Feature28 Jun 2020

Area in focus: postcards from Asia


People look out at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium (© AFP / Getty Images)

We conclude our Area in Focus series look at Asia with a selection of images which show how athletes from the area have dealt with the coronavirus pandemic.


Iranian sprinter Maryam Toosi

Toosi, who holds the Iranian records for 100m (11.45), 200m (23.46) and 400m (52.95), lives in a densely populated area of Tehran, so finding space to train has been difficult. She has completed many of her sessions on the rooftop of her apartment block.

Pictures: AFP/Getty


South Sudanese sprinters in Maebashi

A team of four South Sudanese athletes and a coach have been in Maebashi since November, arriving as part of a scheme by the city to promote peace through sport and offering them the opportunity to use facilities that aren't available in their home country. Due to the coronavirus, they've decided to remain until at least July in order to continue training.

Pictures: AFP/Getty


Online coaching courses

One of the upsides of the coronavirus pandemic has been the increased use of technology, and many Asian nations have held online coaching courses and webinars.


Facilities in China

Most athletics facilities in China have closed to the public during the pandemic, but national-level athletes have been able to use them.


Maria Natalia Londa, Indonesian record-holder at long jump and triple jump

The 2014 Asian Games champion has been trying to focus on the positives. "It's time to be grateful for the health we have, keep healthy by continuing to exercise regularly, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough rest."

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Two-time Asian indoor 60m champion Hassan Taftian

The Iranian 100m record-holder would usually be racing in Europe at this time of year, but instead he has been able to stay in his home country and take in some spectacular views.


World high jump champion Mutaz Barshim

The Olympic silver medallist is used to being two metres off the ground, so it hasn't taken him long to adapt to being two metres away from others.

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Training is the real hard work , competing is the fun part #whatgravity 👐🏾

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Focus on Japan

The Japanese government continues to closely monitor the situation in the hopes that the Tokyo Olympic Games will go ahead in 2021.