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Olympic Games Almost Certainly To Be Delayed

Tokyo Olympics Coronavirus

The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will almost certainly be delayed due to the outbreak of Coronavirus [Covid-19]. 

The Times reports that senior British Olympic officials are “90% certain” that this year’s Olympic Games will be postponed.

The Games are currently due to start on July 24 but officials have until 60 days before the competition begins, May 26, to make a decision as to whether they will postpone the games.

A statement from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reads:

Tokyo Olympics Coronavirus

“The IOC remains fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and with more than four months to go there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage.

“The IOC encourages all athletes to continue to prepare as best they can. We will keep supporting the athletes by consulting with them and their respective NOCs [National Olympic Committees], and by providing them with the latest information and developments.”

“For the remaining 43 per cent of places, the IOC will work with the IFs [International Federations] to make any necessary and practical adaptations to their respective qualification systems for Tokyo 2020,” the statement added.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks is that a significant number of athletes have yet to qualify for the games and with almost all sport currently postponed due to the outbreak of the virus, it’s proving difficult to reschedule qualifying events.

Training is also being severely hampered due to different countries adopting various stay-at-home measures in order to combat the virus.

Tokyo Olympics Coronavirus
Katarina Johnson-Thompson

Katarina Johnson-Thompson, the British Heptathlon World Champion posted the following message on social media:

“The IOC advice ‘encourages athletes to continue to prepare for the Olympics as best as they can’ but the government is enforcing isolation at home with tracks, gyms and public spaces closed. I feel under pressure to train and keep the same routine, which is impossible. It’s difficult [to] approach the season when everything has changed in the lead-up apart from the deadline.”

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email seanmc@punditarena.com or on Twitter