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Urban Indians want Olympics even as host Japanese resist: Survey

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Mumbai, July 15 (IANS) With the raging Covid-19 pandemic forcing nationwide emergency in Japan, the host country of the Olympic Games starting on July 23, opinion is divided world over on whether Tokyo should host the Games.

Only one in two (54 percent) Indians are in favour of Olympics being held, according to a global survey conducted by IPSOS, the world’s third-largest market research company.

The survey, however, found that 70% urban Indians are most interested in Tokyo Olympics.

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The IPSOS Global Survey, conducted in 28 markets, found that six in 10 global citizens and 78 percent of Japanese citizens oppose holding the Olympics now.

But there are countries like Turkey (71%), Saudi Arabia (66%), Russia (61%), and Poland (60%) where there is massive support for the Games. Countries against hosting of Olympics are South Korea (86%), Japan (78%), and Argentina (69%), IPSOS said in a release on Thursday.

Among countries with urban population supporting Olympics, South Africa (59%), China (57%), Poland (56%), and Turkey (56%) followed India.

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In India, a sample of 500 was surveyed by IPSOS.

The least interested nations included Belgium (72%), South Korea (70%), Japan (68%), France (68%) and Germany (67%).

Former India hockey player Joaquim Carvalho, who represented the country in the 1984 Olympics, said he has found that most people want the Olympics to be held.

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“Everybody wants to come out of the shell caused by the pandemic. The Games have to be held with proper precautions and health and safety regulations,” he said.

“If the European Football Championship could be organised, if people can sit in the stadium and enjoy Wimbledon, if French Open could be held and cricket matches could be played all over the world, then why shouldn’t we have the Olympics?” he added.

Though the survey concluded that a large number of people opposed it globally, there was overwhelming support for the fact that Olympics have a positive impact — at least 80 percent of global citizens polled supported this view while 90 percent of urban Indians and 59 percent Japanese too agreed to this.

Overall, the survey found that the urban Indians are most interested in football (37%), badminton (36%), tennis (28%), athletics (26%), boxing (17%) and cycling (14%).

Global citizens were most keen to watch, football/ soccer (30%), athletics/ track & field (27%), aquatics (22%), gymnastics (21%), volleyball (13%), tennis (12%), basketball (12%), cycling (10%), boxing (8%) and badminton (6%), the release said.

There was also support for Olympic-bound athletes getting priority in vaccination with at least seven in 10 global citizens supporting it.

–IANS

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