Takasaki City to welcome Ukrainian rhythmic gymnasts for training

Japan's gymnastics governing body and Takasaki City, north of Tokyo, will accept 25 Ukrainian rhythmic gymnasts for about two weeks next month.

The International Gymnastics Federation asked the Japan Gymnastics Association to help the Ukrainian athletes, who are unable to train in their country because of the Russian invasion.

The association then asked Takasaki City in Gunma Prefecture to take in the gymnasts. The city has previously hosted international sports competitions.

City officials agreed to provide training venues such as Takasaki Arena and lodgings for the gymnasts, including members of Ukraine's national team.

The International Olympic Committee says 51 Ukrainian athletes have died due to the Russian invasion. A teenage rhythmic gymnast is reportedly among them.

The head of the Japan Gymnastics Association, Fujita Tadashi, offered his sincere thanks to Takasaki City for agreeing to host the athletes.

Takasaki Mayor Tomioka Kenji said he hopes to provide the Ukrainian gymnasts with an environment where they can focus on their training without having to worry about their safety.