Nick Kyrgios pulls out of Tokyo Olympics citing empty stadiums and injury

Nick Kyrgios pulls out of Tokyo Olympics citing empty stadiums and injury

Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has confirmed his withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics, saying a ban on spectators attending the Games was a factor behind his decision.

Games organisers announced on Thursday that Tokyo venues for the pandemic-delayed event will not host spectators due to the city’s coronavirus state of emergency.

The new state of emergency for the capital will run from July 12 to August 22 — covering the 16 days of the embattled Games in its entirety.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Kyrgios wrote: “It’s a decision I didn’t make lightly. It’s been my dream to represent Australia at the Olympics and I know I may never get that opportunity again.

“But I also know myself. The thought of playing in front of empty stadiums just doesn’t sit right with me. It never has.”

READ: Six years after his grandmother passed away, Nick Kyrgios grapples with demons

There are a total of 42 venues listed on the Tokyo 2020 website. Twenty-five are in Tokyo and the rest are in seven other prefectures.

However, three prefectures near Tokyo — Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama — will not have spectators at Olympic competition venues, according to Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto.

Miyagi, Fukushima, and Shizuoka prefectures have decided that venues can be filled to 50% of capacity with a maximum of 10,000 spectators, added Hashimoto.

‘I need to get my body right’

Kyrgios was originally named in the 11-member Australian Olympics tennis team, comprising six men and five women, at the end of June.

The 26-year-old, though, had already cast doubts about his participation at the Games after he retired with an abdominal injury during his Wimbledon third-round match with Felix Auger-Aliassime on Saturday.

“I wouldn’t want to take the opportunity away from a healthy Aussie athlete ready to represent the country,” Krygios added.

“I will also take all the time I need to get my body right.”

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