The Tokyo Olympics scheduled to begin in just under a week will be a Games like no other, with athletes and officials only consigned to move around in a strict bubble consisting of their respective venues and the Games Village.
There will be no fans in almost every venue, no crowded media interviews and no socialising among the competing athletes, as the organisers prepare to put on the “Greatest show on earth” under the most stringent restrictions.
With that in mind, even the canteens at the Games Village could be deserted, with many athletes only expected to take their meals to go.
Men’s singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia will look to steer clear of having meals at the canteen for now.
“We know it’s going to be difficult in Tokyo, with the rising cases over there. I will personally avoid eating at the canteen, because it could get overcrowded. I would just take my food and head back to my room.
“It won’t be difficult, as we have already been living in a bubble at the Academy Badminton Malaysia under strict SOPs. We will look to do the same in Tokyo as well,” said Lee before leaving for Tokyo.
The national contingent comprising of eight shuttlers, four coaches, one team manager [Wong Choong Hann] and three support staffs safely arrived in Tokyo early Sunday morning.
There is a heightened sense of precaution after one individual tested positive for Covid-19 at the Games Village, just as athletes from across the globe are starting to arrive for the Games running from July 23-August 8.
National women’s doubles pair Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean will be the first shuttlers in action, kicking off the badminton event with a tasty showdown against Indonesian rivals Greysia Polli-Apriyani Rahayu on July 24 (8am local time).