Tokyo Games can be 'beacon of hope' says World Athletics chief Coe

Speaking at a test event held behind closed doors at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium, Sebastian Coe said the Games can "have a profound impact" on the world amidst the pandemic.

World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe said Sunday he believes the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo Olympics can be "a beacon of hope and optimism", despite infections surging in Japan and other countries.

A virus state of emergency in Tokyo and other parts of Japan was extended on Friday, less than three months before the Games are due to begin.

More than 10,000 athletes from 200 countries and regions are set to travel to Tokyo for the Games, with a decision on how many domestic fans -- if any -- can attend to be taken in June. 300,000 people have signed an online petition titled "Cancel the Tokyo Olympics to protect our lives", launched Wednesday by a lawyer and former Tokyo gubernatorial candidate.