March 23, 2020 at 15:56 JST
Japanese soccer international Nahomi Kawasumi said on Monday she was withdrawing from the Tokyo 2020 torch relay, citing worry about the risk of being infected with the coronavirus, or infecting others, if she traveled back from the United States.
Kawasumi, a high-profile athlete in Japan known for helping her country win its first World Cup in 2011, plays for Sky Blue FC in New Jersey, near New York City, which has seen a surge in coronavirus infections.
“Because of the new coronavirus, I am withdrawing from the torch relay,” she said on Twitter.
“I have made the decision so I don’t cause trouble for my team and my fans.”
Kawasumi is the latest from the sporting world to voice fears about participating in the Summer Olympics or related events because of the coronavirus epidemic.
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