Swim Australia Eyes Plan B in case of cancellation in Tokyo

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Swimming Australia has started talks on a national or virtual replacement competition for its athletes in the event that the Tokyo Olympics are canceled, President Kieren Perkins said.

Organizers were forced to reaffirm their commitment to hosting the Games in July and August after the Japanese government privately concluded in a report on Friday that the Games would have to be canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Perkins, who won gold medals at the 1992 and 1996 Games, was delighted that Friday's "little moment of panic" had been resolutely eliminated but felt guilty for Australian swimmers to put in place an emergency plan.

"If the worst happens and Tokyo is canceled, we must give our athletes who have had the opportunity to prepare so long and work so hard to get to this moment the best chance to test themselves and at least." See what this work has produced, "he told the Australian newspaper.

"We are preparing for this to happen so that our swimmers are ready and our exams continue. If the Games themselves are canceled, what can we do to take advantage of the fact that our athletes are ready?"

"It's an open question … whether we could host our own meeting or maybe hold a virtual meeting with some of our main competitions. It's an open question mark right now, but we will prepare and have alternative plans."

Two-time Olympic sprint champion Cate Campbell told the newspaper she thought it was a "wonderful idea" even though she was desperate to swim in her fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo.

"I think one of the advantages of being an ex-athlete as our current president is that he thinks about things like that," said the 28-year-old.

"Will it be the same? Absolutely not. But it's worth exploring the athletes and asking if they really want to."

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