Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games flame handover
*Image credit: Reuters

Thursday’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games flame handover ceremony in Greece will take place in front of a few Tokyo Games officials and torch bearers, part of ongoing efforts to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The announcement was made by the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC), who stressed that tickets for the ceremony would not be valid to those who had secured them.

Instead, live streams from Greek and Japanese broadcasters, as well as the Olympic Channel, would be available for viewers to watch the handing over of the torch.

The flame handover ceremony will still take place at the Athens’ Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896.

“There will be a dance of the priestesses that will not exceed the number of 10, and a torch relay of two Greek torchbearers and two Japanese torchbearers, that will take place inside the Panathenaic Stadium,” the HOC said in a statement.

Greece on Friday cancelled the remainder of the domestic Olympic torch relay through the country to avoid attracting crowds.

Despite rising global concern about the viability of the summer Games due to the coronavirus outbreak, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that his country is still preparing to host the Olympics.

Abe and his government as well as the International Olympic Committee have been adamant the July 24-Aug 9 Games will go ahead, even as other global sporting events have been put on hold.

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