Greece seeks plan B for Olympic flame if coronavirus hits

The flame for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is scheduled to be lit on March 12 in ancient Olympia will be handed to the Tokyo organisers on March 19 in Athens.

The torch relay in Greece will pass through 37 cities and 15 archaeological sites covering 3,500 kilometres and 842 nautical miles and will be carried by 600 runners. (Representative Image)   -  Getty Images

The Greek Olympic Committee said on Monday that it has discussed with the government alternative plans for the Olympic Flame lighting ceremony in March if there is a coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The flame for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is scheduled to be lit on March 12 in ancient Olympia and, following a torch relay on Greek soil, will be handed to the Tokyo organisers at a ceremony on March 19 at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens.

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“We are in contact with the Crisis Committee and the Ministry of Health so that there is a plan ready for what needs to be done in case there are outbreaks in our country,” committee president Spyros Capralos told a press conference without going into details.

The torch relay in Greece will pass through 37 cities and 15 archaeological sites covering 3,500 kilometres and 842 nautical miles and will be carried by 600 runners.

“Our country has the unique privilege, the blessing, to perform these two ceremonies before any Olympic event,” said Deputy Minister for Sports Lefteris Avgenakis.

Greek Olympic shooting champion Anna Korakaki will be the first torch bearer, the first time a woman has been chosen for the honour.