Tokyo 2020 would be 'more comfortable' if athletes are vaccinated - Dibaba

By Sports Desk April 14, 2021

Genzebe Dibaba believes it would be a more comfortable experience at the Tokyo Games if athletes are vaccinated against coronavirus and is confident organisers will do all they can to protect competitors at the Olympics.

Wednesday marks 100 days until the Games are due to begin in the Japanese capital, a year later than planned after the original dates in 2020 were scuppered by the pandemic.

The health crisis continues to cause issues for nations across the globe but the message from the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and from the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has thus far been that the show will go on.

While international fans are banned from attending, and social-distancing measures, track-and-trace systems and temperature checks will be enforced, a vaccination against COVID-19 will not be a pre-requisite to participate in Tokyo.

Middle and long-distance runner Dibaba, a silver medallist in the 1500 metres at Rio 2016 and the world record holder over that distance, thinks athletes should have a jab for the Games.

"Yes, I think it's safe and more comfortable to manage, to meet with the other athletes," Dibaba told Stats Perform News.

"[I think it's] better to take the vaccine."

As part of the solutions to try and prevent transmission of the virus at the Games, Tokyo 2020 and the IOC have come up with 'Playbooks' for athletes, officials and the media to follow – which includes having to complete an activity book outlining plans while in the city.

Regular testing will also be enforced, with athletes being checked every four days, and Dibaba acknowledged organisers are doing what they can to put on a safe Games.

"It's hard to feel safe because it's a virus and you can get it at any minute," she added.

"But since it's the Olympics, I know they will do everything they can to protect us."

Dibaba spoke about the difficulties athletes have faced in training for an Olympics facing so much uncertainty.

But the Ethiopian – a world champion in 2015 – is still focused on moving up a step on the podium in Tokyo, even if she feels a crack at breaking her own 1500m world record may have to wait a little while.

"For now I'm getting ready for the Olympics, not for the record," Dibaba said. 

"It's a race, since it's a record anyone can break it if they work hard. If they go for the record I will be there. 

"If not I'm just working for the Olympic Games, not for the record. After the Olympics, I promise you I will try one more time that I will go for the record."

Related items

  • Higgo upstages Johnson and chasing pack for first PGA Tour title at Palmetto Championship Higgo upstages Johnson and chasing pack for first PGA Tour title at Palmetto Championship

    Garrick Higgo overturned a huge deficit to break through for his first PGA Tour title courtesy of a one-shot victory at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree.

    Higgo entered the final round trailing by six strokes but the unheralded South African produced a three-under-par 68 to claim his maiden trophy in his second career start on Sunday.

    The 22-year-old, who holed an eagle, three birdies and two bogeys, registered the largest comeback on Tour since Bubba Watson in 2018 as he upstaged world number one Dustin Johnson and the chasing pack.

    Higgo became the first player to win in one of his first two career PGA Tour starts since Jim Benepe won the 1988 BMW Championship on debut, while he is the youngest winner on Tour this season – aged 22 years, one month and one day.

    "It's amazing," Higgo said after finishing 11 under through 72 holes. "I just stayed patient all week. I'm just happy I didn't have to play in a playoff."

    Hudson Swafford (66), Doc Redman (67), Jhonattan Vegas (67), Tyrrell Hatton (68), Bo Van Pelt (68) and overnight leader Chesson Hadley (75) ended the inaugural tournament tied for second position.

    Ryan Armour (64) and David Lipsky (67) were a stroke further back, while American star Johnson had to settle for a share of 10th place at eight under following his final-round 70 in Gillisonville, South Carolina.

    South Carolina native Johnson – who got within one stroke of the lead on the back nine – shot a seven at the par-four 16th hole for his first triple-bogey or worse on the PGA Tour since the 2020 WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational and the 50th of his career.

  • Personal bests for Lamara Distin, Roje Stona, as Jamaicans experience mixed fortunes at NCAA Championships Personal bests for Lamara Distin, Roje Stona, as Jamaicans experience mixed fortunes at NCAA Championships

    Jamaica’s collegiate athletes experienced mixed fortunes over the final two days of the 2021 NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships that concluded at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday.

    Texas A&M’s Lamara Distin and Clemson’s Roje Stona were among the most successful and Baylor freshman Ackera Nugent experienced how unforgiving the scheduling can be.

    Distin, who turned 21 in March, cleared a personal best of 1.90m to win the silver medal in the high jump completion. It took a personal best of 1.93m from South Carolina freshman to deny her the victory in the contest that Distin’s Texas A&M teammate Tyra Gittens finish third having cleared 1.87m.

    On Friday, Stona threw a personal best of 61.94m to claim the silver medal for Clemson University. Turner Washington won the event with a throw of 63.42m. University of Virginia freshman Claudio Romero threw 61.36m for the bronze medal.

    Ackera Nugent had a rough time of it Saturday because after finishing third in the 100m hurdles in a relatively modest 12.84, immediately she had to line up for the final of the 100m. She was still breathing heavily from the exertions of the hurdles race when they were called to their blocks in the 100m.

    Unsurprisingly, she finished ninth in 11.37.

    USC’s Anna Cockrell ran 12.58s to win sprint hurdles over Rayniah Jones, who ran 12.82.

    North Carolina A&T’s Cambrea Sturgis won the 100m in 10.74 with the aid of a trailing wind of 2.2m/s. USC’s Twanisha Terry (10.79), Alabama’s Tamara Clark (10.88), were second and third, respectively.

    Kemba Nelson, meanwhile, was fourth in 10.90.

    Cockrell later won the 400m hurdles in a new personal best and collegiate-leading time of 54.68. Arizona’s Shannon Meisberger stormed by Virginia’s Andrenette Knight late to take the silver medal in 55.70 forcing the Jamaican, who ran 55.81, to settle for the bronze medal.

     Texas A&M freshman Charokee Young and Texas sophomore Stacey-Ann Williams were the two Jamaicans in the final of the 400m and finished fifth and sixth in 51.13 and 51.34, respectively. They, like everyone else, were no match for Young’s teammate Athing Mu, who ran a personal best 49.57 for victory.

    Mu’s winning time was also a collegiate-leading, meet record and facility record.

    Florida freshman Talitha Diggs ran a personal best 50.74 for the runner-up position while USC’s Kyra Constantine clocked a personal best 50.87 for the final podium spot.

    Young and Mu would run splits of 49.7 and 48.8, respectively to lead Texas A&M to a record-shattering time of 3:22.34 to win the 4x400m relay. A&M’s season-best time was also a collegiate leading time as well as a meet record, facility record and championship record.

    USC was second in a season-best 3:24.54 and UCLA was third in their season-best time of 3:25.01. The first eight teams across the line all ran season-best times.

    Other than Stona, former Jamaica College athlete Phillip Lemonious was perhaps the best male performer for Jamaica. The Arkansas freshman ran a personal best 13.39 to take the bronze medal in the 110m hurdles that was won by Alabama’s Robert Dunning in 13.25.

    Iowa’s Jaylan McConico ran 12.38 to edge out the Jamaican for the silver medal.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Caldwell storms to first European Tour title in Gothenburg Caldwell storms to first European Tour title in Gothenburg

    Jonathan Caldwell stormed to his first European Tour title with a brilliant final round of 64 at the Scandinavian Mixed in Gothenburg.

    The Northern Irishman was three shots off the lead heading into Sunday, but responded in style to set a target of 17 under par.

    After a blemish-free first 14 holes, including six birdies and an eagle, Caldwell bogeyed the 15th and 17th before responding with a gain on the par-four final hole.

    Adrian Otaegui had a chance to snatch victory, but came unstuck on the 18th green for his only bogey of a final-round 67, leaving him a stroke behind.

    Caldwell was free to celebrate a first title in only his 48th event on the European Tour, to which he returned via the qualifying school in 2019 after a decade away.

    "It's been a dream of mine for an awful long time," said the 37-year-old. "A lot of hard work goes into it. It hasn't quite sunk in yet, but hopefully [there is] more to come. 

    "In 2009, I played my first year, lost my card, played mini tours and Challenge Tour over the years, worked as well in a local golf store. It's been a long road but finally, I'm here.

    "The golf club at home will probably be going bonkers so just put a tab on and crack on boys and enjoy. My parents have been with me the whole way so I look forward to talking to them tonight."

    At an event where 78 men and 78 women competed at the same course, Alice Hewson carded a final round of 69 to finish third, two shots ahead of Scott Hend and James Morrison.

    Germany's Olivia Cowan closed with a 70 to finish in a share of 10th.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.