TOKYO: The Tokyo Olympics scheduled from July 24 this year has been rescheduled by a year to Summer 2021, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese organisers announced on Tuesday. The alarming Covid-19 spread in almost all nations forced the postponement — this, for the 1st time in its 124-year history.
“In the present circumstances, and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” the IOC said in a statement.
“It was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020,” the statement said.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and IOC president Thomas Bach discussed the possibility of postponement over phone from Tokyo. Abe said that the IOC boss agreed 100 per cent to Japan’s proposal for postponing the Games by a year.
Athletes were disappointed but broadly endorsed the delay, given health risks and disruption to their training as gyms, stadia and swimming pools shut down around the world. –Agencies, IHN-NN