IOC expects only 6,000 athletes at Olympic opening ceremony - Yomiuri

A man wears a protective mask amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in front of the giant Olympic rings in Tokyo, Japan, January 13, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO, Jan 18 (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) expects only 6,000 athletes to participate in the opening ceremony at the Tokyo Summer Games, more than half of initial estimates, as organizers implement measures to guard against coronavirus infections.

The IOC plans to scale back the ceremony because athletes will not be allowed to arrive at the Olympic Village, which can accommodate 18,000 people, more than five days before they compete and must depart within two days after their event finishes, the paper reported citing unidentified sources.

Around 11,000 athletes from 200 countries had initially been expected at the opening ceremony, the Yomiuri said.

The latest surge in coronavirus infections in Japan and elsewhere has cast fresh doubts over the future of the Tokyo Olympics, which were delayed from last year. Any cancellation, or scaled back event could impose a financial burden on the IOC because it relies on income from selling television rights for the major sporting event.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Tim Kelly; editing by Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.