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Estonian paralympian: Tokyo facilities have been excellent

Robin Liksor appearing on Wednesday's 'Terevisioon', with host Owe Petersell.
Robin Liksor appearing on Wednesday's 'Terevisioon', with host Owe Petersell. Source: ERR

Estonian paralympian Robin Liksor says that while he would like to see more coverage of the games, which started Tuesday, in his home country, the facilities in Tokyo had so far proved excellent.

"Let's just say that the coverage has been very good during the paralympics themselves, but maybe it could be a little denser and better at other times as well," Liksor, a swimmer, told ETV morning show "Terevisioon" Wednesday.

Liksor said the first coronavirus case detected at the games, hosted in Tokyo, had not led to any extra tension or anxiety so far, though mask-wearing and social distancing were maintained.

While the sportspeople are confined to the olympic village and not allowed out on the town in Tokyo, Liksor added that this was no big issue for him either, having been in Tokyo for five days now.

"Fortunately, we have a small village here a little further afield, where you can go shopping for souvenirs and take a walk around," he said. 

"You can see such an interesting effect in Japan, whereby the hours seem to go somehow so much faster than they do at home," he laughed. 

Those hours start of with breakfast, though whether or not this happens in the designated canteen depends on the bus schedule, Liksor, 21, said.

"After that, you head for the gym, come home, you go to eat, then you rest a bit, with maybe a little recovery or massage and stretches, and then it's already dinner. Getting to the buses and getting to the canteen take up a lot of time here. There really isn't a lot of time to rest," he said.

As to Estonia's likely performance at the games, Liksor tipped fellow swimmer Matz Topkin.

"Maybe even a medal will be forthcoming. It would be really nice for the Estonian team. He doesn't want to be put under any pressure himself, but I still apply a little," Liksor went on.

As for his own performance, Liksor did not venture to think about the top medals: "I still have a bit of that Estonian pessimism inside me, but since this is such a big competition, the idea is still ticking over somewhere."

A personal best was a definite target, he added, though on Thursday we will know more, after he has competed.

He also had a lot of good words to say about the facilities. "All the swimming pools are very new and very airy, the Japanese people have made sure that everything is top-notch. So far I have not a bad word to say about the swimming pools here." 

The stadium was also much bigger in actuality than it had seemed on screen, he added.

The Estonian team has two apartments in the Olympic village, one for the athletes and one for the coaches and support staff, he said.

Liksor was also flag-bearer at the opening ceremony which, having thought it looked too unwieldy from a distance, found it surprisingly easy to fly with one hand.

The original Terevisioon slot (in Estonian) is here.

The XVI Summer Paralympics held in Tokyo run August 24-September 5, having been put back a year as with many other major sporting events.

Estonia has sent five athletes to the games this time, Kardo Ploomipuu, Susannah Kaul and Egert Jõesaar join Liksor and Topkin.

Estonia has bagged 19 medals at the games so far, since the restoration of independence 30 years ago, while the best all-time performer so far is swimmer Marge Kõrkjas, who has seven medals to her name: Two golds, four silvers and one bronze.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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