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Photo: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Guinea’s sports ministry reversed its decision to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics Thursday and will send a delegation after all, the AP reports.

Why it matters: The reversal comes just a day after the country announced it had canceled its participation in this year’s Games as a precaution to the recent surge of COVID-19 variants.

Driving the news: Guinea was the second country, after North Korea, to pull out of the Tokyo Games because of pandemic-related concerns. The decision would have kept five athletes from competing.

  • Minister of Sports Sanoussy Bantama Sow announced the withdrawal Wednesday in a letter addressed to the Guinean Olympic Committee, per AP. Guinea has competed in the Games 11 times but has yet to win a medal.

The big picture: The Tokyo Olympics had already been delayed by a year because of the emergence of the coronavirus.

What they're saying: “The Minister of State, Minister of Sports has the true pleasure of informing the people of Guinea and the whole sports family, that the government, after obtaining guarantees from the health authorities, agrees to the participation of our athletes in the 32nd Olympics in Tokyo,” Sow said in a statement, per AP.

Go deeper: North Korea pulls out of Olympics over COVID concerns

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout to reflect Guinea reversed it's decision to withdraw on Thursday.

Go deeper

Jill Biden heading to Olympics, Alaska, Hawaii

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

First lady Jill Biden is embarking on a solo Pacific tour Wednesday, leading the U.S. delegation to the Olympics in Tokyo between domestic stops in Alaska and Hawaii.

Why it matters: This is Biden's first solo trip abroad as first lady. She has had an aggressive domestic travel schedule in support of her husband's administration.

Jul 22, 2021 - Sports

How the no-spectator Olympics could affect the athletes

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

They’ve endured a delayed Olympic Games, rigorous COVID-19 testing requirements and logistical hurdles. But the next biggest test for Olympians may be competing without anyone in the stands.

Driving the news: Psychologists don't know for sure how a spectator-less Olympics will impact athletes' performance, but Olympians are already expressing concern about what it will be like to compete without hearing the cheers of their families and fans.

The underdogs from Latin America vying for Olympic gold

Photo Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photos: Kieran Galvin (NurPhoto), Clement Mahoudeau (AFP), Patrick Smith, Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Athletes from more than 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are primed to compete in Tokyo — some making their Olympic debuts, and others overcoming obstacles like lack of training facilities, money for equipment or violence at home.

Why it matters: The athletes come from countries where most Olympic sports are underfunded and sponsorships were hard to come by even before the pandemic. Add a new challenge this year: The coronavirus continues to run rampant in their countries.