On Tuesday, Australia’s softball team became the first athletes to land in Japan for Tokyo Olympics 2021. It is a major step forward for the Olympics which is facing stiff resistance from the Japanese people.
The Australian squad arrived at Narita airport along with their support staff. They were seen waving to the cameras and snapped selfies before proceeding towards paperwork for covid testing.
The complete squad has been vaccinated and will undergo testing frequently in Japan. The Aussie squad will be under restrictions and will face plenty of coronavirus testing in course of time.
The arrival is a huge boost for IOC and Olympics organizers as they face some resistance from their own public. The Olympics have been strongly opposed by Japanese people due to the covid surge and slow vaccine rollout. Japan has been successful in vaccinating only 3% of its citizens which is too low when compared to the world.
The Aussies are set for a 47 day camp before the Tokyo Olympics begin. The team will begin their camp in the next few days in the central Japanese city of Ota which is 80 km far from Tokyo.
Australian Athlete To Train Under Strict Rules
The Australian squad said that they are prepared for the strict rules and are excited to play softball in spite of the pandemic situation. With softball not featured at Paris 2024, this might be the last chance for glory for softball players.
Jade Wall, one of the members of the Aussie squad said,
“We know it’s going to be a bit of a long trip over, we know we’re going to go through lots and lots of Covid testing. But look, we’re all prepared for it, we want to do everything that we can to make sure that we’re safe when we get there and we’re safe while we’re in Japan as well.
According to softball Australia CEO David Pryles, even though all players will be staying on the single floor of the hotel, with less public interaction, still it is a huge moment for the team. The team has not played together since February 2020 due to the pandemic and getting early for the training camp might help the team.
During the training camp, the Australian team will play various local teams from Japan.