Photo/Illutration Athletes for China’s national gymnastics team in protective gear arrive at Narita Airport in Chiba Prefecture on Nov. 5 to attend an international competition. (Ryo Kato)

Looking more like hazmat workers than world-class athletes, China’s gymnastics team members arrived in Japan on Nov. 5 for a friendly competition among four nations.

The Chinese gymnasts and their staff landed at Narita Airport in Chiba Prefecture in the late afternoon, wearing face masks and full-protective gear as a precautionary measure against the novel coronavirus.

A total of 32 gymnasts from Japan, the United States, Russia and China will compete in the Friendship and Solidarity Competition on Nov. 8 at Tokyo’s Yoyogi National Stadium.

It will mark the first international competition for an Olympic sport since the government imposed overseas travel restrictions amid the pandemic.

Officials said thorough measures will be taken to prevent infections. One floor of the hotel where the athletes are staying has been reserved exclusively for each team. The competitors are also being asked to refrain from outings, except when going to the venue for the event.