Five-time Olympian Rob Heffernan remains fully confident that the Olympic Games will go ahead as planned this summer, despite fears that Covid-19 may halt the games for a second time.
Organisers continue to insists that everything is on track for the Olympics to get underway on 23 July, despite increasing local concerns about such a large influx of athletes and officials.
Tokyo remains under a state of emergency with rising coronavirus infection rates in the country, while there is strong opposition among the public to the Games.
Asahi Shimbun, a major Japanese newspaper and an official partner of the Games, has called for its cancellation, but the IOC and organisers are adamant that the Olympic and Paralympic Games will go ahead as planned
While the 2012 50k walk bronze medallist won't be competing in Tokyo, Heffernan is now training athletes who will be and, speaking to 2fm’s Game On, he insists that it’s 'business as usual’ for his charges.
"There’s some drama every single Olympics. The athletes as a whole are removed from it and they have to concentrate on their training," he said.
"They’re preparing in their own minds as if it’s 100 per cent going ahead until they hear otherwise.
"They can’t get caught up in the media and they can’t get caught up in the talk around it because when they’re in the middle of really tough blocks of training, this is just a distraction that can give them an excuse not to work hard.
"From an athlete’s point of view, and I have five athletes going to the Olympic games from three countries, that’s never ever discussed. They’re always looking for scenarios where they can train and it’s just business as usual for athletes."
Heffernan also revealed that he has a close insight as to just how preparations are going in Tokyo the Games.
"I work close with Pierce O'Callaghan and he’s the Director of Competitions for World Athletics," he said. "He’s reassured me and I’m on to him daily.
"He’s on to the Japanese on three or four calls a couple time this week, he’s speaking with the IOC every day and he’s said most of the IOC staff are out in Tokyo.
"He reassures me 100% that the games are going to go ahead so it’s never a conversation point with the athletes because they’re too busy training.
"I think the amount of test events that they’ve done out there, they’ve all gone really well and things are getting a lot more positive, so we have to assume they’re going ahead and just drive on."