More than 80% of people in Japan who were surveyed in two polls in the last few days say the Tokyo Olympics should be canceled or postponed, or say they believe the Olympics will not take place.
The polls were conducted by the Japanese news agency Kyodo and TBS — the Tokyo Broadcasting System.
The results are bad news for Tokyo organizers and the International Olympic Committee as they continue to say the postponed Olympics will open on July 23.
Tokyo is battling a surge of COVID-19 cases that prompted the national government last week to call a state of emergency. In declaring the emergency, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he was confident the Olympics would be held.
Japan has controlled the virus relatively well but the surge has heightened skepticism about the need for the Olympics and the danger of potentially bringing 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes into the country.
The Olympics could also attract tens of thousands of coaches, judges, officials, VIPs, sponsors, media and broadcasters. It is not clear if fans from abroad will be allowed, or if local fans will attend events.
Japan has attributed about 3,800 deaths to COVID-19 in a country of 126 million
The TBS poll asked if the Olympics can be held. In the telephone survey with 1,261 responding, 81% replied “no” with only 13% answering “yes.” The “no” responses increased 18 percentage points from a similar survey in December.
In Kyodo’s poll, 80.1% of respondents in a telephone survey said the Olympics should be canceled or rescheduled. The same question in December found 63% calling for cancellation or postponement.
Kyodo said the survey covered 715 randomly selected households with eligible voters. Neither poll listed a margin of error.
Japan is officially spending $15.4 billion to hold the Olympics, although several government audits show the number is about $25 billion. All but $6.7 billion is public money.
The Switzerland-based IOC earns 91% of its income from selling broadcast rights and sponsorships.
The American network NBC agreed in 2011 to a $4.38 billion contract with the IOC to broadcast four Olympics through the Tokyo. In 2014 it agreed to pay an added $7.75 billion for six more games — Winter and Summer — through 2032.
Bangladesh Army is organising the first-ever international marathon in the country to mark Bangabandhu’s birth centenary.
The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Dhaka Marathon 2021 will begin in the capital on Sunday.
Around 200 elite marathon runners from Morocco, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ukraine, France, Bahrain, Belarus, Lesotho, India, Nepal and Maldives and 165 athletes from Bangladesh will participate in two categories of the competition – full marathon and half marathon.
Also read: Bangabandhu Dhaka Marathon '21 on Jan 10
Also, a digital marathon will also begin on the same day and will continue till March 7 where athletes from all over the world will participate through an app.
The full marathon, covering 42.195 kilometres, will start at 6am and the half marathon of 21.097 kilometres, at 6:40am, from Banani Army Stadium and will conclude at Hatirjheel after crossing Kakoli, Gulshan 1, Gulshan 2, Police Plaza, and Hatirjjheel circle.
The champion of the full marathon from the elite group will receive prize money of $15,000, runner-up $10,000 and second runner-up $5,000.
And the champion of South Asia and Bangladesh will get Tk5,00,000, runner-up Tk4,00,00 and second runner-up Tk3,00,000.
Also, the champion of the half marathon from the elite group will get prize money of $2,750 while the local champion will receive Tk250,000.
The Indians drafted and developed Francisco Lindor, who blossomed into an All-Star shortstop and one of baseball's best all-around players.
Cleveland chased a World Series title with him.
They'll now do it without Lindor.
Knowing they could never meet his price, the Indians dealt the four-time All-Star and pitcher Carlos Carrasco to the New York Mets, who have a new owner willing to spend at baseball's highest levels in order to get his franchise back on top.
The cash-strapped Indians sent Lindor and Carrasco to the Mets on Thursday for young infielders Andrés Giménez and Amed Rosario, and two minor league prospects: right-hander Josh Wolf and outfielder Isaiah Greene. It's a move Cleveland hopes can keep it competitive and capable of ending baseball’s longest title drought.
The Indians knew this day was coming. That didn't make it any easier.
“They’re special people in addition to special players,” said Chris Antonetti, the team's president of baseball operations, adding he cried when informing the players they were New York bound. "Trades like this are really, really hard to make. But at the same time, we feel it’s the right thing to do for us.
“Hopefully this will be — as painful as it is right now — a trade that positions us to be successful moving forward.”
Dealing Lindor, who is eligible for free agency after the 2021 season, will cut roughly $30 million off the Indians' payroll and allow them to rebuild.
For the Mets, the acquisition is another sign owner Steve Cohen means business.
"They did not come cheaply,” Mets president Sandy Alderson said of Lindor and Carrasco. “What we’re trying to do is create a new reality rather than deal with perception."
A billionaire hedge fund manager, Cohen bought the team on Nov. 6 from the Wilpon and Katz families and pledged to increase spending. One of his next big-ticket items figures to be trying to sign Lindor to a long-term contract, something the Indians couldn't do.
Lindor, who will be playing in a far different spotlight than he experienced in Cleveland, impacts the game with his bat, glove and legs. A two-time Gold Glove winner, he's a career .285 hitter and averaged 29 homers, 86 RBIs and 21 steals in his six major league seasons — all with the Indians, who drafted him in 2011.
He's been the face of the Indians' franchise, with an infectious smile and joy for playing that has made him one of Cleveland's most popular athletes. But he's gone now, leaving the Indians without their best player and the team's fans grumbling about owner Paul Dolan.
Cleveland had run out of options. Lindor has turned down numerous long-term contract offers from the Indians, betting on himself and knowing he could get more money from a major-market team when he becomes a free agent.
It may seem unfair, but Antonetti has long acknowledged the Indians don't have money to throw around.
“What we have to do is deal with the reality of what the system is,” he said. “In this case, we had a top pick, got a really good player, he developed into a star, we made multiple attempts to try to sign him. That didn’t happen and now he’s transitioned to another organization. That’s just the reality of the professional baseball landscape right now.”
Carrasco is one of the game's best comeback stories, overcoming leukemia to become one of the AL's steadiest starters. The 33-year-old righty has an 88-73 career record with a 3.73 ERA.
Also read:I regret the mistake I made, says Shakib
Beyond his stats, Carrasco was a team leader. But with an abundance of young pitchers, including Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber, the Indians were in position to move a player of Carrasco's caliber to fill more holes.
Carrasco can be replaced. Finding someone to fill Lindor's shoes will be much tougher.
The 25-year-old Rosario is a good start. He was New York's primary shortstop the past three-plus seasons, though he struggled at the plate last year and lost playing time to Giménez.
“We think he has a chance to help our major league team either as a shortstop or as a player that could play multiple positions, or settle at a different defensive position,” Antonetti said. "But, a guy with great ability."
Lindor is signed for only one more season, so the Mets will have to get to work quickly on locking him up for the long term.
“We've had one conversation with him and no conversations with his agent," Alderson said. “We acquired Francisco because of his present ability and the possibility that he could be a Met long term. There’s no guarantee of that. It’s something that we will approach, you know, in the next few weeks.”
Cohen is hoping to turn around a franchise that has not won a World Series since 1986, and been overshadowed by the crosstown Yankees. Cohen intends to change that, with Alderson and new general manager Jared Porter running an overhauled baseball operations department.
Carrasco is signed at $12 million for each of the next two seasons, part of a deal that includes a $14 million team option for 2023 with a $3 million buyout. The option would become guaranteed if he pitches 170 innings in 2022 and is found to be healthy for the 2023 season.
Since Cohen's takeover, the Mets learned pitcher Marcus Stroman accepted an $18.9 million qualifying offer and signed right-handed reliever Trevor May to a $15.5 million, two-year contract and catcher James McCann to a $40.6 million, four-year deal. New York also signed injured right-hander Noah Syndergaard to a $9.7 million, one-year deal, avoiding arbitration.
The team hopes Syndergaard can return from Tommy John surgery in June.
“We're closer to one player away,” Alderson said.
The countdown clock for the postponed Tokyo Olympics hit 200 days to go on Monday.
Also on Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he would consider calling a state of emergency as new coronavirus cases surge to record numbers in Tokyo and neighboring prefectures. Japan has never had a lockdown for COVID-19, attempting to juggle the economy and health risks.
Also Read: Tokyo Olympics rescheduled for July 23-Aug 8 in 2021
It’s nearing deadline time for Tokyo Olympic organizers, the International Olympic Committee, and various Japanese government entities as they try to pull off the Games in the middle of a pandemic.
Officials have promised to announce concrete plans early in the new year about how to get 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes into Japan; about the safety of the Athletes Village, and hundreds of thousands of fans, media, judges, officials, broadcasters and VIPs.
Also Read: Tokyo Olympics postponed
The new year is here.
Suga pledged again to hold the Olympics, saying it would be “proof that people have overcome the coronavirus.” And he said vaccine approval would be speeded up by a month so that vaccinations could begin in February instead of March.
Japan has attributed more than 3,400 deaths to COVID-19, modest by global standards for a country of 125 million, but worrying as new cases rise quickly. A poll last month by national broadcaster NHK show 63% want the Olympics postponed or canceled.
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and the governors of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures asked the national government Saturday to declare the state of emergency after the capital saw a daily record of 1,337 new cases on New Year’s Eve. That marked a jump of almost 400 in just a few days.
Yoshiro Mori, the president of the organizing committee and a former prime minister, again ruled out any cancellation of the games in an interview several days ago with the Nikkan Sports newspaper. He was asked when a decision would come about having local fans or fans from abroad.
“Sometime from March through May,” he replied. “The final deadline for a decision would be May, but it may come sooner.”
Any reduction in fans will hit the organizing committee budget. Tokyo has budgeted $800 million for ticket sales, and any shortfall will have to be made up by government entities, which are footing most of the Olympic bills.
The official budget for the Tokyo Olympics was increased last month to $15.4 billion, an increase of $2.8 billion because of the delay. However, several government audits the last few years suggest the real number is about $25 billion.
All but $6.7 billion is public money.
Mori indicated the opening ceremony, scheduled for July 23, could be troublesome with thousands of athletes and officials gathering to parade around the stadium. He also suggested the ceremony couldn’t be shortened, since television broadcasters had paid for the lucrative time. He said some officials might be cut out of the parade.
Television determines much of the Olympic scheduling, and selling broadcast rights accounts for 73% of the IOC’s income. Another 18% is from large sponsors such as Coca-Cola and Toyota.
The torch relay, which begins on March 25, will also face crowding with 10,000 runners expected across almost four months. Coca-Cola and Toyota are the prime sponsors.
Bangladesh Navy ended as unbeaten champions in the Bangabandu Victory Day Basketball Tournament beating Bangladesh Army 77-40 in the final at the Dhanmondi wooden floor gymnasium here on Friday.
The sailors' team dominated the first half and led 36-23. They were even more dominant in the second half.
Shamsuzzaman caged 20 and Masud 10 for the champion Navy while Alim scored 11 and Tanu 7 for the runners-up Army team.
Secretary General of Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) Syed Shaheed Reza was the chief guest in the day 's final and later he distributed the trophies.
Earlier in the semifinals, Bangladesh Navy beat Dhumketu Club by 94-46 points while Bangladesh Army defeated Josephites Club by 87-52 points.