Runner in first leg of Olympics torch relay drops out: Tokyo 2020

Japan's Sawa leaves the pitch after their defeat by the U.S. team after the women's final soccer match at the London 2012 Olympic Games in London
FILE PHOTO: Japan's Homare Sawa leaves the pitch after their defeat by the U.S. team after the women's final soccer match at the London 2012 Olympic Games in London at Wembley Stadium, August 9, 2012. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

March 24, 2021

TOKYO (Reuters) – One of the first runners in the Tokyo Olympics torch relay has dropped out of the event scheduled for Thursday, the Games organising committee said on Wednesday.

Homare Sawa, captain of Japan’s women’s football team, which won the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, was one of those kicking off the torch relay on Thursday.

Her former coach Norio Sasaki told a press conference she had decided to pull out, citing health reasons.

(Reporting by Sakura Murakami, writing by Ju-min Park; Editing by Sam Holmes)