muto said he would keep an eye on infection numbers and liaise with other organisers if necessary.

"We will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases," said Muto.

"We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again. At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises."

A spokesman for Tokyo 2020 later said organizers were "concentrating 100% on delivering successful Games".

Rising COVID-19 cases in Tokyo have cast a large shadow over an event that, having already been postponed last year because of the pandemic, will now take place without spectators. Japan this month decided that participants would compete in empty venues to minimise health risks.

Organisers, for whom International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said cancelling the event had never been an option, have promised to keep the Games "safe and secure".

But experts see gaps in an Olympic "bubble" that mandates frequent testing and has been designed to limit participants' movements.

Afghan Olympic Contenders 'Well-Prepared' for Tokyo Games

Five Afghan athletes will represent Afghanistan in four events in the Olympic Games.

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Afghan athletes said they feel well-prepared and ready for the Tokyo Olympic Games, which are scheduled to begin on July 23. 

Fahim Anwari will compete in swimming, Kmimia Yosefi and Shah Mahmood Noorzahi in athletics, Farzad Mansouri in taekwondo and Mahdi Yovari in the shooting category.

Farzad Mansouri, a member of the National Taekwondo Team, said: "I worked hard for these competitions for three years, and God willing, I will try my best to get a result from this global event."

Other athletes said they are ready and in good physical condition and will try to cheer up the people of Afghanistan by defeating their opponents.

"I am well-prepared, and July 30 is my time to compete and, God willing, I will achieve a good result for Afghanistan,” said a member of Afghanistan's national athletics team, Kmimia Yosefi.

The Afghan officials said that measures have been taken so “our athletes shine in these competitions.”

"We are fully prepared to be a good representative of Afghanistan and to win Afghanistan a medal once again,” said the coach of the National Taekwondo Team, Mohammad Bashir Taraki.

This comes as the chief of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee on Tuesday did not rule out cancelling the Olympics if COVID-19 cases spiked, as more athletes tested positive for the virus and sponsors ditched plans to attend Friday's opening ceremony, Reuters reported.

Asked at a news conference if the global sporting showpiece might still be cancelled, Toshiro Muto said he would keep an eye on infection numbers and liaise with other organisers if necessary.

"We will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases," said Muto.

"We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again. At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises."

A spokesman for Tokyo 2020 later said organizers were "concentrating 100% on delivering successful Games".

Rising COVID-19 cases in Tokyo have cast a large shadow over an event that, having already been postponed last year because of the pandemic, will now take place without spectators. Japan this month decided that participants would compete in empty venues to minimise health risks.

Organisers, for whom International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said cancelling the event had never been an option, have promised to keep the Games "safe and secure".

But experts see gaps in an Olympic "bubble" that mandates frequent testing and has been designed to limit participants' movements.

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