By Paresh Dave
OAKLAND, California (Reuters) – Locked out of practice fields because of coronavirus-related restrictions, Olympic softball players this week began turning their homes into training centers and preparing to lean on smartphone apps for virtual coaching.
The coronavirus outbreak has brought most sport to a standstill, with events and competitions around the world postponed or canceled as health authorities urge people to keep apart to limit the spread.
Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics, however, have said they are still planning for the Games to start on July 24 and have encouraged athletes to continue preparations.
With at least four of the six countries competing in softball’s return to the Olympics having canceled upcoming practice games, players have been left to train individually for longer than expected.
Closures of parks, gyms and batting cages have increased the challenges they face.
“It’s unfortunate but at…