Japanese women forward Nahomi Kawasumi has pulled out of the torch relay for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 due to concerns regarding the deadly coronavirus that continues to spread at a fast pace all over the world.
Taking to his official Twitter handle, the 34-year-old said that she could not take risk of contracting coronavirus or infecting other by travelling back from the United States of America.
"Due to the new coronavirus, I am withdrawing from the torch relay .I have made the decison taking into account the high risk of contracting coronavirus because I live in the United States. I dont want to get infected or become a source of infection, and cause trouble to my team and fans," Kawasumi wrote on Twitter.
Notably, Kawasumi featuers for Sky Blue FC in New Jersey, near New York City which has been on rise in COVID-19 infections.The Japanese striker had also helped her country clinch their first World Cup trophy in women's football in 2011.
Earlier on Monday, Canada became the first country to pull out of the Olympic Games 2020, while Australia advised its athletes to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics 2021.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had earlier stated that postponing the 2020 Olympics is one option in the wake of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, but added that cancelling the Games is not on the agenda.
On March 20, the flame for the Tokyo 2020 had arrived in Japan amid the fear of coronavirus pandemic.
The Olympic flame was carried from Greece in a chartered aircraft--the Tokyo 2020 Go--to the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force base in Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture.