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The sign for the Jincheon National Training Centre, 90km south of Seoul. © Yonhap

Noc News

Korea NOC gives elite athletes break from national training centre

Date : 26 Mar 2020

Seoul, Korea, March 25, 2020: Around 500 Korean athletes and coaches staying at the main national training centre have been asked to move out by Friday, reports Yonhap News.

Following the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday, the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC) said Wednesday that it wanted to give athletes a respite from weeks of being holed up inside the Jincheon National Training Centre, 90km south of Seoul. They will have Thursday and Friday to pack up and leave.

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, South Korean athletes and their coaches preparing for the Olympics weren't permitted to leave the Jincheon centre, which is tucked in a remote corner of a small town in North Chungcheong Province. But, with the IOC postponing the Olympics, the sense of urgency in preparations has disappeared.

The KSOC said the athletes and coaches would be able to stay out for up to three weeks. Before they report back, they must also quarantine themselves for two weeks and undergo COVID-19 testing.

The KSOC will use the next couple of weeks to disinfect the Jincheon centre and also discuss any changes to its operations of the training base with the sports ministry.

Meanwhile, the KSOC said Wednesday it respected the decision to reschedule the 2020 Tokyo Olympics no later than summer 2021.

"We expect this postponement to provide fair opportunities for all participating athletes," the KSOC said in a statement.

"We'll continue to cooperate with the IOC and Tokyo's organising committee to ensure that the Olympic Games will take place in a safe environment for everyone."

The KSOC will form a joint task force with the Sports Ministry to better prepare for the rescheduled Olympics and help athletes with their new training programmes.

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