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Sochi plays down F1 teams' corona concerns

Organisers of the Russian GP have hit back at concerns raised about the return of spectators to the Formula 1 circuits.

Organisers of the Russian GP have hit back at concerns raised about the return of spectators to the Formula 1 circuits.

Sochi was the first to announce that fans will be welcome at its September race, but Portimao and Imola are also making plans to end the 'ghost race' trend.

"According to our information, several teams are concerned about this and fear for the health of their crews," Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported.

When asked about that, Sochi promoter Sergey Titov said: "I don't quite understand how admitting spectators to the stands will create additional risks for the teams and the team members."

He explained that strict measures will be in place to separate the controlled 'bubble' of the F1 paddock from the public.

"No spectator will enter the paddock or the pitlane," Titov told Tass news agency. "In that sense it will be exactly as it was at the other races.

"The risks of coming into contact with people outside of Formula 1 are very clearly spelled out in the FIA regulations, including the prohibition of team members from leaving their rooms during their stay in hotels," he added.

Titov revealed that there is already "great interest" from the public in terms of buying tickets.

"We are confident that the Russian GP will be one of the best and most beautiful events of the year," he said.

It has also emerged that, with immediate effect, the FIA is increasing to 90 the number of team staff allowed at the races - up from 80 earlier in 2020.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States98825
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia77418
Great BritainGreat Britain45413
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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