May 9, 2021 - Sports

420 athletes take part in Olympics test event in Tokyo

Justin Gatlin (2nd L) of the US wins the Men's 100m final , part of the World Athletics Continental Tour at the National Stadium on May 09, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

American Justin Gatlin (2nd L) crosses the finish line to win the men's 100m final ahead of Japan's Yuki Koike (L) and Shuhei Tada (R)during the "Ready Steady Tokyo" Olympics test event, part of the World Athletics Continental Tour at the National Stadium, in Tokyo Sunday. Photo: Toru Hanai/Getty Images

American sprinter Justin Gatlin was among 420 athletes to participate in a Tokyo test event with pandemic precautions in place Sunday ahead of this summer's delayed Olympic Games.

The big picture: No spectators were present during the event at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium as the city remains under a COVID-19 state of emergency due to a spike in coronavirus cases.

What they're saying: Gaitlin said the precautions organizers had taken had been "very successful" and he "felt beyond safe," per the BBC.

  • "The only time I've ever seen the outside is when we get on the bus to go to the track. We work out then we go back to the hotel," added the 2004 Olympic champion and 2016 Rio Games silver medallist, who won his 100m race at the event.
  • "We don't even eat in a cafeteria or a meeting ground, we take our food to our room and we eat in our room.
"I know a lot of athletes are not going to be happy with this but the measures are in place to keep everyone safe, I think it's working."

For the record: Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Friday when he extended Tokyo's emergency measures to May 31 that the capital could still hold "a safe and secure Olympics" despite the declaration due to end less than two months before the Games are set to start, per Reuters.

Go deeper: Overseas spectators banned from Tokyo Olympics over COVID fears

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