All spectators have been banned from attending Olympic events in Tokyo after the Japanese government declared a state of emergency over rising COVID infections.
The decision, announced by Olympic officials on Thursday afternoon, means that athletes will compete without the roar of the crowd spurring them on.
It was "regrettable" that the Games were going to be held in a limited format, Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto told a briefing, according to the Reuters news agency, adding her apologies to those who had bought tickets.
Overseas visitors had already been barred from attending the delayed Games but It had been hoped that limited numbers of Japanese spectators would still be able to attend.
Games organisers last month put in place plans to allow venues to be 50% full, up to a maximum of 10,000 people.
However, after a steady rise of COVID cases in Japan, a state of emergency was declared in Tokyo that is set to remain in place until 22 August – a fortnight after the Games finish.
Figures show that there was a further 2,180 COVID cases reported in Japan on Wednesday – nearly 500 more than the previous day.
Watch: What 'hard quarantine' looks like at Tokyo 2020
“We must take stronger steps to prevent another nationwide outbreak, also considering the impact of coronavirus variants,” Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga said in quotes reported by Kyodo News.
State of emergency rules regarding attendances are set at regional level, but the national government advice is that events with spectators should run no later than 9pm, which had already put a major question mark on whether fans would be allowed to attend any night sessions in Tokyo.
Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto has stated previously that dignitaries and VIPs would not be counted within capacity limits and would instead be classed as organisers, so may still be able to attend even if the general public cannot.
Children attending Olympic events as part of a schools programme were also exempt from the capacity caps, Muto has said.
Japan’s top coronavirus advisor, Dr Shigeru Omi, had recommended to Games organisers that the best approach was to stage the event behind closed doors.
The country has given out over 52 million doses of the COVID vaccine but the figure represents just a fifth of the population, putting its rollout some way behind other developed countries.
The Games officially begin on 23 July, with the closing ceremony taking place on 8 August.
Watch: Japan PM Suga declares Tokyo state of emergency