After announcing his intention not to send his athletes to Tokyo for the 2021 Olympics for health reasons, the sports minister reversed his decision and the five members of the Guinean delegation will see Tokyo 2020.
The five Guinean athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics have been on a rollercoaster ride in recent hours.
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Non-participation for “health reasons”
On Wednesday, they learned through the voice of Sports Minister Sanoussy Bantama Sow that they would ultimately not be allowed to travel to Japan for the event due to “health reasons”. “Due to the resurgence of variants of Covid-19”, the government, “concerned with preserving the health of Guinean athletes, has decided with regret to cancel Guinea’s participation,” he wrote in a letter addressed to the President of the Guinean Olympic Committee. A source close to the government in Conakry mentioned financial problems and unpaid premiums as the main argument.
The sports minister revises his judgment
Finally, the about-face is total this Thursday since Guinea will indeed send its athletes to Tokyo. “The government, after obtaining guarantees from the health authorities, gives its agreement for the participation of our athletes in the 32nd Tokyo Olympiad,” Sports Minister Sanoussy Bantama Sow announced in a statement. Fatoumata Yarie Camara (freestyle wrestling), Mamadou Samba Bah (judo), Fatoumata Lamarana Touré and Mamadou Tahirou Bah (swimming) and Aïssata Deen Conté (athletics, 100m women) will therefore try to bring home the first Olympic medal in their history. country, which has not been successful in 11 appearances in the Olympics.
North Korea therefore remains the only country not to send a delegation for the Tokyo Games, as publicly stated in April.