Beijing set for 100-day Olympic countdown but boycott calls, virus weigh

Beijing marks 100 days until the Winter Olympics on Wednesday but preparations for the Games have been overshadowed by boycott calls and a fresh coronavirus outbreak in China.

The Chinese capital in February will become the first host of a Summer and Winter Games and last week welcomed the Olympic flame with a low-key ceremony as the main event swings into view.

There was no sign of dissent in strictly controlled China, but the flame-lighting ceremony in Greece was disrupted by a small number of activists who brandished a Tibetan flag and a banner saying "no genocide".

Organizers have given no details about how they plan to mark the 100 days and any festivities look set to be small, with Chinese authorities rushing to stamp out a virus outbreak in their pursuit of a zero-cases policy.

This weekend's Beijing Marathon has been postponed and China on Monday reported 39 new domestic infections while urging people to avoid unnecessary travel outside the capital.

China, where the coronavirus emerged towards the end of 2019, has wrestled infections down with mass testing, aggressive lockdowns and by largely sealing its borders.

The 2022 Games, which take place just six months after the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Summer Olympics, will be held in a strict "closed loop" bubble to thwart infections.

The estimated 2,900 athletes must be fully vaccinated or face 21 days' quarantine upon arrival in the Chinese capital.

Unlike the Tokyo Games, there will be spectators, but ticket sales are limited to people living in China.

China's communist rulers have consistently railed against what they call the "politicization" of sport, and the International Olympic Committee says that it is not within its remit "to go into a...

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