Foreign Torch Relay Runners Disappointed at Olympic Delay

Society

Tokyo, March 25 (Jiji Press)--Foreigners who were slated to run in the torch relay for the Tokyo Olympics have voiced disappointment at the postponement of the relay in line with the decision on delaying the games amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Lkhagvadorj Nandin-Erden, 28, who is from the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator and has been working as a technical trainee at a plant in the city of Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, since 2014, applied to take part in the relay to create memories before her training program ends in November this year.

Her parents had planned to see her run in the relay. Earlier this month, however, her father passed away suddenly. She has yet to be able to return home due to the entry ban imposed by the Mongolian government on travelers from Japan amid the spread of the virus.

She showed understanding for the postponement of the Olympics and the relay, saying in Japanese: "People across the world are having trouble with disease. Human lives are important." Nandin-Erden added that "I'd be happy to come back" to Japan when the Olympics are held following the postponement, voicing her eagerness to run in a rescheduled torch relay.

"It's very unfortunate, and I'm really sad," said Durna Ozkaya, 32, who is from Turkey and works as an international exchange coordinator in the town of Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture, western Japan.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press