CONAKRY: Guinea canceled its participation in the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday due to the Covid-19 pandemic, announced the Minister of Sports of the West African state.
However, a source close to the government in Conakry said the decision not to send his team of five was a consequence of financial constraints.
“Due to the resurgence of variants of Covid-19, the government, anxious to preserve the health of Guinean athletes, has decided with regret to cancel Guinea’s participation in the Tokyo Olympics”, wrote the Minister of Sports , Sanoussy Bantama Sow, in a letter to the president of the Guinean Olympic Committee which was seen by AFP.
A source insisted, however, that the decision, taken just two days before the opening ceremony in Tokyo, was because “the ministry cannot pay” the fees.
Guinean media also claimed the pullout was financial rather than health for Guinea, which has never won a medal in 11 Olympics appearances.
The five-person team was made up of Fatoumata Yarie Camara (freestyle wrestling), Mamadou Samba Bah (judo), Fatoumata Lamarana Touré and Mamadou Tahirou Bah (swimming) and Aissata Deen Conte (athletics, 100m women).
North Korea announced in April that it would not participate in the Tokyo Olympics to “protect” its athletes from any risk linked to the coronavirus pandemic. -AFP