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Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Still in play: Japan's Olympic dream burns on

Organizers hinge large-scale summer success on small-scale tests in fall

Athletes attend the opening ceremony of a four-nation gymnastics meet in Tokyo on Nov. 8.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- For a few tense hours, it looked like Tokyo 2020's first trial event that included foreign athletes would be crippled by a homegrown COVID case: Olympic champion Kohei Uchimura had tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct. 28, a week into his quarantine with seven other Japanese gymnasts.

Competitors had been similarly isolated in the U.S., Russia and China, taking PCR tests two weeks, one week, then 72 hours before flying to Japan. When they landed, all 22 were tested a fourth time. The 30 athletes, including the Japanese, began each day with breakfast and a PCR test.

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