In celebration of the Olympic Torch Relay for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, a five-kilometer run and walk from the Palau National Track to the President’s Office in Meyuns and back garnered over one-hundred participants yesterday afternoon.

The run coincided with the Grand Start of the 121-day Olympic Torch Relay across all 47 prefectures of Japan, beginning yesterday at the J-Village national training facility in Fukushima Prefecture, and ending on July 23 at Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.

Yesterday’s five-kilometer run was sponsored by the Palau National Olympic Committee (NOC), the Embassy of Japan in Palau, and the Palau Track and Field Association.

As of now, two athletes are set to represent Palau in the Tokyo Olympics, in swimming and in athletics, but the Palau NOC says that wrestling finals may bring more athletes to the Tokyo 2020 Palau Olympic Team. The NOC says that the Olympic Team is looking at June as a target date to leave for Tokyo.  

The Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, which were originally scheduled for summer of last year, are set to be held from July 23 to August 8 of this year. Originally postponed due to the COVID pandemic, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared last month that the games will proceed this year, despite continued trouble with COVID transmissions in Japan. While organizers have declared their determination to hold the games this year, some alterations have been made to account for the continued pandemic, such as the banning of spectators from abroad coming to Japan, as was announced last week.

The Olympic torch relay is a ceremony which has taken place before every Olympic Games since 1936, involving the lighting of a torch in Olympia, Greece, and its transportation to the site where the Olympics will take place. 

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