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Japanese athletes give Tokyo Olympic stadium a test run
Japan's top athletes put the new Tokyo Olympic Stadium to the test at a track meet on Sunday, one year ahead of the Games which have been postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The televised competition was held behind closed doors, with only athletes and a few hundred journalists and officials in attendance at the 60,000-seat facility, which is still undergoing construction work on its exterior.
As reported by Agence-France Presse, high jumpers got the Golden Grand Prix 2020 meet underway as up-tempo music and the lively voices of stadium announcers filled the air.
However, the jumpers had no spectators to ask for slow hand claps to find their rhythm as they sped down the runway.
Sprinters likewise rushed to the finish line but there were no cheers of excited fans and no collective sighs greeted the failed jumps of the pole vaulters.
A handful of male javelin throwers took matters into their own hands and offered slow claps in unison for each other as they took their turns.
The event was held as Japan takes cautious steps to reopen its economy, with professional baseball, football and sumo resuming in front of limited number of fans.
The event was staged as the nation experiences a new rise in infection figures, particularly in urban areas including Tokyo and Osaka.
Japanese Olympic organisers have said the Games will take place from July to August next year but have yet to decide details, including how many spectators to allow.
Image: The Tokyo Olympic Stadium, courtesy of the Japan Sports Council.
22nd July 2020 - Tokyo Olympics organisers confirm all venues for summer Games
15th July 2020 - Tokyo Governor says Olympics must go ahead in 2021
26th June 2020 - Tokyo Olympic organisers set to re-engage with sponsors
4th May 2020 - Indian sport looks to 2032 Olympic Games hosting
31st March 2020 - IOC confirms new dates for Tokyo Olympics
25th March 2020 - World Athletics welcomes Tokyo Olympic Games postponement
25th March 2020 - Coronavirus fears sees Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics postponed to 2021
10th March 2020 - No spectators to attend Tokyo Olympic Games torch lighting ceremony
11th February 2020 - APT Asia Pacific offers green surfacing solutions at Tokyo 2020 Olympics
3rd December 2019 - Completed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium handed over to Japan Sport Council
29th October 2016 - Olympic stadiums to be recognised as UNESCO world heritage buildings?
1st August 2012 - Japan Sport Council launches design competition for new national stadium
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