SPORTS Olympic flame handover ceremony to be closed

SPORTS

Olympic flame handover ceremony to be closed

AP

18:16, March 16, 2020

The Greek Olympic committee says the Olympic flame handover ceremony for the Tokyo Games will take place without spectators in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

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Torchbearer Greece's Anna Korakaki (L), Rio 2016 gold medallist in the 25m pistol shooting, receives the Olympic flame during the flame lighting ceremony on March 12, 2020 in ancient Olympia, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (Photo: AFP)

The committee says the accreditation cards that had been issued for Thursday's ceremony at the stadium in Athens where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896 would not be valid.

The body's headquarters will also remain closed from Monday until further notice.

The committee canceled the remainder of the Olympic torch relay last week after crowds gathered in southern Greece to watch part of the torch relay in Sparta, where the torch was carried by actor Gerard Butler.

Greek health authorities have warned people to stay home, and have shut down everything from restaurants, bars and cafes to public organized beaches, ski resorts, hair salons and movie theaters, in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

Greece currently has 331 confirmed cases and four deaths.

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