Sports Other News 19 Mar 2020 Greece hands over Ol ...

Greece hands over Olympic flame to Tokyo 2020

AFP
Published Mar 19, 2020, 5:35 pm IST
Updated Mar 19, 2020, 5:35 pm IST
Authorities cancelled the torch relay's Greek leg after a crowd mobbed Hollywood actor Gerard Butler at a cauldron lighting ceremony
Former Japanese swimmer Imoto Naoko holds the Olympic torch as Hellenic Olympic Committee President Spyros Capralos stands next to her during the Olympic flame handover ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, in Athens, on Thursday. AP Photo
 Former Japanese swimmer Imoto Naoko holds the Olympic torch as Hellenic Olympic Committee President Spyros Capralos stands next to her during the Olympic flame handover ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, in Athens, on Thursday. AP Photo

Athens: Greece on Thursday handed over the Olympic flame to Tokyo 2020 organisers at a ceremony held behind closed doors amid calls for the Olympics to be postponed over the coronavirus pandemic.

In the absence of spectators, Olympic gymnastics champion Lefteris Petrounias ran a lap with the flame and Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi lit a cauldron inside the all-marble Panathenaic stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896.

 

The flame was then handed to Tokyo 2020 representative Naoko Imoto, a swimmer who competed in the Atlanta 1996 Olympics. Imoto, a UNICEF representative, was reportedly a last-minute appointment as she already lives in Greece and did not have to travel from Japan.

Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou in a statement said the ancient Olympic values of "concord, goodwill, brotherhood... are the weapon to use" against the virus.

Authorities decided to cancel the torch relay's Greek leg after a crowd mobbed Hollywood actor Gerard Butler at a cauldron lighting ceremony in Sparta last week.

 

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Location: Greece, Attika, Athenai




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