Guinea will finally participate in the Tokyo Olympics (July 23 – August 8). Guinean Sports Minister Sanoussy Bantama Sow announced Thursday that his five athletes will travel to Japan. “The government, after obtaining guarantees from the health authorities, gives its agreement for the participation of our athletes in the 32nd Tokyo Olympiad”, it is written in the minister’s press release.

On Wednesday, the government announced that Guinea was canceling its participation because of the Covid-19. “Due to the recrudescence of variants”, the government, “concerned about preserving the health of Guinean athletes, decided with regret the cancellation of Guinea’s participation” in the Tokyo Games, wrote the Minister of Sports, Sanoussy. Bantama Sow, in a letter addressed to the president of the Guinean Olympic Committee, which AFP had been able to consult.

12th participation in the Olympic Games

A source close to the government in Conakry had for his part mentioned financial problems to justify the abandonment of this poor West African country two days before the official opening ceremony on Friday evening. “The file was overcharged, that’s why the ministry can not pay,” had told AFP, on condition of anonymity, a source close to the government, without further details. The Guinean press evoked Wednesday evening problems of unpaid premiums.

Guinea, which has never won medals in 11 participations in the Olympics, will therefore send five athletes to Tokyo: Fatoumata Yarie Camara (freestyle wrestling), Mamadou Samba Bah (judo), Fatoumata Lamarana Touré and Mamadou Tahirou Bah (swimming) and Aïssata Deen Conté (athletics).

Before Guinea, North Korea had announced in April that it would not participate in the Tokyo Olympics to “protect” its athletes from any risk linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

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