With less than 48 hours to the official opening of the Tokyo Olympics, Guinea has reportedly cancelled its participation in the games due to the increasing number of coronavirus cases.
The country’s sports ministry made the announcement on Wednesday, as concerns about the health of the athletes became paramount, according to reports.
“Due to the resurgence of Covid-19 variants, the government, concerned with preserving the health of Guinean athletes, has decided with regret to cancel Guinea’s participation in the Tokyo Olympics,” Minister of Sports, Sanoussy Bantama Sow, wrote in a letter addressed to the president of the Guinean Olympic Committee that was seen by AFP.
However, Guinean media claimed that the decision not to send its five-person team was a consequence of financial constraints and not health-related.
The five-man strong team comprised Fatoumata Yarie Camara (freestyle wrestling), Mamadou Samba Bah (judo), Fatoumata Lamarana Toure and Mamadou Tahirou Bah (swimming) and Aissata Deen Conte (athletics, women’s 100m).
Guinea became the second country to decide not to send any athletes to Tokyo after North Korea in April.