• Tokyo Olympics organisers and Japanese PM confirm the Games will be postponed until 2021
  • Impact of Covid-19 on athletes preparations have been taken into consideration
  • World Health Organisation DG confirmed yesterday the pandemic is “accelerating”

Tokyo Olympics (Korkusung shutterstock)

IOC: Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponed due to coronavirus

Source: Korkusung shutterstock

International Olympics Committee and the Tokyo 2020 organising committee have confirmed the postponement of this year’s Olympics until 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bath and the prime minister of Japan Abe Shinzo, held a joint press conference this morning, addressing their “shared concern about the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.”

The two praised the work of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee and highlighted the great progress made in Japan to fight the spread of coronavirus.

However, coronavirus and “what it is doing to people’s lives and the significant impact it is having on global athletes’ preparations for the Games” has resulted in the organisers making the decision to reschedule the Games to a date beyond 2020.

The two confirmed the sports showcase would be no later than summer 2021.

They pointed to the address made yesterday by World Health Organisation (WHO) director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who said the Covid-19 pandemic is “accelerating,” with more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide, and, in nearly every country, the number growing by the hour.

The two said: “The Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present.

“Therefore, 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.”

They were joined by Mori Yoshiro, the President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee; the Olympic Minister, Hashimoto Seiko; the Governor of Tokyo, Koike Yuriko; the Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission, John Coates; IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper; and the IOC Olympic Games Executive Director, Christophe Dubi.