ANDY MURRAY has hailed Tokyo 2020 as the most important Olympics ever — to lead sport out of Covid hell.
Team GB suffered a big blow yesterday as gold-medal hope Amber Hill had her Games dream shattered by a positive Covid test.
Fewer than 30 of Britain’s 375-strong delegation march in tomorrow’s opening ceremony.
Team GB chief Mark England warned fans to “buckle up” for a bumpy medal hunt.
But double gold winner Murray said: “This Games can be a beacon of hope for those still experiencing the worst of the pandemic and others that have lost so much over the last year.
“It’s more important than ever that people get to reconnect to the raw emotion of sport.
“To watch incredible performances, celebrate achievements.
“Sport isn’t just a fundamental human right — it is one of the most impactful tools to heal and strengthen society.
“It supports mental health. It encourages increased physical activity.
“It exposes us to other cultures and peoples. It brings us together.
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“Overcoming barriers and difficulties defines competing at this level.
“An incredible amount of work has gone into ensuring the safety of everyone at the Games.
“It’s going to be amazing playing in Tokyo and I think the Games have never been more relevant.”
Shooter Hill, 23, failed one of her pre-flight tests on Tuesday night.
The Berkshire ace, who competed at Rio 2016, had a big family send-off before going to Heathrow Airport but soon returned home to begin a period of self-isolation.
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Hill, world No 1 in the women’s skeet, said: “Broken is about the only way to describe the pain I’m feeling right now.
“After five years of training and preparation, I’m absolutely devastated.”
Team GB chief England yesterday issued a rallying call to fans back home.
He said: “We want everyone to buckle up. I’m confident of celebrating a successful campaign.”
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