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Special charter flight to collect Olympic flame in Athens
19 Mar 2020 10:55
A special charter aircraft departed Tokyo, Japan on Wednesday to collect the Olympic flame in Athens, but has done so without a delegation from Tokyo 2020 on board. Triple Olympic wrestling gold medallist Saori Yoshida and three-time judo gold medallist Tadahiro Nomura had been due to participate in Thursday's handover ceremony in the Greek capital, but Tokyo 2020 made a last minute change as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus.
Organizers said Japan's ambassador to Greece will receive the flame at a handover ceremony. Lower level Tokyo 2020 officials who travelled to Greece last week will accompany the flame back to Japan.
Thursday's handover ceremony is scheduled for the Panathinaikos Stadium and will be much shorter than originally planned, and held without spectators.
The aircraft will take the flame back to Japan in a protective lamp and is scheduled to land at the Matsushima Air Base. Another very low key ceremony will also be held here.
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