Team Fiji Chef de Mission (CdM) to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Patrick Bower said it was encouraging and assuring to note the precautions and relevant measures taken to ensure a safe environment for participating athletes and officials during a CdM webinar held with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.
Mr Bower said Team Fiji has been informed of all the countermeasures that the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee were undertaking to ensure that all areas are covered.
"We are constantly checking in with all our Olympic hopefuls and those hoping to make the team are aware of what's happening," he said.
"We have a capable team, including our medical team, who are aware of the latest measures and protocols and will be discussing these further with the Ministry of Health."
Mr Bower said Team Fiji would have to undergo the current measures in place in Japan that includes a 14-day quarantine upon entry into Japan, social distancing, and proof of negative testing of up to 72 hours before departure from Fiji.
He said these countermeasures could also change when it gets closer to the Olympic Games but as a team they would ensure that the safety of the athletes and officials are paramount.
Mr Bower said some teams like Team Fiji Rugby Sevens could be leaving earlier to train, acclimatise and participate in Pre-Games Training Camps before the rest of the Fiji team.
"For this case we are also working closely with the Fiji Embassy and the selected city of Oita, for assistance with logistics that include travel and accommodation," he said.
Much is dependent also on the Fiji Government’s decision on when to open the borders, for us to be allowed to travel, he said.
Mr Bower said he was also aware of the progress of athletes who were hoping to make the final Team Fiji to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
'"Athletes in athletics, archery, judo, karate, table tennis, and swimming are yet to go through the qualifying process, which are now also subject to COVID-19 travel restrictions" he said.
Mr Bower said while he was aware of athletes who were training, he feels that their biggest challenge would be the level of competition
."Right now our athletes are deprived of top level quality and consistent competition but Team Fiji will be assisting in every way possible to ensure we take the best that Fiji has to offer to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games."
Meanwhile FASANOC is pleased to announce that it has accepted a World Sailing allocated quota place to Fiji in the Women’s One Person Dinghyin the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition.
Sophia Morgan, who has been endorsed by the Fiji Yachting Association for the Olympic Games quota, earned this qualification at the 2020 Laser Radial World Championships held in Australia.
Sophia has been based in New Zealand and has since been invited to join the Yachting New Zealand Youth Development Squad. This is a bonus for Sophia, providing her on the water and off the water programs twice a week in addition to sailing at her home club, the Kohimarama Yacht Club.
FASANOC congratulates the Fiji Yachting Association on this qualification which brings Team Fiji qualifications on merit to three i.e. Rugby 7s Women, Rugby 7s Men and Sailing.
IOC President, Thomas Bach, informed athletes earlier this week in a video message that the IOC was preparing for every single potential scenario at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and preparing countermeasures to combat these scenarios during these challenging times.
"We are #StrongerTogether in this great challenge and I invite you to prepare for the Olympic Games #Tokyo2020 next year," he said.