Panic as African Nation Withdraws From Tokyo 2020 Olympics Due to Covid-19 Concerns

Panic as African Nation Withdraws From Tokyo 2020 Olympics Due to Covid-19 Concerns

  • Guinea have pulled out of the forthcoming Tokoyo 2020 Olympic Games due to health concerns, according to their sports minister
  • However, it is understood that the ministry does not have enough money to finance the five-man team to the Games
  • The West Africa nation, who have never won a medal in any of the Olympics, have athletes competing in wrestling, judo, swimming and athletics

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Guinea will not be participating in the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics due to coronavirus concerns, Minister of Sports Sanoussy Bantama Sow announced, according to Punch.

The West African nation only had five athletes in the Games, including Fatoumata Yarie Camara (wrestling), Mamadou Samba Bah (judo), Fatoumata Lamarana Toure and Mamadou Tahirou Bah (swimming) and Aissata Deen Conte (athletics, women’s 100m).

Panic as African nation withdraw from Tokyo 2020 Olympics due to COVID-19
Guinean athletes make appearance during a carnival during the Rio 2016 Olympics but they will not be in Tokyo 2020. Photo by Jim Watson
Source: UGC

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Guinea Sports Minister's reason

The Sports Minister in a letter to the President claimed that the health of the athletes amid Covid-19 concerns.

The letter was quoted by AFP:

“Due to the resurgence of Covid-19 variants, the government, concerned with preserving the health of Guinean athletes, has decided with regret to cancel Guinea’s participation in the Tokyo Olympics.”

However, there is a contradicting report from a government source claiming that the lack of finances to sponsor the athlete to the Games is the real reason Guinea will not be participating.

The Olympics is just 24 hours away from starting and it is understood that the high cost of plane tickets and other relatable costs hindered Guinea's participation.

Guinea have never won a medal at any of the 11 Olympics they featured in and the media claims it could be the reason for their withdrawal.

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Chad le Clos and Phumelela Mbande chosen as flag bearers for SA Olympic team

Briefly News had earlier reported that a massive search has been launch to find a Ugandan weightlifter who went missing in Tokyo, one week to the start of the Olympics.

Julius Ssekitoleko went missing from his team’s camp in Izumisano, a city in Osaka, western Japan on Friday, July 16.

Media reports from CNN claim Ssekitoleko left a note saying he wanted to stay and work in Japan, as life in his native Uganda was difficult.

The 20-year old weightlifter failed to qualify for the games after his arrival in Japan and was scheduled to fly back to Uganda on Tuesday, July 20.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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