TOKYO: Holding the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was the right decision, according to the secretary-general of the Jordan Olympic Committee.
Nasser Al-Majali told Arab News Japan that it was the “correct decision” to go ahead with the event despite calls to cancel it due to the pandemic.
“The dreams of our players would not have been realized without holding the Olympics,” he said. “Many Arab and non-Arab players had the opportunity to realize their dreams.”
Al-Majali singled out Jordan’s silver Taekwondo medal from Saleh Elsharabaty and Qatar’s high jump gold from Mutaz Barshim as highlights.
When asked about his impression of the general atmosphere in Tokyo, especially with concerns over the spread of COVID-19, Al-Majali thanked the Japanese for their hospitality.
“They try as much as possible to be hospitable, and they really are. The Japanese are apologizing to us because they can't do more due to the coronavirus situation. Even outside the Olympic Village they are very civil, and that's their nature.”
Al-Majali said it was a shame that the games had to be held with so many restrictions, and that the Jordanian Olympic delegation in Japan had been exercising caution throughout.
“We spend most of the time in the village and between the tournament hotels, in compliance with the laws in force, to reduce the possibility of anyone being infected inside or outside the Olympic Village. But we hoped that we would have the opportunity to learn about Japanese culture.”
He extended his gratitude to the city of Noshiro, in Akita Prefecture, which hosted the Jordanian Olympic delegation in a pre-game camp.
“I would like to extend special thanks to the city of Noshiro. We receive messages from the people of Noshiro all the time asking us to send them Jordanian flags signed by the athletes. We thank them and hope that we will have the opportunity to visit them with our athletes in the future.”
Jordan is participating with an Olympic delegation of 14 athletes and Al-Majali said the standard had been good in general.
The most important performance was that of Elsharabaty, whose silver was the second Olympic medal in Jordan’s history, after the gold won by Ahmad Abu Ghosh, also in Taekwondo, at the 2016 Rio Olympics.