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Covid-19: Guinea withdraws from Tokyo Olympics

The government of Guinea, has cited the ‘resurgence of Covid-19 variants” and its desire “to preserve the health of Guinean…

The government of Guinea, has cited the ‘resurgence of Covid-19 variants” and its desire “to preserve the health of Guinean athletes” to justify the country’s last-minute withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympic Games.No Guinean athlete will participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games (23 July – 8 August). 

Five were expected to make the trip, but the government chose to pull out of the competition, due to the health situation.

Thanks to the resurgence of Covid-19 variants, the government has decided “with regret to cancel Guinea’s participation” in the Tokyo Games (Japan), the Minister of Sports, Sanoussy Bantama Sow said in a letter to the head of the Guinean Olympic Committee.

However, a source close to the government in Conakry cited financial challenges as the reason for the withdrawal two days before the official opening ceremony scheduled for Friday.

“The participation has been overcharged, that’s why the ministry cannot pay,” a source close to the government told AFP on condition of anonymity, without elaborating. 

The Guinean press also reported on Wednesday the issue of unpaid bonuses.

Guinea, which has never won a medal in 11 Olympic appearances, was to send to Tokyo, Fatoumata Yarie Camara (freestyle wrestling), Mamadou Samba Bah (judo), Fatoumata Lamarana Toure and Mamadou Tahirou Bah (swimming) and Aissata Deen Conte (athletics).

Before Guinea, North Korea had announced in April that it would not participate in the Tokyo Olympics, in a move aimed at “protecting” its athletes from any risk related to the coronavirus pandemic.

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