Silver medalists China's Xu Xin (L) and China's Liu Shiwen put on their face masks on the podium during the mixed doubles table tennis medal ceremony at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. Photography JUNG Yeon-je/AFP
Olympic athletes have received an extra incentive for winning a medal after organisers said they could remove their masks for 30 seconds for photos on the podium.
Medal-winners were urged not to abuse the relaxation in the rules at the Tokyo Games, which have been marked by their strict anti-coronavirus measures after opening a year late.
"The idea is to give those athletes who have been competing, when everyone else has stepped back, the chance to remove their mask for 30 seconds, staying on those steps for photos," International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said on Monday.
"I think everyone appreciates, one, that the risk is very, very, very, low, and two, completely understandable."